12 Best Chinese DAC 2022 | For Hi-Fi Sound on a Budget

by Michael Dwain

If you’re in the market for the best Chinese DACs, then you’ve come to the right page. This article covers some of the best Chinese DACs available in the market today and the best part is that all of them are cheap and affordable. Read on to find out more!

A simple amplifier and a set of Hi-Fi headphones won’t do the trick anymore and you’d need something that can reproduce even the last detail from any audio recording. 

These devices are called external DACs and until a few years ago they seemed pointless to use considering all of our devices came preloaded with a digital to analog converter of sorts.

Yes, an external DACs can bypass the sub-standard internal DAC of any playback device and deliver the best sound quality possible. 

With a number of DAC available in the Chinese market, it’s rather difficult to know which is best suited and for what device. Currently there are about 4 different types of external DACs that come in different sizes and connection options;

  • Hi-Fi DAC
  • Phone DAC
  • Desktop USB DAC
  • Portable USB DAC

Let’s take a look at the best Chinese DAC available online at this very moment.

A Summary: Best Chinese DACs

Top 12 Best Chinese DACBest For
iFi Hip-DACOverall Performance
FX Audio DAC X6-MiniFor Multi-Functional Capabilities
iFi Zen DAC V2For Hi-Res Audio
Fosi Audio Q4For Stereo Playback
FiiO E10K USB DACFor Good Sound Reproduction
Grwibeou 3.5mm USB DACCompatible with PC
Prozor 192kHz DACFor Professionals
Prozor 192kHz Bluetooth DACFor Seamless Bluetooth Connectivity
XDUOO TA-01B USB DACFor Tube Sound
Soonhua Digital Analog ConverterFor Versatility
Douk Audio P1For Retro Sound
Periodic Audio Rhodium High Res USB-C Headphone DACFor Portability

Features to look for in a DAC

So what are the characteristics you should look for that will make a DAC suitable for you or not?

  • For starters, most DACs are quite small in size, and are capable of providing the best quality audio while the larger ones have more room for audio inputs and outputs. So they come in all shapes and sizes so you need to consider its functionality and how you would want to use it.
  • If you need good connectivity then a desktop USB might be more suitable for you. They are big and generally require their own power source. Compact USB DACs offer portability at a reasonable price and keep connections very simple with a headphone socket and a hi-fi system.
  • When selecting a DAC, make sure it has what it takes to convert files of the resolution you’re most likely to listen to by looking at the sample rate and bit depth.

How did we test these Chinese DACs?

Since there are hundreds of different Chinese DACs available, it gets rather hard to choose just one. We’ve put over 50 different Chinese DACs through a series of tests and have found the following 12 to be really good.

Some of the key tests we performed are:

  • Sound test – Each DAC was connected to a range of devices and different genres of music were played at different levels of volume. Not all the DACs were able to perform at higher volumes and we found some of the cheaper DACs to produce static and ultimately sounded unclear. Only those DACs that have proven to deliver high quality audio were selected for this list.
  • Connectivity test – Again, all DACs are differently designed and some might not provide a wide range of connectivity options such as Bluetooth or wireless connectivity. So we considered some of the best Chinese DACs based on the ports they come with and if they can be connected to a wide range of devices. Another thing we considered here is the range of connectivity and if there was no drop or break in signal.
  • Build test – Finally, each DAC was put through a build test t o determine if they are durable and worth it or not. The DACs were dropped from a high platform and based on our findings, the following DACs are built to last.

Recommended Read: Best DAC Amp Combo

Best Chinese DAC

A DAC is a device or in the case of internal DACs, a chip that decodes digital information into an analog signal. 

You are all aware that data stored on a smartphone or a computer is binary and is encoded in the form of 0s and 1s, our ears can only perceive this data in the form of analog waves. Devices like our PCs, smartphones, and CD players have an in-built DAC that allows them to convert these digital files into analog waves so we can hear them through a speaker system. 

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The only drawback with an internal DAC is that it can not produce all the details that an external DAC can and this is primarily the reason why audiophiles are starting to opt for an external device to enhance their music and playback experience on the whole.

An External DAC can automatically bypass any internal DAC on any device.

iFi Hip-DAC

Best Chinese DAC

This is an uber portable DAC that supports up to 12 hours of playback on a single charge and comes in a slim and lightweight design making it perfect to carry around in your pocket wherever you go. 

The iFi Hip DAC is a great choice if you want to experience ultra portability, ultimately becoming any audiophiles inseparable friend. 

Features

  • With the iFi you can play any high resolution audio format with native digital to analog conversion. This lets you listen to any song the way it was originally recorded and intended to be heard.
  • The in-built amplifier is capable of delivering up to 400 mW max power to your IEMs or headphones making it one heck of a powerful little device.
Best Chinese DAC
  • It will connect directly to your smartphone with the help of a USB input and works with either a balanced 4.4mm or S-Balanced 3.5mm headphone plugs assuring ultimate convenience and versatility.
  • Additional analog enhancements like XBass and Power Match allow you to customize your overall listening experience without compromising the digital conversion.

Specifications

Formats SupportedPCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
Digital InputsUSB 3.0 type ’A’ High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0, (32bit/384kHz)
Battery2200mAh Li-Po battery
Headphone OutputsBalanced 4.4mmSingle-Ended S-Balanced 3.5mm
Dimensions and Weight102mm x 70mm x 14mm125grams

FX Audio DAC X6-Mini

Best Chinese DAC

This little compact unit from FX Audio is a multi-functional external DAC amp that provides a strong guarantee for both tone input and output.

It is ideal for audiophiles and games and uses a replaceable op amp specifically designed for audio clarity and output.

Features

  • The FX Audio X6 features digital inputs like PC USB, Coaxial, Optical (toslink) with the toggle switch making it easier to choose the input source.
  • Its analog output ports are a 6.35mm headphone jack and a 2 channel stereo power amplifier port allowing you to connect your Hi-Fi speakers, external amplifier or headphones to it.
Best Chinese DAC
  • The chip-set that powers the main amp within the X6 is a OPA2134PA+6120A2+CS4398+SA9023+OP275G which provides you with a stronger input and output.
  • It is Dolby Atmos compatible meaning it permits directional sounds and throws them perfectly.

Specifications

Sampling RatesUSB:24bit / 96kHz;  16bit / 192kHzOptical / Coaxial : 24bit / 192kHz
Digital InputsPC USB / Coaxial / Optical(with toggle switch)
Frequency Response±3dB(20Hz-20khz)
Headphone Impedance32Ω-600Ω 
Analog Outputs6.35mm headphone out2ch stereo power amp
Dimensions and Weight5.7” x 3.9” x 1.4”480 grams

iFi Zen DAC V2

The audio industry is full of exciting companies looking to make a name for themselves. One that comes to mind right away is iFi Audio.

Features

  • Their ZEN DAC looks very appealing in terms of specs and such but it doesn’t quite nail the sound either. It’s like having a Ferrari engine on a bike frame – superb quality parts, but perhaps not as well integrated or optimized as it should be when compared to other high-end products out there.
  • This DAC is capable of matching the power of your headphones and is able to neatly boost the bass to an extent that it not only sounds deep, but it sounds clear and crisp.
  • It comes with a Burr-Brown DAC chip which might not be the most powerful one out there, but it certainly gets the job done and improves your overall experience.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32-bit/768kHz
DAC ChipBurr-Brown
Analog Outputs3.5mm headphone out
Dimensions and Weight10.87 x 6.18 x 2.28 inches; 2.76 Pounds

Fosi Audio Q4

Best Chinese DAC

The Fosi Audio Q4 is a mini stereo gaming DAC and Headphone amp that is easy to set-up with no special software or sound driver that is required. 

This is one of the best rated DACs available online and is extremely affordable making it a must have in every music lovers room.

Features

  • The Fosi Q4 features an aluminum metal shell making it durable and heat-resistant allowing it to be moved and positioned in any room with ease.
  • Powered by a DC 5v Micro USB cable, this DAC can be plugged into any electronic device that supports USB ports. 
Best Chinese DAC
  • It supports multiple digital inputs like PC USB, Coaxial, Optical (toslink) and comes with a toggle switch making it easier to choose the appropriate input source.
  • The front of the DAC houses the toggle switch for the input modes, a 3.5mm headphone jack, controller dials for Bass, treble and Master Volume while the rear end of the Q4 houses the 2 channel audio out that’s compatible with any stereo speakers or an external amplifier.

Specifications

Sampling RatesPC-USB: 96K/24BitOptical / Coaxial : 192K/24Bit
Digital InputsPC USB / Coaxial / Optical(with toggle switch)
Frequency Response20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
Headphone Impedance16-200Ω
Analog Outputs3.5mm headphone out2ch stereo power amp
Dimensions and Weight7.7” x 6.1” x 2.9”480 grams

 Fiio E10K USB DAC

Best Chinese DAC

The Fiio E10K is one of their most promising mini DACs available in the market that can handle PCM files up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution while improving the overall audio quality via a linear filter.

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Features

  • The E10K is a customizable and compact DAC designed to improve the audio output quality of your laptop or audio device with the help of its OCM5102 DAC chip.
  • It features an optimized low-pass filter and a selectable bass boost circuit providing you with low-noise floor all the time.
Best Chinese DAC
  • The rear multi-ports include a coaxial out and a line out apart from the Micro-USB 5v power slot.
  • The front of the device houses the 3.5mm headphone jack and volume control along with the Bass gain toggle switch. 

Specifications

Sampling Rates24bit / 96kHz resolution
Digital InputsMicro USB
DAC ChipsetPCM5102 DAC chip
AmpLMH6643 OP amp
Analog OutputsCoaxial OutLine Out
Dimensions and Weight0.83” x 1.93” x 3.11”76 grams

Grwibeou 3.5mm USB DAC

Best Chinese DAC

The Grwibeou USB DAC is a rather small and pocket-able DAC stereo converter that’s a great fit for your PC, or smartphone to your amplifier, headphones or home theater. 

This professional audio switching device converts coaxial or toslink digital signals into analog Left/Right audio and can be connected to any external device via a standard RCA audio jack.

Features

  • The Grwibeou features an easy to setup and operate metallic design which can be used for a range of devices like the PlayStation 4, XBox, Blu-Ray players, AV Amplifiers and more.
  • It provides electromagnetic noise-free transmission and supports uncompressed e-channel LPCM or PCM digital audio signal output.
  • The DAC supports multiple sampling rates; 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz.
Best Chinese DAC
  • At the back of the device you will have a 3.5mm headphone slot and a 2 channel Left/Right audio out for your speakers or direct connection to an AV amp.
  • The front of the DAC houses the slots for your SPDIF cable or the Toslink cable, the Coaxial and your power input DC 5v slot.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz and 96KHz24-bit S/PDIF
Digital InputsToslinkRCA (Coaxial)
Analog Outputs2 x L/R Audio3.5mm Headphone Out
Dimensions and Weight77 x 55 x 22mm90 grams

Prozor 192kHz DAC 

Best Chinese DAC

The Prozor 192 is designed for professional audio processing and can easily convert Coaxial and Toslink interface to either an RCA analog or a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It is available in black and is pretty compact and lightweight weighing 85grams.

Features

  • The Prozor 192 has a signal to noise ratio of 105fB and supports PCM audio formats.
  • It runs on a professional DAC chipset, the Cirrus Logic 8416-CZZ that is designed to produce crystal clear audio in the analog format.
  • You can connect the Prozor 192 to any TV Box, Blu-Ray Player, Gaming Console and TV and have it convert digital audio signals into analog via a 3.5mm audio jack and an RCA output. While using your TV as the main input, set the audio output format to PCM/LPCM for the desired quality.
Best Chinese DAC
  • It is designed to be anti-shock and uses gold plated jacks to reduce interference while converting the audio.
  • The 5v charging port can be connected via USB so placing the DAC anywhere in the room is least of your concerns.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 96KHz and 192kHz24-bit S/PDIF
Digital InputsToslinkRCA (Coaxial)
Analog Outputs2 x L/R Audio3.5mm Headphone Out
Dimensions and Weight73 x 56 x 22mm85 grams

Prozor 192kHz Bluetooth DAC

Best Chinese DAC

This is a phenomenal DAC from Prozor that comes with a mobile device Bluetooth compatibility allowing you to convert not only Coaxial or Toslink but even data shared over Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth receiver comes with its own little antenna and this DAC can be controlled with the help of a remote control.

Features

  • This model of Prozor features a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 receiver that can achieve a connection range of up to 50-65 feet indoors. The Bluetooth chip will only receive the data from a primary source and will not transmit data for you.
  • This device can be connected to a TV Box, Game Console or any Blu-Ray player and converts the digital audio into analog via the RCA output and 3.5mm Headphone jack situated on the back of the device.
Best Chinese DAC
  • The Infra-red remote controller lets you choose your input source, adjust the volume, mute the device and to turn on/off the converter.
  • It supports 192kHz, 2.4-bit sampling rate and has a signal to noise ratio of 105dB.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 96KHz and 192kHz16 to 24-bit S/PDIF
Digital InputsToslinkRCA (Coaxial)Bluetooth
Analog Outputs2 x L/R Audio3.5mm Headphone Out
Dimensions and Weight4.54” x 2.45” x 0.76”180 grams

XDUOO TA-01B USB DAC

Best Chinese DAC

The XDUOO is a multi-functional compact tube amplifier that can be used as a pre-amp.This device uses a high-quality transistor to amplify the output power and is enough to power higher low impedance earphones or headphones.

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Features

  • The TA-01B comes with a USB digital receiver chip which applies an XMOS U8 chip in asynchronous transmission mode and can digital audio of 32bit/192kHz and DSD128.
  • It uses two high quality crystal oscillators as the clock power source and respectfully works at 44.1k and 48k frequencies.
Best Chinese DAC
  • On the front of the device you have the volume control dial, a power toggle and the headphone output jack, whereas at the rear you have the USB-In, RCA ports and a DC 12V 2A power port.
  • The device is lightweight and is rather small making it easy to pocket and carry around your home.

Specifications

Sampling Rates16-32Bit/44.1-192KHz, DSD64-128
Digital InputsUSB-In, RCA
SupportsASIO, KS, WASAPI
Analog OutputsAudio 3.5mm Headphone Out
Dimensions and Weight140* 80*82mm; 410grams

Soonhua Digital Analog Converter

Best Chinese DAC

The Soonhua DAC converts Coaxial or Toslink Audio signals into Analog RCA that can be connected to external devices like amplifiers or stereo Hi-Fi speakers. The second choice of output is via the 3.5mm headphone jack making this DAC great for audio switching.

Features

  • The Soonhua DAC features a bidirectional switch making it possible to convert digital to analog and digital to digital audio signals.
  • It has a built-in Hi-Fi amplifier that can drive 16~150ohm impedance to the 3.5mm headphone jack and supports volume control.
Best Chinese DAC
  • The DAC supports audio sampling rates of 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz along with 24-bit S/PDIF incoming bit streaming on both the left and right channels.
  • This device can be connected to a TV Box, Game Console or any Blu-Ray player and converts the digital audio into analog via the RCA output and 3.5mm Headphone jack situated on the back of the device.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 96KHz and 192kHz24-bit S/PDIF
Digital InputsToslinkRCA (Coaxial)
Digital OutputsToslinkRCA (Coaxial)
Analog Outputs2 x L/R Audio3.5mm Headphone Out
Dimensions and Weight70 x 54 x 22mm165 grams

Douk Audio P1

Best Chinese DAC

The P1 from Douk Audio is a Bluetooth vacuum headphone amplifier and a valve tube preamplifier. This classy looking DAC provides warm retro tube sound and supports multiple input modes from iPods, Smartphones, TVs, Echo Dot, Blu-ray players etc.

Features

  • The P1 uses Bluetooth 5.0 and supports aptX, aptX-LL lossless transmission so that you experience every detail with no loss of quality.
  • It comes with a replaceable 6J5 vacuum and valve tube that can be replaced by either one of the following; 6J1, 6J1, 6J4, GE5654, 6AK5, 6Ж1n-EB.
Best Chinese DAC
  • This DAC features a treble/bass control and bypass function that allows you to turn off tone control to have a better and more authentic music experience.
  • The front of the device houses the toggle switches for the input modes, tone and LED color. The top of the P1 houses the Bass knob, Treble knob and the master volume knob whereas at the back of the device you’d find the Bluetooth input, PC-USB input, RCA input, RCA output and the 12V DC power input.

Specifications

Sampling Rates192K/24Bit
Digital InputsPC-USB, BT Input
Analog OutputsRCA L/R output; 3.5mm audio headphone out
Bluetooth VersionBluetooth 5.0
Dimensions and Weight10.2″ x 8.7″ x 2.5″; 748 grams

Periodic Audio Rhodium High Res USB-C Headphone DAC

We think the best one you can get right now is the Periodic Audio Rhodium , because it’s as simple as they come: a tiny dongle that can handle files up to 32-bit/384kHz, and which can plug directly into your phone’s charging port (or your laptop through the USB adapter).

Features

  • The DAC is lightweight and can easily be carries around where ever you go. There’s an additional USB-C to USB-A dongle that comes with the DAC so you can not only plug it into your smartphone, but also your laptop/desktop and even Mac.
  • The headphone output on the DAC is only big enough for 3.5m audio jacks and if you want to attach a 6.3mm jack then you will have to purchase an additional adapter so get connected.
  • It’s affordable and quite cheap, costing under $50 on Amazon, but i’s not as performance driven like the AudioQuest DragonFly DAC in terms of performance and delivery.

Specifications

Sampling Rates32-bit/384kHz
Analog Outputs3.5mm audio jack
Bluetooth VersionN/A
Dimensions and Weight5.51 x 0.24 x 0.43 inches

Are Chinese DACs any good?

Yes, most definitely! You might not realize it, but most of us make use of at least one DAC every single day. Any of our devices be it laptop, Blu-ray player, digital TV box, Smartphone that delivers digital sound and requires a DAC to convert its audio to an analogue signal.

The Chinese DACs have numerous benefits that can make life so much easier. Producing high quality sound is the ultimate objective and any Chinese DAC will help you achieve it. All you have to do is choose the DAC that is suitable for you, plug that in and enjoy the benefits!

Whether you are upgrading  a Hi-fi system or would just like to  improve the sound from your laptop, opting for any of the Chinese  DACs mentioned  can make all the difference by improving the sound produced by your existing audio equipment.

FAQ’s

Which Chinese DAC is the best?

In 2022 the best Chinese DAC is the iFi Hip-DAC. It’s highly portable, delivers an impressive 400mW of power to your headphones and can be connected to a wide range of devices for an enhanced experience.

Does a Chinese external DAC improve sound quality?

Yes, any DAC including the ones made by Chinese companies can greatly improve the overall sound quality of your music. Just remember to choose a high quality DAC that comes equipped with the latest DAC/AMP chip set.

How much does a good Chinese DAC cost?

High quality Chinese DAC’s like those manufactured by FiiO, iFi and Fosi are priced between $50-$100 depending on the make and model. Other brands like Proxor, Douk and Grwibeou have good quality DACs priced under $50.

Takeaway

DACs can always make a huge difference in the way music is listened to or how you enjoy your movies and games. There are some high end DAC units that cost an easy few hundred dollars and for that you have to be prepared to shell out more than you normally would.

Personally, I’d pick the iFi Hip DAC for convenience and the Prozor 192 Bluetooth for its wireless capabilities.

These Chinese DACs are the best in their class and honestly cost only a fraction of what the high-end units cost. With these Chinese DACs listed above you get exactly what you paid for. 

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Author Profile

Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.

I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.

Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.

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