Playing Digital Music
What is a DAC?
A DAC stands for "Digital to Analog Converter". It takes digital data and changes it to an analog signal. This goes into a pre-amp and then into an amplifier which in turn plays headphones and/or speakers.
Music on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, etc. are all in a digital format. (Actually music on a CD is in a digital format.)
One can also purchase the highest resolution music online from a source like HD Tracks, https://www.hdtracks.com/quality This too will arrive in a digital format. (The files can be stored on USB memory drives.)
By using an external DAC, one can enjoy music at a much higher level than what your computer or phone can offer.
Similar to other fidelity equipment, there is a wide range of DAC's available.
- Some simply provide analog output to a separate pre-amp.
- Some provide an analog output signal for headphones.
- Some go further and provide output sufficient to power smaller speakers.
Pictured above we have a DAC connected to a Heos Amp which then can connect to speakers or headphones. The Heos unit connects to the wifi so you can easily listen to online music. It also contains