10 best portable DACs to improve your phone sound: models and options

by Kelvin
10 best portable DACs to improve your phone sound: models and options

Yes, smartphones today are small computers with impressive storage capacities, more than a decade ago. We’re talking about solutions that allow us to play, surf the Internet, use social media, watch all kinds of multimedia content in amazing quality … And yes, listen to music.

Portable DAC

Is a portable DAC worth it?

And the same thing is happening with the telephony sector with the smart TV sector. In the case of Smart TVs, its minimalist design, where each TV is thinner, means there is no room to add quality speakers. And something very similar happens to the hearing quality of modern smartphones.


Yes, many models have a small DAC to provide superior sound quality, even the most advanced models boast Hi-Fi certification this ensures that they can reproduce content with high fidelity. But due to the limited space available in such a device, its components adapt to the situation. And no, it has nothing to do with the portable DAC that integrates the terminal inside.

More than anything else because portable DAC has much more functionality, not only to be able to play more uncompressed audio formats to achieve a high acoustic landscape, but also to better handle different powers. To give you an idea, if you are using cheap headphones, you will hardly notice the difference using this gadget or not.

If you have premium headphones, this accessory is a must

On the other hand, if you have more professional models, things change. Yes, it has nothing to do with the quality of the headphones that sound in a portable DAC, or what their acoustic landscape looks like if you plug them directly into your phone’s input jack (or an appropriate adapter if your terminal doesn’t have this element. ),

Now that advantages offered by portable DAC for mobile phones it was clear, let’s see what options we have to significantly improve the sound quality offered by our smartphones or tablets. Also, keep in mind that these types of devices are compatible with many other formats.

Do you have an old iPod at home? Well, now you’re going to turn it into a powerful hi-fi system. What happens if you connect a DAC to your desktop or laptop? Well, the sound enhancement is going to be so wonderful that it will just impress you. In short, a product that will satisfy the needs of most music lovers, so that they can enjoy their favorite albums with a quality that has never been seen on a mobile phone.

IFi Portable DAC Hip-dac

IFi Hip-dac portable DAC

We begin this collection with one of the last iFi solutions We’re talking about a solid reputable firm that boasts a range of portable DACs that will leave you speechless. And this particular model is a miracle. On an aesthetic level, the firm opted for a flask-like design. Even his name is a play on words, since a jar in English is a jar.

To this we have to add 12 hours of battery life for the DAC, which supports headphone sound enhancement with a maximum output of 400 mW. Throw in the Power Match and XBass technologies it includes for improved balance, and we have a one-stop product.

Sabaj SABER9018Q2C DSD512

Sabaj SABER9018Q2C DSD512

Secondly, we have another one of the best manufacturers of this type of accessories. AND SABER9018Q2C DSD512 The Sabaj model is one of her great references. Say this device has an OLED screen to access the various options available and can also support up to 32bit / 768kHz and up to compatible DSD512. And when you consider the connection options (2 headphone out jacks, 3.5mm UNBAL and 2.5mm BAL), you won’t have any problems connecting any headphones.

DAC Port iFi Nano iDSD Black Label

IFi Nano iDSD Black Label Portable DAC

We already expected you to find several iFi solutions in this collection. But he prides himself on being the manufacturer with the best range of devices, which is why his solutions are synonymous with quality. Taking this device as an example, for a start it is worth noting that it plays all high definition audio formats including DSD 256, DXD 384, PCM 384 kHz and MQA.

Add its aluminum body, which handles electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) to avoid distortion during playback. Result? Exceptional sound that makes your phone an amazing leap in auditory quality

Fiio Q1 I

Do you have an iPhone or iPad? This portable DAC is the perfect complement to Apple solutions. More than anything because he boasts Certification Apple MFI as well as an XMOS USB DAC input chip supporting up to 384 kHz / 32-bit PCM. Check out their reviews at Amazonto understand that this is a great quality product.

M-Audio Bass Traveler DAC Port

M-Audio Bass Traveler Portable DAC

If you want an affordable model in this world, this device will not disappoint you. For starters, its discreet design means you can take it anywhere. Plus, its gain control is capable of supporting high quality and impedance headphones (16 to 100 ohms), making it clear you won’t be disappointed at all.

Fiio A3 (E11K)

Fiio A3 (E11K)

We will refer to one of the best designed models you will find. And this Fiio A3 (E11K) relies on a brushed aluminum body to give this portable DAC a premium look. In addition, its finish is responsible for preventing distortion during playback, improving the overall acoustic landscape.

Add 450mW of power output as well as a range of up to 16 hours so this gadget’s battery isn’t an issue and you have one of the best accessories to enhance your cell phone’s sound quality. Telephone.

DAC Prozor

DAC Prozor

Continuing our reminder of the best portable amplifiers for enhancing the sound of your smartphone, tablet, or any other compatible device, we’re going to recommend this Prozor device. A model that has really positive ratings on Amazon… Cause? Its support for high impedance (16-150 ohm) headphones as well professional DAC ES9018K2M decipher the sound and improve it surprisingly. And all at the price of a real scandal …

HIDIZS Sonata HD Hi-Res

HIDIZS Sonata HD Hi-Res

How about this portable DAC this is ideal if you are looking for a simple and functional system. Yes, despite the more than measured dimensions, it hides a product that offers significantly higher sound quality than your phone. And you can also connect it to your computer!

Fiio - A1

Fiio – A1

The last Fiio The solution we are going to recommend is the A1 model. A product with a very thoughtful design, in addition to 13 hours of autonomy and a design that will allow you to take it wherever you want.



To end up with this compilation of the best models you will find if you want portable DAC to enhance your phone sound or tablet. Like the other Hidizs model, the great strength of this device lies in its measured design and the fact that it does not require any power to operate.