budget dac recommendations for small amp/speaker setup

bobcornelis

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Sep 9, 2022
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I'm thinking of setting up a system in a small art studio (11x14'). Space is VERY tight, surface area at a premium, I either need extremely small speakers to put on shelves against the wall or even wallmount them. I realize I won't get superior sound quality here but am willing to spend some money getting something that sounds better than a single bluetooth speaker! I'll be streaming hi res music from (currently) Qobuz, hopefully from an iPad so I don't need to spend extra $$$ for a dedicated streamer.

I'm currently eyeing either Jamo S803 or Moukey M20-1 speakers and the Aiyima DO3 amp, these pairings total ~$250-$300. What I need now is a decent DAC to sit between the iPad and the amp. I'm a little confused about DACs as many of the products out there seem to only be suited for running headphones, not small amps. Any suggestions for what might fit in to the system I've described? I'm hoping to spend around $100 for the DAC - it doesn't need to do more than create a good quality analog input to the amp, better than what my iPad Air 4th generation offers.

Also open to any suggestions about the other products listed as well as whether the whole idea is silly given how I have to place the speakers!
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Aug 21, 2019
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ifi-audio.com
I'm thinking of setting up a system in a small art studio (11x14'). Space is VERY tight, surface area at a premium, I either need extremely small speakers to put on shelves against the wall or even wallmount them. I realize I won't get superior sound quality here but am willing to spend some money getting something that sounds better than a single bluetooth speaker! I'll be streaming hi res music from (currently) Qobuz, hopefully from an iPad so I don't need to spend extra $$$ for a dedicated streamer.

I'm currently eyeing either Jamo S803 or Moukey M20-1 speakers and the Aiyima DO3 amp, these pairings total ~$250-$300. What I need now is a decent DAC to sit between the iPad and the amp. I'm a little confused about DACs as many of the products out there seem to only be suited for running headphones, not small amps. Any suggestions for what might fit in to the system I've described? I'm hoping to spend around $100 for the DAC - it doesn't need to do more than create a good quality analog input to the amp, better than what my iPad Air 4th generation offers.

Also open to any suggestions about the other products listed as well as whether the whole idea is silly given how I have to place the speakers!
I would recommend you our Zen DAC Air. You can connect it to iPad via USB and play everything you want to. Please take note, that the Zen DAC Air will be powered by the iPad, which will put extra strain on the battery. A simple 5V power supply with a barrel jack cable will allow you to power up the Zen DAC Air independently.
 

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