Looking for a cheap DAC

Hello there

I am looking for a cheap DAC to connect a Mac mini M1 via USB to an old Rotel RA-12 amplifier.

I was thinking about the Topping d10s or Fosi Audio Q4 Mini DAC.

Can I connect it to USB to the mini and via RCA to the amp?

What about power supply? Looks like on the topping the USB can do power supply, too?

The D10s is a nice little DAC. Sounds great (both as DAC and as USB-to-SPDIF converter). It is self-powered over USB indeed: plugging it into the mini is all that is needed.

Mine has been troublefree all of the time, using it on and off in various little projects.


Great. Thanks for your prompt reply.

Could yo tell me more with and how you use it? Is it Roon compatible? Not sure if it is Roon Ready.

Also, is it possible to disable the display?

Roon Ready is only used for hardware that has streaming capability. A standalone DAC can be Roon Tested, but not Roon Ready.

Having said that the D10s (like all Topping Products) is not Roon Tested. However I can confirm, along with @RBM, that mine works perfectly well with Roon.

The display cannot be disabled.


The Schiit Modi 3 is also a good little DAC, and I think iFi, JDS Labs and Geshelli also do a good inexpensive DACs.


Great. Thanks everyone I’ll get the Topping but before I’ll check other suggestions.

The Topping will serve you well.
I have the D10b which I run between a Pi4 and their A90 head amp.
It is a great value DAC, not a “cheap” DAC.
it will just be labelled cheap by those who choose to spend 10 x its cost on DACs.


Another vote for D10. As far as roon ready/tested, it doesn’t matter because roon is talking to the roon endpoint software on your mini, and all it knows is that it’s playing to the mini 's usb port which presumably has some sort of dac attached to it.

I guess fancier dacs can talk back to roon about capabilities, etc., for automatic configuration and maybe volume control (?), but you can configure all that in settings->audio for the usb device.


I ordered a D10S with a brand new Mac mini. Waiting for delivery. I can’t wait to play with it!

I use as well, great little DAC

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Dismal Manor Gang is full of Schiit and would like to recommend the Schiit Modi e, the ESS version of Modi 3. I’ve not heard the e but use the AKM Modi for desk music.

The Modi e has Schiit’s own Unison USB interface, an implementation of USB Audio 2 on a PIC microcontroller developed in house. Schiit is a USB Consortium member and Unison USB has been certified and may use USB branding.

Schiit digital gang have worked hard to control USB jitter and to keep computer noise out of the DAC. They’ve succeeded quite well as shown in the digital to digital converter video. Modi E and Modius use the same Schiit Unison USB receiver.

Schiit designs for a flat passband and natural sounding reconstruction filters and line stage. My earlier Modi (C-Media USB) works very well with an M1 iMac. On front, Modi has only an input selection toggle switch. No controls on the back.

I’ve found the original Modi to be very open and natural with a Magni 3 headphone amp and LCD-1 planar magnetic headphones. I also have a Modius used for TV audio and a Gungnir Multibit used for primary listening in the lounge with Freya+, Vidar, and Magneplanar LRS speakers. The two Delta-Sigma devices have a very similar sound with a bit less cymbal texture and shimmer and a bit less crisp transient reproduction compared to the Schiit multi-bit converters. Modi has proven very listenable and not the least bit fatiguing.

I do have the LCD-1 correction and center fill DSP on in the Roon feed for Modi. It cross-feeds left to right and right to left about as a live source would arrive at your ears. It does a good job of filling the headphone hole in the middle. It also corrects the LCD-1 a bit to extend top and bottom. I find I prefer the corrected sound.

I added a Modi 3E into my Schiit stack at work for my Meze LIRIC planar headphones, and I really think it sounds fantastic. I had a Modius unbalanced in the stack, but the Modi 3E sounded smoother and clearer. I think Schiit is utilizing the ESS chip really well.

Hello guys!

Just to inform you I have received it! And it was very easy to setup:

It says 5.64 DSD, apologies for the stupid question but what does that mean? That’s the same thing as DSD128 or not at all?


Jason and Mike talk about the ESS development in several places. Jason mentions that the ESS device is a lot like old DEC UNIBUS I/O. Device configuration and control are memory mapped. Schiit boffins put significant effort into learning how best to use the configurable capabilities of the ESS devices.

Schiit Happened: ChoicEss ChoicEss

I don’t use DSD. But, as far as I know, DSD128 is 128 X the sample rate of CD quality. 128 X 44,100 Hz = 5,644,800 HZ. The D10s shows 3 digits, hence 5.64.

Thanks! And why if you don’t mind me asking you don’t use DSD?

Roon readiness or Roon tested aren’t issues if you’re just using a DAC to go from your Mac to your amplifier. I read many good things about the various price points of Audioquest USB dongle DACs, but have never tried one. If you’re not OCD about power quality you don’t need a power supply, they just run on standard 5 volt USB power from your computer. Otherwise a dongle style USB may not be your best option since you’d have to make up a custom cable to use with an external power supply. You’d also need a 1/8" stereo phone plug to RCA’s cable. I think the cheapest Audioquest is at least a little less expensive than the Schitt Modi. Plugging a USB dongle DAC into a computer and using the computer’s power is still way better, IMO, than using the computer’s sound card directly.

Seems like a great price. How does it sound?!

It sounds very good. Although I need to put more volume than my internal DAC.