NUC ROCK DAC recommendations?

Forgive me if I’m missing an obvious thread/answer but I’m a relative novice.

I installed ROCK on a NUC7i3BNH and have it connected via HDMI to my Integra DRX-2.1; I run ROON off my iPad. My main question is what DAC options are best for me? I use Tidal (so MQA matters), own many DSD/Hi-Res files, and have a 5.1 speaker setup - I don’t have a lot of money to spend and it all sounds fine as is but I can invest a fair amount to get the most out of my music. Thanks in advance for any DAC/general recommendations or feedback you might have…
This is a good dac for little money.

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Thank you!

What’s wrong with hdmi? Do you hear anything amiss?

No, it’s all fine but I thought an external DAC would improve it - am I wrong? Is the ROON/ROCK and HDMI all I really need? There’s so much talk about DACs I thought they were an important link in the chain…(again, I’m somewhat of a novice)

Different dacs have different “sounds”, depends on what you like. You can spend thousands for “different”, maybe “better.”

Your AVR, like most these days, has decent dacs. You could spend lots more than the cost of your amp, but for how much improvement? Only you can decide the point of diminishing returns.

You mentioned MQA. Roon will do the first unfold. The final step involves proprietary filters in the dac firmware. There’s debate about the audible improvement. It also precludes use of other filters and DSP.

What kind of speakers do you have?

Edit: sorry if that sounds harsh or negative. Not meant to be. Just trying to help you focus and not waste money.

I don’t think that’s negative or harsh - I know there are lots of factors at play here and I appreciate the insights! I have Polk RTi A1 speakers and know I’m a relatively basic audio guy so I’ll just play around and see what sounds the best to me…

I would stick to the DAC in the Integra and not worry about it, especially if you are low on funds. The differences between DACs are exaggerated to redicolous levels.

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Thanks and good advice!