Would the sound quality be better without using my Audioengine D3 DAC?

I hadn’t realized this, until it was pointed out to me – after I saw some downsampling happen on my setup that Audioengine’s D3 only allows up to 24/96, so anything greater than that – such as 24/192 – will be downsampled.

Am I better off not using my D3 and letting Roon/Tidal/Qobuz “do its own thing” instead?

All opinions appreciated.


I might be misunderstanding what you’re asking here but here goes …

I don’t think this has much to do with a Roon as without the D3, you’d not have a DAC … so you’d have to replace it with another DAC …

So it’s more about what options you’re considering for the replacement DAC.

In percentage terms how much of what you listen to is actually downsampled? I suspect it will be a very small percentage. Also it won’t sound bad, it just won’t be the big numbers.

What kind of reasonably-priced DAC would you recommend that would get the whole enchilada of sound-range? Brands/price?

I think this might’ve happened about 10% of the time. Otherwise sounds great. But…TIDAL MASTERS albums? Highest-resolution Qobuz files? Would I be better off with NO DAC and just listen to them streamed as Qobuz and Tidal presents them, or should I (have to) purchase a newer DAC that has all the frequency response? Forgive my beginner-ness in asking these questions, but I truly don’t know.

TIDAL MASTERS, highest quality Qobuz files… would they sound better just streamed through Roon as they are sent by Tidal/Qobuz (i.e., without them downsampled to meet my DAC’s limitations) or… must I buy a better DAC that covers it all

If so, what would you recommend?

You can spend anything from a few hundred to tens of thousands…

I’d recommend a Roon Ready DAC connected via ethernet … but there are other options.

Checkout this topic for inspiration…

If you’re also interested in getting the best from MQA sources (eg Tidal Masters) this topic may be of interest.

The important thing is to have a DAC that’s in proportion with the other components in the system … ie no point having a top flight DAC if it’s connected to a mediocre amp and a pair of ear buds.

If you list your system maybe some of the others on here could point you in the right direction.