Best small DAC board <50$, S/PDIF in -> analog out?


2019-10-06 7:39 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a small DAC board for under 50$ as a S/PDIF optical input for my DIY amp, feeding it with a 12V line. There seem to be lots of chips on the market that should be able to deliver very good sound (even though audiophiles might frown upon them), es9038q2m seems to be a top contender.
I would think that it's more about the implementation though, especially clean power to the chip seems crucial.
So do you have any experience with boards that might satisfy my requirements? Here are a few boards:

bare minimum CS8416+CS4414 (I don't expect this one to sound good)
better power supply CS8416+CS4398
smallest es938q2m I found

Any suggestions, especially if you have tried out a board in this category?

Thanks in advance!
Based on my experience with Topping D30 ($120) and Nobsound TDA1387 x8 DAC ($42) Nobsound Mini HiFi Sound Card DAC TDA1387 USB 8X Audio Decoding Headphone Amplifier DTS/AC3 Coaxial Optical Digital Output-in Headphone Amplifier from Consumer Electronics on | Alibaba Group I do prefer the later one. This one is very musical, it reproduces properly complex harmonics of acousting instruments. It reminds me that "guitar gently weeps". Topping do not, but if you listen to the typical "loudness war" music, Topping should serve you better as output is cleaner and bass is stronger.

Topping use CS8416+CS4398, that matches your selection, except the price. Nobsound is not for you, as optical are outputs (not inputs), but here is another one with optical inputs: L1387DAC 8X Eight Parallel TDA1387 Hifi Decoder Ask TDA1541 Power Work!

Follow this thread to find out how to improve sound of this DAC. You are posting on the DIY forum after all... TDA1387 x8 DAC: let's check its design, mod it -or not-, play music -or not! :(-
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