A digital alternative to SMSL SD793-II?

So for years now I’ve been using a stack consisting of SMSL SD793-II and SA-50 to power both my speakers (Micca MB42X) and my headphones (Fidelio X2) on my computer through an Optical toslink cable. But now I am building a new computer and as it turns out, my new motherboard does not have any coaxial output, just a line-out. The motherboard I got is an Asus Strix X570-I. Sadly, the SD793-II only has digital inputs, so it doesn’t seem I can use it any more :(.

Does anyone have any suggestion of either an adapter to converter to digital, or an alternative to the SD793-II that does have analog input? I’m sad to go from toslink, because my understanding is that other type of connections have interference, which I really want to avoid. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

By the way, I’m kind of on a somewhat low budget at the moment, cheaper options are welcome (budget tops out around $100) but I am interested in slightly more expensive suggestions also, for when I can afford to upgrade in the future.

Behringer UCA202 (or UCA222) are probably the cheapest “name brand” devices to provide an optical out.

Big step up would be the M-Audio Micro DAC (no experience with it, mixed reviews), which has one of those 3.5mm optical outs. So you would need one of these adapters:

Can you get an ESI U24XL? That would be my solution as I am very happy with my ESI Maya 44eX (internal sound card) which I use as an optical in and out.

the SMSL SD 793 II is an old model at this point. So most other hundred dollar dac’s from any reputable brand would be an upgrade in sound. So getting something with some sort of usb input may be your best bet.

Not sure what you are feeding your dac into but you could use a 3.5 to RCA Y cable to feed signal out of your computers dac into what ever amp you have.

Z just gave a good review of SMSL’s Sanskrit 10th anniversary dac. But it may be out side your budget as its $110.00. Right now I am using SMSl’s M100 dac and it has done me well. The mark II version is sold for $94 on alii express. I got the version one from amazon cheaper but I don’t see it listed anymore.

Thanks for the replies. Having thought about it a bit more, it doesn’t really make sense to buy cheap now if I’m going to invest in better eventually anyway, that’s just a waste of money, so I’ve stepped up my budget and reasoning, so here are my thoughts and needs now:

  • Budget is increased to about $200, with potential for going slightly higher if it’s a big improvement, but otherwise I’d rather go a bit less.
  • I’m pretty content with the SA-50 (I prefer headphones anyway), and my understanding is that the line-out from the computer can go directly into it meaning I don’t need coaxial or optical out from my new computer (correct me if I’m wrong), so I could just continue using them…
  • Soooo with that consideration, what I’m looking for now is a good headphone dac/amp with USB-input (perhaps this thread needs to be moved?).
    • I’ve been looking at the following ones as they all seem to have USB input, but I haven’t been able to decide. Any thoughts or suggestions?
      • Ifi Zen DAC
      • Fiio K5 Pro
      • SMSL AD18
      • Topping DX3 Pro

I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of HiFiMan Sundara or Sennheiser HD660s (leaning towards to Sundaras) so the amp needs to be at least powerful enough to drive them properly.

How good are the portable dac/amps in this price range (are there even any)? I’ve been thinking about having one that I can just unplug from the computer and have it in my inner pocket with me when I’m out. Would be especially neat if it also had Bluetooth 5 so I can wirelessly just connect it to my phone and have the music coming from there. I’ve heard good things about Fiio Q5, but price is a bit too steep, and the portability factor is not as interesting to me as in home, so I’d rather make sure it’s good when I’m at home connected to the PC with a nice pair of open back headphones.