DAC Suggestion for Scared Newbie

I recently purchased HiVi-Swans D300s with “home theater” as its primary use. I know very little of the audio world and it is a strange scary place for an old man. The only “experience” I have is purchasing iFi Zen DAC v2 and a iFi Can for my PC within the past year.
I CAN (haha pun) tell you that I currently run optical from my TV straight to the speakers. I’m looking for a DAC with a remote control because the speakers have no indicator where the volume is set, just a blinking light when volume is adjusted. I’m currently looking at Topping E30 II and the SMSL C100. I don’t even know if there is any real benefit from having an external DAC because they are DSP speakers. I am grateful for help or information that can lead me on the right path!

What’s your budget?

Budget is $100 - $200ish. If there’s something in the $250ish range, I’d consider it!

have you tried your iFi Zen DAC? if you like the sound it provides you could hit up the better priced Zen Air DAC as it’s basically the same with the biggest differences being no balanced output, no MQA and changed the casing to a ballistic plastic vs the og’s aluminum.

Hmmm, the 2 DACs you named are fine entry level DACs. I think the bigger issue is the D300s don’t appear to have RCA analog inputs. They have XLR. To do what you want you might need to step up to something like the SMSL D-6 and get some 6.35mm (1/4 inch) - to - XLR balanced cables to go with it. Or, if you can find one still around, the SMSL SU-8 v2 has XLR outputs and goes for $250.

I’m not convinced that this will make your life much easier, tho. IME using color coded lights or similar has a slight learning curve, but once you learn it, it’s as quick as reading an analog clock.

Either way, good luck.

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the zen dac doesn’t have remote functionality. I’m using the speakers with my TV via optical and looking for a DAC with a remote + so i can actually see what my volume its set at.

You can adjust volume by ear so what it the need to see “what level of volume it is”?
Mainly i just change the volume to suitable by ear. :slight_smile:
For loud movies sessions its good to see the volume but not really in daily background or TV usage

Not really. They kinda do what the dac would do.

Actually mine have RCA, Optical, Coaxial, and Balanced inputs! I was looking for some kind of DAC that comes with a remote and allows my to see the actual volume is at. Plus, since they are DSP speakers- anything analog will just convert back to digital, right? Would that effect the sound quality at all? I have no idea at all :o
The color indicator on the speaker is annoying because they only change color based on what input for are using. When changing volume the light just blinks to show that you changed the volume, that’s it =.

the volume this is more of a request by the Mrs. :smiley: I’m mindful of what I leave the speaker volume at when powering them off; the Mrs. does not. There have been a numerous times she has left the volume close to max so lucky me gets my face melted off when I turn them on.

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It all suddenly makes perfect sense. :+1:

Hi! this is my first post/comment here :clinking_glasses:

This might be a silly question, but if I were to use something like the SMSL C100, could I use other remotes with it? Like, could my TV remote control the DAC volume?

You can probably get a used SMSL M100 for way cheaper than a C100, if you don’t need the bluetooth. Has a remote + blue text for volume levels.