Need a balanced USB DAC that is available for sale now

I had a Schiit Modius on order but it’s been postponed twice and I don’t trust the new February 19th date.

Need XLR out, USB in, must run cool (it will be in a hard to reach area and on 24/7), and it must NOT have Bluetooth due to interference with some other equipment.

System is a THX 789 with Focal Elear (GL2000 on order).

Thanks for suggestions!

Is $200 the target price? That’s what Modius is. Options open up with more money, of course.

I’d look into SONCOZ LA-QXD1. On Amazon it’s $220. The iFi Zen DAC is a solid option if you’re willing to buy a 4.4mm pentacon to XLR adapter cable - even with that the package will be under $200. SMSL SU-8 can occasionally be found used for under $200. Too bad, Modius is my strongest recommendation at that price.

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there is also the Geshelli Labs JNOG and ENOG.

Thanks - Oh yeah, should have mentioned price, yeah the Modius was definitely a deal but nobody is even scalping them on eBay.

I’d prefer $200, no problem with <$350 and could stretch to $500 there is a huge improvement.

Soncoz looks OK I guess, I suppose I could get one temporarily until I can get a mostly USA made Modius.

I don’t know how good the Soncoz is, but it checks your boxes. There is a ‘dac hole’ from ~$250 until you get up to Bifrost 2, Ares II, dac1321 (model number?) range. Meaning, there’s no real performance gain from Modius/JNOG until you hit $650-700.

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Looks like I can’t get an SU-8 until mid/late February

talk to ShaneD…mebe his upgraditis will allow him to sell his. :wink:

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The Zen DAC has some quirks but you can get an adapter cable and the DAC for less than 200 total available now. I’ve written about the Zen thoroughly here.

I will likely throw it into my office and sell The Topping D30.


I called you out. you have no choice but to sell it now. :wink:

Nope, I like it. :smile:
I think it will be a nice upgrade for my Liquid Spark.

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I bet it will be! :smiley:

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Reviewing the top third of audiosciencereview results, units that meet the requirements and are available for immediate shipment:

  • Soncoz LA-QXD1 $220
  • Soncoz SGD1 $480 (but glossy black, ugh)
  • SMSL M500 $420

Leaning towards the M500 since I had a great experience with the SA300 amp running speakers on my gaming PC. Plus my motherboard already has an ES9218 (unbalanced) onboard which is pretty similar to the ES9038Q2M used in the QXD1.

Just a side note.
They all made under the big company Shenzhen Aoshi Da, with a terrible twist and “boosted” reviews and burning Topping L30 amps.

Id look for something else.

You are alleging audiosciencereview is doing paid-for reviews? Citation please.

And what “something else” are you proposing?

Everything else that does not have made in chifi land on it.
Just as precaution.

WTF I just got a shipping notification email on my Modius even though the order still says backordered until February 19th.

In the words of Emily Litella, “never mind!”

Conflict of interest asside, embedding a 1:1 copy of a review in the news-section of your website gives a very intense fishy smell…

I would say it’s a matter of ESL and cultural differences and that their intent was to share a positive review of their product.

bad mojo non-the-less as it does give off that fishy smell.

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