A volume knob is present on top of the Super DAC and it is ideal to set the volume in your OS to maximum and utilize the physical control for the best quality. Switches are present for selecting output (headphones vs speakers) and input (digital vs analog). There are also LED indicators for power status and signal frequency.
This is a great solution for high-quality stereo output from a computer, but if you just want digital output (via SPDIF) most motherboards have that built-in already. Also, for those used to more traditional sound cards and motherboard-based audio solutions, it should be noted that this does not have any microphone input - or any input to the computer at all, really. The 1/8-inch audio input is designed to let you listen to other sources besides the computer, but it does not actually pass that input to the computer in any way. If you need a microphone input them a more advanced external mixer or sound board would be better, or even just a microphone that uses USB to connect directly to the system.
The M-Audio Super DAC is a very attractive option as an affordable upgrade if you find your onboard audio output leaves something to be desired. It has convenient controls with both 3.5mm and 1/4" headphone outputs, a switch to select between headphone and rear outputs, and support for up to 24-bit 192kHz output. It supports bus power, so no additional power input is required. The rear outputs are controlled by the main volume knob, which is very convenient for powered monitors that don't have easily accessible volume controls. What I like most is that to my ears, the sound quality is on par with much more expensive units. My only real warning is that there is probably not enough power in the headphone output for particularly high-impedance or very inefficient headphones.
This little DAC is a definite improvement over on-board sound in my opinion and it's really user friendly. I like that it's bus powered (no extra power connection needed) and that the RCA output level is controlled by the main volume knob. That's nice if you are using powered studio monitors, you can set your OS sound level high and control volume with the DAC for both headphones and the monitors. It's an easy recommendation for someone wanting a better audio experience.
|Channel Output||2.0 Channels|
|Analog Output||3.5mm, 6.35mm (1/4in), & RCA|
|Digital Output||Optical & Coax SPDIF|
Super DAC is a USB digital to analog converter with stereo RCA analog outputs and both coaxial and optical digital outputs. With audiophile-grade Wolfson DAC/ADCs, the M-Audio Super DAC performs 24-bit/192kHz high-definition audio conversion over a USB 2.0 connection. This results in the highest possible audio quality, which is critical for users who want to connect their audio equipment to their computer but are not satisfied with the sound quality of the typical computer sound card or the compression limitations of a Bluetooth connection. Six sampling rates between 44.1 and 192kHz are user selectable so you can achieve the exact performance level needed for any given circumstance.
Super DAC has a built-in high quality headphone amplifier with both 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch jacks, for connecting any headphones directly without the need for an adapter. It also features analog stereo RCA line outs and coaxial and optical digital output connections, so you can easily connect a wide array of external equipment. Since virtually all high-quality audio equipment has a digital input, Super DAC’s optical and coaxial digital outputs are perfect for driving that equipment with a pure digital signal—especially valuable since most computers do not have a digital output.
Super DAC is USB-bus-powered or can use an optional AC wall adapter (not included). The M-Audio Super DAC is the answer when you require reference-quality sound from your computer.
M-audio Super DAC FAQ
- M-Audio Super DAC Drivers
Version 1.0 Released 07/22/15
For Win7_64, Win8_64, Win10_64
Configure a custom workstation with the M-Audio Super DAC.