NAD D 1050

Stereo digital-to-analog converter/headphone amplifier

  • NAD D 1050


  • NAD D 1050


  • NAD D 1050

    Front (horizontal placement)


Our take on the NAD D 1050

by Dave Bar

Turn 1s and 0s into sweet sounding music

Why buy a separate DAC? These devices are all about getting true high-fidelity sound from digital sources like computers, streaming music players, smartphones, and more. While these kinds of sources usually have their own digital-to-analog converters built in, you can expect a separate DAC to give you much better accuracy and finer detail.

High-res audio

Classic NAD performance in a modern package

The D 1050 digital-to-analog converter combines over 40 years of NAD engineering excellence with a sleek new industrial design. This desktop-friendly DAC lets your computer and your hi-fi system or headphones make beautiful music together. The D 1050 accepts digital audio files from your PC via USB, bypassing your computer's built-in sound card for a far more exciting listening experience. You'll hear layers of musical detail previously obscured by the noisy environment inside your PC — the warm, natural decay of a guitar chord, or reverberations echoing in a concert hall. On your best recordings, each instrument and vocal will stand out clearly and distinctly in its own separate space, allowing you to follow each one note-for-note.

The D 1050 can also breathe new life into your disc player or music streamer. Simply connect it to your player's optical or coaxial digital output to experience added depth, clarity, and focus on your favorite tracks.

"Damn, this NAD is fun to listen to!"

"I like being surprised and the NAD D 1050 surprised me insofar as how much pure listening enjoyment it offers. With a host of digital inputs including an asynchronous 24/192-capable USB port, a very nice sounding headphone amp, and single-ended and balanced outputs, the D 1050 wraps up a lot of functions into a visually and tactilely appealing package that also happens to be damn fun to listen to."

— From Michael Lavorgna's review in Audiostream, August 7, 2013
Read the full review

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NAD D 1050 digital to analog converter

The compact D 1050 can rest vertically or horizontally, so it can fit just about anywhere.

24-bit/192kHz asynchronous USB input

The D 1050's USB input improves your computer's sound and is capable of playing high-resolution music files for sound quality that even trumps CDs. (Free USB driver download required for Windows® PC playback.) The USB connection employs asynchronous re-clocking technology. This advanced design precisely controls the timing of your computer's USB output for vanishingly low levels of jitter — errors in the timing of the data stream that can make music sound harsh and edgy, and smear subtle details.

The devil's in the details

NAD packed a lot of premium parts inside the D 1050, then meticulously tuned them for optimum audio performance. NAD chose multi-layer circuit boards and micro-miniaturized surface mount components soldered with lead-free high silver content solder to ensure ultra-short, impedance-controlled signal paths. Analog outputs include single-ended RCA and balanced XLR connections for flexible hookup with a wide variety of audio gear. And NAD included a premium quality headphone amplifier with an independent volume control to provide powerful sound for private listening.

You won't find a lot of unnecessary buttons cluttering the streamlined D 1050. There's an extra-large knob for headphone volume and a soft-touch button for selecting your music source. The display shows source and the incoming sample rate of your music. The DAC's compact enclosure can stand vertically on your desktop or a bookshelf to save space, or be placed horizontally in a component rack or cabinet.


  • supports sample rates up to 24-bit/192kHz for listening to high-resolution digital music sources
  • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound on USB input
  • front-panel sampling rate indicator verifies incoming source rate
  • high-performance headphone amplifier with minijack (3.5mm) front-panel output and volume control
  • specially designed low-noise headphone circuitry accommodates a wide range of 'phones up to 600 ohms
  • two optical and two RCA coaxial digital audio inputs
  • USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
  • fixed-level RCA and balanced XLR audio outputs
  • supported sample rates for USB and coaxial inputs: 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/172.4/192kHz
  • supported sample rates for optical inputs: 32/44.1/48/88.2/96kHz
  • operating system requirements: Windows® XP (Service Pack 2 or higher), Windows 7, and Mac® OS X® 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later
  • NAD USB 2.0 driver required for playback on Windows computers (free USB driver download available from NAD's website)
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later supports plug-and-play operation, so no dedicated driver is required
  • frequency response: 20Hz to 96kHz (±0.5 dB)
  • THD: less than 0.001%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 115 dB
  • external power supply included
  • 4 self-adhesive rubber feet included
  • 2-5/16"W x 7-5/16"H x 9-5/16"D (vertical orientation)
  • weight: 2.2 lbs. (without power supply)
  • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. This DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • External USB DAC
  • AC power adapter (w/ attached 5' DC cord)
  • 4 AC plug insert (US/AU/UK/EU)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Quick Setup Guide

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


External DAC: The NAD 1050 is a high performance external DAC which lets you stream your high-resolution music files on your computer (via USB) to your home audio system (via RCA or XLR) with exceptional sound quality. It also provides optical and coaxial digital inputs for connection of other digital audio devices (like your Blu-ray or CD player). In addition an integrated headphone amplifier lets you listen to your digital music files privately with great sound.

Delta-Sigma 24-Bit/192kHz Architecture: The NAD 1050 employs a Delta-Sigma 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC), active oversampling filters, and separate precisions clocks. This configuration effectively reduces jitter (digital timing errors) to prevent unwanted noise and distortion, while maintaining a linear phase response and natural sound. All your digital music is bit perfect with nothing upscaled or downscaled.

Note: The NAD 1050 supports the following sampling rates; 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 172.4kHz, and 192kHz.

Ultra-Short Signal Paths: The D 1050's analog and digital circuits use ultra short impedance-controlled signal paths made possible by multi-layer circuit boards and micro-miniaturized surface mount components which are soldered with lead-free high silver content solder. These details contribute to reduced noise and excellent sound quality.

Asynchronous USB (Type-B) Input: The NAD D 1050 features an "asynchronous" USB (type-B) input to insure the lowest possible jitter (timing errors) from your connected Windows or Mac computer. The D 1050's USB input supports up to 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution music files on your computer. The D 1050 is compatible with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) or later version; no additional USB driver required. Its also compatible with Windows (XP service pack 2 or higher and 7); additional USB driver download required from NAD website.

Optical/Coaxial Digital Inputs: The NAD D 1050 is fitted with two digital coaxial (RCA) inputs and two optical (toslink) digital inputs for connection of your digital audio sources; like Blu-ray/DVD players, CD/SACD players, satellite/cable boxes, or network audio receivers. The D 1050 only supports a PCM digital audio signal (not Dolby Digital/DTS).

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Outputs: The NAD D 1050 is fitted with both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog audio outputs  to connect to your integrated amplifier or AV receiver. Output impedance is extremely low, minimizing the effect of connecting cables and keeping noise vanishingly low.

Discrete Headphone Amp: The D 1050 also includes a premium discrete headphone amplifier output with a high-quality volume control for connection of a set of headphones. A specially designed low noise headphone circuitry accommodates a wide range of headphones, even 600-ohm studio models. When headphones are connected, the DAC's unbalanced and balanced audio outputs are muted.

External Power Supply: The NAD D 1050 includes an external power supply to provide isolation from ultra-precise audio circuits for better audio performance and less distortion.

  • Input: 100-240V~50/60Hz, 0.75A
  • Output: 5.0V - 400mA/20W
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NAD D 1050 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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4 out of 5

Good Bang-for-the-Buck DAC

Written By Tom, Rochester NY USA on Sunday, September 07, 2014
I have Bluesound hi-res streaming throughout my house, and I'm an NAD guy. Main system has NAD M51/M50/M52. Patio uses Bluesound Powernode. Office has Node=>NAD D3020. Basement (primarily a gym) just had Node=>NAD T757. I had tried several options down there, e.g., optical and analog from node to T757 (don't need USB), inserting some currently unused components as standalone DACs, etc., but nothing sounded all that great. Not a big deal, as it is just the basement and mostly just want background music. But I do appreciate the high quality sound I get in other rooms/patio, so I experimented some more. Borrowed some low price DACs to check out, and in the $500 or less category the D1050 sounded best by far. A more than subtle improvement over the DACs in the BS Node or T757 -- not surprising. The DAC has a bit of a warm sound, along with improved clarity and separation. A good fit for that system, at a price point that I could justify, another NAD winner.

Two issues, however. I do not like the wall wart, would rather have the power supply built in -- could occupy the space used for XLR outs, as I doubt many users of a $500 DAC would be integrating it with high end amp/preamps anyway. Second issue, optical is limited to 24/96, and although my 24/192 files do play, not sure why the design didn't include 24/192 for all inputs, like competitors' models. These two items dropped my rating to 4 stars. Otherwise, the sound and build quality are very good, especially for the price.
Rich, warm sound. Better than average clarity and separation, without sounding overly digitized like many low price DACs do. Nice array of inputs. Price/performance ratio is very good. The great sound more than offset the minor annoyances, as is often the case with NAD.
Wall wart. Optical limited to 24/96, and that is the only SPDIF option on Bluesound. Selection button can be annoying (though I almost always leave it on same setting for Bluesound).
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Sound

Written By FlyFish77, Wheeling, IL on Friday, March 28, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
The NAD D1050 has made a substantial improvement in sound quality with my system. Any sound source that I stream through an Apple Airport Express sounds significantly better. That includes Pandora through an IPAD, internet radio stations via my IMac, and Apple Lossless and AIFF files streamed via the Airport Express from an IMac. The Lossless and AIFF files sounded much closer to the sound of CD's played from my NAD 516BEE CD player. For first time, I could listen to streamed music from my computer in another room and not think "I wish I was listening to a CD".

Of course, I connected the D1050 to my NAD CD player. There was not the significant improvement in detail and sound stage that happened with music streamed through the Airport Express. The D1050, however, gave the music a warmth that just sounded better to me than the CD player sounded when plugged directly into my receiver. My receiver and speakers are very neutral, so the sound of the D1050 appears to be a good match with my system.

I had auditioned another DAC in the same price range of the D1050 and I much prefer the D1050.
Sounds great. Great bang for the buck.
No remote but I will try getting a universal remote to work.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

D1050 can be used remote controlled

Written By Udo, Delft, The Netherlands on Saturday, February 22, 2014
Like all other reviewers i totally agree on sound quality etc. but i want to add to that that it actually can be remote controlled with Logitech Harmony One Universal remote control. For this i had to install the remote control codes of the D7050 in my logitech Harmony. The RC codes of D1050 and D7050 are the same, only the D1050 has less functionalty. It's a shame though that the D1050 doesn't come with a remote control, while it apparentlt has a IR receiver. The only drawback is that my NAD C-165BEE remote control signal has overlaps with the D7050 remote signals. Input selectors can be directly selected with D7050 RC signal, but onfortunenately these functions also switch the input channels of my C-1565BEE pre-amp (while it should stay on for example CD). However, the 'InputNext' and 'InputPrevious' signals do not interfere with my C-165BEE, so it is possible to change input on the D1050 with a universal remote control. BTW, this also works vice versa: The D1050 changes input together with the SR8 remote control of my C-165BEE Pre-Amp. BTW, i did do a firmware update today before i started to figure this out.
Excellent sound quality, beautiful design,
Comes without Remote control while it can be remote controlled
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best Value DAC

Written By Thomas, Lexington, Virginia on Monday, February 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This DAC from NAD is a thing of museum quality beauty and simplicity. First of all , it sounds simply stunning, even as a stand alone CD player DAC. I am currently using my NAD C 546BEE CD player as a transport. I then have the NAD D1050 DAC going to my NAD C 326 BEE integrated amplifier and then out to my new pair of Polk TSI 400 speakers. Also important, I chose a digital coaxial cable ( AudioQuest VDM-A 1METER LONG ) to go between the CD player and out to the new NAD DAC. Also notable, the coax cable from Audioquest luckily contains silver conductors in it's makeup. This is important for getting better sound out of your equipment, as silver stranding sounds better, and seems to control jitter way better than just copper stranding. For $499 you can't get a better sounding DAC than the NAD D1050. It can be used as a USB DAC next to your computer and also in your rack stereo system ( as in my set-up.) The sound of the NAD DAC is clear, focused and transparent and in my case makes all my compact disks sound better than I could ever believe possible. I am now listening to all my CDs over and over and this is all good, as I would not have it any other way. I believe this is all the DAC I will ever need thanks to NAD and Crutchfield. BTW, my Audioquest cable was inexpensive and I would recommend that as well. So all in all, I have been able to purchase my entire stereo and DAC from Crutchfield. Crutchfield has the best customer service, hands down!!!
Crutchfield sold me my COMPLETE stereo, DAC, and POLK speakers. I purchased my cabling from them as well. Before purchasing my new NAD D1050 DAC (my most recent Crutchfield purchase) I probably talked for an hour with an experienced Crutchfield salesman, and he could not have been more patient when explaining what to expect from my new NAD DAC!! BRAVO CRUTCHFIELD!!!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Sound, no remote

Written By MikeP, Manassas, VA on Monday, January 13, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This is one great sounding product. I have an Apply Airport Express and a CD player hooked up to it before sending the signal to my pre-amp. What an amazing difference! The only thing this unit needs is the ability to control it with an IR remote. Other than that, it's a great product.
Great sound and connections.
No remote controllability.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great DAC

Written By M.D., new York City, NY on Monday, November 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This Dac works really fine. I connect a digital music tuner to it, blu-ray player, apple TV and they all sound better instantly. The headphone amp sounds so good and powerful that I think can drive any headphones. NAD always make great stuff. Thanks to Crutchfield also for their great service.
Clean Sound, size, volume knob and outputs.
Wish it came with a remote control.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the NAD D 1050, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_745D1050/NAD-D-1050.html ).