Nice upgrade for PC soundcard.
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Plug and play--worked first time using aftermarket USB cable (the included USB cable is not very long). The front panel incoming sample rate light does not switch sample rates depending upon the format being played, but stays lit at the maximum (default) rate. Plays native 96K files (highest I own) as well as 16/44 CD. No problems with FLAC encoded files, lower sampled mp3, or regular Internet audio feeds. My hookup configuration is PC --> USB cable --> DACMagic 100 --> Pro-Ject HeadboxS --> Presonus ERIS 4.5 powered speakers. I did not try S/PDIFor Toslink inputs. Build quality seems high for this price point. Over all, I believe this to be good value. UPDATED: 7/16/18: I wrote that the DacMagic was "plug and play". That is only partially correct. For a Windows PC, it will only resolve 96K signals using the standard Win driver. In order to use the device at 192K, and take advantage of unmodified bitstream playback, do the following steps: 1) Download the 4.40 driver from CA Website. 2) Place the DAC in USB Class 2 mode. If the device is not in USB Class 2 mode during the install, the DAC may not recognize the driver. The default is USB Class 1 mode, so make sure and switch modes before driver installation. 3) Install the driver 4) At this point, configure Windows to bypass its internal digital playback software, sending your digits directly to the DAC. This is done (Win 10) by going to the Control Panel and changing your Default Format to 24 bit 192000Hz Studio Quality. Go to the Sound section of Settings, making sure the 'output device' shows USB Audio. Then, click on Device Properties, and go to the Advanced tab. Change the setting to 24 bit 192K. Also, click on the two "exclusive mode" boxes at the bottom. 5) Finally, you must use a media player that supports WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API). Go into your music player settings and configure it to WASAPI, and make sure USB is the output device. Doing this bypasses Windows' system kernel mixer and resampling stages. Then your DAC will accept a pure, unmodified bitstream. It will also show the actual sample rate of whatever signal it is receiving on its front panel (and also in the system tray app). The downside is that moving to another PC audio stream (such as a browser) requires you to shut down your music player, since WASAPI has given exclusive rights to the previous stream. Accordingly, after an Internet session, you may have to shut down your browser and reopen your music player in order to listen to your music files. This is all explained in Web support docs, but the docs are not clear. The problem is not with the DAC, but with the way Windows works. I understand that with a MAC you don't have to go through all this for native 192 signals. My impression is that with the new driver and the direct bitstream into the DAC, the sound is clearer and cleaner than whatever Windows natively sends to the DAC.
Pros: Simple to set up. Very clear sound.
Cons: Front panel incoming sample rate light was a little confusing until I realized how the DAC is programmed to work.