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Factors That Affect the Performance of a Digital-to-Audio Sound Converter

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Thanks to the various streaming platforms available, finding new music or an old gem has never been easier. However, it is challenging to get superior sound quality from a car's stock stereo as you would from a digital device, such as a smartphone or a tablet, without converting digital files to analogue. A digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) transforms digital bits into sweet analogue sounds that you can listen to through a car's stereo system. That said, the optimal performance of a DAC depends on a few factors, as highlighted in this article.

Quality of Sound Source — When shopping for a DAC for your vehicle's audio system, you should know that digital music files vary in format and quality level. Therefore, the amount of detail a DAC can pull from a recording largely depends on how much data is available to work with. Notably, a DAC gives any music you play a sonic boost. However, you get more from a digital-to-analogue converter if you play music files from sources with the highest resolution. Music sources retain more audio information from large digital files than the compressed MP3 files in flash drives and hard discs. Therefore, if you decide to invest in a quality DAC, it only makes sense to use high-resolution music sources. As a result, you experience dynamic and more three-dimensional sound.

Audio System Quality — What is the quality of your car's audio system? Considering this aspect when shopping for a digital-to-analogue converter will help you make the right purchasing decision. Notably, stereo quality impacts the sound improvements made with an outboard DAC. Ideally, the speakers in your car can handle the improvements and deliver superior sound quality courtesy of a DAC. However, buying an advanced DAC and connecting it to a mid-fi stereo system is a waste of money and the device's capabilities. Likewise, you get very little from an entry-level digital-to-analogue converter if your car has a stereo system equipped with an extensive sound tuning suite. Therefore, always match a DAC with car stereo quality.

Cable Quality — Most car owners do not know that the quality of the cable connecting a music source to a DAC impacts sound quality. You can use cables that come with a DAC and still enjoy the superior sound quality. However, you can always get the most out of a DAC by replacing stock cables with aftermarket models. For instance, if you stay in an area where corrosion is a big issue, DAC cables with gold-plated conductors are an excellent choice due to their high corrosion resistance. Similarly, if you use a DAC regularly, invest in a cable with spiral shielding that prevents repeated flexing and offers better performance.

For more information about car audio accessories, contact a local seller.