USB DAC - Computer Definition
(USB Digital-to-Analog-Converter) A D/A converter (DAC) that connects to a computer via the USB port for music playback. The USB DAC has become popular, because people like to organize their music on the computer with software such as iTunes and Windows Media Center but want to play it on their stereo system. The USB DAC converts digital audio signals from the computer to analog signals for the amplifiers and speakers. Although this connection can be made via the analog outputs of the computer's sound card, purists maintain that external USB DACs provide superior conversion and hence better sound quality. USB DACs are available in a wide price range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand. The 2010 CES Las Vegas High-End Audio exhibition showcased a hand-crafted USB DAC for USD $37,000. See high-resolution audio, D/A preamp, D/A converter and CES.