• Steve Withers


    Steve Withers (Twitter, Google+) is a professional calibrator and freelance journalist who regularly contributes to AVForums, reviewing audio and video products, writing articles, appearing on our podcast and presenting numerous videos.

    Steve has been writing about audio and video products for nearly ten years and, along with AVForums, he also contributes to Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Pocket-lint, Home Cinema Choice, and Wired.

    Steve is a professional audio and video calibrator who is Level 2 certified with THX, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). As such he remains abreast of all AV technology developments and the latest industry standards as we transition into a new era in home video and audio.

Digital to Analog Convertors (DAC) are essential in today's digital world of MP3 and other music files. The main purpose of the DAC is to change the digital data (like an MP3) into an analog signal that can then be output to an amplifier.

All digital playback devices have built-in DACs and as you can imagine, quite a few of these are not up to doing the absolute best job. This is why there is a growing market in stand-alone DACs.

It is in the headphone market where we see the largest market for stand-alone DACs. These usually also incorporate a headphone amplifier all in the same unit.

Some of the most popular brands include Arcam, Meridian, Asus and Chord.

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