BEST Budget DAC for Desktop Audio and Headphones? Schiit Audio Modi 3

BEST Budget DAC for Desktop Audio and Headphones? Schiit Audio Modi 3

BEST Budget DAC for Desktop Audio and Headphones – Schiit Audio Modi 3 Review
Get the Schiit Audio Modi 3 DAC:
The best desktop audio or headphone DACs don’t need to cost a lot of money. I found that the best DACs for personal audio use can be very affordable.

Schiit Audio Modi 3 DAC:

Schiit Audio Magni 3 Headphone Amp:
Schiit Audio SYS Volume Control:
Schiit Audio Vali 2 Headphone Amp/Preamp:
Schiit Audio Mani Phono Preamp:
Schiit Audio Loki Mini Tone Control:
Schiit Audio Jotunheim Headphone Amp/Preamp:

Amtake DAC:
Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100:
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus:
Andover Audio PM50 Headphones:
Kanto Headphone Stand:
Kanto YU6 Monitors:

AKG Pro Audio K240:
Audeze LCD-3:
Sennheiser HD 660:

BDI Centro Lift Desk:
Apple iMac 27″ Retina:
12 South Backpack:
Eames-style Chair:

Personal or desktop audio is a growing in popularity hifi enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. Budget desktop audio solutions like those from Schiit audio make it easy to enjoy great sound from your computer or headphones. DACs and headphone amplifiers are great, but you can easily enjoy music on the go as well with Bluetooth headphones or wireless earbuds.

TIDAL (60-day FREE Trial):


➔ Schiit Modi Dac Review:
➔ LG 8K TV Review:
➔ Cambridge Audio CXA81 Review: https://you

Moby Play:
Alanis Morissette MTV Unplugged:
The Weeknd Starboy:
Michael Jackson Dangerous:
Chvrches Warning Call:
Dave Matthews Band Under the Table and Dreaming:
Rage Against the Machine:
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells III:
REM Automatic for the People:


Naim Uniti Atom All In One Music System:
Musical Fidelity Integrated Amp:

Q Acoustic Bookshelf Speakers:
Klipsch Heresy IV Floorstanding Speakers:
Jamo C97ii Towers (best budget tower speaker):

Kanto Bookshelf Speaker Stands (budget):
SolidSteel Speaker Stands (best):

Cambridge Audio Direct Drive Turntable (best):
Fluance RT85 Turntable (better):
U-Turn Orbit Plus Record Player (budget):

Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge (better):
Ortofon 2M Black Cartridge (best):

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones:


Hisense 65-inch QLED TV:

BDI Octave Media Cabinet:

Klipsch The Three II:
Naim Mu-so Qb V2 Multi-Room Wireless Music System:

Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker with HDMI-ARC:
Kanto YU Desktop Speakers (budget):





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FTC: This video is not sponsored. Some links above are affiliate, meaning we make a small percentage if you buy through the link but it won’t change the price for you! Thank you for helping to support the channel.

#schiitaudio #headphones #computeraudio


  1. Reflective Auto Detailing on January 3, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Have a drink of beer every time "Shiit Audio" is said in the video.

  2. CustomGears 4YOU on January 3, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Nice talk…but how you connect it…

  3. Los ríos profundos on January 3, 2021 at 12:58 am

    I’m new to this world, but I found I preferred the modi 3 without the magni 3+ when listening to audioengine speakers. The magni also runs a bit hot and has a rather large power supply.

  4. takemydryfly on January 3, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Can I use the Modi 3 with headphones? I just have mid range headphones from Sony and don’t want the expense of the headphone amp. I would use rca from DAC to 3.5mm cable

  5. theprince08853 on January 3, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Literally no difference between using my onboard DAC Vs the Schiit Modi. Waste of money. Oh well.

  6. Alexandr iuneWind on January 3, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Its good for the price. But existed better DAC for this price and its named "BEST" there its just because sponosred links bellow video.

  7. Slow Men Thinking on January 3, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Interesting, I’m a Recovered Audiophile. Back in the day DAC’s where costly. Later on in my life My best DAC was my first Audio Interface, Order of magnitude better than consumer gear. That was 10 years ago and it was a PCI 2in 4out. 2 and a 1/2 years my Cheap and Nasty 4 ch usb mixing desk, Not the best but still better than my some of my better vintage CD/DVD/Bluray output. The last one I bought well lets just say The DAC and the ADC leave all for dust especially when mixing music you can hear what is going on in the mix you are working on. The DAC that I use for the TV that is musical dynamic, clean and not sterile is marketed for more than my current audio interface and it just can not resolve what my latest audio interface can… Disclaimer two out of three audio interfaces I have owned only have USB connectivity. Any thoughts about using the gear that people actually make recordings with as a music source? Since I have been using these the real bonus is capturing LP’s many of which I can not ever hear in a streaming platform or the iteration on the platforms the master tapes or what they used have degraded more than my pressing of that LP.

  8. Chris on January 3, 2021 at 1:02 am

    I’ve used the Schiit Audio Modi 2, along with the Schiit Audio Loki EQ and Magni, for years. I LOVE THEM. Everything I wanted at a price that was totally reasonable.

  9. David Eberle on January 3, 2021 at 1:04 am

    Hey Andrew, do you have an opinion of the Hel Schiit Amp/Dac? I am still awaiting its arrival, to use with my Pioneer SE Monitor 5 headphones.
    I was wondering…. will my headphones sound better with the Hel….or will the headphones just sound good, regardless, because they cost a lot of money?
    I should mention, I am connecting the Hel to my desktop computer, with an Asus motherboard…. Thanks….love your channel….

  10. David Beverly on January 3, 2021 at 1:05 am

    Hey Andrew, not an Audiophile but a music lover! I have been trying set up a budget 2.1 channel system and your videos have been extremely helpful! The Amtake DAC was one of the last pieces to my puzzle! Really appreciate you making these videos, giving your honest opinion and providing solutions in a wide price range.

  11. ThePapabear2012 on January 3, 2021 at 1:07 am

    I do love my Schiit

  12. Andrew Robinson on January 3, 2021 at 1:07 am

    Do you use a DAC with your desktop audio or headphone setup? If so, which one? ALSO: I KNOW I MISSPOKE IN THE BEGINNING. I meant to say Digital to Analog Converter. Sorry.

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  13. DocFirewire on January 3, 2021 at 1:08 am

    I am still using my Yamaha MDX-596 as a DAC for my stereo system and I am still waiting for something to replace it. Is this the Shiit? Haha! Sorry! Nevermind please!

  14. Maxi Thurner on January 3, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Of You are looking for an Alternative, i recommend the Fiio K 5 Pro. Thats a Amp/DAC. With 160 € Cheaper and Better. Just saying

  15. akhtar zaman on January 3, 2021 at 1:13 am

    I got Modi 3 and it’s damn good value for money.

  16. Daniel Condurachi on January 3, 2021 at 1:14 am

    why not get an audio USB interface that also has input for a mic and/or input line, has a USB in/out, has an headphone with volume knob, and also line out for left and right and the volume knob. There are quite a few in the same price range as the Schiit Audio Modi 3, and they are more versatile.

  17. Grace Kelly on January 3, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Does the schiit amp come with rca cable?

  18. Joseph Wood on January 3, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Andrew, do you recommend a DAC with a vintage receiver? Have you noticed a real difference getting digital audio to your vintage system? I have an old Pioneer receiver that is over 45 years old and want to bring it home and resurrect it . I left it at my mom’s over 20 years ago and I remember it sounded really good so want to give it a try and see if a DAC will teach a new trick to and old dog.

  19. Herb Smith on January 3, 2021 at 1:14 am

    what would be a good set of speakers to go along with the schiit modi? In the same budget mindset
    As of right now I use a wifi bluetooth bose speaker in my room and would like to just take it up a few better notches.

  20. Mark Davenport on January 3, 2021 at 1:17 am

    I don’t consider myself an audiophile: I regularly use AirPods. BUT:
    I have two computers, and one set of speakers. I’m trying to get audio to play from each simultaneously, with the flexibility for either one to be missing or turned off while I use the other, and without having to move wires around. I tried an RCA mixer, and got enough electrical interference to make me give up on it. I just want a compact receiver that will send audio from both computers to one speaker system, without significant added latency and without the drawbacks of unbalanced cables. What do I do?

  21. legendp2011 on January 3, 2021 at 1:17 am

    it’s $500 in Australia, cant even find it anywhere on us price pages for $99

  22. Rh162712 on January 3, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Dac magic 100 for 80$. Wondering if i got a good deal… or if it’s better than this …

  23. Chris Leon on January 3, 2021 at 1:21 am

    Hey guys I’ve got the bose 700 soundbar, anyone knows if this will work with spdif cable or it’s just to charge the dac?

  24. Josh Van Tassel on January 3, 2021 at 1:22 am

    Hi Andrew, thanks for the review. I just added a set of Kanto YU2 speakers, replacing my old Bose companion speakers circa 2003. I was also thinking about the size Kanto that you’re using here, and trying to figure that out. I hooked up my Paradigm Millenia Sub to the subout which sounds great. So.. Do I add a DAC, Peachtree comes to mind, or bump to a slightly larger speaker, I can still exchange or return my YU2s to Crutchfield. What are your thoughts to get great sound on a budget?

  25. Samuel Sawian on January 3, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Talk about an honest review! Love how articulate your videos are. Looking forward to more. Cheers!

  26. Geoffrey Baker on January 3, 2021 at 1:27 am

    Boy you talk to much about the samething, killing me. pounding in my head i get it!!..

  27. Yhon Montes on January 3, 2021 at 1:31 am

    Hi there Andrew.
    I’d like to know which DAC around $200 usd would you recommend so I can connect my cd unit via optical to a Sansui integrated amplifier?
    Thanks a lot.

  28. Los ríos profundos on January 3, 2021 at 1:32 am

    I can’t get any sound with it using the usb into a pc with windows 10. They tell me that I should choose choose Modi 3 DAC as my default output device, but then no sound comes out of the speakers that are connected to the computer tower headphone jack.

  29. Pavel Suárez Escobar on January 3, 2021 at 1:32 am

    For Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus, Do I need a headphone amplifier?… I’m after the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xGM… Thank you in advance!

  30. Yusuf Jones on January 3, 2021 at 1:32 am

    I know its a nitpick, but then again, it really isnt.
    It’s not "digital to audio". It’s digital to analog.

  31. Jay Rodgers on January 3, 2021 at 1:33 am

    What would this DAC do for a Auris Blume HD Bluetooth adapter that I use with my NAD 3240PE amp? I use it as a streamer which sounds pretty good to me! Would the Modi 3 make a noticeable improvement over the DAC in the Blume HD if I connected them via optical?

  32. Leonardo352 on January 3, 2021 at 1:36 am

    So this would be a terrible buy for headphones without volume control because setting the volume from my pc wouldn’t affect volume of the headphones anymore? What’s the point of this then?

  33. Steve C# on January 3, 2021 at 1:36 am

    The Modi 3 is vastly superior to the built-in DACs in laptops. With a Windows computer it is very easy to adjust the Modi 3’s volume. Apparently this is an issue with a Mac.

  34. Tony Stabler on January 3, 2021 at 1:37 am

    I need an analog > digital solution. I have some wonderful vinyl that I can’t find in a digital format. I don’t play my records often to save the grooves. I refuse to put my treasures on a crappy turntable. What can you recommend I insert into my system?

  35. lex on January 3, 2021 at 1:38 am

    E1DA PowerDac v2 balanced

  36. Tauqeer Ahmad on January 3, 2021 at 1:38 am

    price as Audioquiest Black $99
    performance like Aduioquiest Red $200

  37. Adam Maik on January 3, 2021 at 1:40 am

    Andrew, what about be the best possible way of connecting a Focal Arche Amp to a digital audio player? I have no problem with connecting it with my computer with USB B to USB C cable. That makes my Mac recognize the Arche as an external audio device and things are going well.

    I do have An Astell & Kern SE200 DAP as well which has 2x 3.5mm, 2x 2.5mm and USB C. Arche does seem to have USB B, Coax, RCA and Tosslink for available inputs. Which route would be the best for me to connect the DAP directly to this AMP? Which connection type would be the best to preserve the quality of music?

    Since this DAP has 256GB of storage and its loaded with music I would like to take advantage of it 🙂 Not sure what combination would work and to what degree

    3.5mm to RCA?
    3.5mm to Coax?
    3.5mm to Optical?

    Thanks! Love the channel!

  38. Nir Shaked on January 3, 2021 at 1:41 am

    What mic are you using? it sounds great!

  39. Chris Bishop on January 3, 2021 at 1:43 am

    I’ve used all kinds of DAC’s over the last 5yrs including over the last year the Schiit (which is very good) and a couple of expensive DAC’s which were rather disappointing. Recently though, I bought the SMSL M300 MK II DSD DAC which uses the AKM AK4497 DAC, it sounded impressive out of the box, though a few tweaks transformed it into something very special. The supplied power block is actually okay for general listening – even good files sent via Bluetooth from my LG v20 sounded surprisingly good.
    I have a fairly cheap Hi-Fi 25W USB DC 5V 9V 12V 15V 18V 24V (Adjustable Regulated Linear Power Supply) it only cost £60 yet using this transformed the overall presentation.
    Playing DSD files using my MacBook Pro was inspiring through my main system. My Focal speakers sounded upgraded. Excuse the pun, but everything seemed more focused i.e. depth, separation, imaging etc … Bypassing the DAC in my Marantz CD player instantly upgraded the sound and changing the optical link for the QED Performance Graphite Toslink To Mini Digital Optical Cable created a 6 hour listening session – wow!
    It’s a DAC you can tweak and definitely improve upon. Comes in Black, Red, and Blue … I bought two – one for the studio, and one for home use. Its been the cheapest serious upgrade on the digital side of things I’ve bought,and it’s a real bargain at £250 or less and if you tweak, you can do it for £100 or less.
    If you do test one make sure it’s the MkII version 👍

  40. R Sarabin on January 3, 2021 at 1:43 am

    I see you have Kanto Yu6’s. Did you try bypassing the Kanto DAC and using the IFi? I am interested in helping my desktop Kanto setup.

  41. JammingWave on January 3, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Cool review. I have a question. How is the audio delay response? I use my Astell&Kern AK70 as my DAC for my Macbook and if I pause or play a song or even a video I’m editing, the audio would take 3-4 seconds to start/stop… which is a pain in the… does that happens as well with the Modi?

  42. JAS Productions on January 3, 2021 at 1:43 am

    I have the YU6s too, and I am wondering if I am using the optical input on the Kanto, there would be no reason to use this, right… since I am NOT using analog connections?

  43. Daren Lee on January 3, 2021 at 1:45 am

    If I am using Bluetooth to an active speaker, how do we go about it.?

  44. Cristescu Razvan Catalin on January 3, 2021 at 1:46 am

    This cursed Covid, waiting since February for them to bring/update their stock in Europe

  45. John Smith on January 3, 2021 at 1:50 am

    "Recovering Audiophile" lol

  46. yeeluvspizza on January 3, 2021 at 1:51 am

    Hi Andrew, great video. Question, I have a pair of Audioengine A2+ speakers that has a built in DAC that
    is capable of 16-bit/48kHz.

    Would it make sense for me to get the Audioengine D1 DAC which is capable of giving more?

  47. Martyn Gasson on January 3, 2021 at 1:51 am

    I’ve plugged in gear for decades, I unwrapped my Modi 3, plugged in the optical cable – and the port disintegrated, neither the retailer, nor Schiit helped me out. It was the last Schiit product I bought. I also had a Valhalla that stopped functioning- I should have learned from that…

  48. Seguita Tomiscem on January 3, 2021 at 1:52 am

    Dilvpoetry x6-pro its a beast for only 50 U$

  49. Tim _BBQ on January 3, 2021 at 1:53 am

    I have a modi3, love it, and recommend it!

  50. PETER SERRANO on January 3, 2021 at 1:53 am

    The Topping E30 eats the Modi 3 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner