Audio Interfaces vs DACs?

I am currently using a Focusrite Clarett 4 Pre as my dedicated DAC, and I own a separate headphone amplifier. Given that I already own a mid-high end audio interface for instrumentation, would I see significant benefits from moving to an audiophile oriented product? If so, what are the different sonic characteristics of various dac chips so I can make a somewhat informed purchase? The unit I have uses an AKM 4413 4 channel DAC chip (not sure what this means relative to the competition lol). Thanks!

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Same drama here. Mine is on the lower spectrum though, the Scarlett 6i6. It is good to know they’ve put a better DAC chip as one moves up in the portfolio.

We both know the answer is yes, but I don’t have a direct answer for you in this regard. The good news is the coaxial digital out from your Clarret which can go to any DAC you want.

I’m on a DAC quest myself. I have reasons to get a couple of options, but I also have reasons to wait a little more and see what is coming this year.

For DAC recommendations, the best thread is probably here:

Good luck.


Thanks for the advice! I’ve always wondered about those COAX connectors; I didn’t know if they were only for ADAT or if they could also be used for standard digital audio out. I will keep looking around and see if there’s anything worth moving too. Cheers!

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In one of my setups I have this audio chain: FiiO K3 coax out -> Focusrite coax loop (in/out) -> Modi 3 coax in.

Hope that helps.

Cheers. :beers:

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What’s your purpose, if I may ask? Both of the aforementioned interfaces are targeted at professionals and their listening needs (neutral/analytical/detailed). Are you looking for something that will do a better job of what your gear already does, or are you looking for more variety?

Forgive me for once again reviving an old thread. I hope you found what you were looking for!