Best DACs for iPhone and iPad 2024

Best DAC for iPhone and iPad
(Image credit: FiiO)

Apple's recently announced Apple Music Lossless Audio is now available for Apple Music. Lossless Audio is a file format that compresses audio without losing any data, so your songs sound like originally intended. To listen to Lossless Audio, you need wired headphones. Taking it a step further, Apple Music now also streams in Hi-Resolution Lossless Audio, which requires an external digital to analog converter (DAC). Let's take a look at the best DAC's you can buy right now for your iPhone or iPad, so you can be ready for Apple Music Hi-Resolution Lossless Audio.

What is a DAC?

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A digital to analog converter (DAC) is simply a device that converts a digital signal to an analog one, so you can listen to your music through wired headphones or speakers. So, why all the talk about DAC's recently? Apple announced that it will soon stream all 75 million of its Apple Music tracks in Apple Lossless Audio. This means that Apple will compress the song without losing any data so it will sound exactly as the artist intended. However, the hook here is that you can't listen to Lossless tracks over Bluetooth, thus eliminating the use of Beats, AirPods, or any Bluetooth headphones.

If you want to listen to Apple Lossless Audio, you will need a pair of wired headphones. If you want to best sound quality possible, Apple will also stream in Hi-Resolution Lossless Audio. To take full advantage of this, you will need wired headphones as well as a DAC. Simply connect the DAC to your iPhone or iPad, and then connect your wired headphones to the DAC.

Which DAC should I buy for my iPhone or iPad?

Our favorite DAC is the FiiO Q1 Mark II. It's MiFi certified, so it's ensured to work perfectly with your iOS device. It has a full metal body and unique volume control. The FiiO includes a lighting to micro USB cable to let you connect to your iPhone out of the box.

If you have an iPad Pro or iPad Air 4 with a USB-C connection, check out the Fosi Audio K3. It contains a USB-C and USB-A connection and an OLED front panel display, and an attractive silver aluminum body.

Mark Goldschmitt

**Mark Goldschmitt** is the father of three boys and loves anything Apple. Born and raised in Queens, NY, and currently residing on Long Island, Mark is a lifelong New York Mets fan. {.end}