Left your shopping to the last minute? Here are 9 portable DAC gifts for hi-fi enthusiasts

Two iFi DACs beside a carry case next to the words gift guide
(Image credit: iFi)

If you're still searching for a last-minute gift to buy the music lover in your life, then you're in luck as you still have time to order one of the best portable DACs to arrive before Christmas. These incredibly useful devices make a massive difference to the way music sounds, which is why audiophiles will love them.

A DAC (short for digital to analog converter) takes the digital audio information from a phone, tablet or laptop and translates it into the analog sound you hear when you press play. There's a DAC built into all of these tech products, so you don't strictly need a separate one to listen to music. However, many audiophiles like to invest in a separate one because not all DACs are created equal. 

For example, the DAC chip in your phone isn't going to deliver the crisp, clear and rich sounds the dedicated portable DACs in our list below can. But if you're considering buying a portable DAC for someone this Christmas, where do you begin? 

In our portable DAC gift guide below, we've included a selection of the best dedicated DAC devices, all compact enough to use on the go. We've also added a few suggestions for accessories to keep any new portable DAC safe or upgrade your audio experience even more. 

If you're looking for more of the best present suggestions ahead of the big day, then read our guides to the best Christmas sales in the US and Boxing Day sales in the UK. They're both packed with more great holiday and Christmas gift ideas.

The best portable DAC gifts

The best portable DAC accessory gifts

More Holiday sales

More Christmas sales

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.