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Help: Which DAC should I choose?

You have a choice of three different DACs for the XM6. All DACs are built by Wolfson Microelectronics.

DAC WM8740 WM8742 WM8741
Price +$0 +$20 +$42
Resolution 24 bit 24 bit 24 bit
Sample Rate 192 kHz 192 kHz 192 kHz
Published SNR 120dB 126dB 128dB
Published THD -104dB -100dB -100dB

All three DACs have excellent audio performance. If you are relatively new to the headphone amplifier environment, or are looking to save a few dollars, we would recommend the WM8740 - it has very strong specs, and indeed edges out the others very slightly in THD performance.

The WM8741 and WM8742 are slightly newer chips from Wolfson, and similarly have excellent specs. If you are a headphone veteran, or experimenter, than by all means choose one of these upgrades.

For the truly hard-core, we've linked to Wolfson's product pages for each of the DACs. From here, you can download the Engineering datasheets for each:

WM8740: click here.
WM8742: click here.
WM8741: click here.

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