WHAT IS A DAC?
The abbreviation covers a digital-to-analog converter, which converts the digital signal from the computer into the analog sound we hear. The computer interprets digital music content (downloaded files or streamed TIDAL, APPLE MUSIC HI-RES LOSSLESS, SPOTIFY, etc.) as a binary language, i.e. in the form of 1s and 0s.
Basically, these two processes always happen depending on what you're doing.
1. When you listen to music, the information is continuously converted for you in real time.
2. If you record your voice, the computer will convert the analog signal to digital for editing, tone control, etc. also during
The way to do this is to quantize the digital 1s and 0s individually as separate values at a fixed rate and size, and then rank them. All data contains parameters that are used to accurately reproduce the sound. The computer then copies the original values and plays them back in the same order and speed as they were recorded. So the computer basically uses a string of these binary digits to describe the information it receives. These same digits eventually form bits, hence the term bit depth. The higher the bit depth, the more accurate and precise the restoration of the original sound will be. Thus, one of the most important parameters is the bit depth: A 24-bit recording can contain up to 16,777,216 unique values, while a 16-bit one can only contain approximately 65,536 values. This actually makes a bigger difference considering what we touched on above. The smaller the bit depth, the more information is lost. From experience, you can hear a clear difference between a 16-bit and a 24-bit file.