Without a DAC, we can’t even think about having heard the beautiful audio. But sometimes, the built-in DAC isn’t enough, so we need a separate DAC. Micca OriGain is an external DAC that has a lot of power. On a tight budget, this DAC promises to sound good.
It’s hard to beat OriGain when it comes to budget-friendly DACs. Fiio K3 and SMSL are two great options. Fiio K3 has a lot of great features, and SMSL sanskrit 10TH MK II has also good sound.
Whether you want to learn more about Micca OriGain or you need a DAC right now, you can read Micca OriGain Review and Compare It With FiiO K3 and SMSL here.
Why Do We Need DAC?
Digital-Analog-Converter or, in short form, DAC; is the most important equipment which converts the digital signals to an analog signal so we can hear the audio. From any MP3, or any video or audio what we hear is actually analog signals.
It is the responsibility of a DAC to provide us with the signal of what we can understand. In all audio devices or videos devices, there is an integrated DAC that many don’t know, actually.
But the question arose when we talk about external DAC. Why do we need an extra DAC when our devices already contain one?
Those DAC used in devices most of the time is not high end. They can only convert the signals but cannot produce clear and defined signals.
The result is distorted and low-quality sound. To make the sound quality better the external DACs are used. You can see the reviews about Best DAC; if you are not into Micca OriGain, Fiio K3, or SMSL.
Micca OriGain VS Fiio K3 VS SMSL: Comparison At A Glance
Micca OriGain AD250 Review
Micca OriGain has been designed to gift amazing audio to the listener in a compact size. From small speaker to floor-standing big speaker, this DAC can handle any speaker.
You can experience new versatile audio with this DAC. So, if you are bored with your existing DAC, then nothing can be better than Micca OriGain AD250.
- Amplifier IC no.: TI TPA3116D2 Class D AMP
- USB interface type: C-MEDIA CM6510B USB 2.0
- DAC: Wolfson WM8740
- Power: 30Wx2 8Ω; 50Wx2 4Ω
- Freq Response: 20~20kHz +1/- 0.5dB
- USB Audio up to 24Bit/ 96kHz
- Optical Audio up to 24Bit/ 192kHz
- Compatible with 4-8 Ohm
What’s in the box?
- Micca OriGain DAC
- AC power adapter(24V/4.75A)
- 5mm to RCA cable
- USB data cable
- User’s Manual
Micca OriGain comes in a compact size what makes consumers more surprised. This is one of the perfect choices for any kind of speaker size which really won’t take much place but can show incredible performance.
All the components used in this DAC are high-quality; from amp type, amp chip, power. There are plenty of input-output options so great sound quality from your TV or computer you can enjoy now.
It converts digital signals so efficiently that you won’t feel that your existing sound system was bad this far. Most importantly, this DAC is super budget-friendly, so you don’t need to become tense about it.
Simple and Durable Design
Micca OriGain contains a super simple design, and this simplicity enhances the overall beauty of this DAC. The metallic body is durable and can be a long-run companion. There is a small chance of this DAC getting damaged externally or internally.
The black finish over a tiny box looks good. With a durable body, it is super portable too. You can carry it to your home with no kind of hassle, in your bag.
For the sleeker body, wherever you place it this is not going to take much place, so you can set up other speakers easily.
Organized Controls and Connections
Micca OriGain has very organized controls and there are not too many. This makes this DAC easier to use and maintain without any messy setup. All the necessary controls and connections you can see at a glance.
On the front, there is a RED LED indicator light. When this light turns red, this means the DAC is on now on mode. If the light is off, then the DAC is off. Besides this light, there is a round shape controller knob, which controls the volume or the on/off system.
On the left side of the indicator light, there are the input selector switches. Between analog and digital input, you can switch the mode.
On the back the rest of the controls or input/output connections are visible. On the bottom panel, there is the S/PDIF optical input. This works for the digital audio input that comes from the source optical output.
Then the speaker stereo output connections for both 4–8-ohm impedances are present. On the upper level on the back, for the 3.5 mm stereo pre-amp output jack the pre-out input option is there. Audio equipment such as a subwoofer is connected through this point.
Besides the pre-out; the USB plug-in point is placed for the USB connections. Connect your Computer USB through this point.
Right after the USB;, forgetting the power supply from the power adapter, the jack power adapter has been set up and last of all the Analog input stereo for connecting the RCA jacks.
Plenty of Input/Output Options
- Analog stereo (For smartphones, MP3 player, CD player, tablets)
- USB audio
- Optical digital audio
- Stereo speaker output
- Pre-out signal (For subwoofer)
There are a generous amount of input and output options in AD250. You can connect your audio source easily to experience the next-level sound. Just set the switch to analog mode, then connect your phone, CD, or tab to your OriGain Analog IN port. For getting the best experience turn the volume to a high level.
Besides the TV or computers, there is the optical digital output jack. If you wish to upgrade your tv or computer, DVD sound quality, then this can help you.
Only do a couple of steps; first from the selector set the switches to ‘Digital and SPDIF’ and of course you need to connect your audio device to ‘Digital In SPDIF’.
But one thing to remember is that OriGain doesn’t support sound formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS, or others except for PCM. So, forgetting the best result try to connect PC-compatible devices.
Speaker Compatibility with Micca OriGain
AD250 is a kind of convenient DAC that is compatible with several types of speakers. From the mini size speaker to a bigger speaker this DAC can work efficiently.
The recommended speaker power to work with this DAC is 15 watts to 150 watts for each speaker. This is great because most home speakers have this kind of power range.
You really don’t need a more powered speaker for your home or office. If you have a bookshelf speaker or tower speaker within this power range, then nothing can be better than this DAC. It just costs a little money but can bring a significant change in the whole sound quality.
I have already mentioned another thing is the impedance. This DAC has two options 4 ohm or 8 ohms. Almost every speaker performs either 4- or 8-ohm impedance. This is why you really don’t need to be worried if you are choosing this DAC.
Connect Speaker with Right Plugs
Micca OriGain AD250 has a five-way binding post. With the Banana or bare wire, you can connect the speakers easily. In the control and connection section, you have come to know about the input and output systems and here you will know how to plug in the wires correctly.
- With the banana plug, you need to plug the cable into the center of the binding posts. First, tighten the clear part of the binding post then plug in the cable so it can insert fully.
- Next, the bare wire needs to connect to the hole of the binding post. For this just loosen the clear part of the binding post then you will get to see the hole there. Then strip off at least 0.375 inches from the cable and this part you need to insert in that whole.
- Then if you wish to connect the subwoofer the pre-out jack is there. Use the 3.5 mm RCA cable for connecting the subwoofer.
Things Need To Be Consider While Using Micca OriGain
The first thing the OriGain users need to remember is that AD250 is not compatible with sound formats like DTS, Dolby Atmos, etc. It only supports PCM signals, so anyone tries to connect non-PCM devices to this DAC, then the result will not be good.
The sound can be distorted or noisy. This is why make sure your sound sources send only the PCM signals.
We have recommended that for getting a great result this DAC volume should be high. But if someday the distortion seems audible then as soon as possible reduce the volume and then you need to be more careful about using this DAC.
Because distortion is heard it means your speaker or sound source is not used appropriately. This case may lead to internal damage to the audio devices. So, be careful about this matter.
Difference Between Micca OriGain AD250 And A250
Many of the Micca OriGain consumers get confused between AD250 and A250. They are almost the same actually, but a little different.
AD250 has all kinds of features that A250 contain. AD250 is the updated version of A250 so it is obvious there would be some changes. The actual difference in the input/output connectivity. AD250 features USB digital audio input, optical digital audio input, and input selection switches.
Micca OriGain Comparison With FiiO K3 And S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MK II
AD250, Fiio K3, and SMSL these three DACs come in a super reasonable price range but show a big blast in the performance. Thus far we have explored the Micca OriGain in every possible aspect.
Now it is time to compare it with Fiio K3 and SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII. Most often consumers get confused between these three DAC which to choose. And the result is a storm of debate.
If you are one of them, then these comparisons may help you figure out which one is best or which one to choose.
Design And Build Quality
Like the OriGain, both New K3 and SMSL have a very minimalistic design yet elegant.
Fiio K3 comes in a round shaped compact box with a black finish. The black color appears matte not a glossy one.
The body is made with aluminum. This prevents unwanted scratches and keeps your DAC looking new always. All the controls and inputs/outputs are placed in an organized way, so no one needs to spend more time finding them.
Two pairs of feet come along the DAC. This helps to prevent vibrations from going to the ground.
For the small size and light-weight, you can carry it or can set it up on a table or beside your TV, computer anywhere.
Whereas, SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII has a unique look. This has a boxy shape, which appears a bit sturdy but the size is not too big. In the front panel, SMSL has used thick metal sheets that give it a fresh look than other DACs or AMPs. You will find three-color black, blue and red. But honestly, only the black one looks good.
This is of course one’s personal choice, so go with what attracts you most. The front panel has a simple LED screen that shows the sampling rate of the music. The rest of the connectivity options have been integrated on the backside. Overall, only the AD250 and K3 look more interesting and have a sleeker body than SMSL.
Connectivity and Controls
While Fiio K3 has almost the same controls and connections as OriGain, SMSL design comes in a different way.
In the front section of Fiio K3, there are two output options and two switches. One switch is for bass and the other one is for gain and these buttons also have black color on them.
Besides them, the round shape knob is present which is used for the power on/ off and volume controller. For indicating the sample rate, this knob is designed with an RGB LED lighting effect.
On the back, there is a switch, digital-analog output with USB C input.
On the contrary, SMSL has unique controls and connectivity set up. On the front side of the DAC, there is a single button that does multiple tasks. This is also the power ON/OFF button.
With one simple though your DAC will turn on and in order to turn it off, you need to press the button for a long time. Once your DAC is on mode, then you can switch to three different digital inputs.
IN1 for USB, IN2 is for optical and lastly, IN3 is for the coaxial input. Select the inputs as per your use.
Unlike OriGain and K3, SMSL 10th MKII has the remote with it. The remote do several tasks such as muting the DAC, or volume control, sometimes adjusting the LED display light. Three inputs; USB, Coaxial, Optical are on the backside for a clearer look.
Which Have Better Sound Quality?
Micca OriGain is a kind of small size DAC that doesn’t snatch away the consumer’s attention by the structure but surprise them with the high-end sound.
This compact size DAC is the perfect solution for floor-standing, tower speakers, or bookshelf speakers. You can integrate it with your TV, phone, or computer.
And several features make this DAC worth praising with the defined sound. Once it is being connected with speakers, then the blast of sound can just surround the whole room.
It supports both 4Ohm and 8 Ohm, but in two different power consumption capacities. For a 4-ohm speaker, it can handle 50 w x 2, 8-ohm speaker 30 w x2.
Then the five-way binding post ensures 5 different speaker wires. This is why no worries about what type of speaker you have.
The bass, midrange sound is warmer and deep. 0.5% total harmonic distortion means you won’t be able to feel the distortion at all. This increases the beauty of the sound much more. All, I can say in this price range this DAC is giving more to its consumers.
Fiio K3 is a tiny size headphone amplifier that comes at a cheaper price. Most of the amps with these features cost much more than this price. But the surprising fact is that like OriGain the sound quality is great.
This DAC/AMP can work with USB Audio Class 1.0 and 2.0, which supports up to 96 kHz/24-bit and 384 kHz/32-bit, respectively. It can decode DSD256 files too.
Talking about the sound performance, New K3 is equipped with an XMOS USB Receiver Chip, AKM AK4452 Chip.
Besides these features, there are more for providing Hi-Fi audio. This DAC/AMP ensures a sound quality that the creator intends to provide to the listeners. The vocals and instruments sound can hear separately detailed and defined.
There is a warmth in the sound with the lowest distortion. The bass and gain controllers allow to set up them how the listener wants.
SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK II
SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK II offers a decent but not too much wider sound. It can satisfy your ear but to be honest the competitors are offering much.
The sound quality is neutral and warm. There is lower distortion and no harshness in the sound. Which makes the audio quality way too good.
Along this, SMSL is capable of delivering sound with high fidelity and details. You can catch the tones, vocals easily without facing any mess. And for a great sound experience, we need to get each and every detail in the sound.
Some consumers claim SMSL sound hears bold. But truly, this DAC has the ability to make the sound dedicated and warmer. Once you upgrade your TV or computer sound with this DAC, then you can feel the real chance.
But there is no denying the fact that the sound quality of Fiio K3 and OriGain is better than SMSL.
Best Alternative DAC
PROZOR Digital to Analog Audio Converter DAC
PROZOR DAC is one of the lowest price DAC but the best-selling product on Amazon. It is featured with many prominent features and produces pleasant sound.
It converts coaxial or Toslink digital PCM audio signals efficiently. The sound is decent and enough for upgrading PS3, PS4, HD, or DVD.
Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC, Headphone Amplifier
Audioengine makes good quality DAC, and this D1 is a great Digital To Analog Converter. It efficiently works with Mac, Windows, or Linux computers and with TV or other audio devices too. The sound quality is suitable for getting a good sound experience.
AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt DAC
AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt appears in a different structure and thus snatches the attention of the user most. It is super portable in a size of USB that is easy to carry and easy to use.
Just plug in the system and you are ready to upgrade your sound system.
Though the price is a bit expensive than other DAC, those who can afford to have this DAC must have it.
iFi Zen DAC V2
If you wish for some high resolute audio with crisp, clear sound quality, then this is Zen DAC is for you. This is an amazing DAC that works smoothly and contains some great features.
It is compatible with USB 3.0 or 2.0, so use it as per your need. Overall, under budget, this DAC is can be the right choice.
DAC or Digital Analog Converter is a part of our day-to-day life for hearing any kind of audio. But integrated DACs are no longer enough. We need extra DAC/AMP to get the most realistic audio experience.
Among the numerous options, Micca OriGain is one of the affordable DAC that offers amazing sound quality. With that Fiio K3 and SMSL, Sanskrit 10TH MK II are another two impressive low-budget DAC.
So, if you need one then this article must have helped you to know about Micca OriGain Review And Comparing With FiiO K3 And SMSL deeply. So, understand your need, then choose one DAC for the high resolute audio experience.
This FAQ section is here to solve some of your problems. We are almost at the end of the article, and take this FAQ as a parting gift from us. Let’s find out more!
Will Micca OriGain push RB42s ?
Yes. They’re extremely comparable to the MB42xs and AD250 that I have. The RB42s are just 2 dB less sensitive than the MB42xs, with an 83 dB sensitivity vs. an 85 dB sensitivity. 2 dB is hardly, if at all, audible. I also have a Topping TP60, and the output of the AD250 is very same. The AD250 looks fantastic with the MB42xs and Micca’s 10″ sub. According to what I’ve read, the RBs are a little nicer, with a little greater bass reach, but I’ve got the sub for that.
Could I plug a flash drive directly into the usb port?
Nope. There’s no need to read or play files straight from the flash drive.
The files must be read and played on a computer, tablet, or phone, either digitally via the USB connection or analogy using the Micca’s RCA connector inputs.
The Micca appears to the computer as a sound card. The Micca, for what it is, has excellent sound and build quality for the price.
Can you use two of Micca OriGain to power 4 channels for tv ?
You can power four speakers with two of them, but you won’t be able to accomplish things like 4 channel imaging without a pre-processor to split the signal into the four channels you need. A receiver or a soundbar would very certainly be less expensive.