USB DAC

I was using an "old" stereo amp hooked upon my macmini3,1 with an simple jack-RCA cable using the good-ol' analogue way.

Using NUC8 for hackintosh only has analog audio on the front of the cube for headphones / mic, so i am not really happy to plug a cable on the front. Also not really impressed with the overall quality of the ALC.

The NUC8i5BE has an internal 2mmPitch port for front panel, but i think it is already utilized by the actual powerbutton/led/HDDled on the box, and does not include the audio in/out anyway.

So can't expose it to some back connector with some DIY by looking at the documentation..

I am looking for some alternatives, these are the options i came across:

- I have not found any exposed port for digital audio on the NUC8 board.

- Considered to get a third airport express, but i hate latency, preferring wired.

- HDMI extractor (to SPDIF/analogue RCA), cannot control the audio volume, soundflower is hectic.

- USB to ISA, for joke of course.

- External USB DAC stick to one of the back USB port, or internally using on-board USB port.

What i do not need:

- studio quality

- microphone

- external controls (mute, volume, bass, treble, etc)

What i do need:

- reasonable price-quality choice (like $40-50 topmost).

- wired

- good SNR

- analog (RCA/jack/etc) or digital (S/PDIF coaxial or toslink) output

- control volume from keyboard

- keep device as default output upon start/restart

What is a ridiculous option but would love to know more if someone dealt with such thing outside of hackintosh

- I kept a Creative SoundBlaster 16 from the ancient times, which i would love to add to the MAC, but unfortunately it might have a slight problem regarding installation, also might missing some drivers.

USB-ISA would be badass, but it consumes more space than an external video card, and at least thrice of the footprint compared to the nuc itself... so i think i should go for some 2020+ compatible model.

So all in all it seems my way would be an USB DAC. Any of you use such type of USB DAC that you can heartly recommend that will work flawlessly with MacOS?

submitted by /u/peking84
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