USB DAC

Speaker setup

In the Sound panel choose your USB DAC and click Configure

Not much to configure here but you can check if the channels (left/right) match the position of the speakers.

 

Check if the type of speakers matches yours. Mine are full range.

Properties

General

Not much to configure here. The Properties button gives some information about the driver.

This DAC uses the Windows native mode USB audio driver.

Level

In general it is recommended to set both volume and balance to 100 to avoid any impact of the digital volume control.

Enhancements

I belong to those silly purist who think the greatest enhancement is to disable them all.

Advanced

The Default Format is the one used by Windows in shared mode.

The audio engine will mix and resample all the streams to the rate set in this panel.

24 bits: my DAC is 24 bit.

Playing 16 bit using this setting won’t do any harm  as simply 8 zeroes are padded.

I set the sample rate to CD quality as almost all of my audio is 44.1 kHz.

 

Allow applications to take exclusive control should be checked if you plan to use WASAPI.
Give exclusive mode applications priority might save you a couple of dropouts.

USB port

Sometimes people hear all kind of funny noises over the USB DAC e.g. when moving the mouse.
Most of the time this is because the DAC shares the hub with another device.
Best practice is to connect the USB DAC to a USB port on your PC not shared with any other device.

 

Open the device manager.

 

Choose Devices by connection

 

Expand all the USB controllers until you find the DAC (Benchmark 1.0 in this example).
As you can see, it shares the port with the Bluetooth devices.

 

Simply try other ports until you find one not shared with other devices.