If you want to get the best sound quality from various digital audio formats, you definitely need a DAC that can successfully cope with the task of ensuring the best possible sound accuracy.
Converters of a low class can introduce unwanted noise due to the limited capabilities of the chip used. They cannot support all data transfer rates, not to mention the appearance of additional distortions due to loss of synchronization (jitter effect).
Loss of synchronization is defined as the time delay. Exact time intervals (timings) are extremely important in the process of receiving a stream of digital music, and if they are not maintained (usually due to a poorly designed digital clock circuit), the sound quality suffers.
Problems associated with loss of synchronization can occur when transmitting a digital signal, and they are especially dangerous when a signal is transmitted between two devices. Therefore, in recent years, asynchronous DACs that use their own clock source have been gaining popularity.
Clock generators in the most high-quality DACs, as a rule, have higher stability than those installed in a middle-class PC, so that the sound will be correspondingly better (ceteris paribus).
How to get the best sound quality?
Of course, in order to get the most out of the new DAC, you need to start by selecting good source material. You should not expect miracles if you send MP3, 128 Kbps music to the converter. In fact, improved decoding of such an overly compressed audio signal may make any audio flaws even more obvious.
The optimal result, with quality at the CD level and above, can be obtained when playing lossless compressed files of the FLAC, WAV or ALAC (Mac) types in PCM or DSD format.