After years in the relative wilderness, a standalone DAC could be one of the most important parts of your system – we round-up the best on the market...

As digital music has surged in popularity, the role of the DAC has once again become important, helping you to get the best from your digital source, whether that be a laptop, computer or hi-fi separate.

From the compact USB DAC, such as the Audioquest DragonFly Black, to more substantial offerings from Oppo and Chord we've been through all our DAC reviews to uncover the best DACs to buy, whatever your budget.

MORE: What is a DAC? Everything you need to know

MORE: Awards 2015: DACs

Best DAC under £100
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Tested at £90 / Best price £89 at Superfi

The original DragonFly was a groundbreaking product, which rightly won accolades many moons ago. The Black continues this committment to excellent sound quality on a budget in an even more impresive package.

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Best DAC under £200
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Tested at £170 / Best price £169 at Sevenoaks

The DragonFly Red builds on the qualities of the Black but it also manages to turn performance up a few notches. It's a near-flawless option for anyone looking to give their computer music a hi-fi boost.

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Best DAC under £400
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Tested at £250 / Best price £259 at HiFix

Best DAC under £400, Awards 2015. For £250, you'll struggle to find better detail or dynamics from a headphone amp and USB DAC.

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Best DAC under £800
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Tested at £400 / Best price £399 at Sevenoaks

Put simply, the £400 Mojo delivers much of the performance of the Award-winning, £1400 Chord Hugo at a fraction of the price. It's an outstanding product for the money.

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Best DAC under £1000
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Tested at £995 / Best price £995 at HiFix

What happens when you combine two Award-winning products into one? You get the brand new Chord 2Qute – a standalone DAC that’s the latest in Chord Electronics’ hugely successful Chordette range.

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Best DAC under £1500
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Tested at £1400 / Best price £1400 at Amazon Marketplace

The Hugo delivers hard-to-beat sound quality in an unbelievably small and versatile package.

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