Schiit is a California-based audio company that specializes in amplifiers and DACs. One of their best-sellers is the Modius, which offers a great balance between top-notch audio quality and affordable price. And in this Schiit Modius review, we will discuss the features, functions, and downsides of this device to help you assess if it’s the right fit for your money.
A DAC or Digital To Analog Converter is an electronic component usually built inside computers, television, and other devices that have sound output. Basically, a DAC converts audio information into an analog signal, which your speakers (or any output device) can understand.
Overall, a DAC is responsible for the sound your ears are hearing once you played any audio file from your TV, computer, phone, tablet, etc., and into the speakers, whether it’s built-in or not.
Take note that traditional or old amplifiers have no ability to handle digital signals. In this case, it won’t be able to play digital audio files. This is the reason why you need an external DAC like the Schiit Modius.
Below, we wrote a short review about Schiit Modius, so you will know more about this product. Our goal is to help you assess whether this balanced DAC is right for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Schiit Modius Review
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 Schiit Modius
- 4 Pros
- 5 Cons
Schiit Modius Review
The Schiit Modius is a balanced DAC and one of the cheapest offerings from the brand at $229. It comes after the cheaper Modi, which is priced at $129 apiece. Meanwhile, there are also more expensive DACs from Schiit namely Bitfrost, Gungnir, and Yggdrasil in case you have the budget to splurge.
Nevertheless, the Modius offers the best bang for the buck just the same. It has better and beefier performance than the Modi unit, not to mention that it’s also more versatile.
Made for any sound input
One of the highlights of the Schiit Modius is its universal connectivity. Its plug-and-play USB design can be connected to your television, CD player, laptop, computer, tablet, and more.
You can even use it on your phone! It’s designed to function even on low-power draw, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your smartphone. This is an ingenious design, which you can’t find on other balanced DACs.
This is virtually compatible with almost every device with sound output. You also have the option to use coaxial, optical, and AES digital audio sources as you like. You’ll definitely be maximizing every single dollar you spent on this device.
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Overall, this is an all-around DAC, which is also pretty compact. We also like the tough metal build of this device, which will make it last for a long time.
However, users of My Audio Precision software in Windows should be aware that Modius will truncate samples into 16 bits. You may need to use different software for that as a workaround.
Stackable with other Schiit DACs
Modius shares almost the same technology and footprint as other Schiit amp series. This is why you can stack it with their Lyr, Jotunheim, and Asgard amps. Just make sure that you get one of their mid-sized models for guaranteed compatibility.
This will give you better connectivity aside from using internal cards. While it’s not modular, its stackable nature makes it easy to expand the DACs functionality and performance. This translates to an excellent listening experience and mind-blowing sound quality.
Take note that we haven’t tested whether Modius can be stacked with off-brand amps. So to be sure that your devices will work properly, it’s best to get them both from Schiit.
Exceptional performance at a low cost
For just $229, you will get a DAC with a balanced and high-powered performance. Compared to other DACs in the same price range, the Modius has better connectivity and versatility. It’s also a great choice if you want to try your hand on Schiit products for the first time.
Moreover, Schiit Modius has the brand’s Unison USB interface. This is the part that makes it possible for you to connect the DAC to almost every modern device you can think of.
The distortion threshold of the Modius is way below the audible level, even as you amp up the volume. This is already a steal considering its price.
Aside from that, this unit has an ESS ES9028 converter inside as well as a single-ended output. This allows Modius to have top-notch performance without costing a fortune.
2-year warranty for your peace of mind
The Modius is covered by a 2-year warranty for both labor and parts. This protects your purchase in case you received a defective unit.
Aside from that, you’re also entitled to a 15-day return guarantee. If you’re not happy with the performance of this device, you can send it back to Schiit within 15 days after the receipt of your order.
This DAC is built and made in California and Texas. Since they don’t outsource manufacturing outside the country, quality control is much better. It’s very unlikely that you’ll face any problems with the quality.
But in case you do, the warranty terms will give you peace of mind. Overall, this is a no-risk purchase, which means added confidence for first-time users and those setting up their rig on a budget.
Connectivity and ports
The Modius is ready to use straight from the package. Its inputs include USB, SPDIF, Toslink, AES, and coaxial SPDIF.
When it comes to output, this DAC uses a single-ended RCA and a balanced XLR. It also has an output impedance of 75 ohms. As for the power supply, this uses a USB port for better compatibility.
Overall, this DAC measures 9” x 6” x 15”. It’s also very light for just 2 lbs. With that, you can carry it anywhere without being too bulky and cumbersome.
Some things that need improvement
We are happy with the results of our tests in the Schiit Modius. However, it’s not without its share of downsides.
First, some users may notice some level of weakness when using the DAC on lower frequencies. In this case, the noise floor becomes more audible, though it’s not something that will totally ruin your listening experience.
Aside from that, the front button of this device feels a bit cheap and clunky. But since it’s an affordable unit, this is something we can forgive.
Also, some users find the Modius sound a bit thinner compared to other DACs they have used. Specifically, they mentioned that Modius is a bit weak when it comes to drum sounds.
It could make use of more bass drums for added ‘oomph’. Also, some users say that it can be better with a brighter tonality.
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Take note that this DAC needs a break-in period to achieve the fullest sound it can produce. Use it regularly for a few days and the sonics should improve by a great deal.
Overall, the Schiit Modius is not total shit. It has a few lapses, but it’s something expected for such an affordable unit.
The biggest consolation here is that the unit was made by a reputable company and covered by a return policy in case you’re not happy with the sound quality.
The Schiit Modius is a promising option for those who want an affordable yet top-performing DAC. It’s compatible with almost every modern device. That means you can maximize every dollar spent on this affordable unit.
However, Modius comes with a few downsides, which are negligible if you’re going to ask us. Distortion is minimal and almost impossible to pick up if you’re not really an audiophile.
Overall, we’re more than pleased with the sound quality of this DAC. It can be expanded by stacking with Schiit’s mid-sized amps, which is an excellent feature if you’re planning to try more of the brand’s products.
How do you find this Schiit Modius review? Feel free to share your own experience with the device in the comment section below.