Modi

Affordable Do-All DACs

Version
AC Adapter

$99

In stock, ships 1-3 days

Description

Specs

FAQ

Reviews

Downloads

The Modi twins are two tiny DACs that really deliver. Whether you want better sound from your computer, your tablet, your CD player, or many other sources, Modi 3 delivers. Or, choose Modi Multibit—the most affordable member of the Schiit Multibit DAC family. 

Modi 3: All The DAC You’ll Need—For $99
Plug Modi 3 into any virtually any computer with the included USB to micro cable and you’re ready to go. Or, choose and optical or coaxial digital source with the included wall power supply. Or connect to your phones and tablets that need a low-power-draw device, again using the wall power supply. That’s right—Modi 3 accepts pretty much any input you can throw at it! Featuring the AK4490 DAC and DC-coupled output, Modi 3 delivers great sound far above its price.

Modi Multibit: The Most Affordable True Multibit DAC
Modi Multibit is the most affordable multibit DAC with a modern architecture—from any manufacturer, from any country in the world. Featuring Schiit’s unique digital filter, and using the same Analog Devices AD5547 multibit DAC as Bifrost, Modi Multibit smashes the high-price barrier in multibit DACs. Like Modi 3, Modi Multibit accepts USB, optical, and coaxial digital inputs.

Need Volume Control? No Problem.
If you’re using headphones, just add a Magni for adjustable volume via its preamp outputs. No headphones? Just add a SYS Passive Preamp for analog volume control.

Made in USA. Really.
By “made in USA,” we mean made in USA. The vast majority of the total production cost of Modi—chassis, boards, assembly, etc—goes to US companies. Our board house is 20 minutes away from our office in Newhall. Our chassis guys are just over the hill in the Valley.

2-Year Warranty and 15-Day Returns
Modi is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for two years. That’s 2x the warranty of most of the products in this price range. And, if you don’t like your Modi, you can still send it back for a refund, minus 15% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving your DAC.

Inputs: USB, Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF
Sample Rates and Bit Depths: 16/44.1 to 24/192 via USB, Coax, and Optical

Input Receiver: 

USB: C-Media CM6631A
SPDIF: AKM 4113

D/A Conversion IC:

Modi 3: AKM AK4490
Modi Multibit: Analog Devices AD5547

Analog Summing, Active Filtering: 

Modi 3: Based on OPA1662 with precision thin-film resistors, DC coupled
Modi Multibit: Based on AD8512 with precision thin-film resistors, DC-coupled with DC servo

Output: RCA (single-ended)
Output Impedance: 75 ohms

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.25dB

Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS 

THD: 

Modi 3: <0.001%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output
Modi Multibit: <0.006%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output

IMD: 

Modi 3: <0.001%, CCIR
Modi Multibit: <0.007%, 20Hz-20KHz, CCIR

S/N: >104dB, referenced to 1.5VRMS, unweighted

Crosstalk: -80dB, 20-20kHz

Power Supply: 

Modi 3: USB powered with +/-5V switching rail generator; auxiliary USB power input for 0mA USB power draw devices (like phones and tablets)
Modi Multibit: Included 16VAC wall-wart with 100% linear power supply

Size: 5 x 3.5 x 1.25”

Weight: 1 lb

All measurements performed with Audio Precision APx555.
APx555 Report for Modi 3
APx555 Report for Modi Multibit

Holy crap, a do-all Modi 3 for $99!
Yes. But that’s not all—it is also the best delta-sigma Modi we’ve ever made. It’s also the most versatile Modi we’ve ever made. And it also comes with a cable and a wall power supply.

And a multibit DAC for $249!
Yep, Modi Multibit is the least expensive multibit DAC based on a modern platform—from any manufacturer, anywhere. We’re pretty proud of it. It’s got a whole lot of technology packed into it, from its DSP-based digital filter to the unique-to-audio AD5547 D/A converter. And, it has a 100% linear power supply, 100% standard.

So, you’re saying you plug these in and you’re ready to go?
Pretty much. Both Modis can be used with virtually any computer with no drivers: Windows, Mac, or Linux distros that support UAC 2.0. Some older Windows machines may need a driver, which we provide at schiit.com/drivers. You can also use both Modis with phones and tablets, as well as most Intel Chromebooks. 

  • Modi 3 makes using phones and tablets easier, though, because if you use the provided wall-wart and USB cable into its external power port, it will avoid the dreaded “draws too much power” error. 
  • Modi Multibit may need an external hub or a powered Apple cable to avoid the “draws too much power” error.

What’s the difference between Modi 3 and Modi Multibit?
Lots. Let’s break it down:

  • Control: Modi 3 uses a toggle switch to select inputs, Modi Multibit has a pushbutton with LED indication.
  • D/A Converter: Modi 3 uses the AKM AK4490 DAC, a respected delta-sigma DAC. Modi Multibit uses the AD5547, a unique-to-audio multibit DAC.
  • Digital Filter: Modi 3 uses the digital filter embedded into the AK4490 DAC, while the Modi Multibit features our own unique closed-form digital filter implemented on an Analog Devices SHARC DSP.
  • Analog Section: Modi 3 uses the OPA1662 op-amp and is DC-coupled, Modi Multibit uses the AD8512 and discrete JFET buffers and is DC-coupled with a DC servo.
  • Power Supply: Modi 3 is powered by USB and uses a switching power supply. Modi Multibit has a linear power supply and wall-wart.
  • Miscellaneous: Modi 3 ships with a USB to Micro USB cable and a universal 5V USB wall adapter, Modi Multibit ships only with a 16VAC wall-wart (no cables)

Hey, wait, your "universal" wall adapter for Modi 3 has a US plug on it. What if I need a Europlug/UK Plug/Australian Plug/Martian/Borg/Uninsulated Victorian/Alternate Timeline Edison DC Plug? 
The wall adapter is universal in the sense that you can plug it into pretty much any common AC wall voltage--100V to 240V--and it will (a) not self-immolate, and (b) provide 5V out of a USB connector. It does have a US/Japan style plug, but you can use a plug adapter and plug it in pretty much anywhere. Or you can use any 5V-out USB wall adapter you have handy. Or a battery pack. Or a computer.

Wow, so what’s the catch with Modi 3? It seems too good to be true.
The catch is you don’t get the fancy button and LEDs of the Modi Multibit. You also don’t get the DSP-based digital filter, or the AD5547 DAC. You also lose the linear power supply for a switcher. 

I thought you hated switching power supplies!
We’ve said we would never use one where we didn’t need to. In this case, to hit the performance and price we were looking for, it needed a switcher. Don’t worry. It’s a very nice switcher.  

Well, I’m gonna get me a fancy-shmantzy linear power supply and plug it into the back your Modi 3, what do you think about that?
We think you’re a little strange, because the output of that fancy power supply is going into a switcher, anyway. But if it makes you happy, we’re not going to stop you. Nor will we try to sell you such a power supply.

Well, let’s change the subject to Modi Multibit. It looks like it doesn’t measure as well as Modi 3, is that right?
Right. If you’re looking at standard performance metrics for steady-state signals, delta-sigma DACs will measure better than Multibit. If you’re looking for measurements, Modi 3 is your DAC. 

But you think the Modi Multibit sounds better?
Yes.

You guys are a little touched in the head, aren’t you?
Quite possibly.

But I don’t get why you’d want to have a worse-measuring product—
Let us cut you off right there, because we know how this argument goes. And goes. And goes. And keeps on going. Here’s the deal: we are free to believe what we want. So are you. If your belief system leads you to devices that perform well by standard metrics, cool. If not, that’s also cool. There’s room for both viewpoints. Look up “Schiit Happened, The Objectivist/Subjectivist Synthesis.” And even then you may think we’re entirely full of it. And that’s cool.

So what platforms does your USB input support?
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your USB input?” since our USB input is 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:

  • Windows. Windows 10 is highly recommended. It is usually plug and play with our DACs. Windows 7 and 8 will work, but may need our drivers. Windows XP, Vista, and Windows Server editions are all untested and are not recommended.
  • Mac OSX. From 10.7 on up, Macs have been plug and play with our DACs. 
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices work with our DACs using a USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, or Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter. 
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above work with our DACs using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro. 
  • Linux. Most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play with our DACs. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.

I want a combined DAC/amp! Why didn’t you put an amp in here?
We did. They’re just in different chassis and costs another $99-149. They’re called “Magni 3” and “Vali 2.” The latter of which even gives you a tube! Now you have options, instead of a single boring, soon-to-be-obsolete combo box.

If Modis are so great, why would I step up to Bifrost or Gungnir or Yggdrasil?
Because you want something big enough to hold down the curling veneer on the fake-bark stereo rack you got on sale at K-Mart in 1979. Or because you want even higher performance. Or upgradability. Modis aren’t upgradable. 

But I heard from a dude on the intarwebs all DACs sound the same! You’re bullshitting us!
If it’s your experience that all DACs sound the same, that’s cool. There’s a DAC in your iPhone or Android phone, so you can use that one and save even more cash.

Here's a pair of high-end yet affordable components from Schiit Audio
Steve Guttenberg, CNET Audiophiliac

"The Schiit Magni 2 Uber headphone amp and Modi 2 Uber digital converter are downright affordable, but still qualify as legitimate high-end audio components."

"Next, I tried my Oppo PM-3 headphones with the Magni 2 Uber/ Modi 2 Uber stack, and the headphone's newfound transparency took by breath away. This headphone is the one to beat for the price (US $400, UK £349, AU$549). Pairing it with the two little Schiits is the most affordable way to unleash the PM-3's sound potential."

Read Full Review ->

How to Get $6,500 Out of a $650 Sound System
Roy Furchgott, Maxim Magazine

"For you to hear digital music, it has to be converted from zeros and ones back to the sound wave it was originally—that requires a Digital-to-Analog Converter. The one that comes in your music player or computer isn’t a very good one. But you can replace it with something like the Schiit Modi 2 Uber, a high quality DAC that makes music more clear, defined and smooth—almost like it was spinning on virgin vinyl. And yes, Schiit is pronounced the way you think."

Read Full Review ->

The Magni 2U & Modi 2U By Schiit
Smit Patel

 "Overall, the Schiit Magni 2U and the Schiit Modi 2U are a mini-powerhouse that truly shatters the general price performance ratio by putting many higher models to shame. Having recently reviewed the Fiio Q1, I thought I would not find a DAC/Amp that would perform as well as it does for its price alone but the Schiit stack definitely challenges my initial thoughts. I was not only surprised by the levels of transparency but also the hi-fidelity sound that can be attained for only $300."

 
"Coupled to this, the build quality of both the Schiit Magni 2U Amp and the Schiit Modi 2U DAC is simply outstanding with a well-implemented brushed aluminium chassis. Next to the polished looking PlusSound Cloud Nine amp, the Schiit stack looks decidedly classier with durability infused with functionality."

Read Full Review ->

Comparison of Mid-Fi DAC/Amp Combination Units
Marv (AKA Purrin)

 Compared to Grace M9xx, JDSLabs Element, LHLabs Geek Out V2 Infinity, iFi Nano iDSD

"Best stage of the bunch. The deepest, but not overly wide. Crisp controlled attacks and transients with good bite. Despite bass being a tiny bit leaner than the best, dense tones, and nuanced with excellent gradations of sound levels."

Start at the linked post and scroll down for subjective impressions and intangibles.

Read Full Review ->

What is a DAC, and Do You Need One?
G. Clay Whittaker, Popular Science

 "FOR $200 YOU MAY NEVER GO BACK TO MEDIOCRE SOUND AGAIN"

"Across the board, boy was the sound crisp. Movie soundtracks took on new depths. I heard subtleties in the dialogue of Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs” and picked up on previously unheard parts of tracks off a favorite Weezer album."

Read Full Review ->

Little Big Man
Gary Alan Barker, Headphone Guru

"I have no problems saying that the Schiit Modi Multibit DAC is the best sounding budget DAC I have heard, it will definitely beat out anything in the sub $500 category and compete favorably with many DACs in the thousand dollar plus group."

Read Full Review ->