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The Affordable No-Excuses DAC



Ships 1-3 days






Ten years ago, we introduced the first Modi. Now, we’ve pushed the limits of what you can expect from a small, affordable DAC, to the point where Modi+ is a true no-excuses device. Whether you want better sound from your computer, TV, streamer, tablet, CD player, or many other sources, Modi+ delivers.

No Excuses, Period
No matter how you look at it—performance, measurements, features, design, or sound—Modi+ delivers above and beyond your expectations. Using the same high-quality components as products that cost hundreds and thousands more, in a clean, seamless chassis design, with sound tuned by obsessive digital engineers, Modi+ is the affordable DAC to beat.

One DAC for All Your Needs
Plug Modi+ into virtually any computer, streamer, tablet, or phone and you’re ready to go, complete with the best USB interface available: Schiit’s own Unison USB™. Or, choose an optical or coaxial digital source with the included wall power supply. Modi+ is the only DAC you need.

Build a Custom System
Modi+ stacks seamlessly with a wide range of products to let you build your perfect system. Add Magni or Vali for headphone amp and preamp duties, Loki for equalization, and Mani for phono inputs. Or just add a SYS Passive Preamp for analog volume control. It’s your choice—customize as you want!

Designed and Built in Texas
By “designed and built in Texas" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Modi+—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made from Texas steel in California (yeah, we know, weird), and the PCBs are done in Nevada and Utah. Who needs global trade when you have statal trade? (Just kidding, of course…it is still a global economy. But you get the picture.)

2-Year Warranty and 15-Day Returns
Modi+ is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for two years. 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: Schiit Unison USB™

D/A Conversion IC: ESS ES9018

Analog Summing, Active Filtering: Based on OPA1656 with precision thin-film resistors and 2% film capacitors, DC coupled 

Output: RCA Stereo Analog (single-ended)

Output Impedance: 75 ohms

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB

Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS 

THD:  <0.0002%, 20Hz-20KHz, 0dB

IMD:  <0.0002%, CCIR

S/N:  >119dB, referenced to 2V RMS, unweighted

Crosstalk: > -130dB, 20-20kHz

Power Supply:  USB powered with +/-5V switching rail generator; auxiliary USB power input for 0mA USB power draw devices (like phones and tablets)

Size: 5 x 3.5 x 1.25”

Weight: 1 lb

APx Report for Modi+

I don’t know if I buy this whole “no excuses” thing for $129.
Why are you so suspicious? Did a DAC ever hurt you?

I mean, this is cheaper than cheap. But it has great specs, all the inputs I need, and it’s made right here in the USA.
You were doing pretty good there on hitting the marketing points for us, but you left out “great sound, tuned by crazy people who do True Multibit™ DACs.”

Great sound? Is that really a thing?
Hey, we don’t say much about sound, but other people say it all the time. So we repeat it.

Yeah. We know. Other companies repeat stuff other people say too. It’s a thing.

I’d still like an answer to my question about this being a bit sketch on the “no excuses” claim.
Hey, we see you left that pesky “y” off sketchy. How very topical of you. But, to answer your question, Modi+ really is a no-excuses DAC.

  • In terms of components, you’re getting the same super-high-quality parts used in our much more expensive products—Microchip microcontrollers, ESS DAC, TI OPA1656 op-amps, precision thin-film resistors, aluminum organic polymer and film capacitors, DC coupling, advanced power management, and more.
  • Or let’s look at connectivity, where you’re getting our own Unison USB™ input, purpose-built with a single goal: to deliver the best USB audio, period. It’s a totally reliable, super-high performance interface. Plus, you get optical and coaxial SPDIF as well, for TV and other digital connections.
  • Or is it down to design? Modi+’s all-new, USA-made, steel “advanced form” chassis looks wayyyy better than any Modi before, with a fastener-less appearance and nice touches like a milled aluminum button and LED source indicators.
  • Or is it performance? On a performance-per-dollar basis, Modi+ is impossible to beat.
  • Or let’s get back to sound. This isn’t just a normal ESS DAC. This was tuned by Mike Moffat and his team of digital wizards, with design chops that date back to the dawn of the DAC. They’re used to multi-thousand-dollar True Multibit designs. They wouldn’t let this one go before it sounded really, really good.

So, you’re saying you plug Modi+ in and you get great sound?
Pretty much. Modi+ can be used with pretty much any source. Linux streamers, Mac and PC computers, phones, and tablets. In most cases, it’s just one USB cable. Done. In some cases, even if you get the “draws too much power” error, you can simply plug in external power and you’re set.

I see the connectors are finally USB-C. Praise Cthulhu and pass the turnips!
Yep. We figured you’d like that.

Hey, wait, your "universal" wall adapter for Modi+ 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.

Well, I’m gonna get me a fancy-shmantzy linear power supply and plug it into the back your Modi+, 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.

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

  • Windows. Windows 10 or 11 are plug and play with our DACs. 
  • Mac OSX. From 10.7 on up, you’re set.
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices work with our DACs using a Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter, if they don’t already have USB-C. 
  • Android. You’re most likely set with any modern device. 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 all Linux variations.
  • Roon. Roon recognizes our products and is plug and play.
  • Most streamers. Most streamers are Linux-based, so they have no problem with our USB input.

What’s so special about Unison USB?
It’s a very good USB interface designed to do a single thing well: to interface seamlessly with modern UAC2-compliant devices. There’s no stuff in it for DSD or MQA. It doesn’t have drivers for now-obsolete Windows platforms. It’s really just for getting PCM audio (still over 99% of all files) from your streamer or computer to this DAC. 

That’s it?
Yes. Well, some people think Unison USB sounds very good, too.

But how can a USB interface sound different?
Yeah, we hear you. No pun intended.

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 $109-149. They’re called “Magni” and “Vali.” 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.

Wasn’t there a Modi Multibit as well?
Yes, and there will be again, if the DSP gods are kind. But that assumes no zombies, aliens, or other unexpected apocalypii.

What is a Modi?
In Norse mythology, Modi is one of Thor’s sons. The other is Magni. That may be a hint. Hint hint.


Schiit Audio Modi 3e DAC Reviewed
Future Audiophile: Andrew Dewhirst

Read Full Review ->