Prozor DAC: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Toslink-Converter-Adapter-Optical-Black-96-KHz-2-0CH/dp/B00KNNSKV0
– Audio Precision APx555 B-Series Analyzer with 200kOhm input impedance
– Audioquest Mackenzie RCA Cables (1.5m)
– APx555 Coaxial out
– Audioquest Carbon SPDIF cable
– All measurements shown in this post are taken with coax SPDIF input, 44.1khz sample rate
– ifi iPower 5v power supply
Content and analysis made possible thanks to support from https://headphones.com, and https://patreon.com/goldensound supporters.
The Prozor DAC was ‘Amazon’s Choice’ for some time and is still a #1 bestseller.
It’s a low cost unit designed mostly for those needing to connect a TV which only has SPDIF out, to a set of 2.1 speakers. BUT, it’s so hilariously bad that I honestly wonder how anyone ever thought “Yes, this is a finished product”.
I gave this DAC the best possible chance, using a high quality ifi iPower power supply, and feeding it an incredibly clean, low-jitter signal from the APx555 itself (this dac does not have USB input). It’s likely that if you were to feed it 5v power from the USB port of a TV, and a high-jitter signal from a TV optical out, it would be even worse than shown below.
I’ve not done full reports for this, because quite frankly as you’ll see from the measurements below there is nothing that could possibly redeem it and I don’t think it’s worth anyone’s time.
Additionally, this is not just a dud unit, in fact this is the third unit of this DAC I’ve owned. I purchased one a year or so ago which was so awful I thought it was broken. I got that unit replaced, and it was just as bad. That particular unit has now been sent to Zeos Pantera.
A year on, I’d hoped that maybe they would have updated or fixed this product, and so I purchased another and it arrived today. So lets see how it does….
Dynamic Range (AES17): 99.9dB
Noise Level RMS (20-20khz): 8.8uVrms
Noise Level RMS (20-90khz): 170.2uVrms
DC Offset: 2.7mV Active, 2.7mV idle
Perhaps the most basic thing a DAC should do is provide a flat frequency response. Maybe some earlier treble rolloff if it’s using a slower filter or NOS, but other than that, it should be pretty flat right?
Well….what about distortion?
I’m pretty certain I could whistle a cleaner 1khz sine myself!
In fact….let’s find out…for science!
THD alone of the prozor is 5.4%:
And when whistling I could get down to about 0.3%:
Obviously when looking at THD+N I can’t get low enough cause there will always be too much noise (and width of the fundamental), but still, I thought that was pretty funny….
Anyway! What about if we turn down the signal a fair bit to make sure that it’s not just clipping? Let’s do -6dB to be safe:
A little better, but still awful!
It turns out that the dac doesn’t stop clipping until you get to about -10dB:
THD+N / Frequency:
Lots more distortion in the upper and lower frequencies.
-90.31dBfs 1khz Sine (Recorded with 192khz ADC Sample Rate):
Idle Noise Spectrum upto 1.2Mhz:
So…..in case it wasn’t obvious, this is a product so horrible it’s almost hilarious. Please please please please please do not buy this. If you need to convert SPDIF to analog for use with a TV, get something else. ANYTHING else.
7 thoughts on “Prozor DAC Measurements – Worst DAC in the world?”
Can I use my whistle as a DAC?
If you look inside one of these little things, it looks like the DAC is a Cirrus Logic 4344 driving the RCA jacks directly. There are a couple of transistors near the output, but they look like they are used to drive the headphones. The 4344 chip is spec’d here: https://www.cirrus.com/products/cs4344-45-48/ with a THD+N of -90db. I used the Apple 12W 5.2v USB wall power adapter to power the device. I’m using the optical cable input and comes from my Samsung TV.
It sounds really clean to me. Lots of air and space and detail. You could accuse me of having tin ears, but I know what 5% THD sounds like (I’ve use VTL mono block amps for 25 years). I wonder, is there something about the setup the Prozor doesn’t like? Maybe it can’t drive a lower impedance load directly with the chip for instance – IDK. Were you using the optical cable input? The cirrus logic 4344/8416 combo should work really well together. I don’t know how the manufacturer could screw up so badly to cause 5% distortion.
I believe your measurement. Its just what I hear is vastly different. If you could make this work, the price is killer. Thoughts?
I’m eating crow. It does have distortion. I compared it to another DAC and the Prozor will generate distortion on peaks. Its output stage is just too wimpy to drive much load I think.
A deeper dive into the distortion problem with this DAC. Hans Beekhuyzen examines a DAC with the same internals but different case and labeling. He measured that it occurs on peaks similar to what I was hearing and what was measured here.The video proposes a workaround for this problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISLN9u1QOgo
Hello, this is a very interesting review, bringing some objective measures on this device.
I agree though that the price is appealing.
What would be an alternative product in the < 100€ ?
Thank you for all your articles !
Thanks for the review!
I will look for another product and keep my fingers crossed that the performance is better. There is one around called DA34 from OREI in the lower price range on Amazon, hopefully it does the job better.
Thanks for the review and for ALL the commenters. Can anyone recommend a GOOD DAC for me? I simply want to go from my Windows PC’s SPDIF output to a DAC so I have a good analog signal.