Benchmark DAC3B Digital-to-Analog Converter

Benchmark DAC3B Digital-to-Analog Converter

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DAC3 B is the most stripped-down model from Benchmark's acclaimed DAC3 D to A converter range. Featuring the same circuit-board and audio path as Benchmark's flagship DAC3 HGC model, the 3B is capable of the same excellent performance every time, and also retains the optional remote capabilities, programmable auto-on and 12v trigger function from it’s larger brother.

The DAC3B sheds some weight in terms of controls and I/O in comparison to the HGC. Volume control, analogue inputs, mute/polarity controls have all been eliminated along with the headphone amplifier circuit. The bare-bones format of the 3B model makes it a great choice for professional or studio users, and also serves as an excellent partner for existing owners of Benchmark’s LA4 line amplifier and HPA4 headphone amp models.

The DAC3 B is a 2-channel D/A converter featuring the ESS Technologies ES9028PRO converter chip. The DAC3 converter has lower THD and THD+N noise than Benchmark's DAC2 converters.

Benchmark's DAC1 and DAC2 D/A converter families have been the reference to which other converters have been compared. It is rare to find a converter review that does not draw comparisons to the DAC1 or the DAC2. Benchmark converters are in daily use at many of the world's finest recording studios and mastering rooms. Benchmark converters are also enjoyed by thousands of audiophiles. Benchmark has raised the bar again ... the DAC3 defines a new reference.


The DAC3 delivers outstanding musical detail and precise stereo imaging. It employs an advanced high-headroom digital filter design, and a high-sample-rate Asynchronous USB Audio interface. All inputs are fully isolated from interface jitter by Benchmark's new UltraLock3™ jitter attenuation system.

Internal digital processing and conversion is 32-bits, and this processing includes 3.5 dB of headroom above 0 dBFS. This headroom prevents the DSP overloads that commonly occur in other D/A converters.

Four balanced 32-bit D/A converters are summed together to create each balanced analogue output. This 4:1 summation provides a 6 dB noise reduction, and gives the DAC3 industry-leading performance.


The DAC3 builds upon Benchmark’s highly successful DAC2 product family. The DAC3 maintains the familiar DAC2 form factor and feature set, but adds the higher performance available from the new ES9028PRO D/A converter. The DAC3 offers the following improvements over the DAC2:

  • Active 2nd Harmonic Compensation

  • Active 3rd Harmonic Compensation

  • Lower THD+N

  • Lower passband ripple

  • Improved frequency response

  • Faster PLL lock times

  • Faster switching between input signal


All digital inputs on the DAC3 support native PCM or DSD conversion. From any input, DSD is transported with bit accuracy over DoP 1.1. DSD and PCM are both natively converted to analog. There are no DSD to PCM or PCM to DSD conversions to compromise the quality of the music. The DAC3 conversion system seamlessly switches between native PCM and native DSD conversion. DSD over DoP 1.1 is supported by many media players, and DSD downloads are now available from several sources.


Transparent sound can go beyond replicating the studio experience. Recordings that have been produced with a natural and unprocessed sound can transport you to the performance space. However, this can only happen when the entire playback chain is selected for maximum transparency.

This experience of "being there" cannot be created by systems that are designed to add warmth or colour to the music.


  • Remote Control (sold separately)

  • Sample Rate Display

  • Word Length Display

  • Digital Inputs (5 total)

  • Analog Outputs (1 RCA, 1 XLR)

  • Digital Pass Through

  • Native DSD Conversion

  • Control-lock Switch

  • Asynchronous USB 2.0

  • Driverless Asynchronous USB 1.1

  • Bi-Directional 12 Volt Trigger

  • Low Power Consumption

  • Fixed Gain

  • ES9028PRO Converter

  • Remote Control

Benchmark DAC3B Reviews

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