Palab M1-mini is a portable and very powerful DAC/AMP based on ESS9038Q2M with full MQA decoding. The recommended price of the device is $449.
I’m active on Facebook groups for years, and the question in the title is posted quite often. In this article (which isn’t obviously a review), I’ll try to help you choose the best possible option. At first, a few words…
ddHiFi TC44B is a fully balanced DAC/Amp based on a dual CS43131 chip with USB-C and two headphones outputs. That pleasure costs $89.
The xDuoo XD-05 Plus is a mobile DAC/Amp that can work separately as each option and provides 1W of pure power through the headphone output. It is priced at 289$.
The SMSL SU-9 is a balanced DAC that decodes MQA, and it is based on the Sabre ESS9038 Pro chip. You can get one for $399.
FiiO BTA30 is a DAC with a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver, based on an AK4490 chip. It is priced at 89,99USD.
Shanling UA1 is a USB-C dongle with a ES9218P chip in a compact body. It is priced at 45 USD.
ddHiFi TC25B is a tiny, USB-C portable DAC with a 2,5mm headphone output. It is priced at 39,99USD.
EarMen Eagle is a pendrive-size mobile DAC/AMP combo powered by ESS ES9281 chip and it costs $119.
iFi iDSD Signature is the newest transportable DAC made by iFi. It pushes 4W of power into the headphone output, decodes MQA, and it is priced at 649$.