Hegel Music SystemsPrice: $1400

Website: www.hegel.com

Jeff said: Hegel Music Systems’ HD12 digital-to-analog converter provides the best sound for the least money of any DAC I’ve had in my system. You might be surprised at just how good it is, and just how uncompromised its sound is on an absolute basis.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Strong little performer at exactly the right price point.