Wavelength ProtonPrice: $900

Website: www.usbdacs.com

Doug said: It’s difficult to heap enough praise on this $900 DAC without sounding like an employee of Wavelength’s PR firm. But if you want your digital recordings to thrill you the way you’re thrilled by a fantastic analog front end, while retaining everything that’s good about digital playback, the Proton is the least expensive way I know of to get there. It delivers ultra-high-end digital sound at a price that’s realistic for audiophiles who can’t consider products that cost many times as much.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: One of the best USB DACs from the company that helped create the genre.