The Audioengine D3 Premium 24-Bit DAC


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Not sure if you need a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for your laptop or computer? Audioengine’s D3 Premium 24-Bit DAC makes a strong case for it. At an affordable price that costs as much as a quality pair of headphones or earphones. Simple connection using your USB port, plug in D3 to your Mac or PC and send high-quality music to your headphones or any audio system. D3 includes a USB DAC and headphone amplifier for incredible audio performance in a portable design and is the perfect intro to computer audio transition.

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Product Description

The Audioengine D3 Premium 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) enables you to bypass and improves the quality of your computer’s headphone output and send music directly through a USB port for noticeably improved fidelity and higher output. To obtain such a powerful yet portable converter with performance and features you’d have to search for more expensive DACs. D3 is the perfect interface between your computer and headphones or any music system.

Easy Setup

The set-up takes seconds. It’s pretty much plug-and-play with no software needed. On a Mac, you’ll need to switch the audio preferences to use the D3 as the output instead of the internal speakers, but that’s it. The D3 plugs directly into a USB port on your computer, so no external power supply or cables are needed. The output of the D3 connects to headphones, Audioengine powered speakers or any audio system. With a sample rate indicator that shows sample rates above 48K, you will know easily when you’re getting the most out of your HD music.


The quality of most computer headphone outputs isn’t very inspiring, but thanks to this piece of genius, the D3 provides a far better option for streaming audio from your computer’s USB port and directly connecting to your music system or headphones. It’s the perfect way to get great-sounding music not only from your computer to headphones but also from your computer to any music system.

The most immediately obvious thing the D3 is going to do for most laptops and computers is boost the signal. Simply put, the maximum volume you’ll be able to achieve with the D3’s output will likely significantly exceed the max volume of your laptop’s headphone output (or USB output, if that’s what you typically use). But using a D3 is not about blasting sound to your ears alone. Good things happen to well-made headphones, earphones, and speakers when they get a more pure, powerful signal.

Designed For the Headphone Enthusiast

Processing digital audio at any bit depth up to 24 bits and any native sample rate to 96KHz, D3 is up to the task. D3 has high signal-to-noise ratio, low distortion and delivers sound quality heard only in more expensive DACs. This high-performance headphone amplifier was designed for a wide range of headphones and will satisfy even the most demanding headphone enthusiast with its high output and revealing sound. On the face of the dongle, which has a brushed metallic surface, are two status LEDs—one tells you whether it’s receiving power and the other lights blue indicate when you’re receiving a signal with a sample rate higher than 48 kHz. The D3 can be used with headphones and earphones with an impedance of 12 Ohms and up.

See and Hear the Difference

Clad in an aluminum case which is held together by the tiniest of bolts, the D3 looks and feels like a solid little unit with a robust case that resists any attempts to flex it out of shape. A unique product that reaffirms Audioengine’s commitment to great sound, high-quality components and audio fidelity at affordable prices. The Audioengine D3 continues to close the gap between your computer music and home hi-fi, and even if you’re not an audio enthusiast, we guarantee your music will sound better.


All products we sell have a 1-year Limited Warranty on parts and labour from date of purchase, except for Audioengine products which have a 3-year Limited Warranty on parts and labour from date of purchase.

Your warranty is automatic, so there is no need to register.  

This Limited Warranty applies only to products purchased directly from NZ Audio in New Zealand.  

What is covered

All defective parts or faulty workmanship.

What is not covered

The NZ Audio Warranty does not cover damage caused by accident, misuse, abuse, neglect, excessive moisture, lightning, power surges, other acts of nature, unauthorized product modification or repairs, or failure to follow the instructions provided or available.

What we will do

We will repair or replace any defective parts, at our option, within a reasonable amount of time and free of charge any time during the warranty period. After service, we will be responsible for shipping the product back to you at our expense within New Zealand.

What we ask from you

You will be responsible for shipping or transportation charges directly to NZ Audio at your expense and for providing proof of purchase. We recommend that you keep your proof of purchase and the original shipping materials, as it is important that you package the product so that it will not be damaged during shipping. NZ Audio cannot be responsible for any damages incurred during shipping due to poor packing, so please pack well and insure your shipment.

How to obtain NZ Audio Warranty Service

If you have any questions about your warranty coverage or you think you may need service, please email us. We will do everything we can to answer your questions and resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

Exclusive Remedy

This Limited Warranty is fully transferable provided that the current owner furnishes the original proof of purchase and that the serial number on the product is intact. THE MAXIMUM LIABILITY OF NZ AUDIO SHALL NOT EXCEED THE ACTUAL PURCHASE PRICE PAID BY YOU FOR THE PRODUCT. IN NO EVENT SHALL NZ AUDIO BE LIABLE FOR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR INDIRECT DAMAGES.

Highet Agencies Ltd trading as NZ Audio.

Christchurch, New Zealand.

August 2017.



“Contrasting the D3 to the Cambridge Audio DAC MagicXS, the HRT MicroStreamer, and the DragonFly…, the D3 was warmer, and musical to our ears, non-fatiguing, and consistently enjoyable.”
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“There is so much to like about the D3; the solid construction, tight fit, and most of all, a comfortable musicality.”
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S&V “Top Pick of the Year” – “If you’re looking for the easiest, cheapest way to make computer audio sound great through headphones, this is it.”
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“It’s hard not to be impressed by the D3. It’s small. It’s done up in brushed aluminum. It’s powerful.”
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“More than enough power for most cans and high impedance headphones and a nice analog natural sound that really made the old classics sound authentic and appealing.”
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“I don’t care for ‘Best of the Year’ awards but if pushed, I’d have to give this one for most value.”
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“Virtually the same size as the Audioquest DragonFly, (D3) is just as convenient and sounds better…”
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“The D3 sounds amazing. The main selling point is its portability and it knocks that out of the park.”
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“The D3 DAC did exactly what it’s supposed to do – make digital audio sound great. At $189, the D3 DAC is a must-have…”
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“…the performance of the D3 is exceptional given its diminutive size and power output that can drive almost any headphone out there.”
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“The Audioengine D3 isn’t the cheapest DAC you can get, but it offers very good audio performance in a very refined package.”
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“This affordable component can radically upgrade your computer’s sound quality.”
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“Right out of the box, the Audioengine D3 delivered a big, bold, pleasantly forward sound.”


“What does set the D3 apart from the competition is the sound. I found the Audioengine to sound terrific…”
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The D3 wins TUAW Editor’s Choice awards for Best Mac Accessory
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“…the Audioengine D3 is about the size of a thumb drive, plus in via USB, and makes your system sounds like it just had a major upgrade.”
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“Audioengine has hit their mark with the D3. A good price, great delivery and well kempt sound quality round out the tiny package for the computer desktop junkie and budget audiophile alike.”
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“…the Audioengine D3 can be a solid addition to your audio arsenal.”
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“…the Audioengine D3 produces the best sound of any of the mini-DACs I’ve heard to date. It’s easy to carry everywhere in the tiny pouch that comes with it, and the price is no higher than many DACs that don’t sound as good. Highly recommended!”
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“If you want the best quality from your digital files, the Audioengine D3 is worth serious consideration.”
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DAC type

USB audio

D/A converter

USB transfer mode
Asynchronous dual clock

USB controller

USB device class
Type 1.1 or above

Input bit depth
16 bit, 24 bit (upsampled to 24 bit)

Input sample rate
48.1kHz-96kHz native playback
188.2kHz & 192kHz re-sampled to 96kHz

Analog 3.5mm mini-jack stereo

Full-scale output level
2.0V RMS

Output impedance
2 ohms

Recommended headphone impedance range
10 ohms to 10K ohms

Headphone amplifier

Frequency response
10Hz-25KHz (+/- 0.5dB)

(DC to 20kHz) >110dB

(1kHz FS 96kS/s) <0.002%


Power requirement
USB 5V DC, 200mA

USB power filtering
2-stage redundant regulation

Product dimensions
2.5×0.75×0.375″ (65x20x10mm)

Shipping weight
1.0lbs (0.5kg)

Operating Temperature: 32 to 95 degrees F
Non-operating Temp: -4 to 113 degrees F
Relative Humidity: 5% to 95% non-condensing

Included accessories
1/8″ to 1/4” adapter cable
Setup guide
Product case

D3 Internal Converter
The heart of the D3 is the AK4396 DAC, which is well-regarded for its low noise and high fidelity. Due to the high signal-to-noise specs of the AK4396 and the added benefit of double redundancy power source conversion and filtering, the D3 presents impressive low noise and low distortion characteristics. The D3 can process digital audio at any bit depth up to 24 bits and any sample rate up to 192kHz. D3 pads (upsamples) all bit depths internally to 24-bits, thus achieving a higher signal-to-noise ratio.

D3 Headphone Amplifier
The D3 contains a high-performance headphone amplifier based on the LME49726 low-noise opamp. This amp is able to provide low-impedance, high-fidelity audio and a 2-volt output which easily drives a wide range of headphones, satisfying even the most demanding headphone enthusiasts. The D3’s relay-controlled stereo output can also be connected to any system with an analog audio input, such as Audioengine powered speakers.

D3 Power
The D3 is powered directly from the USB bus and power is passed through two stages of regulation to ensure no USB bus power variations affect the audio quality. This low-noise, low-ripple power supply is located on a separate circuit board for extra isolation and thermal management.

D3 Volume Control
Volume is controlled from the computer’s OS and is implemented in the D3 as a digitally-controlled analog volume control.


Portable USB audio converter for Mac or PC
Stream bit-perfect native 24/96 HD audio
High-performance headphone amp included
Plug-and-play, no drivers or software to install
Connect headphones or any music system
Easily drives low impedance headphones
Computer OS volume control
Asynchronous data transfer with dual master clocks
HD indicator for sample rates above 48K
Metal injection molded (MIM) aluminum case

Any computer, Mac or PC
Powered speakers
Any music system with audio inputs (RCA or minijack)

Carry case
1/4” headphone adapter cable
Setup guide
Product line brochure