Everyone knows that the Samsung dropped the 3.5 mm headphone jack in the Galaxy Note 10, but did you know they also dropped the DAC too?
In this article, we will explain why the missing DAC is so important, and what all Galaxy Note 10 users should be aware of before they purchase any USB-C earphones or dongle.
What Is A DAC?
Generally, a DAC, short for Digital-to-Analog Converter, is a chip that converts digital signals into analog signals.
In smartphones, a DAC is used to convert the digital audio data into analog audio signals that are transmitted to the speakers or earphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Not Have A DAC?
When a smartphone designer removes the 3.5 mm audio jack, it opens up two possibilities :
- keep the DAC to support any USB-C dongle or earphones the user may want to use
- remove the DAC to save space and cost, and add it to the USB-C dongle instead
Samsung chose option B, so the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 lacks a DAC for audio conversion.
So What If The Galaxy Note 10 Does Not Have A DAC?
Regular 3.5 mm earphones are passive – that means they rely on the DAC of your smartphone and music player to convert the digital signals.
They will NOT work with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, unless you use a USB-C to 3.5 mm dongle with a built-in DAC.
If you try using passive earphones and a passive USB-C dongle with your Galaxy Note 10, you will get a message that the dongle is not supported, and the audio will play through the speakers instead.
Who Cares? It’s Time To Upgrade To USB-C Earphones!
That may be true, but did you know that quite a few USB-C earphones are passive too, and lack a built-in DAC? These USB-C earphones will NOT work with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 comes with a nice pair of AKG-tuned active USB-C earphones.
Best of all, these AKG earphones will work with all USB-C smartphones and music players, because it has a built-in DAC!
What About External Microphones?
Those who use an external 3.5 mm microphone to improve the quality of their audio recording should take note too.
The lack of a DAC means you need a DAC-enabled dongle to record audio. Anything else, and you will end up with silence.
So Which Dongle Should I Buy For The Galaxy Note 10?
Samsung obviously would prefer you to buy their USB-C Headphone Jack Adaptor, which will provide “Ultra High Quality Audio by converting digital files to analog (up to 24-bit / 192 kHz)“.
However, it costs a pretty penny, with a recommended retail price of $14.99 / £10 / ~A$ 21.99 / ~RM 62.99.
If you prefer to purchase a third-party USB-C headphone jack adaptor for less, make sure it comes with a DAC.
- USB-C Adaptors with DAC : United States | United Kingdom | Australia | Malaysia
What Earphones Should I Buy For The Galaxy Note 10?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 already comes with a really good pair of AKG-tuned active earphones. But in case you need another pair, make sure they are active earphones (with their own DAC) :
- USB-C Earphones with DAC : United States | United Kingdom | Australia | Malaysia
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