The Modi twins are two tiny DACs that really deliver. Whether you want better sound from your computer, TV, streamer, tablet, CD player, or many other sources, Modi 3+ delivers. Or, choose Modi Multibit—the most affordable member of the Schiit Multibit DAC family.
Modi 3+: All The DAC You Need
Plug Modi 3+ into any virtually any computer or streamer and you’re ready to go, complete with the best USB interface available: Schiit’s own Unison USB™. Or, choose an optical or coaxial digital source with the included wall power supply. Or connect to your phones and tablets that need a low-power-draw device, again using the wall power supply. Modi 3+ accepts pretty much any input you can throw at it!
Modi Multibit: The Most Affordable True Multibit™ DAC
Modi Multibit is the most affordable multibit DAC with a modern architecture—from any manufacturer, from any country in the world. Featuring Schiit’s unique digital filter, and using the Analog Devices AD5547 multibit DAC, Modi Multibit smashes the high-price barrier in multibit DACs. Like Modi 3, Modi Multibit accepts USB, optical, and coaxial digital inputs.
Need Volume Control? No Problem.
If you’re using headphones, just add a Magni for adjustable volume via its preamp outputs. No headphones? Just add a SYS Passive Preamp for analog volume control.
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California» this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Modi 3+ and Modi Multibit—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal.
Holy crap, a do-all Modi 3+
Yes. But that’s not all. It also includes our own USB interface, Unison USB™. And it’s also the most versatile Modi we’ve ever made. Aaaaand it also comes with a cable and a wall power supply.
And a True Multibit™ DAC
Yep, Modi Multibit is the least expensive multibit DAC based on a modern platform—from any manufacturer, anywhere. We’re pretty proud of it. It’s got a whole lot of technology packed into it, from its DSP-based digital filter to the unique-to-audio AD5547 D/A converter. And, it has a 100% linear power supply, 100% standard.
So, you’re saying you plug these in and you’re ready to go?
Pretty much. Both Modis can be used with virtually any computer with no drivers: Windows, Mac, or Linux distros that support UAC 2.0. Some older Windows machines may need a driver, which are provided for Modi Multibit at schiit.com/drivers. (Modi 3+ does not offer drivers for older versions of Windows.) You can also use both Modis with phones and tablets, as well as most Intel Chromebooks.
- Modi 3+ makes using phones and tablets easier, though, because if you use the provided wall-wart and USB cable into its external power port, it will avoid the dreaded “draws too much power” error.
- Modi Multibit may need an external hub or a powered Apple cable to avoid the “draws too much power” error.
What’s the difference between Modi 3+ and Modi Multibit?
Lots. Let’s break it down:
- Control: Modi 3+ uses a toggle switch to select inputs, Modi Multibit has a pushbutton with LED indication.
- D/A Converter: Modi 3+ uses the AKM AK4490 DAC, a respected delta-sigma DAC. Modi Multibit uses the AD5547, a unique-to-audio multibit DAC.
- Digital Filter: Modi 3+ uses the digital filter embedded into the AK4490 DAC, while the Modi Multibit features our own unique closed-form digital filter implemented on an Analog Devices SHARC DSP.
- Analog Section: Modi 3+ uses the OPA1662 op-amp and is DC-coupled, Modi Multibit uses the AD8512 and discrete JFET buffers and is DC-coupled with a DC servo.
- Power Supply: Modi 3+ is powered by USB and uses a switching power supply. Modi Multibit has a linear power supply and wall-wart.
- Miscellaneous: Modi 3+ ships with a USB to Micro USB cable and a universal 5V USB wall adapter, Modi Multibit ships only with a 16VAC wall-wart (no cables)
Hey, wait, your «universal» wall adapter for Modi 3 has a US plug on it. What if I need a Europlug/UK Plug/Australian Plug/Martian/Borg/Uninsulated Victorian/Alternate Timeline Edison DC Plug?
The wall adapter is universal in the sense that you can plug it into pretty much any common AC wall voltage–100V to 240V–and it will (a) not self-immolate, and (b) provide 5V out of a USB connector. It does have a US/Japan style plug, but you can use a plug adapter and plug it in pretty much anywhere. Or you can use any 5V-out USB wall adapter you have handy. Or a battery pack. Or a computer.
Wow, so what’s the catch with Modi 3+? It seems too good to be true.
The catch is you don’t get the fancy button and LEDs of the Modi Multibit. You also don’t get the DSP-based digital filter, or the AD5547 DAC. You also lose the linear power supply for a switcher.
I thought you hated switching power supplies!
We’ve said we would never use one where we didn’t need to. In this case, to hit the performance and price we were looking for, it needed a switcher. Don’t worry. It’s a very nice switcher.
Well, I’m gonna get me a fancy-shmantzy linear power supply and plug it into the back your Modi 3, what do you think about that?
We think you’re a little strange, because the output of that fancy power supply is going into a switcher, anyway. But if it makes you happy, we’re not going to stop you. Nor will we try to sell you such a power supply.
Well, let’s change the subject to Modi Multibit. It looks like it doesn’t measure as well as Modi 3, is that right?
Right. If you’re looking at standard performance metrics for steady-state signals, delta-sigma DACs will measure better than Multibit. If you’re looking for measurements, Modi 3 is your DAC.
But you think the Modi Multibit sounds better?
You guys are a little touched in the head, aren’t you?
But I don’t get why you’d want to have a worse-measuring product—
Let us cut you off right there, because we know how this argument goes. And goes. And goes. And keeps on going. Here’s the deal: we are free to believe what we want. So are you. If your belief system leads you to devices that perform well by standard metrics, cool. If not, that’s also cool. There’s room for both viewpoints. Look up “Schiit Happened, The Objectivist/Subjectivist Synthesis.” And even then you may think we’re entirely full of it. And that’s cool.
So what platforms does your USB input support?
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your USB input?” since both of our USB inputs (C-Media and Unison USB) are 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:
- Windows. Windows 10 is highly recommended. It is usually plug and play with our DACs. Windows 7 and 8 will work with Modi Multibit only, but will need drivers that are available at schiit.com/drivers. Windows XP, Vista, and Windows Server editions are all untested and are not recommended.
- Mac OSX. From 10.7 on up, Macs have been plug and play with Modi Multibit. From 10.10 on up, you’re good to go with Unison USB on Modi 3+. This now includes Mac OS 11.
- iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices work with our DACs using a USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, or Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter.
- Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above work with our DACs using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro.
- Linux. Most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play with our DACs. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.
- Roon. Roon recognizes our products and is plug and play.
- Most streamers. Most streamers are Linux-based, so they have no problem with our USB input.
What’s so special about Unison USB?
It’s a very good USB interface designed to do a single thing well: to interface seamlessly with modern UAC2-compliant devices. There’s no stuff in it for DSD or MQA. It doesn’t have drivers for now-obsolete Windows platforms. It’s really just for getting PCM audio (still over 99% of all files) from your streamer or computer to this DAC.
Yes. Well, some people think Unison USB sounds very good, too.
But how can a USB interface sound different?
Yeah, we hear you. No pun intended.
I want a combined DAC/amp! Why didn’t you put an amp in here?
We did. They’re just in different chassis and costs another $99-149. They’re called “Magni 3” and “Vali 2+.” The latter of which even gives you a tube! Now you have options, instead of a single boring, soon-to-be-obsolete combo box.
If Modis are so great, why would I step up to Bifrost or Gungnir or Yggdrasil?
Because you want something big enough to hold down the curling veneer on the fake-bark stereo rack you got on sale at K-Mart in 1979. Or because you want even higher performance. Or upgradability. Modis aren’t upgradable.
But I heard from a dude on the intarwebs all DACs sound the same! You’re bullshitting us!
If it’s your experience that all DACs sound the same, that’s cool. There’s a DAC in your iPhone or Android phone, so you can use that one and save even more cash.