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AD1856N-K vs AD1851N-J

I'm working with a DIY design involving AD1856N-K DACs with analogue supply voltages set at +/- 12V

I have now learned that AD1851N-J exists (perhaps I may need to order new old stock). I realise that I will need to reduce the supply voltage to +/- 5V

My question is which of these DAC arrangements  will yield better (more hifi) performance? I find the datasheet statistics a little confusing and contradictory, including Analog's data lookup table.

Can somebody please walk me through understanding which DAC is better in terms of 'sound quality'?

Thank you


  • Hi Matthew,

    It looks like you've run into a problem where we have two different generations of datasheets for these two parts, making direct comparison difficult! Based on the available information about these two parts, the AD1856 appears to perform better at higher volumes (with a THD+N figure about 3-6dB better than the AD1851). At lower volumes (-60dB input), however, the roles reverse, and the AD1851 performs about 6dB better.

    So, as far as which one provides a more "hifi" sound? They're pretty close, so it would really come down to personal taste. The two parts are pin-compatible, so I would recommend sampling both, and seeing which sound fits your application better in the same system, then going from there.

    Best regards,


  • Thanks for the reply TylerK. From looking at the specs I would agree with your interpretation. It now seems that my only choice is the AD1856 - this is for reasons of thermal management in my supply circuit. Good to have your opinion however.


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