Meanwhile there are many devices without jack plug. Smartphones, tablets and laptops sometimes only have a USB type C connection. The analog 3.5 mm jack connector is slowly disappearing. However, with the Mobile DAC, Sharkoon would like to offer an inexpensive sound card which is connected to the USB Type C and also offers a jack connector as an interface. Thus existing headphones or microphones can be used on the new device without any problems. Our test report should clarify whether the sound card can actually convince.
The Mobile DAC from Sharkoon is only offered in one color version: Black. With the integrated button, you can switch between different sound profiles. To the technical details:
16 – 250 Ohm
|Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)||
|Sampling frequency||24 bit / 96 kHz|
|Connectivity||USB-C, 3.5 mm line-in (TRRS)|
|Price||Price not available *|
Scope of delivery
The sound card arrives at our premises in a packaging typical for the class. Except for some accompanying booklets there are no other accessories.
Design and workmanship
The sound card is almost completely in black. The cable is deliberately kept relatively short at 9 cm. This belongs rather to the somewhat thinner type, and is therefore flexible. However, the transitions to the connectors appear stable. The button on the USB type C port is easy to press.
Overall, the Mobile DAC from Sharkoon makes a good first impression.
Operation and functions
The button integrated into the USB type C port switches between the four fixed sound profiles of the sound card.
You can choose between the following four sound profiles:
- Linear (no adjustment)
- depth and height occupied
To judge the sound quality, several pieces from different genres were listened to on Spotify at the highest quality (320 kb/s). We also tested the sound card in movies and games with different devices.
The linear sound profile was particularly convincing in our test. The playback is done without noise. Compared to normal USB type C to jack adapters, the Mobile DAC from Sharkoon sounds louder with the same volume setting of the playback device. The audio quality has neither deteriorated nor improved in our test cases.
The Mobile DAC from Sharkoon also offers the option of connecting a microphone. In our test, a Modmic V5 (TRS connection) was connected to a Windows PC. However, in this setup, an additional adapter (TRS to TRS jack) is also required between the sound card and the microphone.
Again, it is immediately noticeable that the volume of the recording is higher than with simple adapters. An influence on the audio quality could not be detected here either.
Conclusion on the Sharkoon Mobile DAC
We have reached the end of the test of the Sharkoon Mobile DAC. Is the sound card now recommended or not?
In summary, with the Mobile DAC the buyer receives a well manufactured product without any real weaknesses. The limited cable length and the fixed sound profiles were presumably chosen deliberately, but limit the flexibility of the Mobile DAC. However, those who only need an adapter which ideally increases the volume of the recording or playback will get exactly what they’re looking for with the Sharkoon Mobile DAC*.