Tom's Hardware is blind testing DACs, and the results are not exactly encouraging for audiophiles.
I can't say I've been able to distinguish between DACs in the moderate to high price range, and that the amplifier and speakers have a lot more impact on the sound.
Still, would you say they are missing something? Mixers in the operating system? I have, to my great astonishment, definitely heard sound quality differences just by changing the ethernet adapter settings in RuneAudio. Although I'm not always sure if the changes are improvements or not, they are clearly audible.
I've repeatedly said that I don't for a moment believe that good sound has to cost a fortune, but these results are puzzling. It's on a different level from gold plated optical cables, boutique capacitors (look at the £ 1,750.00 CAP-7860 at the very end) and isolator bases (with Enigma bullets, no less) to put under your equipment. And not to forget, Brilliant Pebbles and Cable Elevators for huge improvements in detail, focus and dynamics.