Originally Posted by kilgoretrout
It's good knowing that I'm not at the point of diminishing returns yet, but I still wonder the capabilities of my ears to distinguish the difference. In the ABX testing I've done on my computer, I fail to distinguish between lossless and a high quality mp3 (V0 and V2). I don't know if that shows that my ears aren't audiophile material or if my sound system isn't audiophile material.
I hadn't considered buying a dedicate source for use in conjunction with my headphones. Can I get by with my laptop's soundcard until I decide to upgrade?
I have Lossless and 192kbs MP3s of the same songs and I can barely tell the difference, if at all.
Anyone can tell the difference, my little bro (he's 8) can describe the differences between my Ipod as a source and my Keces DA-151.
So if an 8 year old can tell the difference, you will.
ABX testing isn't really a reliable way of testing audio stuff, it takes a while for your ears to get used to something.
Onto the other issue, does your laptop soundcard have a line out? If so you could get a Mini to RCA cable to connect it to your amp and it would work fine as an interim solution.
But getting a dedicated source and a dedicated amp is really the only way to go.
Believe me, I started out with ibuds, and I read about all this stuff and thought "These people are crazy!" but after you hear how well music can be produced by these systems, you know it's worth it.
Look at it this way, my Pinnacle Classic Gold Tower speakers, Minibox-E portable amp, SOHA home amp, Keces DA-151 USB DAC source, Ipod, Shure E4c IEMs, Beyer DT880s, assorted cables and my integrated speaker amp cost me around $1500.
My laptop cost $1500
This stuff is underpriced compared to what the rest of the electronics market is charging.