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What's with these two trends: Everything portable and DAC + AMP in one box these days?! - Page 3

post #31 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
I was once that way but my therapy finally paid off...that's why I just have one portable amp now and not six.
Yeah, I think I am at the point where soon I'll part with a few of my portables, and keep the just the Predator, Pico and Headsix for mobile and bedroom laptop to Woo Amp, and the HR McroStack for the kitchen iMac. The Pico will double as the DAC for my basement headphone rig to feed my Darkvoice 336i. (that means the Lyrix, D1, D2, Super Macro 3, and Caffeine should all go bye bye later, as my therapy progresses - I have identified and acknowledged the problem, chosen the victims, and now just have to round up the willpower to cut the umbilical cord to these cute gadgets and marvels).
post #32 of 106
If you use a laptop and move around a lot, the Pico or the Predator is the kind of equipment you write about in your wish lists to Santa Claus. Things always get smaller and people move around more, so the trend seems very normal and quite welcome to me.

Also, by adding an amp to the Pico, you're taking the load of the amp and effectively eliminating all or most of the distortion that the Pico's internal headphone amp generates. In the case of adding a superior amp, that's a good thing.

I have yet to receive my Pico buy judging by how much I used the HPDAC (a DIY USB DAC / PINT effort), I'm sure it's going to be a winner.
post #33 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnero View Post
I don’t believe everything that is “documented” either but the people who have “documented” what I stated are fairly experienced and well respected members. A quick search revealed a few…

And from the designer himself

I believe there’s plenty more “documentation” by experienced members and builders who have either tried it as a standalone or use it as one on a regular basis. Again, I don’t have much electronics experience but there’s has been plenty of talk about using the Pico as a standalone with variable output and you’re the first I’ve seen to refute the feasibility of it that I’ve seen.
Uhm... what did you expect the designer to say? As I said in my first post, I don't want to get into a discussion whether one particular product is worth it or not. I'm simply disturbed by where this trend of DAC+Amp is going and think that people are starting to buy portable amps because they have DACs in them which leads a large market of amp-only devices (which may or may not be better) to be left behind or be forced to add a DAC as well which is unfortunately useless to some of us who don't need portable DACs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
Good practice or not, it sounds better used as a dac with a good amp than it does with it's own amp. It also sounds better than any other dac in the same price category or lower, so wtf. It's not ideal, but it's very very good.

I HAVE personally spent time with the pico in direct comparison with the apogee minidac, the apogee duet, and the dac in my luxman integrated amp. It is no slouch.
Like I said, the DAC in the Pico is fantastic, at least on paper, I'm not in any position to argue for or against it, and that is why thus far I have not. Like I said right above, I don't want to debate whether a certain product is worth it or not.
post #34 of 106
Unthinkable that people may actually want to buy amps with built-in DACs. Crazy and disturbing indeed.

In the end non-DAC amps will be either annihilated or assimilated, i.e. equipped with an DAC against their volition. Resistance is futile.
post #35 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag0n View Post
I love small portable amps though. I collect them. Theyre just fun little gadgets and im a gadget freek. I buy them to hear them and compare, and just "to have" .
X2 I also love the smaller easy to take on the go portables.I have several.
I may settle on just keeping two,or three,and selling the rest.Too many are a waste.
post #36 of 106
Simple fact of the matter for me is that I have DAPs and laptops plus home and office setups. I have no need of a standalone portable amp, but a USB dac/amp is another matter altogether, and as I'm far more likely to have a laptop with me than a DAP it makes perfect sense to have one.

I still can't figure out what it is you're so concerned about. There will always be a market for standalone portable amps, there is also a growing market for combos as laptops get smaller and battery life increases. If people buy them for the wrong reason, or are following a fad, I really don't care. It's not like these forums aren't full of stuff to inform yourself with and I have no pity. Makers are getting in to it as it's a market previously unexplored to any great extent and miniaturization is making it a more practical and affordable proposition.

My whole PC fits in to my back pocket but doesn't have a very powerful headphone output. I don't want to just amp my headphone socket so these are useful for both providing (potentially) better quality output and more power. Which is precisely what they are designed for. If you don't use a laptop with USB buy something else. Pretty simple really.

I don't think you need to worry about global amp extinction just yet. I feel sure they can co-habit for a good while.
post #37 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
But, many people who can only afford one rig will choose portable because it can be used anywhere, while they can't take a home rig with them everywhere. I think economics is a major factor driving the trend to go all in one portable.

I could not agree more; some people here do not have the luxury of money to get one rig for portable and another one for home/desktop use.
post #38 of 106
I agree with elnero. I am getting a Pico because the DAC section compares to standalone DACs in higher price range, and comes with an added perk of high quality output stage. If Pico is used as a source for another amp, it's not delivering a lot of current so it can perform at almost ideal levels.

There are affordable and small DACs like the Alien DAC that have good sound quality but my guess is that people who would have bought the Alien DAC think that the added bulk of a separate portable amp reduces the portability of their system.

So, in response to your original question, portable amps are obviously useful for people who use portable players, and the DAC+Amp combo is popular because of transportability and the fact that the performance of the DAC sections is on par with more expensive standalone versions.

I also think you're observation shows that people are spending less time doing focused music listening at home, and listen more on the go or as a background to work-related activities. Thus absolute fidelity may take a backseat to convenience.
post #39 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
Uhm... what did you expect the designer to say?
I would expect the designer to be honest, it's not really in his long term interest to state his product is capable of doing something it's not, after all, it's not like it's an advertised feature or a particular design goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
As I said in my first post, I don't want to get into a discussion whether one particular product is worth it or not.
In reply to the question you asked I simply stated my reasons for using such a product, you were the one that started this particular line of discussion, not me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
I'm simply disturbed by where this trend of DAC+Amp is going and think that people are starting to buy portable amps because they have DACs in them which leads a large market of amp-only devices (which may or may not be better) to be left behind or be forced to add a DAC as well which is unfortunately useless to some of us who don't need portable DACs.
I don't get this at all, it seems like because you don't have a use for such a device you're afraid of them and the popularity they've garnered. It's reminiscent of people being afraid radio would become obsolete when TV's were introduced.

The simple fact is the reason amp/DAC combos have become so popular is because they allow greater flexibility, most can still be used as an amp only with a DAP or other line out source but the DAC adds greater flexibility to users with access to a computer or laptop who are on the go, limited by space and/or budget or who want an easily transportable rig for work.
post #40 of 106
This same type of discussion can be used in relation to IEMs vs. headphones. Might as well complain about all the people getting IEMs even though they sound worse than full sized cans.

Or... you can complain about how speakers are better than headphones and people shouldn't get headphones.

The point is moot once you consider that there are trade-offs with portable equipment. Many of us like DAC + Amp in a portable box because we don't have time to sit at the home rig for dedicated listening. But I agree that newer doesn't necessarily mean better, but it is usually the case.
post #41 of 106
It was covered in Boomana's thread that some people, like me, can't do much listening at home. I bought my UE9 primarily as a semi-portable headphone since it folds up, and a Pico to use with an EeePC. It might not be the best financial spread, but it fits my needs perfectly. I will continue to buy/sell my portable equipment when better AMP+DAC, or maybe in the future, audiophile quality AMP+DAC+Portable source -in-a-box comes out.
post #42 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
This same type of discussion can be used in relation to IEMs vs. headphones. Might as well complain about all the people getting IEMs even though they sound worse than full sized cans.
My iems sound better than most full-sized cans.
post #43 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
My iems sound better than most full-sized cans.
I doubt they sound as good as a comparably priced open can setup. The airiness, sound stage, and imaging are simply not the same. I'm guessing you have UE11s, and I don't think they custom make their own drivers, and the company that makes off the shelf drivers don't concentrate on the audiophileness of their drivers
post #44 of 106
I think the mentality is that some people here thinks as an analogy that this is a mercedes benz forum, and when inferior comapnies like hyundai is making cars to copy the luxuriousness of the benz, they get upset.
post #45 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
I doubt they sound as good as a comparably priced open can setup. The airiness, sound stage, and imaging are simply not the same. I'm guessing you have UE11s, and I don't think they custom make their own drivers, and the company that makes off the shelf drivers don't concentrate on the audiophileness of their drivers

My UE-10s compare favorably with similarly priced open cans. Are they better? Not necessarily. Better than some, not as good as some, and just about even with others. But certainly they are far better than many other full-sized cans across the price spectrum.

Have you heard any UE customs?
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