So, seems like I'll be getting some money from an undergrad fellowship. It's not much, but still am really excited about it cause it's basically like a scholarship and my professors are starting to take notice of me.
Anyway, I have the Envy 17 laptop. The on-board sound is decent and it's much touted "Beats Audio" is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Really, all it does is max out the bass setting in the Windows 7 audio settings panel.
Now for what I am looking for in a portable amp.
- USB in
- SPDIF out
- Headphone out
- Line in/out
I'm looking to spend around $100, but can go to $150. I currently have the UE Triplefi 10. I can already easily drive them with my laptop, but then again the on-board audio suffers from hissing and distortion. I will go for a nice pair of cans in the future once I get some grad school funding/salary.
I've considered the nuforce USB dac and the Fiio E7, but they don't have everything I want. I am leaning towards getting the E7 but that's because I can then use it with my iPhone 4. If it's not possible to have the SPDIF out capability, then please recommend a device I can use to optically or coaxially output Dolby and DST (mainly for watching movie using my parent's really nice sound system).