After many months of using my portable gear to enjoy the music, i've decided to set up my own "PC-audio" rig and i am deeply convinced that a DAC is the key. But there are some major concerns that must be clarified. Let's go then :>
1) My portable gear = Sony X + Sennheiser IE8. It's a good one. I really love it, especially the huge 3D soundstage imaging, and i wonder if a DAC could overtake the X in terms of overall SQ ( i'm going to use those IE8s, as well as my HD380Pros ). If so, which one would you recommend ( price range - up to 400$; been thinking of the NuForce Icon HDP and E-MU 0404 ) ?
PS: I used to convert all my music files to AAC ( bitrate - 400 ), since Sony players don't support FLAC format. Keep in mind, that if i had the possibility of using my PC as a source, i would use only FLAC files.
2) I've heard of various issues of unwanted sounds/noises linked with USB DACs. What's the most common cause ?
3) As you may know, the IE8s are low-impedance earbuds. Are there any problems which are more likely to be encountered when running them through a DAC w/ amp ?
Thanks in advance.