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Amp recommendation for computer music listening

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 



I want to buy a starter's headphone amp for hooking up with my PC.


I'd like it to be a DAC and headphone amp in one. I prefer an optical in, so I can hook it up to my sound card and have the gaming sound technologies of the sound card available through the amp (is this true? I guess so, but I'm not sure). It's a Creative Audigy 2 ZS, not that great, but hell of a lot better than on board sound and it had optical out.


The iBasso D10 is an option, but I have trouble finding a decently priced one. I'm not sure if I want to spend around $245 (their price on their site). I was hoping to find a DAC/AMP with optical in for around $150 or less, just a beginner's amp. That leaves me money to buy better cans, which is what you hear ultimately...


By the way: the portable feature the iBasso D10 is nice and I'd use it, but not necessary for what I want to use it for.


So basically my question is: what DAC/amps are there around with optical in (or are there other options for my wishes) with a bang for your buck price?

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

I found a nicely priced Emu 0404 USB. It has a DAC, headphone amp and optical in.


Does anybody own it? How do you like it and it's features?


And my question about EAX on my Creative Sound Card through optical out remains unanwered. :( I'd like to know if it would work together!

post #3 of 4

Emu 0404 usb looks interesting and would be interested in hearing more about it but really doubt if anyone owns it or experienced it here at headfier as of this date :)

post #4 of 4

I can't comment on the Emu 0404, but I have been using an Emu 1820M soundcard for the last 5 years. The headphone out on it isn't really all that bad!.


Compared to my last audio interface, the Wamirack192X, who's headphoen output was just god-aweful, couldn't drive my HD600 at all!.  With the Emu1820m the sound is a lot better, maybe just a tad bass-shy, but not by all that much.


I still prefer to drive my HD600 through the Earmax valve headphone amp which drives the low end better, but really the Emu's headphone out isn't all that far off really.

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