Originally Posted by mac336
I'm currently listening to my HE-500s through a bifrost. Was looking to possibly upgrade the DAC (1000 budget). I was looking at dacs such as benchmark and apogee.
I have no qualms with my current setup, but I'm curious to see how a better DAC will improve the sound, or if I will even be able to notice an improvement at all.
If your current DAC measures well then it's unlikely you'll notice any difference. Sometimes there can be a little less noise but that's all.
The problem with the bifrost is that the manufacturer hasn't the best design rep. So I would really be looking to make sure it has good measurements before sticking with it.
In anycase there is a decent DAC that has well established 3rd party measurements going for $30. The Behringer UCA202. Anything beyond it is going to be in the diminishing returns/inaudible improvement bracket. If you really need something more sophisticated (and much better looking; it looks like a turd) then it would at least make a cheap method of comparison to a good DAC. It has high output impedance, however, so an amp is a must for most phones.