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Please help, do I need a DAC?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I am planning to get the D1 Audioengine (DAC), my source is macbook and will use AKG K550 headphone. Will I notice any difference? Do I need a DAC?

 

I tried fiio E7 with T50P BUT no improvement at all, can anybody explain?

 

Do u recommend another DAC?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 13

No, you do not specifically need another DAC; the DAC on most Mac computers are reasonably good.

 

Is there any particular reason you are looking for a DAC?
 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post

No, you do not specifically need another DAC; the DAC on most Mac computers are reasonably good.

 

Is there any particular reason you are looking for a DAC?
 


No, but everybody says that laptops have bad DACs.

 

What about android devices (galaxy note), is there any DAC for it? All portable DACs seems to be designed for Apple stuff!!

post #4 of 13

I'm not sure about macs.

Personally, I found a big  difference between the on-board sound (thinkpad) vs odac.

Android devices support usb audio, atleast from android 4.1.

You can check if 4.0 supports it.

post #5 of 13

I would think that a DAC would be a nice upgrade. I could certainly hear a difference from putting a DAC between my iMac and speakers. The Audioengine D1 should help.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakAyla View Post

No, but everybody says that laptops have bad DACs.

 

What about android devices (galaxy note), is there any DAC for it? All portable DACs seems to be designed for Apple stuff!!

DAC, Digital to Analog Converter

PC laptops come with low cost DACs, apple products seem to come with a better DAC then what Win PC computers (& laptops) come with.

Is it possible to add an external DAC to the Macbook that improves the sound of the K550, yes.

How much do you need to spend? good question.

 

Portable DACs are designed to work with more then apple stuff.

post #7 of 13

you have discovered one of the big variables when it comes to using full size cans with computers and dac/amps.  Many of the headphone outs in laptops can sound pretty poor.  My 2008 White Macbook was truly awful via hp out on most of my full size cans.  And dac/amps that are outboard are no guarantee you will get even a smidge of improvement.

 

Best bet is to look at reviews for many of the lower cost dac/headphone amps and see if they use full size cans and the result.  Then I would try one of the ones that offers some sort of 30 day trial to be sure it works well with your headphones.  If not return and move on.

 

I reviewed one such dac/amp on my blog, fwiw

post #8 of 13

Yes, if you want to you full size, high impedance cans you require a quality source and amp.

Laptops generally have very low quality headphone outputs usually offering no amplification at all.

Not to mention the headphone out is tied to a low quality onboard chip

If you want to use higher impedance phones with a laptop, grab yourself a small DAC/amp and enjoy.

post #9 of 13

To answer your question, no, you don't need a DAC or an amp. If you decide to get one anyway, you may hear a difference and you may not depending on what you want to hear and what you think you should hear. If it's possible and you decide to get one, try to buy it from someone with a good return policy because after you hook it up and likely don't hear any difference, you'll want to be able to get your money back. 

post #10 of 13

Im thinking of getting the Audioengine D1. I have audioengine a2 speakers and also Harmon Kardon Soundsticks 2.

I also have Bose QC 15 Headphones(for travel) and will soon get the Vmoda M80's. 

I have a mid 2010 macbook pro. My question is "will the D1 improve the sound quality of my music and movies through the speakers? and also for the m80's and Bose headphones?"

 

Thinking of getting better cans in the future, but for now will the D1 show enough increase in the quality of sound to justify 

a purchase?

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

post #11 of 13

It seems getting a dac on mbp might not be a good idea because some claim that they have a good dac chip already. But what about getting an amp, will that benefit when listening from the mbp.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by halofreak View Post

Im thinking of getting the Audioengine D1. I have audioengine a2 speakers and also Harmon Kardon Soundsticks 2.

I also have Bose QC 15 Headphones(for travel) and will soon get the Vmoda M80's. 

I have a mid 2010 macbook pro. My question is "will the D1 improve the sound quality of my music and movies through the speakers? and also for the m80's and Bose headphones?"

 

Thinking of getting better cans in the future, but for now will the D1 show enough increase in the quality of sound to justify 

a purchase?

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

Its better to create a new thread rather than resurrect this old one.

Anyways, about your answer, its possible there'll be a change in the quality.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I'm not sure about macs.

Personally, I found a big  difference between the on-board sound (thinkpad) vs odac.

Android devices support usb audio, atleast from android 4.1.

You can check if 4.0 supports it.

So you're saying with the Android portion, usb audio with an amp/DAC is the best choice?

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