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Headphone DACS for price point

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've tried finding the proper comparison of the two, but I can't seem to find a decisive answer.

Which will work better for a desktop DAC at the 100-200$ price point.

I've been looking at the HRT Music Streamer II and the FIIO E17. If I am able to use the SPDIF capabilities of my PC, the FIIO E17 claims to have a better sampling rate (192K/24bit [SPDIF]) on top of a better SNR. My intentions are to couple this with high bitrate audio.

But, the "pre-"amplification of a AMP/DAC combo with a line out to a dedicated Amp, even at 0db could have drawbacks? My question pertains to this scenario, which is better? Or is there a third option I haven't even noticed.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been able to dig up one reply from someone who hasn't actually heard both here.

I don't know how decisive an answer this could be when it comes to chips, but I will take it for what it's worth and avoid more threads.

If anyone can delete this, please do since I can't figure out how.

post #3 of 10

Your initial post may need some clarification to get some meaningful responses.  You say your pc has spdif out, is that optical, coax, or bnc, and is it via a soundcard or integrated audio card?  Is is a laptop or desktop that can take a pci e soundcard?  You mentioned 24/192, do you have any 24/192 files or will  you be upsampling, and via what software and with what native rate files.

 

Most of the specs for dacs or soundcards in the $100 $200 range are not so important, and most lower priced dacs sound pretty thin compared to their more expensive big brothers, but there are exceptions.  

 

And not sure what you mean about pre out of an amp dac combo, can you clarify your thoughts.  I am sure you will get some responses and opinions once you do.

 

cheers

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks,

You brought up some great points and I looked into answering your questions and think I've answered my own concerns. If it's true that the Music Streamer is more transparent, I think that would be my greatest concern if they are near equal competitors in this price category.

 

 

Quote:
And not sure what you mean about pre out of an amp dac combo, can you clarify your thoughts.  I am sure you will get some responses and opinions once you do.

As for this I was concerned with whether the amplification provided by the e17 should be a concern when coupled with a different amplifier, even when set to the appropriate volume to do more DAC conversion rather than messing with volume or gain (my terminology might be way off here).

 

Edit: It's a desktop so portability is of no concern.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by coltello View Post

Hey thanks,

You brought up some great points and I looked into answering your questions and think I've answered my own concerns. If it's true that the Music Streamer is more transparent, I think that would be my greatest concern if they are near equal competitors in this price category.

 

 

As for this I was concerned with whether the amplification provided by the e17 should be a concern when coupled with a different amplifier, even when set to the appropriate volume to do more DAC conversion rather than messing with volume or gain (my terminology might be way off here).

 

Edit: It's a desktop so portability is of no concern.

Yes it should be a concern because there is no line out that I can see on the e17, just headphone out.  Running that into another amp will surely degrade the sound.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, is it safe to assume that the Music Streamer is the best transparent option I can get, or is there a different DAC I've completely overlooked?
 

post #7 of 10

sorry you have lost me completely?

 

What happened to spdif out?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've looked up the specifications for my soundcard and it doesn't support that high of a sampling rate, so I've dropped the idea - for now.
 

post #9 of 10
I think his SPIDF is the output on his desktop, and input on the DAC. Our am I off the mark?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by caableguy View Post

I think his SPIDF is the output on his desktop, and input on the DAC. Our am I off the mark?
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

 



Yeah it was wishful thinking, but I'm just going to skip all the confusing technicals here and just go for what should hit the headphones the best.

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