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Question regarding reviews/impression of DAC/Head Amps

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

After researching which DAC to get for my Imac 27" iv noticed that just about any entry level DAC (in the 200-350USD) review is primarily referring to the SQ with headphones. 


I personally will use my DAC (Audinst HUD MX1, which will arrive today yay!) with my PC speakers, as i only own a pair of cheap Sennheiser HD201. While i do plan to buy a pair of Sony MDR ZX700 i will only use them during the night when i work as to not disturb my wife and kids. 


So the reviews are only telling one part of the story, as dac will not sound the same on headphones as i will on speakers ?


And unless you have the headphones used in the review (or have a reference of how they sound) the impression/review of the SQ might be more or less useful to you ?



Paul L.

post #2 of 3

I have a couple of el cheapo headsets and the DAC/amp makes massive difference to how they perform. The same goes for speakers: you will hear the difference, even with a low cost amp. But you shouldn't expect that the speakers will sound the same as headphones: the closest you may get is with a dedicated set of equalizer settings for each (that's what I do).

And yes - you are right: the reviewers' impressions may be impacted by all the components taking part in the experience. Sometimes even sample variation makes a difference, let alone different models of equipment. Keep also in mind that a lot of these reviews are quite subjective, i.e. a different person may have different impressions even listening to the same setup.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 



Yes i just received my Audinst HUD MX1 today (my first DAC) and i was blown away how  much difference it made using the Audinst with  my el cheapo Sennheiser HD201 compared to 3,5mm jack on  my Imac 27"


I wasn't expecting such a difference.. the difference was of course also there when using my speaker setup (SP2500) even though it wasn't as dramatic.


What surprised me even further was that my previous impression of music players (such as Audirvana, Fidelia) was not valid anymore. I will have to evaluate them again with this new DAC.


Yes subjective is the word when it comes to evaluating/reviewing hifi gear. :-)

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