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Headphone Amp or sound card?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

Well I posted a while back about my X-Fi Forte analog outs dying on me so I have been forced to use the DAC on my Z5500 (from the digital out of the X-Fi Forte) to power my HD 555s.  I have personally found the Logitech's headphone out to be awful compared to the Forte's headphone amp (well, obviously lol) and I have been considering to either replace the X-Fi Forte with a new soundcard or get a USB DAC.

 

I am leaning towards the USB DAC because I can use it with my iPod and my Macbook Pro but I am concerned if I will be able to purchase one that will be audibly onpar with my X-Fi Forte.  So far, I was considering the Fiio E7 but I am open to other suggestions. 

 

Thanks in advance.  

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsadA203 View Post

Hi Guys,

 

Well I posted a while back about my X-Fi Forte analog outs dying on me so I have been forced to use the DAC on my Z5500 (from the digital out of the X-Fi Forte) to power my HD 555s.  I have personally found the Logitech's headphone out to be awful compared to the Forte's headphone amp (well, obviously lol) and I have been considering to either replace the X-Fi Forte with a new soundcard or get a USB DAC.

 

I am leaning towards the USB DAC because I can use it with my iPod and my Macbook Pro but I am concerned if I will be able to purchase one that will be audibly onpar with my X-Fi Forte.  So far, I was considering the Fiio E7 but I am open to other suggestions. 

 

Thanks in advance.  

For your computer you can get an Asus Xonar DG sound card, $20-$30.

A Fiio E6 for use with the iPod and Macbook Pro, $30.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsadA203 View Post

Hi Guys,

 

Well I posted a while back about my X-Fi Forte analog outs dying on me so I have been forced to use the DAC on my Z5500 (from the digital out of the X-Fi Forte) to power my HD 555s.  I have personally found the Logitech's headphone out to be awful compared to the Forte's headphone amp (well, obviously lol) and I have been considering to either replace the X-Fi Forte with a new soundcard or get a USB DAC.

 

I am leaning towards the USB DAC because I can use it with my iPod and my Macbook Pro but I am concerned if I will be able to purchase one that will be audibly onpar with my X-Fi Forte.  So far, I was considering the Fiio E7 but I am open to other suggestions. 

 

Thanks in advance.  

 

Not all DACs can be used with iPod.

A DAC can be used with multiple sources.

Mention your budget for more suggestions.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For your computer you can get an Asus Xonar DG sound card, $20-$30.

A Fiio E6 for use with the iPod and Macbook Pro, $30.

That unfortunately won't work as I don't have any PCI slots on my mobo, it would need to be PCI-E (also am looking for a headphone amp that is on par or better than the Forte, even though I don't think my HD 555s will notice that too much).  

 

The Fiio E6 does look interesting though.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

Not all DACs can be used with iPod.

A DAC can be used with multiple sources.

Mention your budget for more suggestions

Below $100 for a USB headphone amp.  I am flexible on a PCI-E soundcard with a headphone amp, although I don't want another Auzentech/Creative product.  

 

So is there a USB DAC/Sound card that supports ASIO?

 

Edit: I don't think the Fiio E6 will work since it only charges via the USB, it doesn't accept audio through it.  I would preferably want to bypass the analog audio out on a device like an iPod/Macbook/Galaxy S3 and get it right through the USB instead for no added distortion.  


Edited by AsadA203 - 10/2/12 at 8:41am
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsadA203 View Post

That unfortunately won't work as I don't have any PCI slots on my mobo, it would need to be PCI-E (also am looking for a headphone amp that is on par or better than the Forte, even though I don't think my HD 555s will notice that too much).  

 

The Fiio E6 does look interesting though.  

 

Below $100 for a USB headphone amp.  I am flexible on a PCI-E soundcard with a headphone amp, although I don't want another Auzentech/Creative product.  

 

So is there a USB DAC/Sound card that supports ASIO?

 

Edit: I don't think the Fiio E6 will work since it only charges via the USB, it doesn't accept audio through it.  I would preferably want to bypass the analog audio out on a device like an iPod/Macbook/Galaxy S3 and get it right through the USB instead for no added distortion.  

There is the PCI-E version of the DG, called the DGX ($41)

You could always get the Essence STX for $180.

It $155 for an external DAC that works with portable Apple products and it's not really a "portable" DAC, for on the go.

I'm not sure you can bypass the Galaxies built in DAC, but I'm going to double check on that.

The Fiio E10 ($66) USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier should be able to work from the Macbook's USB output.

post #6 of 8

Agree ^^.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.  I think I will just go with the STX then, it seems to have a lot of fixes that the Forte should have come with and hopefully should last longer than my Forte.  I think I will go with the Fiio E7/E10 for my portable gear.  

 

I am pretty sure the S3 can have the DAC bypassed via USB when I was researching it on XDA, that would definitely suck if I was wrong :(.  That was one of my big complaints with older Android phones.  

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsadA203 View Post

Thanks for the info.  I think I will just go with the STX then, it seems to have a lot of fixes that the Forte should have come with and hopefully should last longer than my Forte.  I think I will go with the Fiio E7/E10 for my portable gear.  

 

I am pretty sure the S3 can have the DAC bypassed via USB when I was researching it on XDA, that would definitely suck if I was wrong :(.  That was one of my big complaints with older Android phones.  

I've heard the newer Galaxy does have digital audio output with it's USB port.

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