Dear members of Head-fi.org, I am sorry to do this to you but after trawling through 7-8 pages on the search function I started to get quite bored and confused and now I need your help!
I am a computer guy but I don't know that much about audio, for some reason the information doesn't seem to come as easily and I'm finding it really hard to separate stuff I need from stuff I don't need.
To skip straight to the point, I recently bought a pair of Sennheiser HD600's and they sound absolutely fantastic, my main reason for buying the headphones is that I spend a great deal of time making and listening to music and felt that a good pair of headphones would enable me to enjoy doing both of these activities even more!
Something I have noticed flying around quite a lot is that I might need a headphone amplifier to make the most of these headphones, without hearing the difference for myself I have no idea what to expect if I invested into a headphone amp. I've read that higher impedance headphones usually need a headphone amp in order to "drive" the headphones, probably why I can't get them to go to high volume levels without peaking. Also in my reading there is a whoooole bunch of stuff I'm really confused about.
My setup is much more PC enthusiast than audiophile sadly but here's what I've got:
The motherboard has a Realtek ALC892 audio chip.
The board has an spdif out on the back.
To reiterate I have a pair of Sennheiser HD600s
Should I be buying a headphone AMP for these headphones?
What's the difference between an AMP using spdif and an AMP using USB? I assume if I use spdif I'll be needing a amp/dac?
Is there a noticeable differences between different DAC's and how can I tell if the DAC on my board is any good?
Does my PC's processor factor into the D/A conversion?
And to really throw a spanner in the works, if I do need to get an AMP, AMP/DAC, DAC, confused, etc. Can I get anything worthwhile on a $200 budget?
I DO NOT need the headphone amplifier to be portable.
I appreciate any responses, I hope my noob questions aren't to frustrating for you all.
Edited by Junsa - 10/3/12 at 2:08pm