Originally Posted by paulcdejean
What I have is the following:
* Moshi Clarus headphones
* A computer with a Intel DH77DF motherboard that is running windows.
* No soundcard of any sort.
* No amp of any sort.
I know I'm looking for a desktop amp right now, but I'm not sure what the different types are. I didn't see any sort of guide stickied so I'm not sure where to start.
You should be able to extrapolate my budget from the sort of headphones I have (they were $200). On the basis of that what sort of amp do I want. What sort of input and output should it have and why? What are some important things to look for and common pitfalls?
As your Moshi Clarus are only 24-Ohm I would say not to get a sound card, as sound cards usually have a high output impedance (resistance, measured in Ohms) which is a negative for low Ohm headphones (plugged straight into the sound card).
Using a external headphone amplifier, with a low impedance, is fine for plugging into a sound card, and using low Ohm headphones plugged into the external amplifier.
Fiio E10 ($68) USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier, should come with a better DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) then whatever is built into the motherboard.
The E10's headphone amplifier is very low impedance, like .5-Ohm.
The Fiio E10 is 2-channel stereo only, fine for music, but offers zero surround sound features for movies or gaming.
Is the audio setup for just music? movies? gaming?