Currently have ~160G of music on my computer that consists of downloaded classic rock recordings….from soundboards, FM broadcasts and audience recordings. Very little is FLAC, but do have a substantial amount in mp3 at 160 or 320kbs. I listen to my music by going from computer soundboard to a Yamaha ampè bookshelf speakers (which I’m getting ready to upgrade). Borrowed a friend’s Wavelength USB DAC in an attmpt to improve sound quality and was quite pleased with the results.
I want to purchase a USB DAC as a bridge from my computer to amp. One main issue is that I leave my computer on 24/7 sometimes for months at a time. With that set up, am I better off buying a USB DAC with a power button (like the Audioengine D1)? The USB DACs I’m considering include the
HRT Music Streamer II
Audioengine D1 (dedicated power button)
Overall, the quality of the recordings I will listen to will not be studio quality and the equipment is not high end so assume synch vs. asynchronous USB DAC is not critical. My main issue is whether I need to feature of an on/off button for the USB DAC given how it will be used (hooked up to a 24/7 on computer). Will probably also either use software like J River or Audacity to further tweak the sound.
For < $400…what should I be considering? The USB DAC does not absolutely need to have it’s own amp for headphones. Obviously, I'm also looking for the best quality/value though appreciate the sound quality is a subjective thing..
Thanks in advance for any feedback you provide!