This is probably going to end up sounding like a really dumb question, but does the DAC really make a difference in sound quality? I only have 1 dedicated DAC (ODAC) and it doesn't sound significantly better than my on-board computer DAC to me. The amp certainly makes a much larger difference to my ears. It's not what an audiophile would consider "good", but aren't most DAC's these days actually pretty decent in terms of audible differences, not measurements? My iPod Video has pretty good sound quality compared to the 2nd gen iPod Touch, but I don't know if that's due to the DAC (Wolfson vs Cirrus) or if it's due to the amp....I should really get one of those LOD's in the near future, shouldn't I?
The onboard sound you have is probably very flat and accurate. I know this sounds hard to believe, but my "crappy" Realtek HD sounds better than the Fiio E10 and a lot of other DACs. Mine is even labeled as having a headphone amplifier built in(!). This is on my MSI motherboard! Bizarre.
Based on my experience, some of my headphones have benefited very little from DAC upgrades. It seems that my HD-650, DJ100 and Q701 have the most. My HD-598 doesn't seem to change a bit with anything. Not even my HD-600 does much as long as it's properly amped.
To me the Ipod Video sounds a bit warmer than the Ipod Touch 2G. The Ipod Video 5.5 supposedly has slightly forward upper mids and rolled off low bass.
The Ipod Touch 2G to my ears sounds very similar to my Magni+ODAC. Even brighter at times, which is weird.I think the Ipod Touch 2G is ruler flat, but sounds like it has sort of edgy treble.
Despite bypassing the onboard amp, they still seem to have the same exact signature when using the LOD cable. What's interesting is that even the Ipod Docks have a DAC chip built inside of them. Not sure why..
Sometimes I think this LOD cable = better sound is hogwash. I can't hear any distortion from using my Fuze's headphone out to amp. I'm sure it's there.
One thing I noticed about the ODAC is that it's treble seems way smoother than 5-6 of my full sized CD players. Not sure why, but it's hard to believe all those are that much worse..
It's not coming from my amp..my amp has no rolled off treble or anything. I highly doubt the ODAC has rolled off treble..
Woah, woah woah........wait a sec. The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 "sounds better" with the iPod Touch 2G versus the O2/ODAC? Colour me surprised, but the whole midrange is forward, not laid-back, on this setup. O_O
I still like the O2/ODAC for being transparent though, no worries there because with that I actually know what the M-100's true sound is like.