Is there a good way to [approximately] volume-match DACs? It's hard for me to do a fair ODAC/O2 vs C5D comparison since I have to switch the USB cable, wait for the device to be recognised, and play music. I'm just playing a 1 kHz sine wave right now and trying to volume-match that after listening to it for a good minute to get it burned into my head.
Listening to 1 kHz sine waves isn't very fun...
Bah, anyway. From general listening sessions, I find the C5D to have better synergy with the MrSpeakers Alpha Dog than the ODAC/O2 combo despite the technical differences. Technically, the ODAC/O2 has a harder-hitting bass, much better-defined instruments, well-extended treble, and is revealing of the headphone's characteristic sound. The Alpha Dog seems to have a treble peak that makes hi-hats sound artificial, and the C5D reduces that sound. It's hard to make the call on which combo sounds better though since I really enjoy the overall spacious sound of the ODAC/O2, its well-defined instruments, and easy-to-follow bass; it sounds more transparent to me with the exception of revealing the Alpha Dog's treble peak. The C5D has better instrument layering, a slightly soft treble response, a slightly more forward midrange, and overall sounds more musical. I hate using that word on the other hand since it's so vague; with the C5D, the Alpha Dog just sounds more groovy and I'm able to get into the music more. The ODAC/O2 sounds more sterile in that the music is just there.
Their overall sound signatures are roughly the same though, so I guess it's a "pick your poison" kind of scenario. XD
Edited by miceblue - 2/4/14 at 9:00pm