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Sound card or external headphone amp

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


Right now i have a shure 750DJ headphone, and i mainly use it with my Asus laptop. However, i'm starting to feel that the sound quality is not satisfying. To upgrade my computer set up, should i get a sound card or external headphone amp? My price range is around $100 to $150.


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 8

I don't see how an headphone amp would help, because your laptop outputs a pretty terrible signal (like most, if not all, builtin sound cards) and an headphone amp can't magically make up for lost details in the signal.

Get an external sound card with an headphones output.

post #3 of 8
The 750DJ have a listed impedance of 32 ohms. Sure. A headphone amp alone could improve the SQ. Particularly if you like bass. A headphone amp may bring out the bass impact more at higher volumes where the weak output of the built-in amp can't keep up on bass heavy music like EDM, hip hip, etc.

And I agree. The DAC implementation in many laptops is typically not very good and a DAC could improve on clarity and detail.

If you want to stay within your budget, then the FiiO E17 could be a good choice, a portable USB DAC/amp. Here is the discussion thread for it: http://www.head-fi.org/t/587912/fiio-e17-alpen-first-impression-final-thought
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

do you think i should get a better sound card so that the single output would be better? Or just a DAC like the FiiO E17 would do the same?

post #5 of 8
An E17 is an external sound card. Every sound card has a DAC. The E17 also has a headphone amp so that the output is especially configured for powering headphones.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

thanks so much. Also, if i change my setup from my 750DJs to an external speaker like the harman kardon soundstick, would it still do the trick?

post #7 of 8
The E17 has a line out adapter you can buy for hooking up speakers and such: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-L7-Line-Dock-Cable/dp/B004QVNS0S
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

that's great! I'm probably going to get the E17 then. Just out of curiousity, which other ones would you suggest?

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