Originally Posted by Moop
Hey guys, I'm new to the audio world. I was wondering if anyone had some books or threads that have a comprehensive guide to starting out. Something along the lines of setting up a sound system and all the components to one. I've looked around the forum and found various things that have helped but there's not much cohesion and some questions I haven't found the answer to.
Some questions I still have:
Why is USB connection bad for listening to high quality sound?
A lot of people use the E9K + E17. Why is this? I thought the E17 was a DAC and Amplifier combo, so why pair it with the E9K amp?
What is the purpose of an amplifier? I thought that just makes the sound higher.
Sound Cards are better than DACs for games because of the 3D simulations, but do DACs still improve the sounds of a game? (For example, will previously unheard sounds become heard?)
What is a good DAC for portablility purposes to use on a Laptop / Desktop for games and music and how can you tell?
Are earbuds good for listening to sound or do they lack something significant compared to headphones?
USB can have higher jitter if not properly buffered. It is not a given that USB is bad, just depends on how it is designed.
Some headphones need an ultra low output impedance to sound their best & I believe the E17 uses a Texas Instruments amp the requires a 10ohm resister at it's output. Some people feel that this amp sounds harsh at the high frequencies & prefer the sound of a separate amp.
Not all amps boost signal voltage , some are used only as buffers to provide extra current.
You can connect a DAC to a soundcard through optical or coax & keep all the processing of the soundcard. Sound may be better or not depending on the DAC. You probably won't hear anything new but what you do hear may be clearer with a better sense of space.
I'm going to skip this question as I don't use any external DAC's
There are some sealed type ear buds that sound extremely good, These are commonly called IEM's but are not IEM's. as most have at least some sound leakage from the back side of the driver whereas true IEM's do not as they are designed as stage monitors that also act as hearing protectors. There are also some very fine sounding true IEM's as well. I have a set of ER4p IEMs that are superb sounding