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Is there a beginners sticky about headphone amps and DACs?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I would like to learn more. I am completely new to this this so any suggestions forums etc I can read to educate myself would be appreciated.
post #2 of 3

It depends how basic you wanna get.

 

Basic knowledge

 

Glossary

 

Buying Guide

 

Sound Glossary


Edited by paradoxper - 5/25/13 at 12:14pm
post #3 of 3

Nah, obfuscation is good for business.

 

 

Quick rundown:

 

If you have digital audio data (e.g. from CD, music file, computer sound), you need a digital-to-analog converter to convert that data to an analog electrical voltage waveform.  Otherwise, you can't have any sound.  Any device that does such a thing thus has some kind of DAC integrated.  A headphone amplifier takes that signal from the DAC and drives the headphones with a copy of that, scaled up or down in magnitude.  Pretty much every device with a headphone jack has some kind of electronics that can drive headphones, at least to some extent and capability.  For a given headphone, the higher the signal level, the louder the sound.  These are all analog processes; based on the details of the electronics implementations as well as interactions between amp and headphones, there are some differences in the type and extent of imperfections imparted at different stages.  Some of those may or may not be desirable.  Some may or may not be even noticeable.

 

That's it.  The rest is just details of implementation and extra features, and whatever you need out of it.


Edited by mikeaj - 5/25/13 at 12:22pm
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