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Thread Starter 

Trying to get a sense of what kind of sound improvements I might achieve over my iPhone or iMac by getting a separate DA converter and/or amp. I tried the following test and wondered if it is a good way of establishing comparable sonic improvement you can get with a DA/Amp, or if I'm expecting too much out of a headphone amp.


Grado SR80i headphones

CD: The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta 


A: CD played on a Panasonic blu-ray player connected via HDMI to a Integra DHC 9.9 with the specs below, using the Stereo listening mode

B: CD played on an iMac with i5 processor

C: CD ripped to iPhone 4 in lossless format


B&C were similar. A was significantly better than B or C: More relaxed sound, better depth and separation of sounds, and overall easier on the ears.


I was wondering if the sound improvements I experienced with A could be achieved with a dedicated headphone amp or DA connected to the iMac or iPhone. How much might I have to spend to get similar sound quality? Would any of the Fiio products get me there?


Integra DHC-9.9 selected specs


• THX Ultra2 Plus*3 Certified
• Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit D/A Converters
• Three-TI (Aureus) 32-Bit DSP Chips
• Neural Surround*4, THX-Neural
• Theater-Dimensional*5 virtual surround sound
• DSD Direct
• Re-EQ*6 function
THANK YOU!!! smily_headphones1.gif

Edited by LikeGoodAudio - 6/7/13 at 6:05pm