I'm in the market for some new headphones, strictly for use with bass-heavy Electronic Dance Music so the Ultrasone Pro 900s look like a good solution. From what I have read, these headphones will benefit from an amp but I'm not sure if an amp or an amp and DAC will make much of a difference if they're being used with a high-end DJ mixer and a first generation 27" imac. I'm assuming the mixer will have a good headphone amp anyway and I have read that Apple on-board DAC is pretty good but please correct me if I'm wrong.
I tested Serato (which involves USB DAC) and the line out from the Mac, beat matched through two different channels on the mixer and while the signals were very similar when I cut between the two, it seemed like there was more dynamic range from the Serato signal and the line out signal was harsher with less "space". I take this to mean that the DAC on the Serato is worth having but the iMac DAC is still pretty good.
My question is, will the ibasso P4 or the D6 give me the better sound through the Pro 900s or will the difference with either be so marginal the it wouldn't be worth the extra cash to use an amp or amp/DAC at all? Will the DAC on the the D6 add enough to the sound to to make it worth sacrificing the extra power of the P4 or is the P4 so powerful that it's worth sacificing the DAC in the D6?
I've searched and read quite a bit on these questions but I'm posting because I haven't been able to find the answer. I'd really appreciate any input.
Edited by Thumpp - 6/18/13 at 8:19pm