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DAC vs External Sound Card

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've read that people recommend getting an external DAC because the integrated sound in most laptops/PCs aren't very good but why is it that I don't normally see people recommending external sound cards as a way to improve SQ of headphones? Are DACs generally better value for money and/or higher quality? 


Edited by PTom - 10/31/13 at 1:54pm
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTom View Post
 

I've read that people recommend getting an external DAC because the integrated sound in most laptops/PCs aren't very good but why is it that I don't normally see people recommending external sound cards as a way to improve SQ of headphones? Are DACs generally better value for money and/or higher quality? 


Intergrated DACs in Windows PCs (desktop/laptop) are usually the lowest costing DAC chip that can be used.

Motherboards in the $250 and more range have been coming with better DACs.

External sound cards (comes with audio processors), sound quality wise, are somewhere between cheap intergrated audio and external DAC/amps.

Internal sound cards usually offer better audio quality, over an external sound card, for a given price.

An external "DAC" (or DAC/amp) does not come with an audio processor for things like Headphone Surround Sound.

I would assume most people spend a lot on an external DAC/Amp for improved music audio.

Music audio does not require the use of an audio processor (for surround sound), as music audio is mostly 2-channel audio.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 11/1/13 at 8:41am
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

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