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Help choosing DAC for HD558's

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

I currently use Sennheiser HD558's. They are plugged into my motherboard (gigabyte sniper M3) which uses a built in Creative CA0132 chip.

I have installed foobar2000 and swapped all my mp3 music for flac format.

How much difference in sound quality would there be if i were to buy a external dac/amp?

Is something like the xonar u7 or Fiio e17 suitable or should i splash out on something like Meridian Explorer or EHP-O2D? Are they really worth the higher cost?

I'm not very clued up on audio hardware so any help will be great.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudNoises View Post
 

Hi all,

I currently use Sennheiser HD558's. They are plugged into my motherboard (gigabyte sniper M3) which uses a built in Creative CA0132 chip.

I have installed foobar2000 and swapped all my mp3 music for flac format.

How much difference in sound quality would there be if i were to buy a external dac/amp?

Is something like the xonar u7 or Fiio e17 suitable or should i splash out on something like Meridian Explorer or EHP-O2D? Are they really worth the higher cost?

I'm not very clued up on audio hardware so any help will be great.

I would say to get the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500, retail box) sound card, $100.

The SB-Z uses newer Creative drivers, better DAC feature and a more powerful headphone amplifier, then your motherboard's built in audio.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Purple.

I also just discovered the Schiit Modi, which is also $99. I'm not sure if HD558's need an amp so would a dedicated DAC such as the Modi be more beneficial?

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudNoises View Post
 

Thanks for the reply Purple.

I also just discovered the Schiit Modi, which is also $99. I'm not sure if HD558's need an amp so would a dedicated DAC such as the Modi be more beneficial?


You would want to get a headphone amplifier to use with the Modi DAC, no matter which headphones you get.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudNoises View Post

Thanks for the reply Purple.
I also just discovered the Schiit Modi, which is also $99. I'm not sure if HD558's need an amp so would a dedicated DAC such as the Modi be more beneficial?

The 558 doesn't need an amp but benefits from one. The Modi is a DAC and doesn't have an amp in it, the Magni is built to go with it. They are $99 each and should sound great with the 558. I use an Aune T1 which is a combined DAC/amp with a tube buffer on the DAC, if you are interested in tube sound. It sells at between $180 and $200 on Amazon or eBay.
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