I've finally bought a decent pair of headphones (sennheiser hd380pro) after doing some researching in my price range.
Now, compared to my $20 previous headphones, I've obviously noticed a major difference, especially when listening to say, violin music. And I know what a DAC does and an amp does, not illteriate on that, my question, with the Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC that is built onto my desktop's motherboard, do I really need a DAC? I think an amp would be beneificial with these headphones, as I don't feel like they are being pushed to their mac with the onboard audio.
My initial guess is that I do not need a DAC/amp combo such as an e17 and my money would be better spent on just an amp, but being as I have never anything above my normal PC headphone jack, maybe it could use a DAC? I read hissing could be a nice indicator a DAC is needed due to all the PC noise near the built-in DAC, but even when trying, I don't notice obvious hissing, so if it's there, I'm not picking up on it.
These headphones will mainly be used at home on my desktop. I'm looking neutral reproduction, not bass or any particular thing heavy, more like something that will present me the audio in the way the studio intended, so bass heavy songs have good bass, and same with other mid/highs, etc.
What are your thoughts?
1) Should I skip the DAC and consider the onboard Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC good enough? If not, any DAC/amp combo you recommend?
2) What amps do you suggest (if not suggesting a dac/amp combo)? I've read a lot about fiio, but popularity doesn't necessarily mean quality. My price ranges is up to $130 for a dac/amp or amp. Mobile or not does not matter to me since it is a desktop and the headphones will be only used with the desktop.
Edited by ShhImSleeping - 11/30/13 at 12:45pm