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Worth it to get a USB DAC for a Retina MacBook Pro (2013) ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have Sennheiser CX200 earbuds and like them. I think they sound nice when plugged in to my rMBP. I listen mostly to metal.

I've had the FiiO E07K USB DAC/amp on my Amazon wish list for ages but never did take the plunge. Think it's worth it given that I'd probably be keeping my existing earbuds for the foreseeable future? I also own Beyerdynamic DT990 (600 ohms) but I probably wouldn't use them on this setup often at all as they're connected to my "static" desktop PC.

 

I'm open to options other than the E07K so long as it's portable and available from Amazon!

post #2 of 5

you are  using your 600 ohms dt990s unamped?? damn i would just get it for your dt990s. you can't possibly be getting the full sound potential of your beyers running out of a 3.5 jack.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

You misunderstood. I do have an amplifier for the DT990s. It's just not a portable one. Let's forget about the DT990s for this conversation, they're connected to my desktop and I don't take them anywhere :)

 

I'm only interested in figuring out if a portable USB DAC is a noticeable improvement over the rMBP's DAC, and if a USB DAC wouldn't be wasted on my puny Sennheiser CX200s.

post #4 of 5

Macs in general have pretty decent DACs. And CX200s aren't the highest end of ear buds. So I'd upgrade your IEMs before spending money on a DAC. The good news is really good buds for ~$100 or less are pretty common now.

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

Macs in general have pretty decent DACs. And CX200s aren't the highest end of ear buds. So I'd upgrade your IEMs before spending money on a DAC. The good news is really good buds for ~$100 or less are pretty common now.

+1. you probably don't need a dac... but if you are interested in getting an inexpensive standalone dac to try out, here are some other options:

 

1.) Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface ($30: PCM2902)
2.) Stoner Acoustic UD 110v2 ($49: PCM5102A) -> same dac found in the woo audio's W7 firefly
3.) Hifimediy usb dac ($35-60: ES9023 sabre) -> same dac as in resonessence labs concero

4.) DAC Destroyer ($45.99: AD1955 chip)

5.) Styleaudio carat ud-1 ($58: PCM 2704)

 

cheers
 

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