or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › A greeting with a question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A greeting with a question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

I've very recently stumbled into the world of headphone audio and think it could become a fun (and expensive!) hobby.

I've wanted to have a decent music listening experience for some time now but as I'm temporarily living in China in an apartment I didn't want to "invest" in audio that would be limited by consideration for neighbours or the mission of transportation back to my home country.

So I've just got a pair of Onkyo ES-HF300's which while clearly aren't high end are a big step up from my standard iPhone earbuds. So far I'm loving them and have a renewed appreciation for music. I'm in the process of building up a FLAC collection but can't find much info on my audio source.

I'll primarily be listening off my laptop (Asus Zenbook UX32VD) and can't find any info on the quality of the built in DAC. It's got the B&O ice power speakers but not sure if this actually means anything in terms of analogue conversion quality.

Should I have an external DAC? Anything else I should be considering?

Thanks
post #2 of 12

Hi fishZA,

 

Welcome to Head-Fi!  :smile:  Sorry about your wallet.  :o  It's always great to hear that someone is rediscovering music.

 

As for your question, the onboard sound of most computers isn't that great.  It's not atrocious, but it's clearly consumer-grade and made for the average person... for whom louder is generally perceived as better.

 

I would definitely suggest getting both a DAC and an amp - or some combination of the two - to improve sound quality.  Please note that this doesn't have to be an expensive proposition at all.  It can actually be quite affordable.

 

Do you happen to have a target budget in mind?  Also, what genre(s) of music do you typically listen to?


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

Reply
post #3 of 12

Alternatively, you could buy a better soundcard.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys. 

 

Budget is somewhat flexible but probably around the $200 mark. I had a look at these - http://hubpages.com/hub/usb-dac - they all seem like decent options but in my limited knowledge I'd probably choose based on design (of which the uDAC-2 would be my choice)! 

 

Mostly rock with a small amount of hip hop and chilled electronic stuff. To give you an idea, my current small FLAC collection is:

 

Radiohead

The National

The XX

A Perfect Circle

Dire Straits

The Roots

Portishead

Kings of Leon

Smashing Pumkins

The Police...

 

You get the idea... 

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishZA View Post
 

Thanks for the replies guys. 

 

Budget is somewhat flexible but probably around the $200 mark. I had a look at these - http://hubpages.com/hub/usb-dac - they all seem like decent options but in my limited knowledge I'd probably choose based on design (of which the uDAC-2 would be my choice)!

 

By "design," do you mean how it's built or how it looks?

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

 

By "design," do you mean how it's built or how it looks?

 



Both I guess. All of them seem to be good products so in the absence of being able to say that one is substantially better than another the determining factor would be looks and to an extent how it's built e.g. metal casing > plastic
post #7 of 12

Hello,

 

How about the FiiO products? I am sure you can find them pretty easily in China since it is all Made In China BUT they do have great build quality

 

Hope it helps

Billson 

post #8 of 12
Also do some research on a dac/amp called Topping D1 MK2. Here's a review to get you started.

http://www.headfonia.com/topping-d1-mark-ii/
post #9 of 12
Whether you decide that you prefer a soundcard or an external DAC, I shouldn't think you'd need an amp for the Onkyos.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishZA View Post

Thanks for the replies guys. 



 



Budget is somewhat flexible but probably around the $200 mark. I had a look at these - http://hubpages.com/hub/usb-dac - they all seem like decent options but in my limited knowledge I'd probably choose based on design (of which the uDAC-2 would be my choice)! 



 



Mostly rock with a small amount of hip hop and chilled electronic stuff. To give you an idea, my current small FLAC collection is:



 



Radiohead



The National



The XX



A Perfect Circle



Dire Straits



The Roots



Portishead



Kings of Leon



Smashing Pumkins



The Police...



 



You get the idea... 


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Hello,



 



How about the FiiO products? I am sure you can find them pretty easily in China since it is all Made In China BUT they do have great build quality



 



Hope it helps



Billson 


 



Going the Fiio Route seems like a good idea, the E17 is around $150 or so new, and it should give you a nice upgrade to sound quality. Plus it's small and very transportable so when you move back home it'll be a sinch to take with you, if you wanted to I think the Fiio E18 is out now as well, the E18 handles PC and Android Dac Functions! So you could have a portable and at home dac/amp!
post #11 of 12

An acquaintance of mine whose audio opinions I respect uses E17. 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Excellent, thanks a lot for the input!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › A greeting with a question