Originally Posted by mejoshua
The difference between volume and gain is that you can have adequate volume but not enough drive to power your earphones/headphones to a level that sounds good. Higher gain and lower volume has more potential to sound better than low gain and high volume. The decibel level is the same but the SQ may vary greatly depending on your phones.
The DX90 can drive most phones, even the HD800s but whether or not they sound as good as driven by an external amp is definitely another question. I don't think people will use the HD800 as portable headphones eh.
Very Interesting. Thank you for the reply.
I purchased the DX90, not as an end game unit (though you never know) and not necessarily for portable use (although it's a nice option), but because of the specs - mainly the dual mono DACs and black background, crosstalk, etc - as an experiment with what gives a more natural/musical sound, at a lesser price than some of the DACs at a much higher price-point. The fact that it has some serious DAC chips in the unit is a big draw. I might (probably) end up going bigger, pricier, grander...but I figured for $359, it would be an upgrade over the Aune T1 that I currently have, and to see if it makes that much of a difference with the HD800s, which I am in love with, even with a suspect DAC/Amp combo I'm using.
But now I find that I might be missing a step in getting an separate amp...and I don't even know where to start to give my cans much justice. The only thing I found on pairing amps with the HD800s is from 2009, and a lot has changed since then. It seems I might be in for spending to some more money. It's just how much is the question. * sigh *