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Question regarding DAC and Soundcard.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm wondering if i have to get a soundcard to with a dac to get better music quality?

post #2 of 20
Traditional welcome...

Welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet.

That's not a question that can really be answered. You need to tell us MUCH more information. What headphones do you have? What are you listening to: games, mp3 music, lossless music, etc? What kind of soundcard is currently built into your PC?

This is a "weak link" question. Will an external DAC/soundcard always help? No. Can a DAC/soundcard help? Yes.

This is like asking if adding 8 GB of additional memory to your computer will make it better. The answer is: it depends.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

Hello, I'm wondering if i have to get a sound card to with a dac to get better music quality?

Your asking if getting a sound card (with a good DAC chip) would improve audio quality over your motherboard's on-board audio?

The answer is yes (usually).

post #4 of 20

Welcome to head fi :L3000:

please answer for the above questions, so that we can give you the suggestions.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have a ipod classic 160gb and audio technica ath-m50 headphones. im gonna listen to lossless music.
 


Edited by jibbeb - 12/28/13 at 5:49pm
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

I have a ipod classic 160gb and audio technica ath-m50 headphones. im gonna listen to lossless music.

 

Sounds like you're all set. Were you thinking of buying an external DAC or DAC/amp?

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Dac only. do my headphones need amp?

post #8 of 20

No, I think your ipod can drive m50.


Edited by rubinstein - 12/28/13 at 8:47pm
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

Dac only. do my headphones need amp?

 

No, but like every one I've tried you will hear at least some slight improvement. I doubt it's worth the money.

 

If you want an external DAC, consider ODAC. But iPods are usually pretty good, and I'm not into making portables less portable.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

Dac only. do my headphones need amp?

You can get an external DAC and headphone amplifier and connect it to your iPod Classic 160GB.

The ATH-M50 does not really need much in the way of a headphone amplifier

But for that kind of money you would put towards a DAC (or DAC/Amp)

your better off upgrading from the ATH-M50 headphones.

Audio Technica ATH-A900X ($220), with Hifiman Velour ear pads ($10).

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

 


Edited by jibbeb - 12/28/13 at 9:40pm
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

No, but like every one I've tried you will hear at least some slight improvement. I doubt it's worth the money.

 

If you want an external DAC, consider ODAC. But iPods are usually pretty good, and I'm not into making portables less portable.

So there is no need for me to buy a dac for e ipod. is the dac in the ipod good ?

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post

So there is no need for me to buy a dac for e ipod. is the dac in the ipod good ?

It sounds pretty good. I don't remember how gen 6 measures. I remember that gen 5 was better (I hate it when that happens!). With a good external DAC you'll hear some improvement, but I don't know if it's worth the money and I'm not into stacking portables.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

So there is no need for me to buy a DAC for the iPod. Is the DAC in the iPod good ?

Apple charges a royalty for any external DAC designed to work with the Apple's LOD port.

I guess most DAC makes do not want to pay the royalty, so there are very few external DACs that work with the Apple LOD port and they charge a lot for these DACs.

That DAC feature in portable Apple audio products is fairly decent (external DACs are better).

You might be better off buying something like the FiiO X3 which comes with a good DAC chip and a decent headphone amplifier (sell of the iPod?).

post #15 of 20
I had a Nuforce Icon Ido as an external DAC for my ipad mini. Cost was $140. It did make the sound from my ipad clearer in my opinion. However, I returned it and got a Fiio X3 on sale for the same price. I'm much happier with the X3.
But back to the ipod. I'm not sure how the sound is from the classic, but I think the gain is too high on my ipad mini. I found that a good equalizer app, one which let's you decrease the preamp gain, cleaned up the sound almost as good as the Nufore external DAC did.
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