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Question regarding DAC and Soundcard. - Page 2

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


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.


I have iPod classic 160GB (Late 2009)

post #17 of 20

I looked into your question a little more. One engineer whom I have a lot of respect for wrote in 2011:

 

"iPod DACs: I think most of these are a waste of money as most modern iPods already have very respectable DACs in them. [. . .] I haven’t tested all the latest iPod’s, but in general, their DACs already approach the point of diminishing returns. So it’s rather difficult to significantly improve on them. [. . .] To be brutally honest, most external iPod DACs are just manufactures looking to make more money off the “iPod audiophile revolution” not products that make sense."

 

Fiio X3 will sound better than every iPod after gen 5 (which is when Apple stopped using Wolfson DACs). But I have no doubt that your iPod is built better and will last longer. I'm concerned that it might also be quite bothersome to switch OSs and transfer files.

 

My initial thoughts were those of PurpleAngel, viz. upgrade your headphones but you might be perfectly satisfied with M50.

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I looked into your question a little more. One engineer whom I have a lot of respect for wrote in 2011:

 

"iPod DACs: I think most of these are a waste of money as most modern iPods already have very respectable DACs in them. [. . .] I haven’t tested all the latest iPod’s, but in general, their DACs already approach the point of diminishing returns. So it’s rather difficult to significantly improve on them. [. . .] To be brutally honest, most external iPod DACs are just manufactures looking to make more money off the “iPod audiophile revolution” not products that make sense."

 

Fiio X3 will sound better than every iPod after gen 5 (which is when Apple stopped using Wolfson DACs). But I have no doubt that your iPod is built better and will last longer. I'm concerned that it might also be quite bothersome to switch OSs and transfer files.

 

My initial thoughts were those of PurpleAngel, viz. upgrade your headphones but you might be perfectly satisfied with M50.


Thank you very much for the help. One more question does the Iphone 4 have the same dac as ipod classic 160gb?

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbeb View Post
 

Thank you very much for the help. One more question does the Iphone 4 have the same dac as ipod classic 160gb?

 

Based on what I've read they both use the same Cirrus Logic DAC. But aspects of build besides the DAC affect the sound, so I would suppose that the simpler iPod might have slightly better sound than the more complex iPhone.

post #20 of 20
To the OP: Forget the ipod DAC. It would be much more useful to simply use an ipod line-out-dock (LOD) connector to a good portable headphone amplifier. Using the LOD will continue to use the ipod DAC, but will bypass the ipod internal amp and send the line-out level signals from the ipod to an external amp. That will then let you use headphones that are too hard for the ipod's built-in amp to drive.

My advice it to first focus on the headphones, not the electronics. You have a reasonably good source (the ipod). Think about what you are hearing with your headphones and if there are parts of the sound where you think you would like to hear something different. Then look for headphones that might offer that. For example, if you think the M50 sound congested and not as detailed as you would like, then look for headphones that might have more clarity and definition. THEN, when you find that the next headphones you have chosen need more amp than your ipod can deliver, look for an external amp.

Bottom line: Assuming reasonably good quality in all the parts of your system, the headphones will almost always make the largest contribution to the sound you hear. If what you hear is "bass heavy" - that's because the headphones are "bass heavy". If what you hear is "bright and sometimes sibilant" - that's because the headphones are "bright and sometimes sibilant".
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