Originally Posted by q2klepto
I was trying to find the difference between my Aune T1 and another $30 USB Dac (Vantec w/ cmedia chips) which is apparently garbage....i think it was a bit easier to notice the difference with music that sounded cleaner, like classical/orchestral music - with my old dac i could hear a very slight background hiss and the separation between instruments didnt sound as good...like it was muddy or something
It also seemed that the Aune had more depth..i guess....the instruments sounded more natural..in a way...
Maybe it was placebo maybe it was my brian trying to compensate spending $150 on something i might have not needed to heh
Here is the real test, to say "Money well spent" or "Nope, onboard DAC is fine" ...and if you are doing this with headphones, unless they cost > $400 forget it.
LAPTOP 3.5 out to RCA to System ---> Speakers. Play 4 songs from streaming with good voice and good musical mix - 2 of my test tracks are Sade Smooth Operator and Elton John Captain Fantastic (don't laugh, there is a reason)
Listen to 4 (two I chose, two of your favorites).Get a feel for not only clarity at all ranges but soundstage DEPTH and WIDTH. Is the vocalist clearly at the mic in front, drums behind, instruments off to the side.
LAPTOP USB out to AUNE T1 - RCA OUT to system (gain is irrelevant on the AUNE..its only for headphones) Make sure your PC audio and streaming audio is not MAXED out (100 by 100) 80 by 80 should be fine...
Now do the same test as the 3.5 out. Better sound stage ? More detail ? If yes, great. If no, sell the AUNE.
Pretty simple test