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Headphone amp to Laptop

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, first post of mine here and I'm fairly new to the HiFi world so please bear with me :-)

I've searched for hours now on the net in all kinds of threads but i haven't got any decent advice or answers.

So let's get started:

it's simple,the question is: Can I hook a DAC (Schiit bitfrost for ex) via laptop headphone jack to said laptop and will i have clear sound with that?

 

I have read somewehre that you shouldn't do that, beause hadphone jacks (3,5 mm) "are just for headphones" and not for devices....(?)

 

thanks in advance for all help, answers etc

 

(oh and.... I DO need a DAC to listen to music over mylaptop right? a normal amp wihtout dac wouldn't do the trick, right?)

post #2 of 4

You typically connect a DAC to a laptop using USB. Some laptops like Macbook Pros have headphone jacks that double as optical ports which you can use as well. The point is that a DAC needs a digital connection. 



You can connect an amp to a regular headphone jack, but it's not optimal because you are not bypassing the cheap circuitry in the stock headphone jack's amp. Amps should be used with DACs or with line out ports, which are fairly rare on laptops. 


Edited by manbear - 1/22/14 at 9:59am
post #3 of 4

["Can I hook a DAC (Schiit bitfrost for ex) via laptop headphone jack to said laptop and ......."]

 

No you cannot! There is already a [cheap] DAC and a [cheap] amplifier built into your laptop. The headphone jack is physically built into the amplifier.

 

The whole point behind buying an external DAC is to bypass the one built into the laptop. You plug it in USB so that it gets the digital signal directly. This way the internal laptop DAC is bypassed/ overridden.

 

You may or may not need an amplifier (This depends on what kind of speakers/ headphones you have).

-------------------

 

["I DO need a DAC to listen to music over mylaptop right? a normal amp wihtout dac wouldn't do the trick, right?"]

 

An amp is a different device from a DAC and can be used independently. It can be plugged directly into laptop's headphone jack (This way your system will use laptop's built-in DAC). Most people who connect an amp to their computers report decent improvement in audio even if they don't use external DAC.

 

Note: Many "amps" out there are actually DAC/amp combos. If it requires you to connect via USB, it means it has a DAC built in!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

thank you very much guys!

helped me a lot

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