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Need help deciding on a DAC for my current set of headphones and my soon to be speakers.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I currently own a pair of ATH-M50 headphones and I am looking at upgrading my desktop speaker setup to A5+ speakers and a USB DAC. I just don't know which DAC to get. I have narrowed it down to the three I see the most positive reviews for: Audioengine D1, Aune T1, and The O2+ODAC combo.

 

I am looking for a DAC that is also a headphone amp, which is why I have picked these three, but I don't know which is the better investment for the long run if I do decide to upgrade my headphones. What do you guys think?

 

It seems widely viewed that the A5+s are good speakers, but I am open to other suggestions as well. I would like to keep the speakers under $400 and the DAC at most $300. I appreciate all information and thanks.

 

Edit: Also a friend mentioned getting an interface over a DAC. Since I am just going to be doing music playback, is the interface still a good option?


Edited by seephor - 1/30/14 at 9:11pm
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by seephor View Post
 

Hi everyone,

 

I currently own a pair of ATH-M50 headphones and I am looking at upgrading my desktop speaker setup to A5+ speakers and a USB DAC. I just don't know which DAC to get. I have narrowed it down to the three I see the most positive reviews for: Audioengine D1, Aune T1, and The O2+ODAC combo.

 

I am looking for a DAC that is also a headphone amp, which is why I have picked these three, but I don't know which is the better investment for the long run if I do decide to upgrade my headphones. What do you guys think?

 

It seems widely viewed that the A5+s are good speakers, but I am open to other suggestions as well. I would like to keep the speakers under $400 and the DAC at most $300. I appreciate all information and thanks.

 

Edit: Also a friend mentioned getting an interface over a DAC. Since I am just going to be doing music playback, is the interface still a good option?

If you wanted to save a few dollars.

 

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $60-$90.

The SB-Z comes with a separate headphone and line-output.

Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $168 (will not be back in stock until march).

At $250 for both (sound card & monitors), you spending way under your $700 budget.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

If you wanted to save a few dollars.

 

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $60-$90.

The SB-Z comes with a separate headphone and line-output.

Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $168 (will not be back in stock until march).

At $250 for both (sound card & monitors), you spending way under your $700 budget.


Thanks for the info. I have also seen mention of that sound card elsewhere.

Are these speakers comparable to the mono price ones?

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studiophile-Active-Monitor-Speakers/dp/B0051WAM64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391147248&sr=8-1&keywords=studio+monitor+speakers

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

If you wanted to save a few dollars.

 

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $60-$90.

The SB-Z comes with a separate headphone and line-output.

Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $168 (will not be back in stock until march).

At $250 for both (sound card & monitors), you spending way under your $700 budget.


Thanks for the info. I have seen that sound card mentioned before too.

Are the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers comparable to the Monoprice ones?


Edit: Also, is it worth going for the ZxR over the regular Z?


Edited by seephor - 1/30/14 at 10:30pm
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by seephor View Post
 


Thanks for the info. I have seen that sound card mentioned before too.

Are the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers comparable to the Monoprice ones?


Edit: Also, is it worth going for the ZxR over the regular Z?

The MP5s (Monoprice 5") studio monitors appear to be rebranded M-Audio BX5 speakers.

If you compare the backs of the Monoprice's with the M-Audio's, you can even see how the screw holes match perfectly

The amplifier specs are also a match.

My guess is Monoprice just buys the studio monitors from the same factory that makes the BX5s.

I've had the MP5s for a few months, no regrets.

 

The ZxR does have better hardware (DAC, op-amps, head amp) then the Z (& Zx).

The Z, Zx, ZxR all use the same SoundCore3D audio processor, so headphone surround sound feature are equal.

If you were planning on upgrading your headphones (which I think you should),

then the ZxR does make a little more sense.

A used Essence STX would match the ZxR for audio quality and a used STX would be cheaper then the ZxR.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

A used Essence STX would match the ZxR for audio quality and a used STX would be cheaper then the ZxR.

Thanks for the input. I decided to go with a used xonar essence stx. Found one used for $100.

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