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Questions On DAC/AMP

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi I'm in a bit of a dilemma at the moment I bought a Nexus 5 recently and so far I've been disappointed with the audio on it. I'd previously used an iPhone 4 and I found the audio much better The Headphones I'm using are Sennheiser HD 25 ii and the Nexus 5 cannot seem to power the headphones adequately. Audio seems very flat and even at full volume on the device it's very low from the speakers.

 

What I'm wondering is with a  budget of €150 what would be my best option AMP wise or DAC/AMP. 

 

Also Would I see much benefit from a DAC/AMP over just and AMP. 

 

I've read that Audio works over USB on the go with Cyanogenmod 11 and since my device is already rooted i would have no problem installing it.

 

Also I listen to a variety of music,  Rock/Metal/Electro/Pop/Classical in order from most to least.

 

Thanks


Edited by xxxD43xxx - 2/8/14 at 8:45pm
post #2 of 11

There's a big thread about this, which you might find useful: 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs

 

I'm not sure you'd get much for that amount of money, more than a basic amp. A DAC/amp is quite a bit more complicated. 

post #3 of 11
Sadly the Nexus 5 doesn't support audio-out through USB so there is no way to avoid the DAC. An amp like the iBasso D-Zero, the Cmoy BB or a Fiio would improve your experience though.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyd View Post

Sadly the Nexus 5 doesn't support audio-out through USB so there is no way to avoid the DAC. An amp like the iBasso D-Zero, the Cmoy BB or a Fiio would improve your experience though.

Through installing cyanogenmod 11 on the nexus 5 audio does work via USB so you can use a USB DAC if that changes amything
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxD43xxx View Post

 

What I'm wondering is with a  budget of €150 what would be my best option AMP wise or DAC/AMP. 

 

A DAC-Amp would likely make a lot more improvements, but not the same way people think. They would mostly point to a dedicated DAC having a "better" dedicated DAC chip, but really it's the entire circuit. In particular, the analog output stage. Every design has advantages and disadvantages, and in this case, an integrated audio chip such as the one in a smartphone does not have the same signal specs (voltage, impedance, etc) as a true lineout; if it were solely a matter of loudness a powerful amp should be able to compensate, but not really. Compare that to using a DAC-Amp, or DAC+Amp, then what happens is you pas on a digital signal, and even if you factor in jitter (errors in digital transmission) these are nearly inaudible, tThe analog signal coming from the "better" DAC chip goes through a more proper analogue output stage* then into the amp.



*That said some designs are deliberately introducing their own distortion into the signal at that part of the circuit, such as introducing euphonic distortion through vacuum tubes, or op-amp modules designed to tailor the frequency response that would allow selling the same DAC to several people with different preferences

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replays lads

 

I was looking at the Fiio e18 DAC/AMP which comes in under my budget at around €144. what are your options on that and is there much of a difference between that and Fiio e17 DAC/AMP which comes in at €120. Or are there other alternatives that i should look at?

post #7 of 11
I would recommend looking into an iBasso option. They tend on the expensive side but are very capable. If you can afford it, a JDSLabs C5D would be great.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok so if I increased my budget say to 250 Euro would this change anything in regards to what i should look for? I am based in Ireland so dealing in euro not dollar so it might limit my availability to buy some products as i want to avoid import duty

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxD43xxx View Post

Ok so if I increased my budget say to 250 Euro would this change anything in regards to what i should look for? I am based in Ireland so dealing in euro not dollar so it might limit my availability to buy some products as i want to avoid import duty

Like I said above, if you can get a JDSLabs C5D, it is awesome. If not, idk. I'm not sure what is available to you.
post #10 of 11

I think there is another company like JDS Labs that manufacturers and sells the C5D in the UK.  Googling for this info produced no results for me. Someone here should have the name for you.

 

Bob Graham



EDIT: The name of the company is Epiphany Acoustics.
Edited by r010159 - 2/15/14 at 8:15am
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks guys for your replys.. I've had a look and i  can only seem to get the C5 and not the C5D delivered under €300 and my budget just doesn't allow for that so i think the Fiio E18 is prob gonna be the one I get as its the only one that seems halfway decent that i can get delivered to me under budget that is portable enough for my use.

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