or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › USB DAC or only AMP in desktop computer (linux) + headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

USB DAC or only AMP in desktop computer (linux) + headphones?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

 

I'm a software engineer and spend 10-12h/day on the computer with the headphones on, Senheisser HD280pro, I know they're a bit bassy, but love them and their noise isolation is awesome (and needed!).

 

Anyway, I have a high-end motherboard, capable of "HD" audio. HD280 has an impendance of 64Ω, which after days of reading I think it's on the fence of needing or not an amp. For me, they sound great withou one, but a co-worker bought one, try them on and sound goes from great to awesome (monkey see, monkey do).

 

I've been looking at Fiio E9/10/17 (recommended by some audio store owner), but my main problem is that all of my work is done in Linux, so I'm not sure if a USB DAC will be compatible (the man at the store couldn't answer it). Maybe I should "upgrade" my headphones to something better but I really like them (I tried others from the same price range).

 

I think I could spent $70-150 on the DAC/AMP, up to $300 on the headphones (if needed too)

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaizier View Post
 

I'm a software engineer and spend 10-12h/day on the computer with the headphones on, Senheisser HD280pro, I know they're a bit bassy, but love them and their noise isolation is awesome (and needed!).

Anyway, I have a high-end motherboard, capable of "HD" audio. HD280 has an impendance of 64Ω, which after days of reading I think it's on the fence of needing or not an amp. For me, they sound great withou one, but a co-worker bought one, try them on and sound goes from great to awesome (monkey see, monkey do).

I've been looking at Fiio E9/10/17 (recommended by some audio store owner), but my main problem is that all of my work is done in Linux, so I'm not sure if a USB DAC will be compatible (the man at the store couldn't answer it). Maybe I should "upgrade" my headphones to something better but I really like them (I tried others from the same price range).

I think I could spent $70-150 on the DAC/AMP, up to $300 on the headphones (if needed too)

The FiiO E9/E09K is an amplifier only (no DAC chip), so no problem connecting to the analog output on the Linux computer.

The E9/E09K might be a little over kill for an amplifier, unless your looking at getting headphones that are over 150-Ohms.

Fiio uses the Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip in it's DAC/Amp products (E7, E07K, E10, E17), you would need to find out if Linux can recognize and work with the WM8740 DAC chip

Being able to use the WM8740 should be an improvement over whatever low cost DAC chip that is used in the motherboard.

 

There is a low cost option of using the Asus Xonar DG/DGX sound card, $20-$40, you would need to find out if Linux has drivers that work with the C-Media audio chip-set (surprised if Linux did not have drivers).

 

Personally I like the audio quality of my Audio Technica ATH-A900X headphones ($220), with Hifiman Velour ear pads ($16).

post #3 of 4

I'm impressed you can wear HD280 pros for that long, most people claim they're very uncomfortable.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

I find them comfortable, but maybe I'm used to them after 5-6years. Only problem I have is to use them on hot weather, but I think it should be similar to any other over-ear headphones.

 

Looks like the  Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip is compatible with linux (or at least, someone is using it with a RaspberryPi which also runs on linux), so probably a E09 or E10... not sure yet 

 

 

Thanks !

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › USB DAC or only AMP in desktop computer (linux) + headphones?