I have been reading up on DACs and headphone amplifiers and pretty much have an idea on how they work. However, what I realised is that if I were to use an amplfier or DAC, I would be plugging it into the line out of the onboard/dedicated soundcard. This subsequently leaves (usually) a single 3.5mm/0.75" jack for the headphones. It wouldn't be a problem if I were to use headphones all the time. However I also use the speakers frequently, and was wondering how you go around the problem. Thanks!
What is your desktop setup like?
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I did see some amps like the Fiio e09k has a pre amp which can be used with speakers and the headphone jack which will mute the pre amp when used. Also the Xonar STX has a separate headphone jack from the 3.5mm line out which can be switched via the software.
I was just wondering for setups like the O2/ODAC combo, how would you use it with speakers. Cheers
Thanks again for the reply! Just a quick final question. I am currently running Xonar DGX which apparently has an amplifier. I've read not double amplifying as that is bad. So does that mean I cannot use an external amplifier for this card?
It's not meant for that, as you guessed. What headphones are you using?
I think I might be able to still use an amplifier for the soundcard. I was just having a think about how it works, so correct me if I am wrong:
The same line out is used for speakers or headphones for the Xonar DGX, and speakers normally connect to un-amped line outs. Therefore I should be able to get a pre amp line out? Moreover, there is a headphone mode from the Xonar audio centre, which I presume "switches on" the amplifier. Therefore, if I select speakers mode, I can use my own amplifier (which is how I presume works with other soundcards like the DX) with headphones.
With this in mind, I might look into getting better headphones and amplifiers, since DAC's diminishing returns seem to come pretty fast