Hello to everyone,
I'm new to the forum and don't have any real knowledge regarding DAC equipment (at the moment) but I'm clearly looking for some expert guidance. I recently purchased a pair of Shure SE 846 IEM and they are connected to an old iPhone 4S. Recently I've taken some of my CD's and converted them from Apple's default AAC format with a custom stereo bit rate of 320kbps and sample rate of 44.100khz and converted them to .wav format. Next I spent some time doing back to back listening comparisons and concluded the following:
Depending on the music, instrumentation, complexity, audio engineering and recording quality I don't honestly hear a difference on some recordings and hear a slight difference (improvement) on others recordings!
I know the theory as to why I would clearly want to convert my audio recordings from AAC format to .wav format and figured as soon as I did my comparison testing (with my new IEM) I would be very busy converting all my source files from AAC to .wav or FLAC or some other lossless recording format. Image my surprise when I finally got a chance to listen to many different recordings and began realizing why waist the time, effort and money for so little gain. Disappointing really...
Maybe I've done something wrong with respect to copying the CD's into the iTunes library IDK and would appreciate suggestions and direction. That said I would like to put this issue aside for a moment. If I had decided to convert CD's from AAC format to .wav, the immediate issue would be the increase in file size by literally an order of magnitude per minute of recording time. Therefore my little iPhone 4S 16GB phone wouldn't be able to hold much music at all. My first idea was to simply go to the iPhone 5S 64GB phone. But then I got to thinking for the cost increase maybe I need to look into a portable DAC that could offer both better quality sound and more storage. Please note: I'm willing to re-record all my music (from CD's if needed) if I can honestly hear a difference in the quality of sound. My philosophy is sound quality first, quality construction second integration between the iPhone and the amp third and if I need to carry another device in addition to the iPhone well that's just the price you pay for a better listening experience.
I started looking into portable DAC equipment and I don't understand the issues or importance of matching the DAC impedance with the 9 ohms impedance of the SE 846? or why
I would choose the Wolfson WM8740 (24bit/192kHz) chip vs. the default chip available on my iPhone 4S?
If I was going to spend $400 to upgrade my iPhone (from the 4S 16GB to 5S 64GB) I would rather put my money into a quality DAC player if you can honestly hear the difference. Would you agree? Also I travel about 2 hours each way to get to/from work each day so I have a lot of time on my hands to listen to music but I need a portable DAC that has the following characteristics:
Top quality sound
Top quality construction
Integration with the iPhone 4S or 5S or the 6 release date in the fall of 2014
Small enough in size that it will easily fit into my business jacket pocket along with my iPhone
Makes the most of my Shure SE 846 purchase regarding "musicality" and all the audiophile terms it conger up
I don't mind charging the DAC at work. I would prefer lighter weight over long extend battery life
I need some help and I'm requesting the experts in this forum to weigh in for their guidance and direction.
I greatly appreciate the time and direction I receive in advance.
Thank you for your help,
Speedracer1. AKA (Tom)
Edited by speedracer1 - 3/9/14 at 8:10am