So here's my questions. Do I even need a DAC? Is a high end DAC pointless for people who primarily listen to digital music ( Itunes, MP3s) even if they are of good quality. I guess the question, in short, is what is the point in an external DAC when you're not running a high end source?
My sources are a Macbook Pro using Itunes primarily through Bitperfect. Otherwise I use my Iphone5 as a portable player with CanOpener. At home I have a Fiio E9 ipod dock with an Ipod classic for listening while I chill. I have some FLAC files I listen to with CanOpener and on my computer and can't subjectively tell the difference between that and 320Kbps. I think for the most part the music sounds fine. Much of my library is Rock/Metal with some industrial/electronic, HipHop/Rap and a bit of Jazz and acoustic music. It's obvious that much of this music is quite compressed and lacking true dynamic range so I don't feel like I'm missing much with lower quality files.
I consider the DAC of my Macbook pro to be at least adequate. My Iphone/Ipod seem to be fine as well. Is it worth considering a higher quality DAC than my Fiio E17? If running a higher end amp than my Fiio E9 would the lack of a DAC be more obvious?
Current headphones: Denon AHD2000, Grado SR80i, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser Momentum
IEM: UE Triple Fi 10, Sennheiser IE80, Yamaha EPH100, Shure Se535Ltd ( Reds)
Looking at acquiring Grado RS1i in the near future. Supposedly easy to drive but benefit from amping.