I just signed up here in the hope of getting some information and being pointed in the right direction.
I'm not sure how I would describe my aural capabilities, I know my hearing has deteriorated with age but I can still hear differences with different equipment, or at least I thought I could.
Recently I purchased a MacBook Pro and together with Audirvana I have been discovering the delights of 24/96 audio. Just before I discovered this I had been looking for a good pair of noise cancelling headphones and after listening to them I bought a pair of Bose QC15's They sound really good to me and when I'm traveling, something I do a lot of, they really come into their own. I appreciate they might not be the finest headphones but nor do I think they are the worst, probably a capable all round mid range job might sum them up.
As a next step I have considered going the external DAC route and here is where I've come a little unstuck. I visited Jet Live here in Bangkok and must say they have a great selection of almost everything a Head Fi nut might want, and more. I auditioned an FiiO Alpen E17 with a variety of source material and using the Bose QC15 phones. Switching back and forth between the iMac and the E17 I could discern absolutely no difference in the sound in any way. This left me more than a little disappointed, though perhaps less so than I had I bought it untested.
I'm curious what I'm doing wrong or at least what I should consider changing in order to actually hear a difference. I don't think I'd want to spend more than say about $500 at this point but is it unreasonable to expect finding an external DAC and headphone amp that will sound different, in a better way? The very nice man in the shop suggested that the QC15's character is such as to mask any differences, is that really right? Just a nice way to say they are completely incapable?
Many thanks for any thoughts and ideas.
Bangkok, Thailand (Most of the time)