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Soundcard vs DAC

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody, I'd like to replace the soundcard on my mac mini which sounds awful. Currently it is connected via RCA to my AMP. My question is: is it better to replace the whole soundcard for example with an asus xonar u7 or buy a DAC for example (to stay in the same price range) FiiO e07k? Which one would deliver better sound quality in this case? I like the fact that I can use the DAC even outside because of the internal battery. What do you think?
post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by devluxe View Post

Hi everybody, I'd like to replace the soundcard on my mac mini which sounds awful. Currently it is connected via RCA to my AMP. My question is: is it better to replace the whole soundcard for example with an asus xonar u7 or buy a DAC for example (to stay in the same price range) FiiO e07k? Which one would deliver better sound quality in this case? I like the fact that I can use the DAC even outside because of the internal battery. What do you think?

 

Remember that DAC is the most less significant part of your audio path.

 

Just decide what features do you need from your audio interface and 'how'/'what for' would you use it (just stereo playback, recording, multichannel playback, max resolution (16/24 and 44.1-192) ... do you need digital I/O, MIDI, microphone pre-amps, phono eq, etc.). I could suggest E-MU 0404 USB (if you can find one) for stereo sources ... if your O/S is supported http://www.creative.com/emu/products/product.aspx?category=610&pid=15185).

post #3 of 4
The Xonar U7 has virtual surround sound digital processing. Many external DAC/amps do not. If you are into gaming and would like that feature, then the U7 could be the better choice.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answers. I think I'll go for the xonar U7 because of the many features and inputs/outputs it provides. It seems much more complete.
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