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Help in choosing which 250$ IEM & 250$ DAC/ Amp to go with Macbook Pro for music

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone - 

am trying to decide a pair of IEMs to get along with a DAC/ amp to play flac/ 320kbps mp3s from my macbook pro

I really liked the Monster Miles Davis Trumpets from what I've read - and I seem to be able to get one for <200$. 

Any other suggestions for IEMs in that range? 

 

Also - what DAC/ amp would be a good combination with the macbook pro and Monsters / other IEM to open up the sound quality?

fiio E17?

Is there anything similar to an apogee duet DAC that's less pricey?

 

Advice would be great!

post #2 of 6

I would personally recommend getting the IEMs first and seeing what they're like without an external DAC and amp. Macbooks have good headphone outputs so chances are you'll be happy.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post
 

I would personally recommend getting the IEMs first and seeing what they're like without an external DAC and amp. Macbooks have good headphone outputs so chances are you'll be happy.

 

While I don't doubt that I'd definitely find the sound a step up from my existing setup - I definitely do want to experience a superior sound if that's possible via a DAC.

Was checking out the audioquest dragonfly 1.2 thats retailing for 150$ .... and the arcam rdac (1st version prior to the irdac) which I'm finding for 350$. Any advice on these two? They appear to have gotten good reviews around. Is the arcam rdac worth the 200$ extra?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post

I would personally recommend getting the IEMs first and seeing what they're like without an external DAC and amp. Macbooks have good headphone outputs so chances are you'll be happy.

I agree. I'd still wait and see what you think. Maybe you'll find the Macbook sound suitable for when you are on the go with your laptop, so you could get a desktop amp/dac for critical listening at home. Or maybe you'll decide you want a very good DAP for when you don't have your laptop, such as the FiiO X3 (which has the same dac/amp hardware as the E17).

For another portable DAC/amp to consider in the under $300 range, look into the JDS Labs C5D and the Leckerton Audio UHA-4. Check out how their sound rated in the sub $200 portable amp shootout:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared

Rankings follow the reviews. The C5D is the C5 amp, only with the addition of a DAC.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I agree. I'd still wait and see what you think. Maybe you'll find the Macbook sound suitable for when you are on the go with your laptop, so you could get a desktop amp/dac for critical listening at home. Or maybe you'll decide you want a very good DAP for when you don't have your laptop, such as the FiiO X3 (which has the same dac/amp hardware as the E17).

For another portable DAC/amp to consider in the under $300 range, look into the JDS Labs C5D and the Leckerton Audio UHA-4. Check out how their sound rated in the sub $200 portable amp shootout:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared

Rankings follow the reviews. The C5D is the C5 amp, only with the addition of a DAC.

Thank you very much for the portable amp comparison link on head-fi. Am browsing through this in detail. I presently listen to music on my macbook pro through my sennheiser HD280, but I feel they lack enough of a low bass and mid presence - and are terribly uncomfy. The Klipsch s4's while having a lovely lower bass - don't have a soundstage. I'm trying to get over both these issues - hence looking for an IEM aided by a DAC that can sort this issue out to an extent. My computer sits pretty much in one place only - and that's on the desk - so a desktop amp/ dac can also be a consideration - but it can't be a large set as I'll have to ship it to my friend who will have to carry it with him when he returns from the US to India.

IEM - have more or less settled on the monster miles davis tribute that Im managing to source on the cheap as they're out of production.

Throwing in some initial dacs that i'm considering - 

dragonfly 1.2, schiit modi, meridan explorer, arcam rdac (solo) ... 

post #6 of 6
Choose DACs and headphone amps for clarity and accuracy of music reproduction--that, after all, is their ultimate design goal.

Choose headphones and IEMs to get the sound signature you want over what you have now.
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