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Some questions concerning DACs. Very very new noob here, please bear with me

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

hi, yesterday I made my first post in my favorite forum on the web, which is this. I am really eager to proceed more and more in audiophile-ism. 

I have Audio Technica m50 right now. I usually listen to music through my computer, but due to frequent power outages in my country, I need to switch to mobile sometimes even when I'm at home. I have a Dell Optiplex 755 computer right now, and the sound is not bad. But I live in a place where I haven't met a singly audiophile besides myself all my life. Hence, i haven't had the pleasure to listen to any DAC, headphone or amp or anything for that matter besides my own Audio Technica M50, and my built in DAC for my computer + my Samsung Note 3. To further my extremely burning passion for music, I want to buy a DAC, as I believe it should get me even better sound than i already have.

My budget is somewhat tight compared to the standard I've seen here :D it's under $200.
Can someone suggest me a good DAC for under $200? And, I wanted to know, that I have a USB otg for my Note 3. So can I connect just any dac to it via OTG?

 

I was thinking about getting Fiio e18, but it has an Amp in it too, which I do not need. I think my m50 are pretty loud already. so i was thinking if i could cut off the extra money for an amp, and get the best possible sounding dac in under $200?

 

I tried searching a lot, but i really couldn't find any question which was exactly answering to my needs, so i decided to make a thread. i dont want to repost, so if there is a thread discussing this stuff already, kindly point me to it.

 

thanks for the support! :)

post #2 of 10
Which note 3 do you have ? The one with theexynos or snapdragon ?
Edited by zunehdrocks - 5/15/14 at 6:28am
post #3 of 10
You need a dac and amp for a headphone to simply work. The analog signal out of a dac is not enough.
Good amp/dac combos
Audioquest dragonfly
Fiio e7
The ath m50 wouldnt benefit much from a dedicated amp by the way.
post #4 of 10
I personally wouldnt go over 100 for the dac. It wouldnt be worth it for the athm50s
post #5 of 10
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahmed1 View Post

My budget is somewhat tight compared to the standard I've seen here biggrin.gif  it's under $200.

Can someone suggest me a good DAC for under $200? And, I wanted to know, that I have a USB otg for my Note 3. So can I connect just any dac to it via OTG?

I was thinking about getting Fiio e18, but it has an Amp in it too, which I do not need. I think my m50 are pretty loud already. so i was thinking if i could cut off the extra money for an amp, and get the best possible sounding dac in under $200?

K so, get that mess out of your head. $200 is plenty for a dac, infact $200 can get you near top of the line in sq.

A dac/amp combo is probably going to help you more than anything. M50 is fine unamped, but amping can't hurt. You can turn the volume down on your device to compensate which will make it less likely to distort.

Fiio e18 is android compatible and works as an external power supply in addition to being a dac and an amp. That'd probably be my top reccomendation for mobile and desktop. If you don't plan on moving it,

edit: read you already considered e18 biggrin.gif.

So as far as wanting to skip the amp, that's not totally viable. Most are bundled dac/amp now anyway, so you'll either get a cheaper dac only unit ($100) or a dac/amp (slightly more)

There's no mobile dac only units at $200...that I can immediately think of.
post #7 of 10
U want a portable "dac" which u can plug a headphone in....
U want to upgrade your can?
:-)
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

U want a portable "dac" which u can plug a headphone in....
U want to upgrade your can?
:-)
Shhh, if he's fine with m50 he's fine, we all have the little upgrade virus already, we don't need external sources telling us to upgrade as well.
post #9 of 10
Hate to see such a passionate, lonely soul languishing in m50land...
He needs salvation! :-)
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapster View Post

Fiio e18 is android compatible and works as an external power supply in addition to being a dac and an amp. That'd probably be my top reccomendation for mobile and desktop. If you don't plan on moving it,

edit: read you already considered e18 biggrin.gif.

So as far as wanting to skip the amp, that's not totally viable.

I agree. The E18 would be a great choice.

However, I have the Note 2 and the M50s, and I don't think a DAC/amp would add a bunch of improvement to how the M50s sound with the Note 2 (not sure about Note 3). Certainly, it would allow it to play louder with better dynamics.

If your Note 3 sounds better than your computer, then definitely you should expect to improve the sound with the E18 as much or more than the Note 3 over that.
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