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DAC/AMP vs Xonar DGX

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

From what I understand, you can get better sound for the price from a DAC/AMP than a sound card. What I'm not sure is whether that is true for all price ranges.

 

Taking the Xonar DGX, a pretty cheap sound card, would a DAC/AMP for about $40 be significantly better than getting a Xonar DGX? What DAC/AMP would be comparable to get instead of the DGX? If I cared only for music and didn't want to use the Dolby Surround it comes with, would there be no reason to buy a sound card at all?

post #2 of 10

Chances are your not going to do better with a $40 external DAC/Amp, over the DGX, even if we are only talking about music.

Currently Amazon has the DGX for $37.99, with free shipping and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

(Xonar DG is $27.98 - $10 = $17.98)

So for the DGX your looking at $27.99 and maybe a little sales tax.

Hopefully you use something like Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

There is some low priced (no-name?) external DAC/amps, shipped from China, but I've found that stuff will not keep functioning for very long.

post #3 of 10

The DGX is a great value, you don't have to pay for power supply, and they mass produce those things for real cheap. The Dolby processing is very bloated for gaming, so I will be returning/selling/giving away mine, but for music it is a great upgrade to onboard audio.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

How good is the AMP? Will low impedance headphones be fine, and how high of impedance will its AMP be able to work with?

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

How good is the AMP? Will low impedance headphones be fine, and how high of impedance will its AMP be able to work with?

Should be ok with headphone up to around 150-Ohms.

I've used headphones as low as 32-Ohms with the DG/DGX.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

How good is the AMP? Will low impedance headphones be fine, and how high of impedance will its AMP be able to work with?

"Headphone ImpedanceOptimized for 32-150 Ohm"

I have no clue what the actual output impedance is, or power rating. What headphones will you be using?

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

ATH M50s until the upgrade to Hifiman HE400

 

I hear planars need a lot of juice, but those are supposed to be very efficient. Probably need more than dynamic at the same impedance, but sounds like it should handle planars, especially at that low impedance.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

ATH M50s until the upgrade to Hifiman HE400

 

I hear planars need a lot of juice, but those are supposed to be very efficient. Probably need more than dynamic at the same impedance, but sounds like it should handle planars, especially at that low impedance.

 

If your going to be getting HE-400s in the future, you might want to ask on this thread about what works for amping them.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread

(I would assume you would want something "better" the the Xonar DG/DGX)

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Eventually, yes, but I want to get the most out of the M50s in the meantime and want to save up for a good AMP and DAC.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

Eventually, yes, but I want to get the most out of the M50s in the meantime and want to save up for a good AMP and DAC.

 

I guess just get the Xonar for now.

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