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Best USB DAC for Sennheiser 598 (Genre Specific)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey guys. The audio jack on my PC is messing up, so I need to order a USB DAC that I can use with my 598's. I listen to mostly electronic and instrumental music (with some alternative thrown in every now and then). While I'm buying a DAC, I'd rather go ahead and get something good. I want something that works best with those types of music and something not too big so I can carry it around with me as well. What would you guys recommend? Thanks!!

post #2 of 9

Yulong U100 might suit your needs, definitely on the smaller side compared to similarly priced USB-DACs.

Sounds great as well!

post #3 of 9
I have been using a FIIO E7 as "desk top dac/amp" with my HD598 headphones. I also use it a portable dac/amp with a variety of earbuds. It is limited to 16-bit 48Khz files. For a source i use an ipad mini with camera connection kit or my samung S5 with the USB Audio Pro and a micro to mini OTG cable.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by garrettmc View Post

Hey guys. The audio jack on my PC is messing up, so I need to order a USB DAC that I can use with my 598's. I listen to mostly electronic and instrumental music (with some alternative thrown in every now and then). While I'm buying a DAC, I'd rather go ahead and get something good. I want something that works best with those types of music and something not too big so I can carry it around with me as well. What would you guys recommend? Thanks!!

FIrst, a DAC is a digital audio converter. It takes digital and coverts it to analog so it can be passed along to an amplifier. So you need a DAC and a headphone amp (or a unit with both), not just a DAC.

Second, a DAC's goal is to accurately reproduce the music when it does the conversion. Then the headphone amp should transparently amplify the audio for the headphones with a goal of accuracy as well. So it doesn't matter what kind of music you listen to.

Next, what do you plan on hooking this DAC/amp up to? What specific devices?

Finally, what is your budget? "Something good" means different things to different people, and it's usually based on some budgetary constraint idea. You could get a FiiO E17, FiiO E18, Leckerton Audio UHA-4, or a JDS Labs CD5.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


FIrst, a DAC is a digital audio converter. It takes digital and coverts it to analog so it can be passed along to an amplifier. So you need a DAC and a headphone amp (or a unit with both), not just a DAC.
 

 

That isn't necessarily true… I don't know how well the 598's perform on their own, but they're rated at 50 Ohm, so they should at least work reasonably well without an amp. He may be fine just using something small like a Dragonfly or an Odac, straight out to his 'phones. 

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thievesarmy View Post

That isn't necessarily true… I don't know how well the 598's perform on their own, but they're rated at 50 Ohm, so they should at least work reasonably well without an amp. He may be fine just using something small like a Dragonfly or an Odac, straight out to his 'phones. 

Audioquest describes the Dragonfly as having a headphone amp, and it's output impedance is low enough that suggests it probably does, although I do not know for sure.

Meanwhile, I don't know why someone make this suggestion of buying an ODAC to run headphones. Just because you can hook them up to it and get sound out of it, doesn't make it the right tool for the job. The ODAC was designed to be used with devices with a 5K input impedance and specifically mentioned that it is not recommended to use with headphones.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Meanwhile, I don't know why someone make this suggestion of buying an ODAC to run headphones. Just because you can hook them up to it and get sound out of it, doesn't make it the right tool for the job. The ODAC was designed to be used with devices with a 5K input impedance and specifically mentioned that it is not recommended to use with headphones.

 

You're right, sorry - I meant to say the Udac from nuforce, which I recently picked up and has been working well for me. Although it also claims to serve as a headphone amp, I don't know how great or powerful the actual amping is. Bottom line is that I have 'phones rated similar to his 598's that work great straight out of the Dragonfly or udac.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thievesarmy View Post

You're right, sorry - I meant to say the Udac from nuforce, which I recently picked up and has been working well for me. Although it also claims to serve as a headphone amp, I don't know how great or powerful the actual amping is. Bottom line is that I have 'phones rated similar to his 598's that work great straight out of the Dragonfly or udac.

Doesn't the udac have a headphone amp, too.
post #9 of 9

The Aune T1 desktop amp and DAC should be suitable for the HD598.

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