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Should I get a portable amp or DAC, if so, which one?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey guys.  I just recently purchased a pair of NAD HP50s, which is my first pair of "real" headphones.  I am not an audiofile but I do recognize good sound quality as I am a musician.  The primary use I am using my headphones for are movies that I am watching from my computer that I have hooked up to my TV with an HDMI cable, from where I have my headphones connected to the TV.  I also sometimes watch shows like Game of Thrones from my iPad and use my HP50s.  Would it be beneficial to use either an amp or DAC for these purposes?  If so, which would you recommend?  I have started looking at some different FiiO's and there are plenty to choose from.  My HP50's impedance is 32 ohms, which I'm sure makes a difference on what amp/DAC to buy, if one at all.  I had looked at the E7 some online.  What are your guys' thoughts?  And if you have better setup ideas, any and all ideas are appreciated.  Thanks! - Steve

post #2 of 7

If your looking for home use get a dac/amp combo. What to get depends wildly on your budget. A great combo for a reasonable price is ALO Audio's Pan Am, it is $500 I believe.  Schiit Audio also produces dac and amp components. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wow, these things are awesome!  Since I am a noob, and just spent $300 on my headphones, I was hoping to start with something under $150.  I know it's not a lot but I am just getting started.  I haven't even been to a store to see what an amp or DAC adds.  Can you please explain what I would notice adding an amp or DAC?  Would you even recommend buying one if I am to only spend $150 or less?  Or would it be much more beneficial to wait and save up for a big boy?  Thanks!

post #4 of 7

Do some searches on Aune T1 tube dac/amp. It's quite nice and around your price range. Plus you open up a word of tube rolling if you become interested, though it will need to stay paired at a desk full time. For a semi more portable solution something like Topping D1 MK2 for $100 is a decent buy.

post #5 of 7

You bought HP50's to watch movies? haha

 

Fiio E07, E17 or there desk top amp, iBasso has some stuff. ****t magni and modi?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Silly, I know.  Haha.  I use my HP50's for music some but mostly on movies, since a movie goes on for 1.5+ hours.  I let my wife use the nice 42" plasma TV with the volume on and I am in the same room with my computer hooked up via HDMI to a 32" LED TV and needed some isolating headphones to block out the other TV and not bother her in the process.  I ended up opting for the HP50's.  Probably overkill for my purposes but I like nice things.  Ha.  The volume level is pretty good but wondered if an amp or DAC would help improve sound quality and add volume.  I am new to this stuff so I really didn't know what to go for and if it was really necessary and how much it would help.  I appreciate everyone's responses and recommendations!  Keep it coming!  Thanks!

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdcii00 View Post

Silly, I know.  Haha.  I use my HP50's for music some but mostly on movies, since a movie goes on for 1.5+ hours.  I let my wife use the nice 42" plasma TV with the volume on and I am in the same room with my computer hooked up via HDMI to a 32" LED TV and needed some isolating headphones to block out the other TV and not bother her in the process.  I ended up opting for the HP50's.  Probably overkill for my purposes but I like nice things.  Ha.  The volume level is pretty good but wondered if an amp or DAC would help improve sound quality and add volume.  I am new to this stuff so I really didn't know what to go for and if it was really necessary and how much it would help.  I appreciate everyone's responses and recommendations!  Keep it coming!  Thanks!
Honestly I don't think a DAC/amp is worth it for movies, idk it's still going to sound very similar it's not like your trying to hear the lead actors voice be more natural sounding or anything like that, you usually just watch the movie.

So mostly you use and iPad? I would probably get an iDAC then like the htr istreamer or whatever or the fostex HP-P1 depending if you want portable or not. I know that with ios7 the iPhone 5s can output usb audio through the lightning cable so you can use any usb dac but idk if ipads can do that?
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