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Headphone Build vs. Speaker Build. Mutually Exclusive?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Another question from a noob. Similar to some of the threads regarding the optimal order to upgrade, I'm trying to figure out how to balance a headphone-centric design with a speaker-centric design. I'd like to map out an upgrade plan for my home office, where I anticipate that I'll probably listen 50/50 when all is said and done. I understand that certain components may lend themselves to one or the other format, but I'm not sure which, if any, are mutually exclusive or complimentary.

 

For example, I understand that a combo Amp/DAC (e.g., Woo WA7) may be disigned for headphones, but can either the Amp or the DAC work with a set of speakers, or would I need to buy a separate Amp and/or DAC for them? Or maybe it's best to have a DAC that works for both headphones and speakers, but discrete power sources for the two...? I just want to make sure I don't design myself into a corner and buy things that don't work as I planned (or for my budgets sake, are redundant). Ease of switching between the two would also be a consideration.

 

How do people typically set up a system that will work with both headphones and speakers, preferably optimizing the listening experience for both?

post #2 of 2
You will want a separate amp for the speakers or get powered speakers.

You can get headphone amps, or combined headphone amp/dacs, that have pre-amp output made for hooking the speaker amp (or powered speakers) to. For example, I use a Schiit Asgard 2 with an ODAC. Audio-GD makes some great combined units that have it all.

And keep in mind that to get the SQ equivalent of a pair of headphones, it will cost you A LOT more for speakers (and probably sub) and amp for them.
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