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Amp/Dac for Beginner?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by dukedudez, Jun 1, 2011.
  1. Dukedudez
    Hey guys, I'm very knew to this audiophile stuff and I have a few questions.  First of all, I currently own a set of Sennheiser HD280 Pros, I use mainly my Ipod Classic 80gb and my computer for listening to music, I use a M Audio Mobile Pre USB for sound on my computer (I don't know if it's a DAC/Amp), and most of my music is either 256kps AAC or 320kps MP3.  My first question is, is my M Audio a good set up for my computer?  Also, do I need an Amp or DAC for my Sennheisers, or will I even be able to tell a difference?  I know these might sound very simple, but I am totally overwhelmed by all this audio stuff that I've never heard of.  Thanks!
     
  2. estreeter
    Please read this:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/a-hopefully-helpful-headphone-buying-guide-for-newbies-by-boomana
     
    Particularly the parts about:
     
    - portable amps
    - impedance+sensitivity and the need for voltage swing vs the need for current in an amplifier
     
    For 90% of us, the best rig for portable use is a good DAP (Clip+ is very popular here) and a decent pair of IEMs. Unless you spend a lot of time on the road, my tip is to spend more money on your source.
     
  3. Dukedudez
    When you say source, do you mean iPod?
     
  4. ArrigoShred
    Ray Samuels The Shadow would be good?
    Its relatively cheap and ultra portable :)
     
  5. Dukedudez
    I think I'm going to save up and buy a Cowon J3 to replace my iPod.  I don't think I'll worry about an amp/DAC until I get higher end headphones.
     
  6. tme110
    look for the fiio x3 that should be coming out soon too.
     
  7. F900EX
    You cannot go wrong with a J3, especially the EQ.  It's a winner in my book, just make sure you get yourself a good pair of headphones, they do not have to be expensive to get the best out of it.  The headphones that come with the J3 are no better then the Apple ones. 
     
  8. MicroMint98


    Quote:


    Any other possible recommendations?  I'm also looking to replace my source after it crapped out on me.  The J3 was going to be my first choice but I'm willing to spend a little more if need be.
     
  9. soundgrunt
    I started using the elephantcandy EQu app on my iPhone with SE535s and triple.fi 10s and find the sound quite acceptable. Is there really a profound difference in the DAC quality? I will try a Total Bithead DAC/amp, soon, so I was wondering how 'poor' the iPhone onboard components really are. Yes, I will use a USB direct connection.
     

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