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Can I get better audio with this headphone by using a seperate DAC and amplifier in stead of my current soundcard?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by brammie, Nov 8, 2012.
  1. Brammie
    I listen with my Sennheiser HD598 and a USB soundcard (Sounblaster XFi Pro). I am under the impression that the sound quality is decent at the very least. I have read though that the impedance is higher for lower frequencies and as a result of that the lower frequencies could be insufficiently produced by my current soundcard. What DAC and amplifier would be a good solution for me? Is it certain that the sound quality would improve? I guess I would have to connect the DAC by USB. I intend to buy a better headphone in the future (for now a DAC and amp might be a better investment) so that headphone also has to work well with that DAC and amplifier. I am a noob with regard to this, I don't want to spend a lot of money for something that looks more impressive than it is. I just want the sound to be produced as realistically as possible. 
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Fiio E10 ($68) USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier is about as cheap as you can get for a DAC/Amp. combo.
    The Fiio E17 ($140) is like the E10, but with more features, like S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) input, AUX input, OLED Screen, etc.
    The Fiio's headphone (most models) output comes with a very low impedance, like under 1-Ohm.
  3. Brammie
    What would be the difference between that one and the more expensive models? I read on a blog, to which I am allowed to link, that many models are ridiculously expensive because the engineers want to reform the sound (make it sound warmer and stuff like that) with exotic components in stead of simply designing an amp which reproduces the sound as accurately as possible. He claims, with a good foundation, that most amps are either not very good or much more expensive than that is nessecary. How do you guys think about that? The quality is the most important to me (for the tier 2 headphones, not the ones which cost 1000 Euro or more), but I don't want to waste money for somthing that has nothing tot do with quality (breadname, unjustified good reputation, unnessecary expensive design).

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