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ie80 / m50x - do i need a dac ?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by ael00, Jun 9, 2017.
  1. ael00

    So far i use the m50x and now im planning to upgrade my on the move iem to the sennheiser ie 80. Would these two benefit from a dac, like the fiio e10k ? Something more expensive maybe ?

    Im listening to my flac collection or tidal from the pc ( Realtek ALC892 onboard audio) or my phone - an Xperia Z3.

  2. Roen
    No one needs a DAC, but you'll benefit from one.
  3. MrExistor
    If your main use is mainly listening on the go, not really required. If you are someone who spend time sitting down, close your eye, have some tea and listing to music, yes.
  4. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    You will only need a DAC if you need an amp, that way you can send a clean line signal to the amp (whether it's a separate unit or built into the same box as the DAC chip).

    The IE80 doesn't need an amp for power, but for low output impedance. AFAIK the Z3 will do fine on its own, but I don't know if your PC will do fine with the IE80 (which might have a high output impedance, or maybe not; or not enough to drastically alter the sound).

    Overall you can either get something that will work mostly with the M50X at home but can work with the IE80 when you prefer to use that one (ie make sure it has a low gain mode), or save up for something to drive those but also whatever harder to drive headphones you might get in the future, and just use what you have right now.

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