Noob tries sound test - fair benchmark?
Jun 7, 2013 at 8:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


New Head-Fier
Jun 6, 2013
Trying to get a sense of what kind of sound improvements I might achieve over my iPhone or iMac by getting a separate DA converter and/or amp. I tried the following test and wondered if it is a good way of establishing comparable sonic improvement you can get with a DA/Amp, or if I'm expecting too much out of a headphone amp.
Grado SR80i headphones
CD: The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta 
A: CD played on a Panasonic blu-ray player connected via HDMI to a Integra DHC 9.9 with the specs below, using the Stereo listening mode
B: CD played on an iMac with i5 processor
C: CD ripped to iPhone 4 in lossless format
B&C were similar. A was significantly better than B or C: More relaxed sound, better depth and separation of sounds, and overall easier on the ears.
I was wondering if the sound improvements I experienced with A could be achieved with a dedicated headphone amp or DA connected to the iMac or iPhone. How much might I have to spend to get similar sound quality? Would any of the Fiio products get me there?
Integra DHC-9.9 selected specs
• THX Ultra2 Plus*3 Certified
• Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit D/A Converters
• Three-TI (Aureus) 32-Bit DSP Chips
• Neural Surround*4, THX-Neural
• Theater-Dimensional*5 virtual surround sound
• DSD Direct
• Re-EQ*6 function


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