Hi Guys, done some research + reading etc and feel like the question is a good one and non repeated one!!!!
So I'm after a portable system to listen to a massive range of genres and quality of music! I know I want an apple based source (even iPad or iPod Classic) and pretty sure the Shure SE846 headphones will be the headphones - maybe wiith custom buds!
Obviously the only bits missing are DAC + Amp so would like advise on these items but the unique part of this question is do I buy the DAC or Amp or Headphones 1st to get best improvement? My current headphones are either bose qc20 or apple ear buds!
I'd like the DAC amp to look pretty techy and not too bothered about the size as It will be on bed side table normally or airplane
I would always go for the headphones first, why? Well while some headphones do need amplification to get the best out of them. I think nearly all headphones will still sound good without amplification. I would imagine the quality on iPod is good enough so you wont need a DAC at least not straight away. If you get very picky about sound you can later get a DAC.
Headphones are by far the most important hardware in the chain. Amp in most cases will only increase the volume so if it plays loud enough from iPod you most likely wont need an amp. You have to remember that in portable situations you will always lose quality because of the noises around you. I cant really comment on the need of amp with the Shure SE846 but i would imagine they will run fine out of iPod.
I agree with headphones. Amps, and dacs are important, but headphones will always maintain the sound signature they originally possessed, so if you like them, buy an amp and dac that work with the headphones. Dacs and amps won't change headphones but they will work better with others. So find the can that suits you most and then change amps and dacs. It would suck if you found some nice cans and they just didn't match or amp nicely, or you bought an amp that's too good for the headphones, y'know? Just my 2 cents!