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View Full Discussion I'm 99% sure I'm going to buy this exact pair, but I'm so insanely confused about the dac amp situation....
I obviously need a (desktop) dac, but I don't want to buy a cheap one that will make these sound cruddy. When I specifically search for dacs for "600 Ohm headphones", it's like most of them don't even put the impedance output as a key piece of information.
This is a super affordable one on Amazon that claims it will support the 600 Ohm ones, but I'm reading online that cheap ones aren't good???? That doesn't make sense to me. Something either can or cannot do something....
It's important to note that I'm intending on producing/mixing/mastering hip hop on these. I've also read that this particular Monoprice dac is "not good for mixing vocals"? How in the world would an amp dictate what the headphones are good for???
A DAC is a Digital Audio Convertor. All it does is convert the digital to an analog signal. It shouldn't Amp it as that is what an Amp is for. There are Dac/Amp Combo's out there.
Your basic setup would be:
Computer -> DAC -> AMP -> Headphones
Poor quality DACs will produce poor sound quality. Every electronic device that you can listen to already has a built-in DAC, the purpose of purchasing a separate one is to get a high quality one as things like laptops and phones tend to have poor quality DACS.
Poor quality Amps will add tones to the music that isn't present in the original. Especially if you plan to mix/master on your setup you do not want to use something like a Tube Amp that will make your music sound artificially warm and then notice that your music sounds different when you listen to it everywhere else. An Ideal Amp does nothing to the sound except make it louder for your headphones.
In audio there are some things that are cheap but still sound amazing. It's a mixed bag.
For cheap but good quality DACS/Amps I recommend Schiit Audio. You can get a Schiit Fulla 2 for $100 or a Schiit Modi 2 and Schiit Magni 2 combo for $200. Be aware the Schiit stuff may not include all required cables but it is 100% made in america.