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cstaknys
1
Dec 19, 2017
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I just got these headphones and I'm new to audio equipment. Is a DAC or amp for playing audio from my macbook necessary? Does it make it sound significantly better? If so what's a good basic one I should get?
Dec 19, 2017
PimN
61
Dec 19, 2017
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To an untrained ear the sound won't be significantly improved. An amplifier amplifies the signal. Your Macbook already has a DAC and amp inside of it, otherwise it wouldn't be able to output sound. However, built in DACs and amps are almost always inferior to an external setup. The main advantage of having a dedicated amp is that it often supports higher impedances than a built-in one. The higher the impedance of a pair of headphones is, the harder it is to 'drive', which results in quite sounds. A good amp that supports higher impedances can improve the volume.
The HD6xx have an impedance of 300 Ohms. It's extremely likely that the built-in amplifier in your laptop can't output enough volume. So yes, an amp will make the sound better in your case, because it's possible that even at the maximum volume settings on your laptop, you'll still only hear the sound coming out of the headphones very softly.
A Digital to Analog Converter will do as its name suggests. It converts your digital music file to analog signals. An external/dedicated DAC will often do a better job at this than a built-in one. Simply put, this will result in cleaner and richer sound.
If you want something basic, an amp/DAC combo is the way to go I think, especially since in this case we're talking about a laptop. I personally use the SMSL M3 and I really like it. It should be able to drive the HD6XX. There's other similar models like the NuForce uDAC 3 or the Fiio E10K but I'm not sure if these can drive the HD6XX.
One last thing, I have to say that an amp, DAC or these HD6XX headphones aren't worth it if you don't have some high quality music files. MP3 or streaming won't do these products any justice, though I hope you knew this. Otherwise, I think you should start finding some lossless files to truly enjoy your headphones.
Dec 19, 2017
cstaknys
1
Dec 19, 2017
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Cool, thanks!
Dec 19, 2017
PimN
61
Dec 20, 2017
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No problem.
Dec 20, 2017
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