Oct 21, 2018228 views

What do I need to have a work-at-a-computer-all-day-love-high quality music system? (newbie)

Looking to create my first set up, but don't know jack about the small amps, what parts make a good system. Any suggestions on where to start. I spend my money on headphones, but that doesn't seem to the be the whole picture to get true audiophile sound. For computer, but also for home.

Personally, I think it's a great choice and not because of the inner workings or the chips or blah blah blah - you can literally run almost anything on it, and I love having both headphones and bookshelf speakers in the office. Sometimes, you need to switch it up.
Go to Schiit's website. They have gear for most any budget and it's all pretty well explained and easy to understand. It's quality equipment and upgradeable. Personally I use a Lyr 2 and bifrost multibit at home and it's splendid. (Find 20$ a month for Tidal)
I am such a newb I don't get much of the language. I will do some studying from everyone's suggestions. Thanks for the help
-- I am no expert, but I do know my place.
Maybe get an Aune X1S.. All in one, pretty good combo. Maybe get the Sanskrit 6th + E09K/whatever amp.. You can get the schiit stack (do not stack them, they get warm, and not in a good way, put them next to each other).
If you look for the why... I think this is a very expensive hobby. But if you are like me and just buying a decent amp + DAC (everything costed like 300$ ?) Then it is a "one-time" treatment and it is fine. Try and think if it is worth it. Go to stores, ask friends, Z reviews, etc... Understand why you like it the way it is. Make sure to get hi-fi music like 16bit flacs.. (Don't get fooled by all of these expensive DSD stuff , if you are just getting into it an album CD or a high quality mp3 is just awesome)
BTW if you look for something that is high-end I recommend you get a darkvoice or an X7 (Class A headphone amp). Also anything from schiit is great.
Are you building a PC or are you adding an audio setup to an existing PC?
The audio quality of PCs and motherboards can vary quite a bit.
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no budget yet. I have some headphones. is the DAC? the next step? I can try with current headphones while I save up. are the DAC (?) and the amp the other key pieces?
You'll need a DAC and amp. The DAC converts the digital stream to an analog electrical signal, and that needs to be amplified for your speaker or headphones, so you need both. You can get a DAC paired with just a headphone amp, and buy the speaker amp and speakers later, or you can get a DAC paired with both amps, and then you just need speakers. How good are the headphones you have now?
Quick answer that will save you gobs of money: You need whatever you enjoy hearing. If you love it, go for it, and be satisfied with it.
If you really want to start down the rabbit hole, I hope your wallet agrees with that decision, but in my experience it seldom does. You can spend a fortune on audio gear and barely scratch the surface. You'll spend far more learning how to listen than is reasonable. Then as if that wasn't enough, you'll get picky and start making demands for how you want your gear to sound that lead to ever increasingly more expensive gear.
If you could give a bit more information such as budget, current rig if any, types of headphones preferred if any, space available and usage... gaming, music, movies, or all of the above, we could probably give you some really good suggestions as to what direction to look in.
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To start the Bluetooth Headset and Nuraphone won't get much benefit from additional gear as both are primarily self powered headphones. The Sennheiser is not particularly difficult to drive but may benefit from a cleaner source. I give every new enthusiast the same advice, start with a small investment as everyone's ears are different. Some of my friends are happy with a <$100 DAC/AMP usb stick... others can appreciate my UD-501 and Cayin Combo at >$1000. To save typing it out again here is my response to a similar post https://www.massdrop.com/talk/7800/hd-6-xx-vs-akg-7-xx-also-question-about-dac-and-amp/2080779
Right now at home use Google stream on a Google max speaker and have uploaded my 38k songs to the locker. I also have a Sonos play 5. I have a pair of B&o that I use off my phone as well as a nura which I am kinda digging
If you're using a computer, probably a usb purifier, dac and amp to power your headphones
What kind of headphones? What's your budget?
First thought is wait for the O2 amp and SDAC combo to drop here again. Very economical, very small form factor and drives most cans reasonably well.
If you want more, Google "SMSL panda stack" still a reasonable size/form factor, but much more noticeable than the O2/SDAC . Very good amp/dac combo, you don't really need the linear power supply, but it's functional. Some love the aesthetic, some hate it, I'm kinda ambivalent.
I use a Schiit stack at work (Eitr, Mimby, Magni 3). Wouldn’t call it high end but it works great and doesn’t take much room on my desk. If you have room, you can look into a bimby with a Jot/Valhalla 2/Lyr 3. What headphones do you use?
I have several b&o h91, nura, Bose and just got the sennehower (I can never do that) jubilee and a couple headsets designed for gamming (that I don't do)