I need help here. Just getting into this hobby. All of my guidance comes from reviews like Joshua and Zoes' style reminds me of Louis CK and I like that. Now please help! I'll start with a DAP...fine. Went with Fiio M11. For my first pair I was able to get some 6XX headphones two weeks ago on Drop. Great start I'm thinking.
Then I watch "FUNKING END GAME" and I'm told I need an amp? FINE...last week I bought the 789 off Drop as well. It's described as both a DAC and an AMP. Soooo...this is better than the DAC on my M11?
First Q - why buy an M11 or any DAP if you're using an external DAC/AMP? Wouldn't a cheap android phone storing microSD card FLACs play the files well, or stream Tidal???
Second Q: After thinking "now I'm sorted as I have a DAP, headphones and now an external DAC/AMP I watch Z's review for the Monolith version for $500 and in it Zoes says to use a 789 "properly" you need a balanced DAC. What??? I really need help here. First of all - do I want balanced? What's that?
Third Q: It says on the back of my 789 "balanced" input and on the front "balanced" output. Soooooo...how is that different? What am I gaining by buy a separate DAC from this DAC/AMP?
Fourth Q: What cables are needed for this?
Sorry to be all over the place here, but I'm trying to navigate the start of this hobby. Was excited but now seems daunting. Still excited though...
Could SOMEONE please start with the basics...what do I need? Then what are the incremental steps to enjoy this hobby? Please use basic terms or define terms that your grandmother (me) wouldn't understand. Appreciate it.