recommendation for a dac please

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Ok a friend told me i need a dac casue the dac on my onboard audio card most likely does a shitty job, advice please HIFIMAN HE4X +Massdrop Objective 2 Headphone Amp: Desktop Edition recommendation for a dac please?
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orchardaudio
89
Jul 12, 2020
www.orchardaudio.com/pecanpi-usb It has built-in very high performance headphone amp as well.
based_donut
9
Jul 4, 2020
If you already have the headphones, then don't just take your friends word for it. I would suggest testing your motherboard audio first before you go spending money. If you hear any static, distortion, background hum, or anything like that when you don't have music playing, at any volume level, then you will need a DAC. If you don't hear anything, then try again, but connect you Amp to the pc as well. you can use an RCA to 3.5mm to connect the amp to your PC. If you still don't hear anything, even when the volume is high, then you don't need a DAC. If you do hear any distortion with the Amp connected, then you do need a new DAC. In brief, a DAC is a digital to analog converter. Like the name implies, it just converts the digital signal to an analog signal that is usable by headphones, speakers, etc. Any electronic capable of audio output will have one, and really the only reason you'd need to upgrade to a new/better one is if you need addition I/O, or features, or if your DAC performs poorly. This is generally indicated by poor sound, and added noise/distortion. Compared to headphones, or Amps, DAC's have the least impact on the sound being output, so you don't have to invest too much into them as most will generally offer similar sound and performance, with thing like build quality and features, such as Bluetooth, I/O, and balanced output being some of the differentiating factors. If it turns out you do need a new DAC, or if you haven't gotten your headphones yet, and just want to get everything at once for simplicity, I would recommend the Topping E30 for a solid DAC. From an objective point of view, the E30 measures perfectly, and will add no distortion to any audio played, through it. It is also very feature rich. It offers solid I/O, can be used as a Pre-amp for active speakers, and has great audio format support offering both DSD512, and PCM 32bit/768kHz support. The E30 is a DAC good enough to be considered "endgame" for most people. "Better"/more expensive DACs' wont necessarily offer better performance, just other features some might prefer, like balanced output. If the price of the E30 is too rich for your blood, or you don't need all the offered features, then the Grace Standard DAC would be a great alternative, as it will still offer a distortion free experience, at a more modest price. If the feature set of the Grace DAC is good for your needs, then really its's all you will ever need, as again "better" DAC's will really only offer different features as opposed to performing better. There are many other options for sure, but honestly I think either one of the DAC's I recommended should be enough to fill your needs, and I would only suggest looking around more if you need specific features that aren't offered by either one. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.
(Edited)
dcha12
435
Jul 3, 2020
Got to tell us your budget man. Can't really help you out much without knowing that. That being said, good cheap option is the Schiit Modi 3, or Modius if you want to spend a bit more. Then the next thing to upgrade would be your amp.
dcha12
435
Jul 5, 2020
Schiit only does direct sale. Some of their products are on Amazon though. The iFi Zen DAC might also be an interesting look
satumbalum
8
Jul 5, 2020
thanks ordered the grace sdac, seems to get great review, don't see any need for all the other features and output.