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post #11 of 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr soft View Post

Nor to confuse your choice but the Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp probably should have been on the list as well, similar price.

http://www.amazon.com/electronics/dp/B005VO7LG6
The Creative is $54, and the Fiio is $74. Is it at all going to be worth the price difference?
post #12 of 18
I´ve never used an USB sound card . Lot of people rave about the Fiios that´s why I threw it in.
If I was going to buy one now it would be the Creative for the better connectivity, and I like their software. redface.gif
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post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Vanelay View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr soft View Post

Nor to confuse your choice but the Fiio E10 USB DAC/Amp probably should have been on the list as well, similar price.

http://www.amazon.com/electronics/dp/B005VO7LG6
The Creative is $54, and the Fiio is $74. Is it at all going to be worth the price difference?

The FiiO E10 has a significantly improved headphone output:
(1) no DC blocking capacitor at output, which results in slightly rolled-off sub-bass, especially for low-impedance headphones
(2) much less output impedance even at higher frequencies (no significant frequency response variations with certain lower-impedance and variable-impedance headphones—or mostly multi-balanced armature IEMs in particular)
(3) higher output power levels, so you can get a few or several dB more out of some higher-impedance and lower-sensitivity sets
(4) lower nonlinear distortion, even in situations not covered by the above... though let's be real: the headphones will generally have much more anyway

So for many or most users, even using headphones, it's probably no big deal or deciding factor, but here the extra money and lack of other features really is going to improving something. Also, the E10 has a non-plasticky construction, for whatever that's worth.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

The FiiO E10 has a significantly improved headphone output:
(1) no DC blocking capacitor at output, which results in slightly rolled-off sub-bass, especially for low-impedance headphones
(2) much less output impedance even at higher frequencies (no significant frequency response variations with certain lower-impedance and variable-impedance headphones—or mostly multi-balanced armature IEMs in particular)
(3) higher output power levels, so you can get a few or several dB more out of some higher-impedance and lower-sensitivity sets
(4) lower nonlinear distortion, even in situations not covered by the above... though let's be real: the headphones will generally have much more anyway

So for many or most users, even using headphones, it's probably no big deal or deciding factor, but here the extra money and lack of other features really is going to improving something. Also, the E10 has a non-plasticky construction, for whatever that's worth.
Am I going to be able to notice those differences on my Sennheiser 558s? They're not exactly audiophile grade headphones.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Vanelay View Post

Am I going to be able to notice those differences on my Sennheiser 558s? They're not exactly audiophile grade headphones.

Over your current on-board sound on laptop? A huge yes.
If you don't need any DSP (Dolby Headphones for example), the FiiO E10 isn't a bad deal.

The HD558s aren't reference level cans, but they're considerably good entry-level audiophile headphones. Like I said, if you're going from on-board laptop to Fiio E10 then yes, the difference is significant enough that the $60 spent will be well worth it.
    
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post #16 of 18
Noticeable between laptop and FiiO E10? Depends on laptop. For many, sure.

Noticeable between Creative Surround 5.1 and FiiO E10? HD 558 has widely varying impedance, so there should be some difference that should be noticeable if you were to compare them side by side. Not a big difference, and no guarantees about which one you'd actually prefer.

Though with both, I'd be a little peeved about spending $50+ and not getting something that natively has a 1/4" jack for the headphones—note: does not make any real difference in terms of sound, just a comment on usability and aesthetics. (that said, no alternatives in that price range outside from maybe some sketchy eBay specials would have such a thing)
post #17 of 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbenkr View Post

Over your current on-board sound on laptop? A huge yes.
If you don't need any DSP (Dolby Headphones for example), the FiiO E10 isn't a bad deal.

The HD558s aren't reference level cans, but they're considerably good entry-level audiophile headphones. Like I said, if you're going from on-board laptop to Fiio E10 then yes, the difference is significant enough that the $60 spent will be well worth it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Noticeable between laptop and FiiO E10? Depends on laptop. For many, sure.

Noticeable between Creative Surround 5.1 and FiiO E10? HD 558 has widely varying impedance, so there should be some difference that should be noticeable if you were to compare them side by side. Not a big difference, and no guarantees about which one you'd actually prefer.

Though with both, I'd be a little peeved about spending $50+ and not getting something that natively has a 1/4" jack for the headphones—note: does not make any real difference in terms of sound, just a comment on usability and aesthetics. (that said, no alternatives in that price range outside from maybe some sketchy eBay specials would have such a thing)

I meant a difference between the Fiio and the Sound Blaster. It's $20 more, and I'm not sure my headphones are good enough that I could tell any difference whatsoever. My laptop's onboard audio sounds like it's near death, so I tend not to listen to music with it.
Edited by Art Vanelay - 7/6/13 at 3:31pm
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I ended up deciding to get the Fiio E10, since money wasn't really an issue. I'm shocked how small this thing is; my headphone jack, with its 1/4" to 3.5mm converter is as long as the DAC, itself.
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