Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Looking for a headphone amp and possibly a DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking for a headphone amp and possibly a DAC

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Shure srh 840's, but I am not sure I am using them to their full potential. I have been using them with my phone (North American Galaxy S III; the one without the Wolfson DAC) an via the headphone out on my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. However, the headphone out on the speakers is very noisy and far from ideal, and the GS3 has volume steps that are not consistent and not fine enough (so music is either too loud or too quiet). The DAC on the GS3 isn't the best either. I have used my headphones on my Mcintosh C33 preamp (which has a small headphone amp built in) and they seem to sound better, but that system is obviously not portable and is not something I can hook up to my desktop and laptop.

I have a soundblaster x-fi xtrememusic card that is getting a bit old now, and I am sure it doesn't have the best DAC compared with newer stuff. Recently I have been using the line out on the back of the x fi with my headphones, but that isn't really designed as a headphone out, so I fear I might be getting frequency rolloff or something like that (although I haven't noticed anything specific yet.

Basically, I want a headphone amp and potentially a DAC/amp combo that will work well with my 840's. I am looking to spend around $100, and I have been looking at the Fiio e7, E07k, E17, and Ibasso D-Zero. However, if I get a DAC I would ideally want it to be something that I can use with my phone through the USB out, but I have found mixed reports as to which of these actually work, and how limited their functionality is (some of them seem to require the use of the USB audio recorder pro, but it isn't clear which actually require it and with which phones, and that app isn't specifically designed as a media player).

Would a separate DAC in this price range be an improvement over the x fi, and is a headphone amp going to give me any benefit over the GS3 and the line out on the sound card?
Hexa Core
(23 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820K @ 4.5 ghz GA-X99P-SLI Msi GTX 1070 Gaming 8g Corsaid quad channel 16 gb ddr4 2400  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB OCZ trion 150 480 gb HGST 3 TB 7200 rpm 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Some random ASUS lightscribe DVD burner Corsair H105 + 2 2150 RPM Gentle Typhoon fans Windows 7 professional 64 bit xb271hu 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Dell u2713HM Dell 2001FP Ducky Zero Shine DK2108s Seasonic X750 fully modular PSU 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design R5 Logitech G700s Steelseries qck+ Sennheiser HD600  
AudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT250 250 ohm Mayflower Electronics O2 Headphone Amp + ODAC Monoprice 5 inch studio monitors 
  hide details  
Reply
Hexa Core
(23 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820K @ 4.5 ghz GA-X99P-SLI Msi GTX 1070 Gaming 8g Corsaid quad channel 16 gb ddr4 2400  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB OCZ trion 150 480 gb HGST 3 TB 7200 rpm 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Some random ASUS lightscribe DVD burner Corsair H105 + 2 2150 RPM Gentle Typhoon fans Windows 7 professional 64 bit xb271hu 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Dell u2713HM Dell 2001FP Ducky Zero Shine DK2108s Seasonic X750 fully modular PSU 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design R5 Logitech G700s Steelseries qck+ Sennheiser HD600  
AudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT250 250 ohm Mayflower Electronics O2 Headphone Amp + ODAC Monoprice 5 inch studio monitors 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 2
The Fiio stuff is certainly a good place to start. Your Galaxy S 3 should be able to use the USB sound out to a Fiio amp. Headphone amp/DACs for phones are becoming more and more common since the release of Android 4.0 which added the possibility of USB bitstream out to an external converter. Fiio is one of the best known brands in this arena. The wonderful thing is that, like you said, you can use the amp for both your computer and your phone.
Pell
(4 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsOS
Qualcomm APQ8064 Xperia Tablet Z Adreno 320 Android 4.3 
  hide details  
Reply
Pell
(4 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsOS
Qualcomm APQ8064 Xperia Tablet Z Adreno 320 Android 4.3 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Looking for a headphone amp and possibly a DAC