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Sound card or really good headphones?

#11ForeverZero2Posted 3/8/2014 2:13:34 AM
and which dac would you guys recommend?
http://static.fjcdn.com/gifs/Balancing+Budgie_238d6c_4263681.gif
#12ClouddxPosted 3/8/2014 7:00:28 AM
ForeverZero2 posted...
and which dac would you guys recommend?
http://static.fjcdn.com/gifs/Balancing+Budgie_238d6c_4263681.gif


FiiO DACs are generally nice, along with NuForce and Schiit.
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#13PhilOnDezPosted 3/8/2014 7:41:44 AM(edited)
Tom's hardware did a test basically debunking sound card's usefulness. They put a $2 mobo chip up against a $30 external DAC, $150 sound card, and a $2000 sound card. They ran everything through the same amp (I forget which amp specifically) and tweaked them all to be as close to the same volume as possible. People who already owned the exact same $2000 card couldn't distinguish between it and the $2 integrated. Sound is just insanely subjective, a lot of people say their Beats by Dre headphones sound better than my $30 monoprice headphones despite the fact that they use the exact same drivers. It's a sort of placebo effect, spending more on something will make you enjoy it more even if it's a technically equal/inferior product, you don't see/hear with your eyes/ears, you do it with your brain.

If you need a specific feature on a sound card that your integrated doesn't offer or if you want to take that tiny load off of your CPU by all means get something to do that, just don't waste a ton of cash on a DAC/soundcard when that money would be much, much better spent on a nice amp and headphones, both of which can make a major difference.

E: just to add, their test wasn't perfect, ideally they would have had a sort of open house to let anyone hear for themselves, but they had a fairly large sample size, mostly consisting of 'audiophiles'
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#14Bazooka_PenguinPosted 3/8/2014 8:07:00 AM
Headphones/speakers first, always. They make the biggest difference.

I don't know what your budget is, but if you don't want to spend a lot consider the Superlux HD668B EVO
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