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Need help finding best AMP/DAC Under 150$

Aegis_Titan
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Heya guys, Im moving up with headphones and getting a pair or ATH MSR7, and im looking for an external AMP/DAC even though I know they are easy to drive, I just want better audio quality output than built in sound cards offer, what would be the best choice under 150$?

 

Thank's in advance!

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24 minutes ago, LukeSavenije said:

Schiit audio makes some good ones. If you can go a little up with your budget to 200, you can get a magni modi combo.

problem is that in EU it costs same in euros and +/- 25% extra

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3 minutes ago, Majestic said:

Based on the specs, I get these numbers

 

image.png.9f604586a9e35954377fea6493de1c5b.png

 

You really don't need an additional amp to drive those, lol.

Its more for audio quality

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Just now, Aegis_Titan said:

Its more for audio quality

Most modern onboard DAC's are transparent enough to not hold back all but the most expensive cans. Most people tell you this, because nowadays it's the truth. It aint like it was 10 years ago. What motherboard are you using?

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3 minutes ago, Majestic said:

Most modern onboard DAC's are transparent enough to not hold back all but the most expensive cans. Most people tell you this, because nowadays it's the truth. It aint like it was 10 years ago. What motherboard are you using?

Lenovo T570 laptop and for stationary Asrock Z97 Extreme 4

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4 minutes ago, Aegis_Titan said:

Lenovo T570 laptop and for stationary Asrock Z97 Extreme 4

That motherboard is using a ALC1150 audio chip with a TI® NE5532 amplifier for headphones. That's a good quality amplifier and will power that set of cans perfectly. You'll find most amp/dac's in that pricerange will use similar opamps. NE5532 or OPA2134 are very popular.

 

Anything lacking in sound is down the the sound signature of the headphones, or it's design. Try using an EQ.

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5 minutes ago, Majestic said:

That motherboard is using a ALC1150 audio chip with a TI® NE5532 amplifier for headphones. That's a good quality amplifier and will power that set of cans perfectly. You'll find most amp/dac's in that pricerange will use similar opamps. NE5532 or OPA2134 are very popular.

 

Anything lacking in sound is down the the sound signature of the headphones, or it's design. Try using an EQ.

what about FiiO E10K or AudioQuest - DragonFly DAC or Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD

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2 minutes ago, Aegis_Titan said:

what about FiiO E10K or AudioQuest - DragonFly DAC

I'm not going to recommend you an amplifier when you've got a decent onboard and cans that are NOT difficult to drive. In fact, I rekon most phones will drive that to levels which will hurt your ears.

 

It's not worth the investment. Buy something else with that money.

 

PS: just make sure you use the audio connection on the BACK of your motherboard. Frontpanel connections can exaggerate EMI.

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2 minutes ago, Majestic said:

I'm not going to recommend you an amplifier when you've got a decent onboard and cans that are NOT difficult to drive. In fact, I rekon most phones will drive that to levels which will hurt your ears.

 

It's not worth the investment. Buy something else with that money.

It's not really for the sound amp, its for audio quality as I mentioned before

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3 minutes ago, Aegis_Titan said:

It's not really for the sound amp, its for audio quality as I mentioned before

The ALC1150 DAC is transparent enough (meaning SnR will be higher than that of your headphones) and the amplifier powerful enough, so any sound quality it'll give you will be the same as any external DAC. Unless it's using tube-amps or something, which will make the cans sound softer. But that's not an objective improvement, it's just down to preference.

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Fiio 10k DAC and Q1 MK2 seem to be on top of the lists for audio quality

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Just now, Aegis_Titan said:

Fiio 10k DAC and Q1 MK2 seem to be on top of the lists for audio quality

I feel like you're not listening, so I'm going to stop trying to convince you. Good luck.

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