Jun 7, 2017

New to audiophiles

I have no clue, to pretty much anything, how do i know what dac,s sound better than others? what stats are important? whats the diffrence between expensive dacs and cheap ones. The stats seem the same but the price reallly diffrent. I currently have a superlux 668B. No clue if thats good by general standereds. I like them, think the mids and highs are clear compared to my old headphones, the bass is a bit quiet. ANYWAY. theese are less than £50, what would be a cheap suitable dac for something like this.

Best way to explain audio stuff is explain why this is bad
https://www.amazon.com/Syba-SD-DAC63094-Headphone-Amplifier-Packaging/dp/B00KGK5I38/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496818809&sr=8-2&keywords=syba+dac
thumb_up0
chat13
replyReply

Add a comment...
The one thing that 20 years in the audio enthusiast community (not a fan of the audiophile moniker) has taught me is that everyone's ears are different. What is "worth it" to one person may not be to the next. For example I have a longtime friend that has recently stuck his head down the headphone rabbit hole. He picked up a pair of M100's on my recommendation (good for people used to consumer oriented gear) and then quickly picked up some Yamaha EPH100's then jumped on the HD6XX drop. He wanted to get more out of the Senn's so he was looking at an amp and dac purchase. He came over and listened to every possible combination I have for front end (source+dac+amp). My front end configs start at $78 and top out at $1150 (not including PC cost). After listening to all of them with various headphones he decided that the Audioquest Dragonfly was his sweet spot (1.2 version and my cheapest combo). I say start small but I can't say I would go with item linked, I've never heard of them and the cost is so small I can't see it providing much benefit beyond the built in solutions in almost any audio device.. It costs less than some of the DAC chips by themselves (like the ones in my LG V20 phone, which uses four chips that cost around $25 a piece at it's launch). A great starter rig would be this: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498078288&sr=8-1&keywords=fiio+e10k
Surround Sound simulation on headphones is not a good thing... it makes terrible headphones sound better and good headphones sound worse. Your 668B's are a really solid entry level headphone, much better than most of their competition in the price class.
ElectronicVices
" The one thing that 20 years in the audio enthusiast community (not a fan of the audiophile moniker) has taught me is that everyone's ears are different. What is "worth it" to one person may not be to the next "

God. Finally someone posting something that actually is solid advice, without linking gear that all costs 1k+

Another good point that you brought up is sheer quality. I've often found that most budget audio equipment, be it a DAC, headphones, mics, turntables, speakers, etc, (and really, any budget item) may work and function fine, even great in some cases, but often aren't built to last. I'm talking the super cheap items like the DAC the OP posted.

Investing in a solid piece of equipment is never a bad idea if you know it is something that you'll be using a lot. This often just means doing a little bit of research on your own to see what a good budget option is without busting the bank.

For audio, I think it is important to start with something on the lower end of the spectrum and work your way up, that way you can tell if something is really worth the price for you or not. I will say the first big upgrade (decent headphones + DAC + amp) instead of just listening to $10 earbuds and and iPhone will be the biggest upgrade you will ever have. Getting modular equipment, and not "all-in-one" stuff is also key, this way you can continue to upgrade your system without having to replace it all at once.
livingspeedbump
Not to make this into a reciprocating compliment string but the point you make about $10 buds and a phone to the first real "rig" being the biggest jump is 100% on point. Returns diminish from there, everyone's stopping point will vary. Sadly my stopping point has not yet been found but I have greatly slowed my upgraditis...
The "Chord Hugo 2" is a top of the line DAC and supposed to be coming out in June. It is an outstanding new portable DAC, but it is not cheap, but you kind of get what you pay for even if it is a good value for the electronics inside.
Mr. Z would be a great start. Funy guy with 0 tolerance for bull. Yust type" z rewiews " into youtube.
Anyhow in My personal opinion the hands on approach would be best.
If you want the best experiance on a buget; Start with the source get a good lossles player/soundcard with some high stats, and upgrade your music to FLAC than when you have the chance save up for some realy good headphones/speakers.
HansDeep
I found Z entertaining but he overhypes and under evaluates a lot of stuff. He is not as technical as a lot of reviewers so he is easy to watch for people new to the hobby. I personally prefer more seasoned reviews from Tyll and user reviews at head-fi.
ElectronicVices
I could not agree more.
So I have to try theese. What I want to do is get a reasonably cheap dac and see if there any difference. So I'd like recomandations for budget Dacs. Surround sound if possible
Jamil237237
The budget dacs with virtual surround sound are the turtle beach dss and dss2 or astro mixamp I have tried the dss it's pretty good for console gaming.
I do not know if that answer your question, but generally new dac chips should have better architectures, meaning they can have higher S/N ratio, higher bit rate or more power saving. However in terms of sound quality, there is no guarantee as that is mostly related to how the companies tune their machines.
How to know which DACs sound better than others?

By listening to multiple different DACs ... this kind of hobby requires listening as the main activity. Stat/specs doesn't do much other than inform you whether or not a product was produced by competent engineers.

I recommend you visit some headphone shops and try out as much as possible.
try FX Audio X6 for a DAC/Amp. Ali xpress has it for 55ish. Use it with optical or coaxial connection. USB is decent but buggy there.
I think it's good to start the hobby out with a budget in mind then work from that as it can quickly become a collection or expensive. At first I would have a budget in mind say £200 im uk myself and split it between the headphones and dac/amp. Depends what you are looking for in a headphone and how you like your music, netural? Bass heavy? Into jazz or classical? Have a think about the music you enjoy and then look around for headphones in the price range that are geared to that taste. As for the dac/amp it's not super important starting out as long as it is powerful enough to run the headphones you own it's good enough.

There is nothing wrong with the item you linked it's just that most laptops and pcs have acceptable dacs in them already and can sometimes be enough starting out. As the saying goes you get what you pay for. Try to wage your budget 50/50 on headphones and gear to run them.
Add a comment...