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Headphone amplifier with XLR output for monitors
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I don't know how I feel about this post.. And I don't want to be critical at all as I'm sure a keyboard warrior will roll straight in after me and tell everyone he is a PhD astronaught from the planet superior and tell me I'm downright wrong. But. Anywho.
You state quality yet you're listening to the potatoes in the other thread who claim an isolated dac (which is still integrated with the main motherboard derp derp computer engineering 101 hello) on a Mac Pro is even on the playing field (yes I slowly backed away from that thread). Because if you're honestly happy with that and don't care about volume then just don't bother going further. When it comes to quality you have to deal with it at the source +every step after that.
The best tip I can give you here is use a usb dac (I believe audiotechnica make a cheap good quality one).
If you don't care about volume then leave it at that you're done. If you do then pick up a little dot tube amp, for that earthy audiophile flavour. Then spend the rest of your money on something useful, like better headphones than the AKG (they're mediocre). The headphone itself is what will make the most difference and is not something worth skimping on. Choose high end dynamic or dive into the realms of planar magnetic, the worlds sounds are yours to indulge in. I personally enjoy comfort while gaming so I own Beyerdynamic T1's (and many others). But the choice is purely yours.
Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it. I guess there is a debate on the DAC quality. I am pretty sure that a dedicated DAC is better, but I am not sure if I can tell the difference. Since I live in Switzerland, it's harder to try out hardware and return it if I don't like it than in the US. In this case I am inclined to get the TEAC UD-301, which has everything I want, including a good DAC. I will also save some money to get new headphones, that's a great point!
Do people have better alternatives to the TEAC UD-301 that have the same features?
Good choice on the TEAC. Personally it's a toss up between that and the shiit, those are solidly built. But feature wise TEAC wins, features always win