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DAC for Headphones

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ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Hey guys, I've been looking at a DAC to pair with my Sennheiser PC350SE.
Trying to keep the price decent, although I can go higher. It looks like the SMSL SD793-II is widely regarded as pretty good.
Any thoughts on this unit? Good, bad, "run like the plague"?


If you have suggestions for other DAC units, please see below.

Requirements:
- Volume Control
- S/PDIF Input
- 3.5mm Output (Can use a 6.3mm -> 3.5mm connector if necessary)
- Preferably under $100
- Bonus points for other features, but please don't cut out any of the main three above.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
not sure what your volume requirements are, but.... I use an amp with my set of pc350se's and feel they do come around with the addition. sadly, I dont use a dac with mine so cant really help you there.
for an amp- I do like the fiio kilamanjaro

I also struggle to get the 350's to fit my head well and give away most of the bass capability of them. my philips fidelio set blows them away for bass as per the stock fit. I can hold a bit of pressure on them and they come around pretty well
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
My dilemma is that I can't reassign ports on the onboard sound (which sounds very good once I balanced the EQ).
So I'm trying to use the optical output for the headset while keeping an analog output for my speakers.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Still can't find a decent review on this unit, can anyone else?
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Youtube has a few reviews. I like it has a full-size jack too. Price wise I doubt you will see anything else.
 

sobe

Unscathed Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
What's your budget for the amp/dac combo you are looking for? That will be the best place to start.

As for the one you are looking at, I really can't find anything aside from those youtube reviews and some head-fi comments regarding poor quality control. Aside from that I don't see anything negative or positive, lol.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Youtube has a few reviews. I like it has a full-size jack too. Price wise I doubt you will see anything else.

Any worthwhile reviews? I watched one last night that wasn't informative in the slightest.

What's your budget for the amp/dac combo you are looking for? That will be the best place to start.

As for the one you are looking at, I really can't find anything aside from those youtube reviews and some head-fi comments regarding poor quality control. Aside from that I don't see anything negative or positive, lol.

Like I said earlier, I would prefer to keep it to $100 or less, but can spend more.

One thing I did notice is that you can switch out the op-amp on this one, which is cool.
 

sobe

Unscathed Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Whoops, I missed the budget part. The only other units under $100 I can think of aside from the one you listed would be the Schiit Fulla or Fiio E10K, of which both are USB.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Alright, sounds like I'll be giving this one a shot!
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Would you guys recommend this for the extra cash over my soft cap?
http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-D...?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1430318541&sr=1-19

Has both USB and S/PDIF inputs, which has appeal to me.
24-bit/192kHz signal, so that's an improvement over the SMSL.
I prefer the dedicated power adapter of the SMSL, but with this being USB powered I could also use it with my laptop.
I don't need an adapter for my headphone cable since it's 3.5mm.

Specific question, will this output to both the RCA output and 3.5mm output at the same time? That would have big appeal as well.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
The D1 is a good little guy.

This is easier on the budget, and is supposed to sound better. (comes in more colors too)

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC3-Headphone-Amplifier-Silver/dp/B00FG9MJTA



That said, most generic DAC's are going to sound the same anyway. Until you get into tube powered ($$$) setups, don't expect breath taking changes, especially if you're using cheaper headsets. If you just need volume, I would simply get a head phone amp, albeit those can be expensive too.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
The D1 is a good little guy.

This is easier on the budget, and is supposed to sound better. (comes in more colors too)

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC3-Headphone-Amplifier-Silver/dp/B00FG9MJTA



That said, most generic DAC's are going to sound the same anyway. Until you get into tube powered ($$$) setups, don't expect breath taking changes, especially if you're using cheaper headsets. If you just need volume, I would simply get a head phone amp, albeit those can be expensive too.

Good to know the D1 is a nice one.

The uDAC3 has no S/PDIF while being $30 over the soft cap.
The reason for considering the D1 is because it adds a lot of features and is a reasonable price.

Any idea if I can drive speakers and a headset at the same time from the D1?
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Yes. I'm trying to figure out if it cuts off one output if the other is connected.

Id imagine it would be interlocked. I am unsure, most desktop DAC's have them. Not many people want to run both at the same time.

I run this and I love it. It works for mic input to if you use it. (obviously I record with it, but it definitely drives both at the same time, and is USB input/output. Since you have a great pc, you can set it up for very low latency settings.

http://www.fullcompass.com/product/...ign=googleps&gclid=CNmTlJCInMUCFWMF7AodxlQA0Q

doesn't color the sound, akin to the d1 (flat push, some dac's have some coloring [bass boosting, mid boosting, treble cutting etc] but most non tube DAC's run in a flat setting anyway.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Found out, the d1 is interlocked

I also find the D1 is more versatile than my iBasso D4 because I can feed it's rear panel RCA line-out into my Audioengine A2 speakers, and then have the speakers shut off when I plug in a headphone. And, I can control the A2 speaker volume with the D1 volume knob (same with uDAC-2 SE), while the iBasso D4 has a fixed 1/8" line-out in the front.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Okay, so when I plug in the headset the speakers cut off.
It'd be good if they didn't, but as long as I can leave the speakers plugged in I'm fine with it.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Okay, so when I plug in the headset the speakers cut off.
It'd be good if they didn't, but as long as I can leave the speakers plugged in I'm fine with it.

Yeah, most DAC's are like that to my understanding. No reason you couldn't leave the speakers plugged in.
 
OP
ATMINSIDE

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Yeah, most DAC's are like that to my understanding. No reason you couldn't leave the speakers plugged in.

I'm just new to the details in the audio world, so making sure I cover my bases :)
I know a decent bit about sound cards, DAC's, and amps. Enough to know when someone needs one or doesn't, but not the little nuances.

Also, I should have the D1 on Monday!