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Is my on-board good enough?

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kamran

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Location
Sadly Iran :(
I was thinking about my on-board DAC, I have an Asus P8B75-v with ALC887-VD2 in it, I also have Sennheiser HD518 as my headphone.
Would I hear a difference if I bought a FIIO E10K? I hear absolutely no noise from my On-Board. and the volume at 10% is more than enough!(around 63dbm at 10 and 84dbm(ear damage) at 40% for most tracks.).

The reason I ask this is I tried a different Source and my headphones were absolute garbage in them! I wondered if I buy an FIIO E10K I would feel the same about on-board:? with my current PC I can't tell the difference from 120kbps and above with my current headphones and DAC! On my phone with my Sennheiser cx 1.00 I can tell the difference up to 320kbps but the sound signature is pretty terrible in my opinion! and the difference is really really hard to notice and it's only on certain songs!
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
HD518 is not an audiophile headphone. I would not recommend investing an a DAC/AMP for these. If you want to go up a bit higher, say HD598 and above, it would be worth it.
ALC887 isn't the best, and more important (or at least, as important) as the chip itself (ALC 887 is not the DAC but rather the DSP) is the supporting hardware on the board. Are the traces for audio on a separated PCB section? Using high quality audio grade capacitors? Good DSP/DAC combo? Includes headphone amp? etc etc.

If you want a really good DAC for cheap (comparatively speaking to some of the $4000 monsters out there) you should pick up an Audioquest Dragonfly, along with some Oppo PM3 headphones. You'll stop listening to MP3s after that and only want to listen to FLAC.
 
OP
kamran

kamran

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Location
Sadly Iran :(
HD518 is not an audiophile headphone. I would not recommend investing an a DAC/AMP for these. If you want to go up a bit higher, say HD598 and above, it would be worth it.
ALC887 isn't the best, and more important (or at least, as important) as the chip itself (ALC 887 is not the DAC but rather the DSP) is the supporting hardware on the board. Are the traces for audio on a separated PCB section? Using high quality audio grade capacitors? Good DSP/DAC combo? Includes headphone amp? etc etc.

If you want a really good DAC for cheap (comparatively speaking to some of the $4000 monsters out there) you should pick up an Audioquest Dragonfly, along with some Oppo PM3 headphones. You'll stop listening to MP3s after that and only want to listen to FLAC.

awwwww My poor HD 518 are hurt! I thought I had good headphones!
But I've heard that my 518 is not much different (Which is shocking considering the price :? ) And that DAC is the only and the cheapest option I have! My motherboard barely costed 70$ alone so I doubt there's any good parts in it :D The E10K is 80$~ alone in my country!

I guess I'll leave that for another time for when I'll leave my country :(
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
The E10K is not a very good DAC though. I mean, it's ok, but it's not great. Would you notice a difference? Probably. Not a huge one. I'm a bit of a picky audio snob though so you can ignore me and buy the Fiio and you'll probably be happy with it.

Is TIDAL available in Iran? They have a free trial. Might want to stream some lossless tracks from them and see if you can hear a difference without and with that DAC, if you do pick it up.

MP3 is a really garbage format. It's sooooo compressed.
 
OP
kamran

kamran

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Location
Sadly Iran :(
The E10K is not a very good DAC though. I mean, it's ok, but it's not great. Would you notice a difference? Probably. Not a huge one. I'm a bit of a picky audio snob though so you can ignore me and buy the Fiio and you'll probably be happy with it.

Hmm. I'm not too picky :D But I feel like it's not worth it that way. If I want to spend money I'll wait and get a good headphone and a good DAC :) they do last a long time so I think it will be a good investment!
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
head over to the TIDAL website and try the free trial. If you like it there are err... other means of getting FLAC music online. If you download FLACs, use FOOBAR2000 to play them. It is a great player. It's free.
 
OP
kamran

kamran

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Location
Sadly Iran :(
head over to the TIDAL website and try the free trial. If you like it there are err... other means of getting FLAC music online. If you download FLACs, use FOOBAR2000 to play them. It is a great player. It's free.

I tried tidal, Couldn't get their trial too work, I don't have paypal anyway :| I can only buy spotify because they have gift cards!
But I have a few... well... not bought FLAC music along with a sample downloaded from a website(24-bit with a 320kbps version too compare it too) I took an AB test and to be honest.... I couldn't even tell the slightest difference between flac and 320kbps! I even had a hard time telling the diffrence between 320kbps and 120kbps!
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
HD518 is not an audiophile headphone. I would not recommend investing an a DAC/AMP for these. If you want to go up a bit higher, say HD598 and above, it would be worth it.
ALC887 isn't the best, and more important (or at least, as important) as the chip itself (ALC 887 is not the DAC but rather the DSP) is the supporting hardware on the board. Are the traces for audio on a separated PCB section? Using high quality audio grade capacitors? Good DSP/DAC combo? Includes headphone amp? etc etc.

You could try getting better headphones before buying a DAC or headphone amp. The ones you have are okayish at best as OCNoob explained. Lots of relatively inexpensive options to choose from, and they would be fine running off the onboard sound [many of the better headphone options likely require a headphone amp].

Going back to your initial question... until you hear the need, onboard should be adequate.
 
OP
kamran

kamran

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Location
Sadly Iran :(
You could try getting better headphones before buying a DAC or headphone amp. The ones you have are okayish at best as OCNoob explained. Lots of relatively inexpensive options to choose from, and they would be fine running off the onboard sound [many of the better headphone options likely require a headphone amp].

Going back to your initial question... until you hear the need, onboard should be adequate.

Thanks! maybe with my next headphones :) I have a feeling that my hd 518 is going to last long!
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Is there Boxing day/Boxing week in Iran? That's coming up soon. Maybe you can snag better headphones for half price or something. I've seen HD598's come down to close to $100 and HD600s (a really nice headphone) come down well under 200 (us) for boxing day.