Just wondering if this is something I should invest in, or would it be a waste of money?
Ok, I listen to a LOT of music on my computer (both desktop and laptop) at work. Pretty much the entire time I am there, I am listening to some sort of audio (music, podcasts, talk sports radio, etc). I have invested in a couple of nice pairs of earbuds (nothing super high end), and have a couple of decent pairs of over the ear headphones that I use quite a bit (I have a pair of lower end Bose and a pair of Sony MDR-7506s that I bought about 6 months ago and I love).
I converted virtually all of my music from my CD collection to mp3 format to have it on my computer and in iTunes (I listen to a lot of content on my iPhone as well).
That being said, would investing in something like a DAC be a big improvement over just listening through my computer (and laptop). I read the reviews and know that most computers only use a part that’s a couple of bucks for playing sound, so it should help amplification, etc, but again, I am not using super high quality headphones/earbuds and I am listening to compressed audio files (mp3 formats, for the most part). Will it help and make my listening experience better or will it be a waste of money?
I was thinking of units such as the Fiio E17
or the new Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS
. I was hoping to keep this around the $100 mark (I know both of these are over that amount), but I would splurge if I thought it was worth it. I am looking for something smaller and portable (that I can also use with my laptop) vs. those larger, bulkier more expensive units.
Side question – and sorry for my lack of understanding – is there a difference between a DAC and a headphone amp? Both of these products appear to be both (a DAC and headphone amp). Are all DACs also headphone amps? Or am I way off base?
Thanks in advance.