Dac or Onboard Sound?

WickedKing

Estimable
Apr 20, 2015
2
0
4,510
0
Hi im kinda new when it comes to audio setup for my Desktop and just got recently into games which requires me to have good sound output for my headset.
Im currently using the Hyper X Cloud Stinger but feel the sound of my games and music could be improved by buying Amplifier/Dac.
My Motherboard is a MSI z270 SLI PLUS and im thinking about purchasing the FX-AUDIO DAC-X6 Mini HiFi 2.0 Digital Audio Decoder DAC Input USB/Coaxial/Optical Output RCA/ Amplifier 24Bit/96KHz DC12V EU Plug Black - intl or FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier.
Question is does these Amplifier/Dac make my sound better?
Are they worth buying for my headset and which of the two should I pick?
 

SkyBill40

Honorable
Oct 11, 2013
180
0
10,760
33
If they'll do anything, they'll make it louder due to amplification. That said, don't confuse louder with better as people often do because one is not the same as the other. Your signal may be cleaned up a bit by having a separate DAC but don't expect a huge difference. It's been pretty conclusively shown that the differences between onboard sound and that of a dedicated/discrete sound card or even an external DAC are so close it's nearly indiscernable. What matters more than anything is the equipment being used to reproduce the sound and that means your headphones or speakers.

If someone tells you differently, I wouldn't put much into it. The tests are out there to back my statement. Here's but one review:

https://www.techspot.com/article/751-should-you-buy-a-sound-card/

The point is that it's really subjective. If you hear sound on a low grade set of cans versus that of a significantly more advanced pair, the difference could be night and day. Outside of that, the signals being decoded are all ones and zeroes no matter what is then sending that signal to your headset. Another thing to consider is cost. What's your budget? Here's a great place to look at what's available across the spectrum if you want a dedicated add on DAC:

https://www.crutchfield.com/g_348950/Headphone-Amps.html

 

SkyBill40

Honorable
Oct 11, 2013
180
0
10,760
33
If they'll do anything, they'll make it louder due to amplification. That said, don't confuse louder with better as people often do because one is not the same as the other. Your signal may be cleaned up a bit by having a separate DAC but don't expect a huge difference. It's been pretty conclusively shown that the differences between onboard sound and that of a dedicated/discrete sound card or even an external DAC are so close it's nearly indiscernable. What matters more than anything is the equipment being used to reproduce the sound and that means your headphones or speakers.

If someone tells you differently, I wouldn't put much into it. The tests are out there to back my statement. Here's but one review:

https://www.techspot.com/article/751-should-you-buy-a-sound-card/

The point is that it's really subjective. If you hear sound on a low grade set of cans versus that of a significantly more advanced pair, the difference could be night and day. Outside of that, the signals being decoded are all ones and zeroes no matter what is then sending that signal to your headset. Another thing to consider is cost. What's your budget? Here's a great place to look at what's available across the spectrum if you want a dedicated add on DAC:

https://www.crutchfield.com/g_348950/Headphone-Amps.html

 
Jan 22, 2019
1
0
10
0
The quality of the audio file itself, the sound card that processes and sends it, and your playback system are all the primary components.

All three are Just As Important as the other. a $5,000 playback system will still sound like crap if the file being sent is bad. likewise if your card is mediocre or is subject to too much vibration, the same playback system will not live up to it's potential.

i like external DAC's personally. i have the fiio e10k, and my presonus soundbox is a DAC. Both make a night and day difference vs on-board processing.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
S Audio 1
A Audio 2
B Audio 1
RageMouse Audio 11
K Audio 1
O Audio 8
S Audio 2
A Audio 1
N Audio 1
J Audio 1
S Audio 8
2 Audio 1
L Audio 1
M Audio 3
TheArtista Audio 10
caseyst Audio 10
B Audio 2
tadej petric Audio 2
N Audio 3
T Audio 5

ASK THE COMMUNITY