Which of these two computer audio setups is better?

jbgarcia

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Apr 17, 2015
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My current setup:

Sennheiser HD 598 -> FiiO E07K USB DAC/Amp -> Laptop

My new laptop's default setup:

Sennheiser HD 598 -> Laptop analog headphone jack -> ESS SABRE Hi-Fi DAC -> Realtek High Definition Audio sound (I think, I don't know if it's bypassed and I don't know how to check)

I have an LG V10 with an ESS SABRE Hi-Fi DAC inside, so I know what it sounds like. But I really would like to know which of the two setups would produce the most accurate sound with the best frequency range. I'm not interested in any sound "coloring" or processing to make it sound nicer, I want the real deal. I also don't know if ESS SABRE is a specific type of DAC, or a general name for a broad line of DACs.
 
ESS is the brand. Sabre is the name for a group of DACs that they make. Some people like them others don't. There are different models of Sabre DAC and how they are used make a difference too. The headphone amp in the FiiO is probably better than the one in the laptop.
Play the same files and listen for the differences. You can use audio routing software to make it easier to compare.
https://github.com/audiorouterdev/audio-router
 
ESS is the brand. Sabre is the name for a group of DACs that they make. Some people like them others don't. There are different models of Sabre DAC and how they are used make a difference too. The headphone amp in the FiiO is probably better than the one in the laptop.
Play the same files and listen for the differences. You can use audio routing software to make it easier to compare.
https://github.com/audiorouterdev/audio-router
 
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