One practical reason to have an external DAC is that it’s a fancy word for “USB sound card”. If you already have a USB hub to plug it into, it’s nice to run your computer’s sound output over USB instead of the headphone jack, resulting in one less wire that needs to be plugged into your laptop every time you set it up at your desk.
Headphones matter. A lot. I’ve never regretted a penny that I’ve spent on good headphones.
But it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the mostly-placebo obsession with the surrounding gear, or convince yourself that you need to hear what audiophiles hear and have the same opinions.
But I think it’s poor advice to tell people that their $200–400 headphonesprobably don’t sound as good as they couldwithout a $200 DAC. I expected there to be at least some noticeable differences between these high-end amps and DACs, but I just couldn’t hear any.
Your money’s better spent on the best headphones you can afford and whatever reasonably priced amp can give them the power they need, if they really need one.
Give yourself permission to draw the line somewhere. There’s always somethingbetteravailable. You don’t need every upgrade. You might not even notice it. And there’s no shame in realizing that you can’t tell the difference, or that you like things a bit differently than the experts.
(I’m writing that for both your benefit and my own.)
When you test audio gear, you focus on it much more than usual. You pick great, varied, well-recorded music, you play it a bit louder than usual, and you pay attention to the details. You immerse yourself in the music, create an experience with it, and appreciate it. That’s why new gear always sounds so good.
You can do that anytime you’d like without spending a dime.
Dieses ausführliche Zitat sollte immunisierend wirken gegen Digitalgele und anderen Jahrmarktsquatsch. Dass ich mir trotzdem erfolgreich einrede, Musik klinge dank uDAC irgendwie kräftiger als über den DAC eines MacBook Air, verbuche ich unter Seelenhygiene.