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Amp for laptop, Device for better listening to music with a Macbook Pro & Grado
post Mar 4 2011, 22:26
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Hi everyone,

I was happy with my purpose built PC and a Soundblaster card for my listening pleasure, but now my life is going to be spent most of the time on the road, so i want some tips on equipment i can buy to drive my Grados other than through the standard headphone jack on a laptop (which really sucks). I'm not very tech savvy so i dont exactly know what i need, but i'm guessing some sort of combination of a DAC with a preamp. Ive heard good things about Little Dot and Apogee, and their stuff seems to be small enough to carry around in a bag for traveling. Can someone please help me on what i need?

Things to have in mind before commenting:
Macbook Pro 15"
Grado RS325is
I use VLC to listen to my music, of which virtually all of it is CD quality FLAC, with some 24BIT and mp3 stuff here and there

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post Mar 5 2011, 00:18
Post #2

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Joined: 24-August 07
From: Silicon Valley
Member No.: 46454

...through the standard headphone jack on a laptop (which really sucks).
What's wrong with the sound, specifically? Noise? Distortion? Poor frequency response?

From what I've read, most Macs have pretty good audio. I wouldn't expect you to need an amp unless you need to amplify... unless you aren't getting enough volume.

I don't have a separate DAC or headphone amp, I think you can get one with a built-in DAC, and if you can find one that connects via USB you won't need a separate power supply (or batteries).

If you search the forum there are a couple of threads about headphone amps, and I think there are some specific recommendations.

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