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Need Advice on a USB DAC
post Sep 3 2012, 15:29
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I'm making a new computer and need a new USB DAC. Before, I didn't really care too much about audio and just use this Creative SoundBlaster Xi-Fi 60 dollar USB DAC. Any of you guys know a good USB DAC for a PC? I've looked at a lot of "top rated" lists supplied by several sites and they all seem to vary quite a bit (some of these lists dont even show the same company). My headphones are the HD650's and I use like 60-80 dollar Logitech speakers..

I don't really have a budget which is what also makes it harder to find a good one. since a lot of these "top 10/rated" lists also factor in cheapness. However, If it has insane bang for buck, I wouldn't mind. Right now, from what I've seen, I'm thinking of the Fiio e17.

This post has been edited by Konigsberg: Sep 3 2012, 15:30
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post Sep 4 2012, 16:41
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Depends who writes the reviews I guess.

I've read something about the headphone out being relatively quiet but that was from a hi-fi guy with wierd impedance headphones who wanted to recommend something much more expensive. Another review (which I cannot find again atm sorry) said the output was more than good enough for practical use. On std headphones at least. He used it for a drummers foldback iirc.

Instrument input too sensitive? That's always a tricky one for manufacturers. If they have a lot of gain then some people will set it too high. If they restrict it others will want more. More gain and give the user the choice to set it appropriately seems better to me. ymmv.

Measurements just 'average'? Well how good is good enough? Everyone (see below) seems to think it sounds ok. If you want to pay 10x as much you might get better stats, can you hear the difference? Doubt it. I'm also impressed that Focusrite publishes detailed real world figures not just chipset manufacturers max.

2i2 only costs ~$150 on the street. 8i6 ~$250. You get an awful lot for your money.

Focusrite Scarlet Range review

2i2 review

Another 2i2 review.

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