DAC or USB Soundcard?

Dmitri

n00b
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
52
I've bought a pair of Mackie MR5 which I plan to hook up to my laptop.

I don't want to use my Realtek HD onboard, what I'm trying to decide is whether it get a USB soundcard (x-fi HD) or a DAC (likely an Audioengine D1). Will the DAC provide any perceptible sound quality improvement over the X-fi? Will I actually I hear the difference in real world use?

This is mostly for flac audio, some film and games. I'm not too concerned about multichannel.
 

jamiee

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
311
An external soundcard is effectively a DAC.
It takes the digital information and converts it to analog to output to your speakers, power amps or whatever....


So really, you should buy whatever DAC / external soundcard that has the features and ideally the component quality that you're looking for.
 

Dmitri

n00b
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
52
An external soundcard is effectively a DAC.
It takes the digital information and converts it to analog to output to your speakers, power amps or whatever....


So really, you should buy whatever DAC / external soundcard that has the features and ideally the component quality that you're looking for.

I understand that an external soundcard has a DAC, I was wondering if the quality was different between a 70euro soundcard and a DAC only device that costs 150euro would be noticeable to my ears?
 

spaceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
14,894
I understand that an external soundcard has a DAC, I was wondering if the quality was different between a 70euro soundcard and a DAC only device that costs 150euro would be noticeable to my ears?

Not by much but it should clear things up a bit for music especially.
 
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