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Amp/DAC Combo Or Separate?

Amp/DAC Combo Or Separate?

Sooner or later, all listening lovers come to want to improve the sound of their headset. Any search and throwing in attempts to improve the sound usually begins with the feeling that the familiar musical system somehow “does not play”. And the search for a solution leads to the choice of additional devices.

After reviewing the assortment, users always have the question “What do I need: the best amplifier, the best DAC, or the best dac/amp combo? In this article, we will try to explain what these devices are.

An amplifier for headphones

The amplifiers with which portable devices are equipped are often not of high quality for the sake of energy efficiency and compactness.


In this case, music lovers pay their attention to external amplifiers Such compact external amplifiers provide not only the necessary sound volume in the headphones but also the proper sound stability.

A DAC for headphone

With DACs built into user devices, the situation is similar to amplifiers. Energy efficiency and optimization of dimensions force manufacturers to install compact components that do not meet the tasks of outputting detailed sound. Therefore, users supplement their garniture with an external DAC, which has a positive effect on sound quality.


A DAC / amplifier combo

And buying a harvester isn’t necessarily a compromise. Most often, the manufacturer selects the components in such a way that the DAC and the amplifying path, if they are not an ideal pair, then at least correspond to the characteristics of each other. In addition, instead of two separate devices, you get one, and sometimes quite compact.

The only drawback of combined solutions is the impossibility of replacing a separate amplifier or DAC in the path if the sound produced by the system does not correspond to the desired result.