External digital-to-analog converters, as a rule, reproduce sound more accurately than the Budget DAC installed in sound cards, budget receivers, and players, because they are specialized devices. DACs are convenient in that they can be connected to any device with a digital output, and most DACs can also be connected via USB. Acquiring a high-quality external DAC can significantly improve the sound quality of your system.
However, a serious problem is that the DAC chips embedded in most of the above devices can often not be of a sufficiently high level and may not always provide the highest possible quality of the digital original. In this connection, the idea arises of the need to replace the DAC in order to transform the music archive of digital music and really get the most out of your audio system.
And the purpose of any amplifier is to amplify the sound signal received from the source without changing its structure, that is, without introducing anything of its own into the sound. In reality, however, different amplifiers sound differently with the same equipment, at the same volume level. Similarly, headphones sound different with different amplifiers, although the extent of this difference can vary greatly depending on the specific headphones and amplifiers. Nevertheless, the difference between a very good and a very bad amplifier is clearly audible on most headphones, and the most popular representatives of very bad headphone amplifiers are the outputs of most budget players, sound cards, players and phones.
A separate high-quality headphone amplifier always gives you the best sound out of your existing headphones. By increasing the current in the amplifier, the detail and atmosphere of the sound are increased. This important factor plays an important role when listening to music since a large amount of material in the compositions is recorded at a very low volume level and you can normally hear them only with the help of an amplifier.
Buying a separate amplifier is often a more justifiable investment than changing headphones to more advanced ones. Of course, expensive models have onboard high-end DACs that can work with most models of headphones. However, it is optimal to take in the middle price range, but if you do not want to spend a lot on the market there are many budget models.
Recently, manufacturers of audio equipment are increasingly launching high-quality combined external DACs and headphone amplifiers on the market. The amplifying part of these devices is a logical continuation of the analog part of the DAC. And in this case, the placement of two functional blocks inside one housing is an advantage. Typically, such devices are equipped with various digital inputs, including USB, and therefore are a ready-made mobile device that will work well with headphones.