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Difficulty Comparing New DAC / Headphone Amp Setup to Computer

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#1
I recently upgraded my computer audio setup to a Schiit Modi 3+ DAC (connected to my desktop via USB) and Schiit Magni Heresy headphone amplifier (both based on Amir's reviews) from my onboard audio components on my Gigabyte B450 Aorus M gaming motherboard. I'm currently using AKG K240 studio monitor headphones. With everything connected properly, I feel that I'm failing to notice a significant difference between music from my new Schiit setup and my Aorus motherboard audio. I have tried recording the output of both my desktop's headphone out and Heresy's headphone out, fed into my desktop's line in, in an attempt to do some crude A/B testing, but both sound very similar. I have been able to hear a difference between the Heresy and the Yamaha R-S201 headphone out.

Is it this difficult to hear differences between DACs? Should I invest in some better headphones? Or are gaming motherboard DAC/amps really that comparable to "better" components? I did reach out to Gigabyte, asking if they can provide a list of specific audio specs or DAC chip info on their B450 Aorus M motherboard, besides "high-end audio components".
 
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Cahudson42

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#2
'Rule of thumb' is to spend the bulk of your budget on transducers, whether speakers or headphones.
Your K240 are $70 'dynamic' headphones with relatively small 30mm drivers. My guess is, yes, for music - you might gain enjoyment with a headphone upgrade.

But first- maybe try this. Install free software EqualizerAPO and companion PEACE. With this, you can experiment with PEQ (Parametric Equalization) that may compensate for weaknesses/deficiencies in the K240. Worth a try..

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/akg/k240-mkii
For comparison, also recently reviewed by Amir
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/akg/k371
https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/akg-k371-review-closed-back-headphone.19657/

For $70, hard to beat: Large 50mm drivers...
https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/philips/shp9500
Very comfortable. I use these for everyday casual TV via a $27 bt receiver/amp.

Final thought: With only one pair of HP you have no way of comparing to anything better - or worse. Any friends where you can try theirs?

You could - just to give you something to compare and also play with PEQ, spend $9 for:
https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/9-headphone-review-sony-mdr-zx110.19484/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NJ2M43M/
 
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silentt29
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