Originally Posted by 8mile13
Talking about a USB DAC it appears that not every computer sounds the same when connecting a USB DAC. . . "
Be careful about digging around in what the professional computer review world
thinks about DACs because your preconceived notions might have its bubble burst. They apply scientific objective protocols to preclude expectation bias and loudness differential preferences by using blind
testing and careful level matching, hence they end up exposing the truth:
"I sank $2000 of my own money into the DAC2 HGC last December, so I subjectively wanted it to sound better than everything else. Tests have shown that it doesn't. I was surprised, but, having been personally involved in the evaluation and believing in the integrity of what we set up, I rationally accept the findings.
Of course, we're ready for the audiophile community to rise up in arms about the statement you'll read next, but it's true that neither an intermediate enthusiast nor a serious one with ~$70,000 in gear at home were able to reliably tell apart any of the four devices once we properly set up a blind test with accurate volume-matching. We actually enjoyed them all as great audio experiences."
Contestants: "Four different devices are on the bench, ranging from $2000 all the way down to $2: the Benchmark Media Systems DAC2 HGC, JDS Labs' O2+ODAC, Asus' Xonar Essence STX, and Realtek's ALC889 multi-channel codec. That's a 1000x factor in cost."
"Using world-class headphones, a $2 Realtek integrated audio codec could not be reliably distinguished from the $2000 Benchmark DAC2 HGC in a four-device round-up. Again, all four devices sounded great."