Just experimenting with some of my equipment and my headphones. I'm reading that a DAC does all the decoding instead of the PC, basically achieving better audio. While I don't have the budget to get a dedicated headphone amp/DAC, I do have an audio encoder (Behringer UM2). I'm not sure if it's my bias, or if the audio coming out of the UM2's monitoring port actually sounds clearer overall....? Is this true?

1 Answer 1


An external ADC/DAC chain might sound better than if you did it in the PC.

Is it really? Possibly, or it could be apophenia or other psychological improvement. You would need to do controlled testing with many people to be able to say what actually happened quality wise.

  • I really can't tell myself, since if it's even a difference, it's a small one anyways...
    – Galaxy
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 19:27
  • 1
    I would say that a specially made audio interface adc/dac device would probably sound better than a just good enough to keep the price of the PC down circuit in the PC. But these days with cheap chips that do aamazing things one would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 22:50

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