It was very long times that my laptop soundcard was too annoying to my ears. I have a rich collection of headphones used with it but nearly all of them except the Silvercrest and another cheapy but better version of the marhsall model offers still quite good sound
Silvercrest is surely better but the wel known German giga market chain seems they stopped to offer them in their ranks ! I m not 100 sure but as far as the chain distributes their weekly bulletin there is nothing fond inside for more than 40 weeks over this ear!
The problem with
the soundcard is that the sound is mysteriously bassy in a way that the mid basses
are higher then expected resulting into
a headache as time passes
I finally decide to find a solution Looked again some older issues of a greek audio magazine and read once again the series of iFi Audio models .I was also enthused that they more recently made a cheaper series of their Zen can models into the margin prices of the 100
I was very much deciding to buy one of them and visited a audio shop in the city He is one of the many sellers offering these models
Long discussion and inspection of the model iFi Audio ZEN Air CAN , it is not offering any power adaptor except an external, full sinusoidal charger at a price of around 120 Eu . But the main reason is that the model can be charged directly from the computer via a standard USB A plug to USB B plug
Just before buying it I have seen the FiiO E10k type-c usb model just before his monitor and looked well into the box with less than the half of size. Quite slim an easy to put in the pocket !
-Its price is
the same !
-OK then man I will buy it !
Finally I took that
and tested 6 hours later even if I was very much curious to test it
A few minutes
after I was very curious if there Is really a C to C cable jumper as the model had
a male C to male USB jumper only. The neighbor
shown me a model and immediately took one
6 hours later
The connection was very easy and straight through. In just half minute the DAC was recognized by the Win 10 system and worked OK with not any problems except that the sound card is disabled
-Hmm as the iFi warned
All the above is not fiction but my real story on how i came to find out the mot appropriate model for my laptop. He also proposed that the IFI Zen is more appropriate for HIFi systems than just headphones. He was also quite interesting to advise on headphones ec , a story which will be noted in the bottom on this page
The DAC is simple enough The pot is also a on off switch with levels between 1to 8 and a bass enhance on the front panel together with the audio socket for 3,5 mm
ad this is the rear of the DAC with two outs , line and coaxial, and a gain level that increases the sound level BTW as you can see i used a Inkax c to c jumper that is other than what the technician offered me because the socket is too stiff because it never used before. the Inkax plug connects easier
now the results:
(1)the sound is softer and better but rather neutral. I can also use some bass without affecting my head or mind but sometimes gets boring especially if iuse it with quite sharp sounds as the SDRconsole
(2) there is not battery built in though i thin that it could help a little
(3) as noticed above powering it in stops the inner sound card . A few audio programs as Total recorder lose the sound by this piping
(4) I made 3 screenshots form audacity that show what happens using the inner sound card and the liner Fiio DAC using a external Q3 recorder from Tecsun encoded in MP3 format 128kb/32kHz.
Just watch above the two resulted curves The PC headphone out explains why my head 'gets as marmalade'. If supposedly the Fiio use a linear response the the ears jack shows a increase on the 80-300 Hz by 6 db and some little above the the 4 kHz
Finally after discussing in reddit the bassy problem has been solved. Dolby was activated long ago and dis-activated it from the settings menu after a lengthy process .
Here is the final results after using the method above :
At left original audio - middle the line out - right the FiiO out, There was a small fault whiele connecting the cable to FiiO : quite loose so the left channel was not properly connected .Also the volume was not so high as with the laptops even if both were after-normalized
Noise length 3 minutes WAV mode.
I both there is a slight loss in the higher frequencies.