as I`m very new in headphone audio, wanted to reach out and ask your opinion in below case:
Topping MX3 (via USB connection)
HE4xx / Grado Sp125
NAS drive with flacs (hardwired network)
VLC player for flac over network
Tidal app (Master - trial account)
So far MX3 was working with PS4/TV for games/netflix through optical (headphones or speakers). No complaints.
Wanted to use MX3 for time being as desktop solution with headphones when I work, before I get something like Zan Dac.
When connected it with USB, big disappointment - all sound below mids was one big distortion. What helped was to lower volume up to:
- VLC: 2/3rd of app and system volume
- Tidal: 3/4rs of app and system volume
and then I got sound which was… well, not distorted, but totally uninvolving. Maybe even the sound was extended to bass and highs, but kind of “empty”. Foot Tapping Factor - ZERO.
After few days of fiddling, I gave up. Just for giggles, today I`ve used bluetooth connection from iPhone 7 - and grabbed my jaw from the floor. Dynamics, extension, involvement - far better than USB.
So, was wondering where the problem is?
- Topping USB quality is not great - so I`ll get an improvement having Zen Dac in its place?
- iMac USB is bad because its old (and noisy) so even better dac/amp will suffer?
- if so, what options would you suggest - keeping this headphone adventure as cost reasonable?
I want to return my MX3 to TV setup.
If Zen Dac (or maybe other??) will suffer via USB - shall I try with signal purification (some magic ifi dongles) or “translation” of USB to eg optical and using doc/amp with optical input - but then, which one?
These still seam more reasonable than buying new comp or phone with better bluetooth AND doc/amp with bluetooth.
Many thanks for your comments!