To the Audiophile DJ: Fiio E10 or NI Audio 2? (Audiophile amp vs Pro audio interface)
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    Default To the Audiophile DJ: Fiio E10 or NI Audio 2? (Audiophile amp vs Pro audio interface)

    Headphone jack to my laptop is busted. Sound leaks without me knowing (leakage while headphones are plugged in! So many times the person next to me has said they can hear the music haha). Need new external soundcard for laptop. NOTE: this is simply for casual day to day listening, not mixing (my controller already has a built-in soundcard!). Which way to go?

    Upcoming Fiio E10 - projected to be $80-100
    Fiio's newest USB DAC that's not even out yet. Going to be released end of this month/October. 24bit/96khz. Looks absolutely sexy (scroll down to the 4th post to see a Fiio employee's teaser pictures for the head-fi forum): http://www.head-fi.org/t/559380/e10-...of-real-e10/75

    NI's Audio 2 DJ soundcard - about $100
    No need for explanation. This is also 24bit/96khz. One upside I see is that I could use this for a future controller (if I ever decide to let go of my wonderful DX) that might not have built in soundcard. (Although I'm sure I could use the Fiio too)

    What would YOU do? Go the audiophile way or go the DJ way? Help! Both are beautiful external soundcards that I would use only for listening to stuff on my laptop.

    There's an interested thread here (http://www.head-fi.org/t/539245/dj-a...udiophile-dacs) comparing Audiophile amps to DJ audio interfaces.

    To those of you audiophile/DJ's, how do lower end amps such as this one compare to pro audio interfaces like the Audio 2? Both of these in question are outputting 24bit/96khz and are high quality products. Looking for your insight as my knowledge on amps and the audiophile world is very limited.

    Thanks so much :-)

    ps. apologies for the many threads on headphones/soundcards/etc :-P

    edit: added a picture for comparison!
    Last edited by GI Trackt; 09-17-2011 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru DigitalDevil's Avatar
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    Won't be a huge difference with your headphones but E10 for sure (assuming it will have similar performance to the E7/E9).

  3. #3
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    It's actually supposed to be better than the E7 bc E7 outputs 16bit/48khz and the E10 is going to output 24/96.

    Thanks DD, yeah the E10 just looks sexy as hell. Plus I'd be super stoked to own my first amp haha.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Cook's Avatar
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    Quite a hard choice, im half drunk still so im not going to read the thread on headphone amps v DJ soundcards, because none of it will make sense.

    But i love my audio 2 to pieces, as you said it could be part of a future upgrade as well,
    My money would be on the audio 2, The A2 does have a slight volume boost, not as much as an amp would though
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    Cool cool. Thanks for your input man! For what it's worth, I'm sure comparing the dimensions of the two units could be taken into consideration too. I'd be throwing this in the backpack all the time since it has to be stuck to my laptop permanently. They're both small anyways though :-P

  6. #6
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    just created a quick picture in paint for visual comparison :-P
    Last edited by GI Trackt; 09-18-2011 at 12:44 AM.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    Review on the new E10 amp:
    http://www.headfonia.com/the-latest-...10-usb-dacamp/

    I'm pretty stoked for this! High quality amplifier for only $80 :-)

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor jimbob5000's Avatar
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    Dunno about the Fiio, the review kinda looks promising.
    In general, for Hifi listening, a dedicated DAC is a good thing. personally use a Dr. DAC Nano ( http://www.headfonia.com/esi-dr-dac-...ry-level-2496/ ), paired with the Fidelia player, a Penguin Amp and Beyerdynamic DT990. I like it so much that the only thing that could persuade me to get something else would be an affordable DAC/Headphone Amp combo with a good and flexible crossfeed circuit. But that's probably wishful thinking.

    Compared to my NI Audio 4 (using Line-Out OR Headphone out), it's worlds apart. Don't get me wrong, the Audio4DJ is very good for DJing, But for home listening, the Dr. DAC has the better soundstage by far. No surprise, because that's not what DJ sound cards are made for and don't have to be. For most EDM, it wouldn't matter anyway.

    If you're just looking for an improvement over the built-in laptop sound card, an Audio 2 will already deliver that. If you're really into serious home listening, a dedicated DAC in general probably is a good idea in my opinion.

    Edit: Just took a closer look at the E10 review pictures. And I don't like the volume knob. It only goes up to 8. It should go up to 11
    Last edited by jimbob5000; 09-19-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    Hey Jimbob, thanks for your post. I knew there were some hi-fi'ers here! I'll keep what you said in mind.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru GI Trackt's Avatar
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    Hey Jimbob so it turns out there's a gain button on the back that switches between High and Low! You could think of it as 2 scales for the volume:

    Low: Volume 0-8
    High: Volume 9-17

    The headfonia review has the pics :-)

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