4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wut's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/12/2013 - 11:32
Posts: 1
Dragonfly versus Realtek High Definition Audio onboard chip


Is it worth spending 200 dollars on a dragonfly 2.0 usb Dac when my current audio comes from a Realtek High Definition onboard chip? (my pc is pretty much the only audiosource I use)

Or is it better to invest that money in better speakers/amplifier (I still have to buy everything and my total budget is something between 400 and 650 dollars).

I listen to a lot of different music genres and the setup is meant for a small room (15m^2).

Nationalizer's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 17/12/2013 - 10:26
Posts: 3
RE: Dragonfly versus Realtek High Definition Audio onboard chip

The difference between a dedicated DAC and an onboard chip is huge.

If you have high quality audio files you are missing a lot with the onboard card.

Go listen to some good speakers & amp in a showroom and pick the ones that sound the best with the music you normally listen to.

Having just made the investment myself I wouldn't back down on any of these, everything sounds better if all the components of the sound system are higher quality. It's an investment you will enjoy for years so spend a little more money on it if you can Smile

arrelli's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 22/06/2014 - 15:30
Posts: 1
RE: Dragonfly versus Realtek High Definition Audio onboard chip


i just purchsed a DragonFly v1.2 and compared to the Realtek HD in my Acer netbook, I'd say the improvement in sound is noticeable but not huge-huge, at least with my aging ears and the stuff I listen to (mostly rock and pop but some jazz and classical). Improvements may be missed unless you are listening critically (probably won't notice if you are listening and browsing the web or word processing...but maybe I just can't multi-task that well.)

The differences I've noticed so far with headphones:

highs are brighter and more defined

instruments are more spatially defined

you can tell the difference between the different percussion instruments, how the drum heads are hit... little stuff ilke that  

bass is a little less murky


Probably can't really notice the difference through my stereo (consumer grade, and the acoustics in my man-cave/office aren't great). Your mileage may vary depending on your system and your space.

Anyways, my two-cents' worth.


Acer Aspire One / Grado SR80i headphones / Source: iTunes - purchased AAcs and ripped CDs (Apple lossless and MP3)

Stereo gear: NAD 304 integ amp, Mission 760i speakers, Mission AS-2 powered sub

Overdose's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 days ago
Joined: 08/02/2008 - 18:23
Posts: 3672
RE: Dragonfly versus Realtek High Definition Audio onboard chip

Pc soundcards, internal or external, are quite competent, as you have just discovered.

The best value for money upgrades are to be had with speakers and amplification.

Active speakers solve this issue quite nicely. Smile

Log in or register to post comments