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Best DACs With Amps for Samson Z45 Headphones

Find out if you need a DAC amplifier for the Samson Z45 headphones and how to choose the best one.

Headphones Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: July 21, 2022

Written by Brandon Jones

This article discusses the main features you should know about when choosing a DAC amplifier for the Samson Z45 headphones.

I also list Recommended DAC amps for the Samson Z45 headphones below to choose the best one for your needs.

What Is a DAC and an Amp?

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A digital to analog converter (DAC) converts the digital audio data of an audio file into analog sound waves for them to be audible through headphones.

An amplifier (Amp) increases the audio volume from the DAC so you can hear audio at an optimal level.

A DAC amp combines a DAC and an amplifier in one device instead of standalone devices.

Do I Need a DAC Amp for the Samson Z45?

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Devices With Built-in DACs

Desktop computers and laptops usually have a DAC built into the motherboard. While built-in DACs will work with most headphones, higher-end headphones won't always work optimally without a standalone DAC amp.

A built-in DAC amp won't always have the clarity, frequency range, or desirable volume level. If your headphones aren't working well, are too quiet at max volume, create static sound, or sound poor, then these are signs that you most likely need a DAC amp.

Benefits of Standalone DACs

DACs can reduce unwanted static or other interference while creating cleaner and higher-quality audio. A higher-quality DAC can improve audio quality compared to built-in DAC amps on computers or phones. Most higher-quality standalone DAC amps can also support the entire frequency range that your headphones are capable of, while basic built-in DAC amps sometimes can't.

The Z45 headphones have a frequency range of 15 Hz to 22,000 Hz.

When You Need a Headphone Amplifier

The DACs I discuss in this article include an amplifier built-in, but below I discuss how to determine if you need the amplification aspect of the DAC amps. Keep in mind that you can still use and benefit from a DAC amp despite whether or not you need just an amp.

You can roughly determine if it'd be helpful to have an amplifier when headphones have an impedance of more than 32 Ohms. Headphones above 100 Ohms require a dedicated amplifier. Amps can still improve the sound quality for headphones above 50 Ohms.

The Z45 headphones have an impedance of 32 Ohms.

The Sound Pressure Level (SPL) can also help determine how much power a pair of headphones use to produce a decibel of sound, so the higher the SPL, the more power it tends to require. Most headphones range from an SPL of 90 to 120 dB/mW. Most headphones over 100 dB/mW usually need an external amplifier to produce ample volume.

The Z45 headphones have an SPL of 96 dB/mW.

How to Choose a DAC Amp for the Samson Z45

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As long as a DAC amp supports the impedance of the Z45 headphones (32 Ohms) and it has the correct cable input, it should work well. If you want the entire audio frequency range of the headphones, it's also best to get a DAC amp that supports close to the 15 Hz to 22,000 Hz frequency of the Z45 headphones. The frequency range of the headphones doesn't have to match the frequency range of the DAC amps, but the wider range, the better.

Higher-end DAC amps can be capable of producing higher-quality audio for your headphones. Most other qualities and features are personal preference and what you are connecting to the DAC amps to.

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Entry-Level DAC Amps

Mid-Range DAC Amps

  • Best for headphones with an impedance of 16 Ohms to 600 Ohms.
  • Frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
  • Audio quality supported: up to 24-Bit / 96 kHz.
  • Inputs: USB (Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS5), 3.5 mm, and optical. ARC Mk2 - Headphone Amplifier & DAC ARC Mk2 - Headphone Amplifier & DAC Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

High-End DAC Amps

PCIe Sound Card DAC Amp