In this new post in our sound section we will see a trick to improve the audio quality of our headphones. We already use them to listen to music, watch movies or play a video game.
The first thing we have to be clear about is that the quality of the music files is the basis of what in the jargon of the music world is known as “the signal chain” . This term refers to the path audio follows from when it is created to when we listen to it. It comprises both software and hardware that converts audio into sound waves.
Based on this, to perceive good audio in our headphones we will have to have a strong signal chain. If we play poor quality audio files it will be of little use for us to use the best headphones or the best speakers on the market. The first step therefore will be to play files with good compression .
The music we find on vinyl or CD is of excellent quality, superior to most of the digital files we use today on online playback platforms or pocket players. These usually come in highly compressed formats to the detriment of audio quality. It is the way that they take up less space when storing them.
The compression format must be taken into account. To obtain a good quality in this sense we can do several things:
- Import music without low-quality compressions.
- Start listening to high-quality broadcasts using services like Spotify or Tidal. Its premium versions are affordable and offer us several levels of quality in terms of reproduction.
What is a DAC for?
In the signal chain, something that is already incorporated in all digital players takes on special relevance. We are talking about a digital converter or DAC. Before the sound reaches our ears, it exists only in digital form. The zeros and ones that contain the information from an audio file are transformed by the DAC into digital data. Every computer, phone or tablet comes with an integrated DAC. What happens is that these that come installed from the factory are of poor quality. Therefore, to increase the audio quality of your headphones, it is best to get an external DAC that works through this specialized external unit. Most connect via USB. The controls are usually simple, they usually have an on / off switch and a volume switch. Normally we can connect our headphones directly to an external DAC to instantly increase the quality of the audio.