Question Mac M1 and DAC

lakelandstu70

Active member
Feb 24, 2022
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HI... so. I had an old MacBook air 2013, and Audioquest Dragonfly Black.. made a huge difference. ... last year I replaced the air with a Macbook Pro M1 (lucky me I know). Tried my old Dragonfly (firmware was up to date), and the sound was about the same on my wired Sennheiser Momentums but slightly worse on my B&O h9s. I'm now wondering do I need a DAC at all for it... and if so do I splash out on a Mojo Chord 2 ... a big outlay if the gains are minimal.

Should also state I've upgraded the main HiFi (the separates dies years ago, so went for. Denon AVR2700x for the TV etc with Wharfedale's DX2... and the sound is way better than my old Marantz amp and Mission speakers for Hifi let alone 'cinema'... but they were 30 years old.

Through the laptop, I listen to Spotify (still no hi-res) but also ripped CDs at Apple's highest quality setting.

Also plug the Mac (via HDMI) and Ipad (via3.5 to RCA) through the main HiFi sometime, which I could do via a DAC.

Does anyone have experience with DACS via Macbook M1 if so what would you recommend, and which headphones are you using?... or should I just upgrade the headphones further?
 
Last edited:

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
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I don’t really understand your question tbh. Any dac will better than the internal one in the mac book just by pure virtue that a computer is an incredibly noisy device electrically so quite easy to achieve much better resaults. As for your experiment that could be anyones guess

I use a chord qutest with mine in the main system. A mojo would be a good shout though I’d be looking for close out deals on the older model.

or buy yourself some air max pros or any wireless headphones and for go the dac completely
 
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as286

Well-known member
May 12, 2011
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18,525
The sound is the same with and without Dragonfly as Mac puts good DACs into its newer machines. BOs H9 are Bluetooth ANCs, which means the headphone processes whatever signal it gets via Bluetooth. There can be any number of reasons why it sounds worse but it will sound inferior to wired as Bluetooth is lossy.

Chord Mojo 2 is an amazing DAC. I have, I love it, it is worth every penny it costs. Having said that, it works best with a lossless audio source feed and with a nice wired pair of high-quality headphones (not noise-cancelling). In your case, if your headphones are wireless, forget it. If they are wired, you will notice a difference with and w/o Mojo 2 but it will be subtle. Worth €600? Potentially not for the scenario you describe.

If your main source is Spotify and ripped CDs, a laptop could be hooked into Zen DAC V2 and further into your Denon. Mojo 2 is made as a portable DAC, Zen, although not as good sonically, is a good desktop DAC.
 
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lakelandstu70

Active member
Feb 24, 2022
16
2
25
I don’t really understand your question tbh. Any dac will better than the internal one in the mac book just by pure virtue that a computer is an incredibly noisy device electrically so quite easy to achieve much better resaults. As for your experiment that could be anyones guess

I use a chord qutest with mine in the main system. A mojo would be a good shout though I’d be looking for close out deals on the older model.

or buy yourself some air max pros or any wireless headphones and for go the dac completely

Thanks for this - I do have both wired and wireless headphones (Senheisser and B&O). With the limitations of bluetooth I much prefer the wired. RE: Any DAC will be better than the one in the PC, I had an old Dragonquest Black, which was superb in my old Macbook Air, but in the M1 Pro it's not as good as the internal DAC. Mjoj is the probably the best all round for what I need.
 

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