Improve Sound Quality while Listening to Music at Work
DAC stands for “Digital-to-Analog Converter” and is often pronounced “dac.” Since computers only recognize digital information, the output they produce is typically in digital format. However, some output devices such as headphones only accept analog input, which means a digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, must be used.
This conversion typically takes place in the computer, which has a built-in DAC. The digital signal, which is basically a stream of ones and zeros, is transformed into an analog signal that takes the form of an electrical charge. This electrical charge is recognized by most speaker inputs and therefore can be output to most speakers including your headphones. Any time a signal is converted from one format to another, there is a potential loss of quality. That is why it is important to have a high-quality DAC. Computers and laptops generally have very low quality components resulting in substantial loss of sound quality. Therefore, purchasing an external DAC is one of the best ways to improve it!
NOISE CANCELING TECHNOLOGY
There are two types of noise canceling headphones. Active and Passive. Active technology is far more effective however you will pay for that effectiveness.
Active: Reduces distracting background noise, providing an exceptional listening environment in areas with high ambient noise. Active noise-cancelling headphones have three components not present in ordinary headphones:
Microphone: Noise-cancelling headphones feature a miniature microphone in the earpiece that picks up ambient noise (such as coworkers, air-conditioning systems, etc.)
Noise-canceling chip: Electronics in the ear piece create a noise-cancelling wave that is 180° out of phase with the ambient noise. This wave acts like a noise eraser: it cancels out the ambient sounds that surround you without diminishing the audio you hear.
Battery: The noise-cancelling electronics are battery-powered.
Passive: Passive noise-reducing headphones and earphones achieve passive noise-reduction by physically covering the ears to help block out external noises.
Closed back headphones are headphones that are completely sealed around the back, only allowing sound out where it can reach your ear. This means that while your music may not be as natural-sounding as it would on an open backed set of headphones, closed back headphones will block out a lot more outside noise and thus are a form of the passive noise canceling mentioned earlier.
There may be subtle echoes in bass notes, and sometimes wearing closed back headphones for long periods of time can make your ears sweaty, but on the whole these are the best choice for listening to music in public places.