Can Bluetooth headphones and a USB DAC live together?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mcdj, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Just ordered some new AKG K845 BT headphones. Haven't got them yet.

    My Mac Mini is a headless music server, connected full time to a USB DAC.

    I'd like to pair the BT headphones to the Mini for occasional late night listening, without having to switch audio outputs in System Prefs.

    I've googled this and can't find a definitive answer. Will the headphones pass music without being set as the output? If not, will setting up an aggregate sound device allow me to use both USB and BT audio out simultaneously?

    Or are these headphones going back?

  2. Gofre macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    Bluetooth is a digital protocol, so as far as I'm aware any BT audio product will receive the digital information and then handle the analogue conversion with its own internal circuitry. So yes, your DAC will most likely be bypassed. If you want your source components to play a factor you probably want to be looking at headphones with base stations that will accept analogue from the DAC and provide lossless conversion at the other end using a technology like Kleer. The standouts in this regard are going to be the Sennheiser RS 220 and RS 180, with the 220s supposedly being the best sounding wireless headphone money can buy and on par with headphones like the HD600.

    EDIT: Or if it's just a case of wanting to use the headphones with the DAC so you don't have to switch outputs, buy a bluetooth adaptor that can plug into your DAC and pair the headphones with that rather than the Mac.

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