Pros: Cheap, well built, RCA jacks
Cons: I'll find one
I will compare the Modi vs the ODAC for this mini-review. They both have the same general "signature" and really just sound very transparent/flat/balanced. I can't really detect any coloration and they don't alter the sound of any of my headphones or make them sound different than how they're supposed to be. I doubt that there is a headphone that would sound bad with the ODAC or Modi. For testing I used the Schiit Magni and Headroom Micro Amp + Astrodyne (both transparent). I used the AKG K400, Koss Pro DJ 100, HD-650 and Q701. It was the easiest to detect the differences with the DJ100 and Micro Amp. All the differences listed below were heard on both amps.
After a week of use here are some differences I've noted with the Modi:
- Slightly better Soundstage on the Modi. The Modi seems to have better depth and height, but other than this it seems the same size or very close.
- Slightly less clear than the ODAC on some songs. The difference is so extremely subtle that it's barely worth pointing out. I could be hearing things.
- Much easier to pinpoint the exact position of instruments on the Modi compared to the ODAC. This for me was very noticeable.
- The Modi to MY EARS sounds a little smoother. I know they both measure flat. The ODAC sounds slightly more shouty at times.
- When you have vocals in front of you that sound slightly further back IN the recording, the ODAC is less accurate. You can't judge the distance as easily. Often the ODAC seems to shove things in your face in comparison. It's much easier to be fatigued with the ODAC. Again, I know they both measure ruler flat.
- I can't really detect any warmth in either. Maybe the Modi has a touch more, but if so my ears can't detect it. I don't care about this. None of them sound "cold and analytical" though.
- Both have about the same amount of detail. At times I felt that some detail was easier to hear on the Modi, but now I imagine it's probably the same.
- Modi is not forgiving at all, just like the ODAC. They won't take the edge off harsh or bad recordings.
- The mids of the Modi seem slightly more "relaxed" in comparison to the ODAC (still measuring flat). Maybe the Modi is just more accurate to how a recording really is? I think this is why and it's easy to be fooled.
- I can't detect any difference between the bass and treble. Not after a week at least.
- The difference between the ODAC and HRT MSII is MUCH greater. Doubt anyone cares, but this might give some an idea of how similar the Modi and ODAC are.
Again, I want to point out that the differences are very minor and almost nit-picking. To my ears, the Modi sounds similar to the ODAC but with some slight improvements. With my setup the Modi is maybe just about 5% better. The only way I could be able to pass a blind test here is when testing the differences in the soundstage. The Modi would almost always sound smoother to my ears also.
Both are very good and you can't go wrong with either of them. I now prefer the Modi over the ODAC and my old HRT MSII. It's probably not worth selling off your ODAC for a Modi.
I'm sure there are plenty of other differences people have heard, but I haven't heard them.