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What are all the possible options for USB-powered portable amps (+ DAC)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
What are all the options for an USB-powered amp, either with without integrated DAC? I have the Total Bithead 2006 and while it's nice, it's not great and I'd be willing to spend more if there's the possibility to do so.

Basically, I don't want to deal with batteries or only if they are charged through USB. This would exclude the Porta Corda MKIII for instance.
Intended use is with a Macbook Pro.

Thanks,
Tao
post #2 of 17
The new headphonia does that.
post #3 of 17
The Headphonia doesn't charge from USB. However, it is a great amp . I haven't gotten mine yet, but when I do, I'll write a short review
post #4 of 17
The amp is powered by the usb, though. So you dont need a battery inside while using the usb.
post #5 of 17
Oh lol. My bad
post #6 of 17
HPDAC, although they're kinda rare now
post #7 of 17
HPDAC is VERY rare, but it's not a portable amp, it's a portable DAC + AMP that takes ONLY USB input.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Is the HPDAC discontinued?

Bump for more thoughts. Surely there must be more options on the market than just the Total Bithead, which I already have, and the new Headphonia, which I don't want to buy.
post #9 of 17
emu 0404 usb
firestone cute

i also think m-audio offers some usb amp products. transit?
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by saint.panda View Post
Is the HPDAC discontinued?
The hpdac is, for now, no more. It was never really meant to be a product, but was just a short run diy project. I designed it, thought it was neat, and thought a few others might think so too.
post #11 of 17
The M-Audio Transit's headphone socket is poorly lacking in the bass department - definitely needs its own amp.

Not sure what the M-Audio Mobile Pre USB is like in that regard though, considering it has a pre-amp in it for input, it might have a beefed up headphone output. You'd have to get a review from someone on the quality of the headphone socket though.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was lucky enough to snatch MisterX's last hpdac board.
post #13 of 17
I was lucky enough to get an assembled HPDAC from MisterX. Great little bugger.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to give a quick update. My HPDAC came from MisterX last week and it sounds better than the Total Bithead. But as I've said elsewhere, the Bithead really is the more convenient solution for those who need the extra features since it can be powered via batteries and has a line-in just like any normal amp. Anyways, I don't need neither of these.

For fun's sake, I compared the HPDAC to the Corda Opera today. As expected the Corda was noticeably better but given the price and size difference, the HPDAC is truly excellent. I expected a much bigger difference. It also looks very nice, too, and is smaller than the Bithead (same height, less area).

Too bad the HPDAC isn't available anymore, which is why I'll pass on writing more in-detail impressions or comparisons. Anyways, kudos to dsavitsk for such a neat device.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by saint.panda View Post
Anyways, kudos to dsavitsk for such a neat device.
Thanks. I appreciate that very much.

On the horizon, there is a prototype HPDAC that uses a TDA1545 instead of the 1543 (this is the same chip used in the Monica -- it adds a complication that it takes eiaj input instead of i2s.) I had the board made last year but have not gotten around to assembling it or playing with it at all as I've been pretty busy. There are a few known issues, mostly dealing with higher power requirements, and I am not sure whether they can easily be resolved. My guess is that it won't go further than the drawing board, but you never know.

However, I am also looking into a version that uses some oversampling, but this is likely a long way off. Again, it is something that might happen, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
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