I'm new to headphone amps and DAC's as I never owned one before. I have a mid-high end home theater in my living room with custom speakers that are audiophile quality that I use for some of my music listening. However the living room is being taken over as my daughter is growing and wanting to play in there and watch TV as well.
Anyway, Im doing much more music listening directly at my desk with my computer. I have a XFi sound card that is sub par for hi-fidelity music. I do have a set of Sennheiser HD-580's that I use for critical listening but have never had any equipment capable of really making them sing short of a nice A/V receiver.
So I am currently on a quest to find a unit that will do a good job as a DAC and capable of driving nice sound to my 300 ohm HD-580's and also doubling as a preamp providing a line out to my powered custom audiophile quality 2.1 desktop speaker setup that I almost have completed. Im looking at all in one units as my desktop space is limited but am not completely opposed to separates if I can fit them. On that thought, do they make any internal DAC's HP amps with volume control for Desktop ststems to mount in a 5.25" bay?
I believe most of the listening will be on the headphones (at least as of now) so I would rather step up the headphone amp over the preamp line outs.
The brief list so far:
NuForce Icon HDP (maybe a little pricey for my budget)
NuForce Icon uDAC-2 (HP amp section a little weak for my 300ohm HD-580's?)
Fiio E9/E7 combo (don't know much about it as of yet)
Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1
Matrix Mini DAC
anything else im missing around this $200-300 price point?
Edited by lamski - 5/22/11 at 4:50pm