So, today I had a chance to audition the UD-H01 with my DT880's 600 Ohm. Man oh man does this thing sound good. Excellent DAC nad headphone output, and sounds amazing with DT880's, perfect match I'd say. I compared it directly to Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus in the store. IMHO, DacMagic is not even in the same league. At least on DT880's, Teac sounds so much better. So much fuller, faster, soundstage is bigger, etc.
I first tested both out of their own headphone outputs. Both were able to run the DT880's, but Teac is vastly superior. It's got more power, more authority, the sound is cleaner, more detailed, smoother, more controlled, etc. Its just a more "hi-fi" experience. CA was able to run the DT880's to comfortably loud level, I usually would not listen to music that loud, but it could have more headroom for some slightly lower in volume recordings. But DT880's clearly were not getting all the "juice" they needed out of the CA. There was loudness, but the bass was weak, extension bad, highs harsh, soundstage small, and overall sound was muddy and uncontrolled compared to Teac. Also volume control on CA freaking sucks, whoever came up with that idea in CA should be fired. It takes 5 seconds to turn it up or down, my hand was hurting from all the twisting. Why not just use a normal volume knob, why this digital crap with such slow response?
Teac's headphone output is clearly superior, there is more power and more volume, actually more than enough. Again, it needs to be turned pretty high up, to about 2-3 oclock to get it loud, but even when its at full 5 o'clock, its completely silent, no hissing, no distortion. It also feels like there's exponential gain in the knob, up to 12 o'clock nothing happens, then it starts to get louder and louder for same knob turning increments. Sound is perfectly controlled and clear all the time, great match for DT880's. But again, I would have wished for slightly more gain out of the amp. I don't know why, its probably just psychological, because I would almost never listen to music as loud as it is when Teac is turned all the way up, but I have more confidence when I have some more headroom in terms of volume.
I also used by Little Dot Mk5 as amp and both devices as DAC's. Again, Teac was superior to CA in all the ways mentioned before. It just sound nicer, CA was actually pretty disappointing, considering it costs almost twice as much as the Teac.
Also, Teac's headphone output sounds nicer than Little Dot Mk5, but Mk5 has got more power. For example, Teac at max. volume produces same loudness as Mk5 would at about 80%. But sound is better, and there's no hissing, which there is on the Mk5 when turning it above 70%.
So to conclude, Teac is extraordinary value for money, and contrary to my expectation, it's not just a DAC with a silly headphone output, it's actually got a very good headphone amp. If it can run DT880's 600Ohm well, then it can do that with any dynamic headphone.
However, I still need to try out the Asus Xonar Essene One. Has anyone had a chance to compare the two units, or heard both maybe?
Edited by derbigpr - 8/2/12 at 4:48am