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Which USB DAC/amp (max $150) for Sennheiser HD 598

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Dear Head-Fi'ers,

 

A few days back, I purchased the Sennheiser HD 598. After reading tons of reviews on it, I thought this would be the perfect start for a budding audiophile on a student budget.

The knowledge present here is amazing, and I have read quite a bit how a DAC/amp would improve my listening experience (especially a DAC).

Unfortunately I can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to DAC's and Amps, so I would be very thankful if you could help me out.

 

· budget: ca. 150 usd/eur, preferably readily available in Western-Europe

· looking for: USB DAC/amp combination, portability not really an issue since using with laptop

· headphones: Sennheiser HD 598

· source: mostly lossless audio through laptop (2007 MacBook Pro)

· genres: rock, classic, some electronic

· notes: I prefer detail, clarity and soundstage over bass (I can always use my Koss PortaPro's if I want thumping bass for electronic)

 

Would I truly need an amp, or will a good DAC suffice? I aim to having something future proof, for when I might someday start a job and have money for better headphones.

These are DAC's with amplifiers I have already been looking at, which I can get relatively easy and are within my budget:

· Firestone Audio, Fireye2 (€70)

· FiiO E10 (€80)

· HRT HeadStreamer (€135)

· Nuforce uDac2 (€135)

· Good standalone DAC (maybe ODAC?) recommendations are also greatly appreciated!

 

Which one of these, or others, will help me get the most out of my Sennheisers?

 

Thanks so much for the help!


Edited by niic - 7/20/12 at 7:02am
post #2 of 4

Why not try the Total Bithead from Headroom?  I use mine at work all of the time and really like it.  I have had mine for gosh many years and it is still running strong.  I can speak of their build quality and you will be hard pressed to find something better built in the same price point.  It has High/Low gain, USB and Analog input, runs off batteries or USB power, and can power two headphones at once.

 

My only gripe about it is that the controls are impossible to read in the dark because they are etched onto a black surface.


Edited by NA Blur - 7/13/12 at 12:01pm
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by niic View Post

Dear Head-Fi'ers,

 

A few days back, I purchased the Sennheiser HD 598. After reading tons of reviews on it, I thought this would be the perfect start for a budding audiophile on a student budget.

The knowledge present here is amazing, and I have read quite a bit how a DAC/amp would improve my listening experience (especially a DAC).

Unfortunately I can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to DAC's and Amps, so I would be very thankful if you could help me out.

 

· budget: ca. 150 usd/eur, preferably readily available in Western-Europe

· looking for: USB DAC/amp combination, portability not really an issue since using with laptop

· headphones: Sennheiser HD 598

· source: mostly lossless audio through laptop (2007 MacBook Pro)

· genres: rock, classic, dubstep

· notes: I prefer detail, clarity and soundstage over bass (I can always use my Koss PortaPro's if I want thumping bass for dubstep)

 

Would I truly need an amp, or will a good DAC suffice? I aim to having something future proof, for when I might someday start a job and have money for better headphones.

These are DAC's with amplifiers I have already been looking at, which I can get relatively easy and are within my budget:

· Firestone Audio, Fireye2 (€70)

· FiiO E10 (€80)

· HRT HeadStreamer (€135)

· Nuforce uDac2 (€135)

· Good standalone DAC (maybe ODAC?) recommendations are also greatly appreciated!

 

Which one of these, or others, will help me get the most out of my Sennheisers?

 

Thanks so much for the help!

Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier will do the job.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help guys!

I looked at the Total Bithead, and they look really good, but with shipping/handling and possible customs duties it would be the priciest of the bunch.

 

I eventually went with the Fiio E10's, and will look into a better, dedicated amp when I get myself tougher to drive headphones some day.


Edited by niic - 7/20/12 at 7:02am
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