Hey Head fi,
I'm about to buy a pair of Sennheiser HD 650 and I'm wondering if an amp is more important (schitt asgard) or a dac (still choosing). I have a Macbook Pro 13in.
You'll get two camps arguing. One saying the mac has good enough onboard sound.
And the other saying without a quality DAC you're just amplifying garbage.
With that said, I'll go ahead and say get the amp first. As that is how I started.
For the 650s in particular, an amp should be more important. Most DACs are sufficient enough to do the job. A voltage-loving headphone like the 650 really needs an amp.
Apple products seem to come with half-way decent DACs.
Everything I hear about the HD650 is it really is at it's best with a healthy dose of amping.
If you want a low cost DAC & amp. combo.
Indeed MK2 single tube headphone amplifier, sells on eBay for $95.
SMSL SD-1955 DAC, sells on eBay for $100.
There's actually only one possible answer to this question and that's you have to buy the amp first for the simple reason that buying a DAC (unless it's a combo unit) will leave you without any way to drive the headphones so it's not too useful.
BTW, The HD 650 love tube amps.