Originally Posted by bartus
I don't have the Apogee One or the HD580 but based on my experiences I would make this a reasonably definite NO. I have the Apogee Mini DAC in my home/speaker setup for the last 7 or 8 years now and if Apogee kept up their game just slightly it will outclass the c5d and Fiio e17. Furthermore your kind of comparing apples and oranges. The Apogee is first of all a portable DAC+ADC where E17 and C5D are more marketed as a headphone amp plus DAC option, the former being a bit more expensive than the latter but also packs more functionality (whether you need it or not).
Like I said I can't compare to the Apogee One but my 8 year old Mini DAC outclasses the C5D on every single level sound wise.
I agree with you, but the Apogee One might not have enough power to optimally drive 300+ Ohm headphones, like the Sennheiser HD 580s? The Apogee One does fine with other low impedance headphones I have (Sennheiser HD 558, Sennheiser PX-100, and Shure E4c), but I wonder if the HD 580 phones (and my older 600 Ohm AKG 240 Monitors) would benefit from having an amp.
With my higher impedance headphones, I have to turn the volume to 75% or more for them to be at my normal listening volume. With my other phones, I tend to keep the volume around 50%, maybe a little higher or lower depending on which set.
I found some specs on the Apogee One. It seems to have an output impedance of 30 Ohms and a max output level of +14 dBu (3.9V RMS). How does that compare to the C5D?
Edited by MarkF786 - 4/22/14 at 6:51pm