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Looking for Portable amp/dac

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello all

 

Im posting here because recently i bought the sennheiser momentum headphones and the cups were too small for my ears. 

 

And others have posted that the mad dog headphone would perhaps be the way to go, but also i see that they require amping to get the best possible sound.

 

My main player on the go is a cowon z2 using only .flac files.

 

My home laptop that i would also use these headphones on the soundcard contains a headphone out, as well as what appears to be a digital audio out in the form of a headphone jack most likely optical (given the red light)

 

I was recommended an ibasso d7 however im unsure how this will work with both my laptop and the z2.

 

I would also like the amp to be something that i can take with me on the go and it doesnt seem like the d7 has the option for battery power.

 

I am looking for a budget one currently because funds are a bit tight, what else should i look into

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

anybody have some feedback? i only have a couple of days to complete the return

post #3 of 15
Are you looking at just an amp, or a DAC/amp combo? For a cheaper combo, the I basso dzero and the fiio e07k are both right around $100 or less and are well regarded entry level amps
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

what is the major difference when you include a DAC? do you need specific hardware to take advantage of the DAC? in terms of audio output to the DAC/Amp

post #5 of 15
A DAC uses an digital line from your source. By using an external DAC you can isolate the whole analog side, potentially decreasing electrical noise. Another advantage is that if the DAC in your source is low quality, bypassing it can improve sound quality. Think of a DAC/amp as self contained headphone sound card.
Cowon usually used good DACs (and I don't know if that player supports digital out) so that side of it would be most useful for your computer but that's your call not mine.
Note that you can get more amp for your money if you skip the dac
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Indeed the Cowon does not have a digital out, only an analog which means that portion would in fact be useless on the go. My ultrabook also does not contain a digital out so there again it wouldnt serve any purpose the only point in which it would would be coming from the soundcard on my gaming laptop which has the Digital Out. If i were to say get rid of the DAC and purchase just an amp, what should i be looking at? I assumed the Cowon and most audio equipment had the DAC's built in but i wasnt aware many portable players would contain just a line out for an external DAC to use ( i am an EE so i do know the components at least somewhat well ;D ) 

 

now that i look at it that is possibly where the sony z series would outdue to cowon due to the line out however it isnt expandable in terms of storage which is why i opted for the cowon

post #7 of 15
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-11-10-amps-compared
http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-10-1-amps-compared


That will be the best place for you to start. Personally the only amps I am interested in (when I get a set of cans that need amping) are the fiio e5/e6 and the objective2.
Edited by thoughtcriminal - 2/21/13 at 8:13pm
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

The Objective 2 does look fantastic based on that thread.

 

I do like the idea having a DAC and amplifier in one unit however the thing i dont like about the ibasso d6 is the fact that the only digital in is usb...which...yeah. i dont think anything i have including my laptops will output audio through USB. unless i am wrong on this but im not sure

post #9 of 15
Your laptop will do USB sound. The o2 is great in specs, but bear in mind it seems bigger than a 2.5 external hard drive. If you are willing to carry something that big then its the clear answer. If you're handy you can even build one on the cheap
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

you have intrigued me. has anyone on these forums that you know of built their own DAC/Amp combo? i would love to give it a shot being an EE student it is within my interests lol.

 

I think im settling for the Ibasso D6 simply because it allows op amp rolling which means i could at least get equivalent to the objective 2s sound if i use their op amps i would presume?

post #11 of 15

I'm interested in this as well...I have read reviews about the ones you mentioned iBasso and Fiio, and while I am sure they're excellent devices, my budget ranges up to $400.  I am looking for a portable combination unit I can also use with my desktop setup.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyPlayer View Post

you have intrigued me. has anyone on these forums that you know of built their own DAC/Amp combo? i would love to give it a shot being an EE student it is within my interests lol.

 

I think im settling for the Ibasso D6 simply because it allows op amp rolling which means i could at least get equivalent to the objective 2s sound if i use their op amps i would presume?

i believe there are instructions and pictures on how to make the objective O2 dac/amp

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyash View Post

i believe there are instructions and pictures on how to make the objective O2 dac/amp

Do you know where I could find these?
post #14 of 15
The O2/ODAC combo, O2 only or ODAC only can be bought ready made @ JDSlabs. If your interested in building one than go to www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/217086-building-o2-headphone-amp.html for a guide on how to built one.
post #15 of 15

Those are not very portable on the go use, but it seems you have changed your mind.

 

I let my friend borrow the ANDES E07K and it drives the Mad Dogs easily from what he says.

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