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Need help choosing portable DAC/AMP for laptop

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

As the title suggests, I'm in the market for a new DAC/AMP.
 

Of course, there a couple features to consider, such as:

1. It has to be portable, no A/C power for this cookie.

2. I would prefer it to not be battery powered, or if so, the battery to be removable

3. Price is an issue, I need something cheap like sub-$100

4. Form factor:  Dongle or usb-stick type is the best, though if it's small enough, I'll settle for less

5. Has to have USB input.  Preferably without drivers, as I'll be using it in a windows 8 machine

6. Though not a necessity, I would like a mic input as well, to simplify things

Any help is greatly appreciated.

I've looked at products such as:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008YD36J2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1N6XPDSWPR6EW
and
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Xonar-Sound-Cards-XONAR_U3/dp/B0054L8GVK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1363569337&sr=1-1&keywords=Asus+u3
and
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Soundblaster-Audio-System-SB1290/dp/B0044DEDC0/ref=pd_sim_e_2

and all of them pan out in some way (except for the MUSE, which I can't really find many reviews/ impressions on)


Edited by HouseFoxx - 3/17/13 at 6:18pm
post #2 of 7

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html

 

get this Special Offer: Want a E9/E7 Bundle at a discounted price? Add a E7 in the "Bundled Amplifier" box above and get both for only $179.90!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluzeboy View Post

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html

 

get this Special Offer: Want a E9/E7 Bundle at a discounted price? Add a E7 in the "Bundled Amplifier" box above and get both for only $179.90!


It's well out of my price range, seeing as how you have to have the e7 to make it work.
Also: this requires an A/C power adapter, and therefore, not USB-bus powered, and not portable.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

:EDIT:

Well, as it seems, the e7 has no problems running off the USB bus, and doing so won't ruin the internal battery, either, so I'll be getting that soon enough.

post #5 of 7

Or you can get the Fiio E10.

 

It ticks all of the checkboxes you provided above.

post #6 of 7

I am sure none of the sub $100 ones will make you happy and you will look for an upgrade sooner or later.  Therefore, I strongly recommend you save up and get the excellent AudioQuest DragonFly for $250 on Amazon and be done with it.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

I am sure none of the sub $100 ones will make you happy and you will look for an upgrade sooner or later.  Therefore, I strongly recommend you save up and get the excellent AudioQuest DragonFly for $250 on Amazon and be done with it.

 

Yeah no, I looked at that, and apparently it has troubles running on Windows 8, so thats out.  Also: I'd rather get a portable DAC/AMP that can dock to or connect to a bigger, badder amp like the FiiO e09k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

Or you can get the Fiio E10.

 

It ticks all of the checkboxes you provided above.


It does, but as I understand, it doesn't have any kind of 3.5mm line-in, and it isn't too portable. The FiiO e07k Andes has no trouble running in USB mode (in terms of damage done to the battery, the main reasons for point #2).

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