I would like to get some advice on this topic. My budget is USD 200-600. I would like some universal solution which can be used with PC/Mac, Cowon D2+ and iPhone/iPod.
Here are some candidates I have found so far:
- FIIO E17 (approx. USD 130-150, a very budget option with some good reviews, but I'm not sure if it's good enough for Sony)
- iBasso D6 (USD 275)
- iBasso D12 (USD 285)
- iBasso D7 (non-portable, but seems good for PC, USD 179)
- ALO National (AMP only, USD 299)
- Portaphine 627 (AMP only, USD 499)
- RSA Predator (USD 475)
- ALO International (USD 599)
Mainly I'm interested in getting the most out of Sony (which is great but, as I've read, not easy) to amplify as a 12-oHm model), but improving the ATH-ES7's quality is also very desirable.
My main preference is jazz music, and I'd really love to try some hi-res recordings (24/96, for example).
Please, advice what would you choose and what is better to start with - a combo or maybe an amplifier only (not sure how it will work with PC/Mac's onboard sound card - maybe you could advice some). What will be more important in general - amplifier or DAC?
I will be glad to consider other options as well. Thanks in advance!