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USB DAC for under $100: HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC or Fiio E10

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I'm in the market for a USB DAC for my Philips Fidelio X1, and I've narrowed my choice down to-

 

1. HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC ($42.00) http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83

 

2. Fiio E10 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier ($61.99) http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E10-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B005VO7LG6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374768618&sr=8-2&keywords=fiio+usb+dac

 

I will be using it with my X1 through my laptop. My headphones impedance is only 30Ohms.

I'm wondering which DAC should I go for?

The Sabre or the E10?

Do I need the extra juice of the E10's amp? 
Is the Sabre worth the price?
 

Also, if you guys have any other headphone DAC/Amps for under $100, I'm all ears! It would also be great if it was less than the E10 price tag as well. (:

post #2 of 7

I've been wondering the same thing! Been asking for a comparison of these two as DACs only but haven't gotten a real response cool.gif

 

Just so you know, the E10 is also on sale on buydig for $49

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoore914 View Post

Just so you know, the E10 is also on sale on buydig for $49

Looks like we're in the same boat... I just want an affordable DAC for my X1. And the Sabre and E10 is so close in price right now, since you've mentioned the sale! atsmile.gif Thanks! 
And the Sabre is rated #9 in all the DACs here at head-fi too! http://www.head-fi.org/products/hifimediy-sabre-usb-dac
 

Any recommendations anyone for a DAC or even DAC/Amp under $50?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

BUMP! Been about two days since the last post. Still trying to figure out with DAC has offers the superior sound.
Would it be the FiiO E10 with it's WM8740 chip or the Sabre with it's ES9023 chip?
Please help, they both cost around the same, and I'm looking a bang for the buck kind of DAC.
I also heard there is a really good DAC chip out there called the CS4398?
Which one is the best? WM8740, ES9023, or the CS4398?

Or if you could suggest a USB DAC for under $70, that'll work too! Anything would help! (:

post #5 of 7

Personally, I own the E10 and just ordered the HifimeDIY to compare them (via the E10's line out and the HFMDIY directly to a separate amp). Since I don't have the latter yet, I can only refer you to other sources.

 

Tech sheets on both DACs:

 

The Wolfson WM8740:

 

http://www.wolfsonmicro.com/products/dacs/WM8740/

 

 

The ESS ES9023:

 

http://www.esstech.com/PDF/ES9023%20PB%20Rev%200.2aPB%20110117.pdf

 

Have a look at this post from someone who owns both the E17 and an iteration of the HifimeDIY (he doesn't say which, though his comment suggests it's the 24/96-capable model):  (http://www.head-fi.org/t/651769/fiio-x3-thread-full-review-http-www-head-fi-org-t-663600-impression-fiio-x3-high-fi-low-price/1410#post_9501113):

 

Quote:

I have FIIO E17 (based on WM8740) and 2 ES9023-based DACs - ODAC and Hifimediy.

Both of them sound superior to FIIO E17.

 

ES9023 isn't even that power hungry - ODAC works fine powered by my cellphone.

It's very cheap too - hifimediy has a new 30$ USB DAC based on it.

It's quite affordable for a DAP that costs hundreds of dollars.

 

BTW, the same question can be addressed to FIIO's DAC/AMPs - why no ES9023?

 

WM8740 is not a top Wolfson DAC for a while - WM8741 and WM8742 replaced it.

 

Ben prefers the HifimeDIY to his E17 (which uses the same DAC as the E10 but is said to sound slightly better).

 

The ODAC uses the ES9023.  On the other hand, the Astel&Kern AK100 uses the WM8740.

 

Keep in mind that the E10 includes an amp with the Wolfson, whereas the HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC is essentially a DAC chip attached to a USB receiver chip and cable.

 

If you won't be using a dedicated amp, you might want to opt for the E10. 


Edited by scrypt - 8/7/13 at 3:07am
post #6 of 7
I have the HiFiMeDIY and I love, love, love it. I would recommend it to anyone.
post #7 of 7

Hello people...

I had both.
Now i have only the Hifimediy.

If you`re looking for DAC sound quality there`s no way to the E10.
Hifimediy is far....far better sound.

 

I recommend this  ---> http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

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