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Please recommend amp / Dac for Hifiman HE-400

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



In a few days I will be ordering a Hifiman HE-400.  Now I am looking to buy an amplifier to drive it.  I want to have one unit I can plug into my computer and have it delivery outstanding sound.


Do I need a Dac AND an amp or are most units the same thing (or include both)?  I don't know that much about high end headphones, this will be my first.


I am really not looking to spend too much money.  I might stretch to $300 or a little more, but maybe something closer to $200 would be better.  But please give me your best recommendations even if they fall slightly outside of my price range (I can stretch if it is really worth it).


Obviously it needs to be powerful enough to drive Orthos but I also like the idea of tubes.  Sound quality is my utmost consideration.  Design, features etc are secondary.  I want the best bang for my buck as far as SQ is concerned.


 Give me your best recommendations.



post #2 of 3

Love my Audio-GD 15.32 Dac/Amp with my HE-400.

post #3 of 3

The power output levels of the Audio-GD products are quite good for when it comes to driving orthodynamic headphones.  I the case of the OP, getting a headphone amplifier and a DAC is essential if you plan to hook it up to your computer.  Most use the USB outputs of their computer to send a signal to the DAC.  The DAC, if built-in will then send the converted sound (Digital to Analog conversion) to the amp to permit playing the music.  Some people have used the sound output jack of their soundcard to feed into the input of just an amplifier.  In this case, a DAC would not be needed, since the digital to analog conversion would be conducted at the sound card level.  Though, I personally would not recommend this option as you have to have a pretty good sound card that would be capable of sending some very good sound the amp.  In my case, I have not come across a sound card that I've liked for that role.

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