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Looking for advice on DAC/amp for use with Heir Audio 4.a CIEM and eventually Bang and Olufson H6's

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

So I've been getting into purchasing decent audio gear for the first time in my life... I'm an avid concert goer and really have always never really enjoyed my music listening experience on the go or at home. I listen to a really broad range of genres including reggae, rock, classic rock, 80's pop, 80's 90's hip hop, jazz, classical, country and occasionally dance. I eventually decided to go with a neutral/reference tonal approach to buying my first CIEMs so I ended up getting a pair Heir Audio 4.a.

 

Now I'm looking to expand on that and pick up a DAC and AMP. I want something that will be able to accommodate my 4.a but also a Bang and Olufson H6 which i plan on getting eventually. I'm looking for both a desktop solution and a portable rig that I will be using on the go for those long subway rides.

 

Anyways I'm just looking for a direction as to where to go to from here.

 

Thank you all in advance! 

post #2 of 2

I'd recommend you go with something that does it all first, and go from there. They won't give you mind-blowing desktop jitter rejection, etc. but they're very versatile. Basically, they will be either DAPs that also have USB DAC functionality, or portable DAC/amps that accept smartphone digital connections:

 

"Budget"

 

The FiiO X3 is a good choice as a DAP that you can take on the subway; when you get home, you can plug it into your computer and use it as a USB DAC/amp (well, when that firmware is ready to go). However, I'm not a big fan of the current interface (which is said to get a complete overhaul next year).

 

"Mid-Tier"

 

Alternatively, you can wait for the FiiO X5 to come out at the end of the year. It should also have USB DAC functionality on top of its basic DAP function.

 

The ADL X1 is a portable DAC/amp unit that can serve as sort of a Swiss Army knife. As an MFi device, you can pull a digital signal from any Apple device, or from an Android device, so portable is set if you have a smartphone. It also acts as a portable amp too, IIRC.

 

"Upper Mid-Tier & High-End"

 

CEntrance's HiFi-M8 is like the X1, but much more powerful and does balanced outputs. It doesn't have standalone amp function, but it does sound very good.

 

Sony's PHA-2 is yet to be released, but is also like the X1 and the HiFi-M8, but also has the additional DSD64/128 decoding.

 

The Astell&Kern AK120 basically does the same thing as the FiiO X3, except it's prettier (both in exterior and UI) and has DSD64 playback.

 

 

All of these units will power both the 4.A and the H6 to their fullest --- neither is power hungry.


Edited by tomscy2000 - 10/8/13 at 12:04pm
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