I bit the bullet and got the HD 380s (54Ω), I've given them some time to burn in and I like the neutrality of their sound. They sound a lot better than the cheap headphones I was using before, but being a newbie to this world of audio gear my inexperience with the accessories make it hard for me to determine what I should get to improve the sound.
I use the headphones a lot for mixing on a Mackie analog board, I have no problems driving them, and they sound good, really good- at least compared to my setup at home, which consists of nothing more than the 380s directly connected to my computer through the built-in audio jack. I know what I'm missing out on compared to when I'm using the board, and I'm wondering what my best options would be to improve the sound quality of these headphones when I'm using them for recreational purposes (Out and about on smartphone, laptops etc.).
I've been looking into amps/DACs for the past few weeks and I've narrowed it down (but still open to suggestions) through my research to the Fiio E17, E07k, E12, and a few others that had potential- but I haven't focused on nearly as much on compared to the Fiio products (E07K fits budget well, others are a stretch). My problem though, is that I've never listened to headphones running through an after-market DAC. I've listened to a few songs from my phone running through a smaller Behringer board and I was surprised at how the soundstage and overall quality improved so drastically with only the use of the board's phone amp; but I haven't heard a DAC at work, so beyond the techno-babble I've read discussing it's importance- I don't have a clear view of how it will improve the sound in my 'set-up',
Is the E17's DAC a deal-breaker compared to the E07K? Will these options be on par, or better than the Behringer UB1002 phones out (+19 dBu / 150 Ω (+25 dBm))?
Should I be worried about the DAC, or is the amp the real concern?
Are there any other options I should be considering for $120ish range?
And an unrelated question: Are there any cheap amps/DACs available that have comprehensive EQ settings? Such as some sort of multi-band graphic equalizer? Or am I looking at the wrong parts for EQing?
Thank you all for taking the time to read/respond to my questions, I've learned a lot the past few weeks reading the forums, hopefully I can clear a few things that still seem to be in a gray area of my understanding.