Now the proud owner of the Focal Spirit Classic headphones! Merry Christmas to me! Seriously need an amp/dac though. Thinking of getting the Nuforce Icon Dac. Suggestions anyone?
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Objective O2 is an amp, and ODAC is a DAC. They're also available as a one box combo, but it might not be portable. I don't remember if it has batteries inside. They're open source and the main US commercial builder is JDS Labs.
Based on the FSC's specs, you shouldn't need an amp. Almost everything sounds better with one though, but it might not be worth the money. What's your source and budget?
Merry Christmas! (I forgot to wish you before.)
Just a laptop as a source and I'd like to stay under $300.
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you have tons of options under $300 for a dac/amp combo. you can look at schitt (company) with their modi/magni at $200.
I haven't heard the Nuforce Icon Dac at $300, but I think that is probably overpriced as I've read a lot of reviews of it losing compared to much cheaper dacs.
with your headphones, I would personally stay under $200 as they don't really need an amp/dac since for $600+, you can get a pair of really really nice entry level hi-fi headphones. if your budget stretches far beyond that, you may want to look at your return policy ;)
1. Some higher impedance models (e.g., HD600) might sound distorted on high gain at high volume unless you use a more powerful AC/AC supply.
2. If you ever need to use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter (which is less common than the reverse), use one that connects via a small cable, so as to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the jacks. This is good general advice.