Hi! I am a newbie in the headphone world. I was an audiophile in the big system (ie. CD player, amp, big speakers...) world. But due to financial difficulty, I have to sell all my hifi gears. Few years later, now, I am ready get back on the audiophile horse. But, this time, I want to try the headphone world. Currently, I have an old Sennheiser HD595. I listen to a lot of music at work. So, the HD595 is plugged directly to my laptop. I want to upgrade the whole system, except the laptop of course which is from work. I am looking at a DAC/amp combo and a new headphone. But, I only have $500 - 600 for now. I know I will have some more later. So, my plan is to get a decent DAC/amp for now and then get a nice headphone later. This is where this newbie starts scratching his head. There are so many DAC/amp combos out there. I just can't get my head around all the toys out there. I know that I want a USB port so it can connect to my laptop. I also know that I want extra power so it won't limit my options of headphone later. I don't need portability because I am just using it on my desktop at work. And sound quality is high on the requirement list. I looked at these DAC/amp so far:
- NU Force Icon DAC
- NU Force UDH-100
- Pro-ject Head Box DS
- Asus Xonar Essence One
I looked at a bunch of the tiny USB DAC but since they don't supply extra power, I ruled them out.
Can someone give me some pointers how to make the decision? Any suggestions of other DAC/amp I should check out before I make the decision? Thank you very much!!!
Oh, my music preferences are very wide. I listen to all kinds of music, classical, jazz, show tunes, R&B, rap, a capella, rock, anything. If the music is good, I will listen.