I've spent many hours getting educated (still long way to go) on headphones and equipment for better experience. Here is my use case and what I need help with.
- Planning to purchase a new headphone - most likely Alpha Dog
- Player - PC, laptop, tablet, phone - essentially, many different devices
After reading many threads on this site and other sites, here is my understanding:
- To get better playback on PC/laptop and supported tablets - I need to get a DAC
- For my Phone (Windows Phone 8), I know I am limited in that Nokia 1520 does not support sending Audio via USB.
- I will need an amp to drive the Alpha Dogs
Here is where I need some help. I would like a singe device that is:
- BUDGET - $200 (However, if I need to, I can go up to $300)
- PORTABLE - to take on business trips, work in coffee shops, at my desk
- DAC/AMP combo - I'm looking for one device that meets my use case.
- POWER - Can drive the Alpha Dog - more so from my phone
I have spent many many hours reading reviews of portable amps, portable DACs, desktop DACs, etc. and although I've learned a lot, I have way too much new information in my head and frankly, it's getting all mixed up. Seems like I have two choices:
- Purchase a single DAC/AMP device - such as HiFi M8 (but outside my budget) OR
- Buy two devices - a USB DAC (such as Dragon fly or the newly release GEEK) for my desktop and laptop and get a portable AMP to use with my phone.
(I'm assuming that a PC and Laptop will just need a DAC and not an Amp Or perhaps I'm getting confused about getting a separate portable DAC and AMP.)
Now I'm a bit lost in as to 1) what direction I should head and 2) what device(s) to look at. Like I said, I have spent many hours reading many threads and reviews and my head is spinning.
So, I would appreciate some advice.