or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Which portable DAC/AMP for use with several devices. Preferably sub $200, absolute max $300
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which portable DAC/AMP for use with several devices. Preferably sub $200, absolute max $300

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm new, and would like some advice on basically a universal portable amp/dac.

As the title says, budget $200, though I can stretch it a bit if I feel I would really gain something.

I just bought a Beyerdynamic DT770 (80 Ohm), mostly for use with my pc.

I have it hooked up via onboard toslink -> Denon AVR-1708 -> Headphone jack, and have no complaints.

The sound via the onboard audio directly to my headphones wasn't that good. Even static noise while nothing was playing.

 

The Denon is huge though, and I'd prefer to replace it with something smaller.

I do want at least the same level of quality, and for it to be able to power fullsize headphones, also ones that are a bit harder to drive in case I buy another.

Since the Denon was fairly affordable at the time (2008, <400 euro), and I'm sure technology has moved on, I assume this goal should be easily achieved within budget?

 

But why no desktop dac/amp you say?

Well, I plan on finishing my education after having worked for a couple of years, and will probably be using public transport alot, and spending time away from home.

I'll mostly carry and use a laptop + android device (htc one x currently).

I'd like to be able to at least use it with the laptop, and preferably also with my android device via USB OTG.

 

What kinds of music do I listen?

Lots. (Classic) Rock, Metal, some Jazz but not very often, Folk, Punk, lots of vocal stuff that I cant really put to just one category, purely instrumental stuff (piano, violin), movie soundtracks, and I'm sure I'm missing quite a few categories.

I generally add some bass in my equalizer over what could be considered neutral, but not too much. I like bass, but don't want to overdo it.

 

What did I find?

- FiiO stuff

- Audioengine (D1 specifically, though D3 is appealing)

- iBasso (Several models)

- Audioquest Dragonfly

 

Should I expect more from a larger device? (D1 vs D3 for example, or D-Zero vs D42)

 

Also, I do actually still consider a desktop amp (Schiit $200 combo), and buy a really affordable DAC/AMP later for mobile use.

Would the sound from the Schiit combo actually be better than any of the aforementioned portable devices?

Say ~ $300 for both, which would I be better off with?

- $200 schiit combo + $100 portable, or

- $300 portable, and also use it as a desktop device

 

Sorry, lots of questions for just 1 post. Would love to hear your input though!

post #2 of 4
The Schiit Modi/Magni combo is generally considered the best DAC/amp combo you could buy for $200. That an a Fiio E11 could be a good combo so that you have something portable. Or maybe go with the Schiit combo and save toward the Fiio X3, which is a DAC with the same dac/amp section (although supposedly slightly improved with implementation) as the Fiio E17.

You might also consider the Objective 2/ODAC. Generally thought to be as good as the Schiit Modi/Magni stack. In europe, you can order it from Epiphany Acoustics (same dac/amp, their name).

Audioquest Dragonfly is another great option for a laptop. Audioengine D1 gets mixed reviews (some love it; other say meh). The Leckerton Audio UHA-4 is generally considered one of the very best portable DAC/amps in your budget range.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm leaning towards the epiphany audio EHP-O2D now. Thanks for the tip.

It's just barely over 200 euro, and cheap shipping to EU. The modi/magni combo would be more expensive due to expensive shipping US->EU.

 

Then I'll probably get an affordable portable USB rig later on.

 

The E11 is amp only though, right? I'm thinking E7 or E17, as far as FiiO goes. Other brands are also considered.

This can wait though, as I wont be needing anything portable until September, except maybe to play around with at work.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defusion View Post

I'm leaning towards the epiphany audio EHP-O2D now. Thanks for the tip.
It's just barely over 200 euro, and cheap shipping to EU. The modi/magni combo would be more expensive due to expensive shipping US->EU.

Yeah. There are enough arguments over which is better sounding, as a previous ODAC/O2 owner, I'd say get whichever is cheapest smily_headphones1.gif

Yes, the E11 is a portable amp. E17 would be better if you need a DAC and amp. You might find these two threads useful when you get to that point:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Which portable DAC/AMP for use with several devices. Preferably sub $200, absolute max $300