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AMP/DAC Combo for AKG K550

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello. I am looking for a amp/dac combo for my new AKG K550 headphones to enhance the sound.

 

So far what I have looked into are the FiiO products and FiiO E17 being the most watched but I read somewhere that the FiiO E10 has sound delay/lag so I fear this one has too...

 

Taking recommendations freely my budget can get up to 120-150 euro which is about 100- 130 pounds.

 

I have looked into Schiit stuff but here in EU its hard to get thanks to high postage and import cost...

post #2 of 11

You do not need an amp for the K550, so it's probably better to spend your budget on a single DAC. What about a standalone ODAC? Goes for around $99 in the States.

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

You do not need an amp for the K550, so it's probably better to spend your budget on a single DAC. What about a standalone ODAC? Goes for around $99 in the States.

Huh? He would still need a headphone amp to plug into the ODAC to use the K550s. confused.gif

So I would agree that the K550s are generally very easy to drive and often don't benefit from an amp, but a DAC alone won't work for you.

What are you currently using your K550s with? That would help us to advise you on the type of DAC/amp to get.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am currently using Asus Xonar DG 5.1 sound card. So basically I think almost anything is a upgrade, but I want to make the most efficient one.

post #5 of 11
If you are using Dolby Headphone for gaming, you would lose that going to a USB DAC/headphone amp.

The K550 should be driven very well by the DG. It's the improvement you would get from a better DAC and better headphone amp in terms of SQ.

If your budget was a little more, I would say go with the ODAC/Objective 2 amp combo. It's considered one of the very best setups in the under $300 range. And you can buy it at Epiphany Acoustics in the UK (they renamed their model). It would be a significant improvement, and would work very well with pretty much any headphone you throw at it should you decide to upgrade your headphones in the next few years.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah thats a bit too expensive. just postage is already over 20 euros.

 

Any opinions on FiiO E17 or AudioEngine D1 Premium?

post #7 of 11

E17 is quite nice, has various inputs....you can pair it with the E09k and you have a killer setup.

post #8 of 11
If you plan to use those devices for their line out to hook up some speakers, the E17 is very awkward because you end up with cables coming out of it from three different directions.Plus, the E17 is just a line out, not a pre-amp, making it awkward to control both speakers and headphones.

For SQ comparisons, I would ask in the D1 and E17 threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/581815/review-and-discussions-audioengine-d1-24-96-usb-and-optical-dac-amp-for-laptops-and-computers
http://www.head-fi.org/t/587912/fiio-e17-alpen-first-impression-final-thought

Perhaps someone there has compared both.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

What about Aune T1 Upgrade Version? And I will be only using headphones, I dont even own speakers. Oh and also im not using Dolby Headphone.


Edited by Reinkaos - 4/2/14 at 6:57pm
post #10 of 11
Google the make and model for a DAC along with the term "head-fi" and you can usually find long discussion threads if they are popular choices. The Aune T1 is generally recommended as a good unit.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinkaos View Post
 

What about Aune T1 Upgrade Version? And I will be only using headphones, I dont even own speakers. Oh and also im not using Dolby Headphone.

The Asus Xonar DG's headphone amplifier is more then enough for driving the 32-Ohm K550s.

 

But if you did decide to invest into a DAC/Amp.

 

The FiiO E17 technically is a better DAC and amplifier then the Xonar DG, not sure how much of a noticeable improvement it would have over the Xonar DG.

If you plugged the E17 into the Xonar DG's optical port, you could still use the DG' Dolby Headphone surround sound, which might help with movies.

 

Another option is The Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2 (78 GBP) headphone amplifier, can work off an AC wall socket or it's own batteries (10 hours?),

it can drive headphones up to 600-Ohms, so would make a good long term investment.

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

Whatever leftover cash you could put towards an external DAC or even a sound card (used Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, CS4398 DAC chip).

Or just plug the EHP-02 directly into the Xonar DG, you can then take your time trying to decide on a DAC.

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