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I currently use a Styleaudio Carat-Emerald DAC/amp as my main desktop unit but am looking for something slightly smaller for when I'm on the road. Question is, how do the newer generation of portable DAC/amps stack up compared to the Emerald?

 

I'm thinking of the NuForce uDAC (2 or 3), the Audioquest Dragonfly (1 or 1.2), the AudioEngine D1 or D3 and similar. What sort of league are these in compared to something like the Emerald? Is something like the Dragonfly or D3 gonna be an obvious step down, sound-wise? I'll be mostly be using this with Westone 3 IEMs or Beyer DT990 cans (250-ohm).


Edited by wordfool - 5/5/14 at 6:34pm