Introduction: Hello, I'm fairly new to the world of quality audio. I've spent decent money on Bose and Logitech systems in the past but I'm ready to move forward to the higher quality, more refined sounds recommended on this site.
Summary: Is there a better DAC/Headphone Amp/Speaker Volume Controller with all the same features as the Audioengin D1 for the price (~$150)? For someone who likes to listen lots of Acoustic Americana and light rock and play videogames games would you get the HD598, AKG Q701, HE 400, HD 558, or DT-888 something else?
The long winded version
I recently got some powered monitors for my computer (JBL LSR305's). I love the sound - in fact it's my first Hi-Fi speaker experience. Anyhoo, I am really enjoying them, but I can't always use them because I live in a 1BR apt. Therefore, I am in the market for some headphones, headphone amp and dac. But this is where it gets interesting.
I actually just purchased an Audioengine D1 DAC and a pair of Philips L1/28 Fidelio Over-Ear Headphones. I'm not too impressed thus far. So I'm sending the headphones back and looking to replace them. I'm also not sure about my DAC. What I like about it is that it allows me to plug my powered speakers in and adjust the volume via the dac/amp (as well as the headphones). My speakers have volume in the back and I don't like changing the volume on my computer. I've heard that the D1 DAC is just OK for the money - but because it has all of the stuff I want in it I'm kind of OK with it not being the best of the best in the price range. But, if there's another dac for the desktop in the $150 range, I'd be interested in swapping this out as well.
I listen to a lot of acoustic music (blue grass, country, americana) plus some light rock (no heavy metal or rap). None of my music is Hi-Fi yet, but I'm looking to build a library. I also play games - but have a set of Astro a40's for gaming, so that's not my focus (Although if there were a pair that would really blow up my gaming experience, I'd be interested in that if it could also handle music),
So basically, is there a good replacement for my Audioengine D1 that will drive a great set of headphones and also work as volume/dac for my speakers.
The headphones that most interest me thus far, although I'm open to suggestion, are the HD598 and the AKG Q701. I also would consider the HE 400s if the would be awesome for gaming (it sounds like this might not be the best for my music tastes because of treble issues?), the HD 558 (less expensive and more than good enough for a non-audiophile like me), and last the DT-888. All of these are in my price range - I just don't want to overspend if I'm not going to be able to appreciate it.
OK, whew. That's it.
Thanks for reading all of this!