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Best amp/DAC for HD650 (~$500)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello. I currently have a Fioo E10k Olympus 2 that I'm using as my amp and DAC for my HD650's. I've had it for around 4 months and I'm just not satisfied so it's time to upgrade. I typically listen to my headphones through a retina Mac book pro but I would really like to be able to use them through my iPhone 6, that would be a huge plus. I listen to to all genres (except heavy metal) but if I had to rank it, it would be 1. Indie/alternative 2. Hip hop 3. Rock (ac/dc, pink Floyd) 4. classical and 5. Electronic. I would like to spend around $500 for an amp/DAC combo. It doesn't have to be small, I would rather get something larger if it is the best for my money; function over form. Thank you!
post #2 of 18
By not small, do you mean you don't need a portable unit? A desktop dac/amp unit would work?

In the meantime, this is a popular portable dac/amp for iPhone: http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-A200p-Portable-Headphone-Android/dp/B00HWCYOK6
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would prefer portable but if a full size amp/DAC is significantly better, I would get the larger one instead. Also is that amp/DAC better than the $500 ones? I want to get the best possible so I don't have to upgrade again in a year.
post #4 of 18
A desktop dac/amp will give you the best performance value for your money.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
@cel4145, any reccomendations around $500?
post #6 of 18
I like the Audio-GD NFB-11 which I have. Probably will need an adapter to connect a phone. And I don't know about mac compatibility (double check).
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you. It seems like it takes awhile to ship and I'm impatient haha
post #8 of 18
Most people I know of have received them in under two weeks.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
If I buy a desktop amp and DAC with a budget of $500, how should I distribute my money? For example, $350 on amp and $150 on DAC.
post #10 of 18
I have the HD600, and it is absolutely yummy with my Valhalla (1st gen). However, that's a big amp that gets hot, so for regular daily use, I have been using my Magni/Modi 2 Uber stack. That also sounds excellent, so you don't have to sink too much into either to have a good setup.

DACs, IMO, are primarily going to depend on what connections you want and what your source is. A Modi 2 Uber has coax, optical, and USB connections for lots of flexibility. However, the USB connection might not work with a phone (at least not without some extra power). That primarily depends on the manufacturers implementation.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ty123 View Post

I would prefer portable but if a full size amp/DAC is significantly better, I would get the larger one instead. Also is that amp/DAC better than the $500 ones? I want to get the best possible so I don't have to upgrade again in a year.

 

Maybe a FiiO X3K or X5 digital audio player, they are portable, the X3K can be connected to a computer (Mac or PC) and used as an external DAC/amp (assuming the X5 is the same).

Leave your iPhone in your pocket.

post #12 of 18
I would suggest Aune X1 Pro which I am using right now. It has a tubey sound and pairs well with most of my cans and with hd 650s are spectacular pairing with this amp/dac combo. Does not get hot at all, small footprint and good power.
post #13 of 18

I highly recommend the iFi Micro iDSD... exquisite sound, loaded with inputs/outputs, portable (battery-powered), and compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. 


Edited by mattris - 6/26/15 at 7:49pm
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ty123 View Post

I typically listen to my headphones through a retina Mac book pro but I would really like to be able to use them through my iPhone 6, that would be a huge plus.

 

I think the Schiit Modi is known to work with iOS devices, but make sure by asking them first. Also, you need to use the Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter to make it work.

 

Portable DAC-HPamps are known to work, like the Ibasso D-Zero MkII, but personally the bulk of the adapters is a PITA for portable use, more so on a phone. Transportable use would be alright though. I use the MkI D-Zero primarily with my laptop at work, or just as a DAC with my desktop amp, but I also use it as a transportable.

You might want to get the sync dock to keep your phone upright while listening, like so.

 

 

AudioGD has a bunch of DAC-HPamps but I haven't actually heard of any of them working with an iOS or Android device. Shanling however has the H1.1 DAC-HPamp unit that has a dedicated iOS device input, so the regular data cable will work and no need for the CCK-USB adapter; it also has a separate USB-B input for computers (and presumably Androids via OTG as well). I think it's $600 from some eBay sellers. A little over your budget, but if you use iDevices exclusively then the relatively hassle-free compatibility might be something you'd be willing to pay extra for, and wait a while longer to save up for too.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ty123 View Post

If I buy a desktop amp and DAC with a budget of $500, how should I distribute my money? For example, $350 on amp and $150 on DAC.

 

You can do it that way since the Schiit Modi2 is $100; the Uber version is $100. That leaves you with enough cash to get the Schiit Asgard2 or Valhalla2.

post #15 of 18
Hi all I just got Canor TP10 and using it with Aune X1 pro which acts as DAC and with hd 650s this system just sings. The sound is euphonic and lush. Mids are to die for. Loving this combo.
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