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  1. FourT6and2
    Simple DAC/Amp that Simply Sounds Amazing
    Written by FourT6and2
    Published Sep 19, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sound quality: Punchy, authoritative.
    Simplicity: No BS. No frills. Plug it in and it just works.
    Outputs: Has multiple balanced and single-ended headphone outputs
    Cons - Price: A bit expensive for what it is.
    No Display: Lacks any display or indication for incoming digital files
    Two words: Punchy + authoritative. That's how music sounds coming out of this thing. Low end has a nice snappy grunt to it. Highs are clear and concise. Mid range is natural. I listen to mostly prog rock and metal: Tool, TesseracT, Karnivool, etc. And this unit pairs nicely for bringing that stuff to life.

    I hear no added noise or distortion in the signal. Connected to my Macook Pro via Wireworld Startlight 8 2.0 USB. Most of my music is 24bit/96k AIFF or MP3 via iTunes. This is the first DAC I've used where I can actually hear a difference (for the better) between it and just plugging directly into my laptop's headphone jack. Seriously. I've tried a bunch of DACs from AuidoQuest Dragonfly Cobalt to various FiiO units, to the Sony TA-ZH1ES. And the HDV 820 actually makes my music sound better.

    Headphones I've tried with it are the Sennheiser HD800S and HD820, Sony MDR-Z7M2, Focal Elear, and Focal Elegia. None of these headphones are hard to drive and the HDV 820 seems to handle them all fine, with plenty of range left on the dial.

    The amp is no-frills. It's got a volume adjustment, an input selector, and a bunch of headphone outputs. Simple. Two things I wish it had:

    1. A display of some sort—either a screen or just indicator lights—to show the incoming digital signal's sample rate and bit rate. But not a deal breaker for me.
    2. I wish it could automatically adjust your computer's output to match the song's sample/bit rate. But that's software dependent.

    Not much else I can say really. It's a simple unit that sounds great. It's a little overpriced though. $2400 is too much. I'd say at $1800 it would sell better. $1400 is what it's worth. But I'm happy with the thing and it's a keeper.