Dongle DAC and Regular DAC for expansive soundstage under $400
Jun 24, 2022 at 3:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Ridonculous

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I'm new here and I thought this would be a good time to ask people about a good dongle DAC and regular DAC. For the dongle DAC, I would prefer it to be simple with not bluetooth, volume/gain controls, etc. I was trying to decide between the MOONRIVER 2 and Dragonfly Cobalt but I found out that the MR2 starts in high-gain and you must manually change it to low-gain every time you power on your device. Because I value my eardrums, I thought this was the wrong implementation. The Cobalt is $330 now but I've heard that it provides really expansive soundstage, which is what I'm after. I know this also depends on the headphones. I just bought the HD 560 S and may buy the 6xx in the future.

I really love a wide, expansive soundstage. Budget is under $400. Given this:
1. What dongle DAC do you recommend?
  • This guy gave a rave review of the Monolith USB DAC: Video1 Video 2 Is it true that this DAC can compete with the Cobalt?
  • Some USB DACs can automatically increase the volume to 100% or start in high gain - do you know of any that don't have this behavior?
  • Anyone try gaming DACs like the ASUS ROG Clavis? Apparently it has MQA support.
2. What regular desktop DAC do you recommend? I'm thinking about the FiiO K5 Pro.
 
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Jun 24, 2022 at 7:31 PM Post #2 of 7

pbui44

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If you don't plan to go out that often with your DAC/Amp stick, then get a FiiO KA3 DAC/Amp, ifi Zen Can Signature 6XX, 4.4mm-male-to-4.4mm-male cable to connect the two, and 4.4mm cable for your HD560:

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-JadeAud...JFLP3LS/ref=pd_lpo_3?pd_rd_i=B09JFLP3LS&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/NewFantasia-...6113203&sprefix=4.4mm+to+4.4mm,aps,300&sr=8-1

https://drop.com/buy/ifi-zen-can-signature-6xx-amp-drop-exclusive

(HD560 should fit well with HD598/HD569 cables)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/173636773740

All under $400 without taxes and other fees.
 
Jun 24, 2022 at 9:03 PM Post #4 of 7

pbui44

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Does the FiiO KA3 have any quirks that I should know about? In the videos that I linked, the person mentions that the volume on his PC goes to max with a couple of USB DACs and I'm not sure if that's common or just his machine.

With the KA3 connected to the iFi Zen Can Signature 6XX, you will want the volume maxed out automatically, so don't worry about that. What you should be worried about is whether the KA3 will max out at volume automatically with your phone/tablet, even if you have adjusted the volume to your preferences at least a few times before.
 
Jun 25, 2022 at 1:19 PM Post #6 of 7

Ridonculous

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With the KA3 connected to the iFi Zen Can Signature 6XX, you will want the volume maxed out automatically, so don't worry about that. What you should be worried about is whether the KA3 will max out at volume automatically with your phone/tablet, even if you have adjusted the volume to your preferences at least a few times before.
I know the HD560S don't require a lot of power to drive so would I still want them to be at full-volume? I also have the PC38X (which I love) so is it possible that they would get too much power / get too loud.
 
Jun 25, 2022 at 2:08 PM Post #7 of 7

pbui44

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