First USB DAC/AMP for Laptop
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Ev9h

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I'm looking to get one but I'm not sure what to get. I'll mostly use it with my laptop though it would nice to connect my iPhone X to it as well. Also I would like something that is potentially scalable and could drive more powerful headphones down the line. The max I can spend is around $100. I'll be using it with either the Monoprice Monolith M1060 or 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear.

The DACs/AMPs I've looked at are:
FX Audio DAC-X6 24BIT/192 Optical/Coaxial/USB Digital Audio Amplifier DAC Decoder
FiiO K5 Docking Headphone Amplifier/DAC
FiiO E10K USB DAC
AudioQuest Dragonfly Black

This list is just me going of the prices and ratings on amazon so I have no clue what's good or bad.
 
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yanaginagi

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First of all, don't expect too much from a $100 dac+amp, so I recommend getting the dragonfly as it is the most convenient easy-to-use option.
 
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Beyakusenn

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I'd definitely recommend the Schiit Fulla 2 (You pronounce it just like you'd think). Still relatively compact and to a certain extent future proof.
Using dac/amp combinations with your iPhone X might be possible, but it doesn't seem very practical to me.
 
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I'm looking to get one but I'm not sure what to get. I'll mostly use it with my laptop though it would nice to connect my iPhone X to it as well. Also I would like something that is potentially scalable and could drive more powerful headphones down the line. The max I can spend is around $100. I'll be using it with either the Monoprice Monolith M1060 or 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear.
The DACs/AMPs I've looked at are:
FX Audio DAC-X6 24BIT/192 Optical/Coaxial/USB Digital Audio Amplifier DAC Decoder
FiiO K5 Docking Headphone Amplifier/DAC
FiiO E10K USB DAC
AudioQuest Dragonfly Black
This list is just me going of the prices and ratings on amazon so I have no clue what's good or bad.
FiiO Q1 MKII or Schiit Fulla 2
 
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Ev9h

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Thanks for the replies. Just to clarify a few things the laptop I will be using it with is a 17" Asus gaming laptop which I use instead of a PC so it doesn't move from my desk and as for the iPhone X part that was more an aside. The Schiit Fulla 2 that was mentioned sounds good price wise but how is the sound on it? As this is my first DAC/AMP or any combination of either the sound quality will be an automatic improvement for me. In addition, if one were to take portability out of the equation and maybe a slightly more flexible price range say up to $150 what would you all recommend and would it be a big enough step up from the Schiit Fulla 2 because it seems to be the front runner right now.

Edit:
Also is the Micca OriGen G2 High Resolution USB DAC and Preamplifier - 24-Bit/192kHz PCM better then the Schiit Fulla 2?
 
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PurpleAngel

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Thanks for the replies. Just to clarify a few things the laptop I will be using it with is a 17" Asus gaming laptop which I use instead of a PC so it doesn't move from my desk and as for the iPhone X part that was more an aside. The Schiit Fulla 2 that was mentioned sounds good price wise but how is the sound on it? As this is my first DAC/AMP or any combination of either the sound quality will be an automatic improvement for me. In addition, if one were to take portability out of the equation and maybe a slightly more flexible price range say up to $150 what would you all recommend and would it be a big enough step up from the Schiit Fulla 2 because it seems to be the front runner right now.

Edit:
Also is the Micca OriGen G2 High Resolution USB DAC and Preamplifier - 24-Bit/192kHz PCM better then the Schiit Fulla 2?
Might as well just get the Schiit Fulla 2, for now.
 
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Ev9h

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Might as well just get the Schiit Fulla 2, for now.
My one apprehension about it is the build quality seems a bit iffy from what I've seen online. Also the only place you can get it is there website it seems.
 
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Beyakusenn

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My one apprehension about it is the build quality seems a bit iffy from what I've seen online. Also the only place you can get it is there website it seems.
The sound of the Fulla 2 is about as good as you will get for $100.
The build quality is not like that of Japanese products, but for an American product, I would say it’s good. Certainly Better compared to it’s previous generation.

For $50 more, there is not much of an improvement to be had. That money would better be saved for a future headphone upgrade in my opinion.
 
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Ev9h

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The sound of the Fulla 2 is about as good as you will get for $100.
The build quality is not like that of Japanese products, but for an American product, I would say it’s good. Certainly Better compared to it’s previous generation.

For $50 more, there is not much of an improvement to be had. That money would better be saved for a future headphone upgrade in my opinion.
Ok thanks for clearing everything up the Fulla 2 it is.
 
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I'm looking to get one but I'm not sure what to get. I'll mostly use it with my laptop though it would nice to connect my iPhone X to it as well. Also I would like something that is potentially scalable and could drive more powerful headphones down the line. The max I can spend is around $100. I'll be using it with either the Monoprice Monolith M1060 or 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear.
If you need one that has more power for upgrades later you might as well wait and save up to get an actually more powerful DAC-HPamp.

Or get a portable DAC-HPamp and use its line output to feed a desktop amp. Note: nearly all of these only have 1.2V line output, unlike the 2V on desktop DACs.


FiiO K5 Docking Headphone Amplifier/DAC
The K5 is only an amplifier. It can only work as a DAC if you dock a DAP on it. If you want an X3 or X1 (or X5, X7), or already have one, this is a good amp to go with it in terms of convenience and ease of use (dock it, it automatically works, charges the X-series player, etc).


FiiO E10K USB DAC
AudioQuest Dragonfly Black
If you want something with a lot of power I wouldn't really use anything that only has 5V 1000mA max power supply; get something with a beefy torroidal if you want a lot of clean power and current delivery with good voltage output.
 
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Ev9h

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If you need one that has more power for upgrades later you might as well wait and save up to get an actually more powerful DAC-HPamp.

Or get a portable DAC-HPamp and use its line output to feed a desktop amp. Note: nearly all of these only have 1.2V line output, unlike the 2V on desktop DACs.




The K5 is only an amplifier. It can only work as a DAC if you dock a DAP on it. If you want an X3 or X1 (or X5, X7), or already have one, this is a good amp to go with it in terms of convenience and ease of use (dock it, it automatically works, charges the X-series player, etc).




If you want something with a lot of power I wouldn't really use anything that only has 5V 1000mA max power supply; get something with a beefy torroidal if you want a lot of clean power and current delivery with good voltage output.
Thanks I'll take all of that under consideration.
 
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Ev9h

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The sound of the Fulla 2 is about as good as you will get for $100.
The build quality is not like that of Japanese products, but for an American product, I would say it’s good. Certainly Better compared to it’s previous generation.

For $50 more, there is not much of an improvement to be had. That money would better be saved for a future headphone upgrade in my opinion.
One thing I forgot to ask how is the bass when using the Fulla 2 does it offer enough punch?
 
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My one apprehension about it is the build quality seems a bit iffy from what I've seen online. Also the only place you can get it is there website it seems.
I would assume it's as good a build quality as could be expected, for $100 DAC/amp.
I doubt spending $150 will make a worth while difference.
 
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Ev9h

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If I return my 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear's to amazon and just use my M1060s would it be a better move to get the Schiit Magni 3 & Modi 2? Would that be enough for now and would that combo have some longevity and scalability?
 
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One thing I forgot to ask how is the bass when using the Fulla 2 does it offer enough punch?
The bass quantity (or any other frequency for tthat matter) is rarely significantly influenced by a well designed headphone DAC/amp. If the integrated DAC/amp from your PC has a high output impedance, the frequency response of the 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear could be significantly influenced and audible distortion ay be added. That is often the case with the cheap internal DAC/amp from phones and laptops.

If I return my 1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear's to amazon and just use my M1060s would it be a better move to get the Schiit Magni 3 & Modi 2? Would that be enough for now and would that combo have some longevity and scalability?
If you do that, you can be sure you have a system that can lastyou for a very long time (unless you are stung by the upgraditis bug).
The most noticeable difference is between the integrated DAC/amp of your laptop and ANY DAC/amp that has been designed well. After that, the difference in audio quality becomes much more subtle.
With the Magni Modi combo, you would have a system that can give a clean audio signal with a very low noise floor and high power for practically any dynamic coil or planar magnetic headphoneout there. Upgrading that would only become relevant if you are looking at headphones that are notoriously hard to drive like the HiFiMan HE-6, or if you already have great headphones and want to explore any possible improvements changing the DAC or amp.

A nice bonus from having DAC and amp separately, is that you can just change one of them, instead of both at the same time. For example, if you decide to get an electrostatic system in the future, you can just replace the Magni for an energizer.
 
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