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Need some advice for a balanced IEMs and a DAC+AMP

  1. tempest0000
    Hey everyone, this is my first ever thread since I joined here and I'm still a newb at all this so please excuse the mistakes and point them out to me thank you.

    Been looking at some new/refurb condition balanced IEMs for under £200 but can push the budget for about £50 more but ideally looking for IEMs under £200
    Ones I've found and like the look of are :
    • Shure SE425
    • Etymotic ER3-SE
    • Oriveti New Primacy
    • BGVP DM6
    • 1MORE Quad Driver
    • MEE audio Pinnacle P1
    • FiiO FH5

    The DAC+AMPs I've been looking at for under £200 budget can also be pushed for about £50 more and can also be in used/refurb condition are:
    • AudioQuest DragonFly
    • Oppo HA-2/HA-2SE
    • Audiolab M-DAC NANO
    • Audiolab M-DAC Mini
    • iFi Audio Nano iDSD
    • SONY PHA1A
    • iFi Audio xDSD
    • FiiO Q5
    Also had a look at some DAPs too still unsure about them though, ones I've had a look at:
    • PIONEER XDP-100R
    • ASTELL & KERN AK70
    • FiiO X7

    Not too sure what to get which is why I'm asking for some advice on these,

    Thank you
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  2. mattiav
    1. What music do you listen to?
    2. Do you know what kind of sound preference you have in terms of headphone tuning?
    3. A lot of the better DAPs can be used as DAC/Amp setups. What’s your main use case? Mobile? Laptop? Desktop? What do you want to drive, only the IEM or also full-sized headphones?
    tempest0000 likes this.
  3. tempest0000
    1. Mix of rock, pop, hip hop and J-pop
    2. Not sure
    3. My main use will be on my laptop and phone when I'm out so a portable DAC/Amp or even a DAP is what my looking for don't really mind carrying a DAP or DAC/Amp out cause I always bring a bag with me anyway, and yeah only IEM don't really want a full sized headphone anymore.

  4. buke9
    The only ones you listed on iems that I have is the Quad Drivers. Though I like iem’s haven’t went all out on them as I prefer headphones a bit more. So I will say they sound pretty good as they do and have several KZ’s with some some older Sennheisers and they hold their own.
    tempest0000 likes this.
  5. mattiav
    If you can afford the iFi xDSD, I think it could be a very good solution - high quality DAC, small, pretty light, plenty powerful for driving an IEM (or most headphones), and as a bonus, it works as a Bluetooth DAC/receiver in conjunction with your phone when on the go.

    Can’t really recommend an IEM in your price bracket - I’ll let others comment on that front.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    tempest0000 likes this.
  6. tempest0000
    Ok no problem
    Thanks for your help though I think that just assured me of buying the iFi xDSD it's gonna be a used one for my budget cause there's someone selling it on here that's shipping to UK
  7. tempest0000
    Can I just ask why you bought them just for reference cause it might help me decide which one I will go for

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