Portable amp/dac combo vs desktop amp with chromecast audio
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AnotherAirGuitarist

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I am considering an amp for the Sennheiser HD 25. So difficult to choose. I find them to be a little underdriven by iphone and ipad, but my laptop to be a good pairing. The laptop has a bad headphone jack connection. It is not as tight as it should be.

Found some portables that seem practical. One of them is Onkyo DAC HA 200. It has inputs for both iphone and laptop and also an optical input to connect to a Chromecast audio if something happens with new IOS updates that would affect lightning connection. There`s also the Fiio Q1 mk 2, but this one won`t charge the iphone or ipad I think and it has not received the best reviews. Also considered dragonflies, but don`t like the horror stories I heard of volume being boosted to the max all of a sudden. Would feel safer with one with its own volume knob.

Downsides to these. They need charging and they`re said to be quite warm sounding, which possibly may not be a good thing. Could potentially take some of the fun out of the headphones for metal and rock music if sound is too warm and smooth.

Could get a Aune X1S for same price as the onkyo, but not sure if it is compatible with headphones with impedance this low. Looks very nice with all the inputs I want. Have heard mention of it being on the bright and analytical side, so may not be a good match either.

Then there`s the option of something like a Schiit magni 3 with a chromecast audio standing on a small table beside my couch. But I don`t know how good its internal dac is. Something tells me this should be just fine as a start up setup, but I`m not sure. And it could be easily upgraded with a DAC in the future. I`m not sure if both Magni and Modi uber would be a little overkill in this case. It sounds really practical, but would end up costing twice as much as the headphones themselves while the Magni alone could be had for around the same price as the headphone. And I don`t even know if I will buy more headphones in the near future or not. But the option seems more futureproof than some of the portables.

Headphones will stay at home for the most part. I have IEMs to take with me on the go.
 
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