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Upgrade from Fiio E10

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by roykim, Oct 22, 2012.
  1. Roykim
    Hi, everybody,
    I am very new to digital music, and current solution is BenQ laptop + Fiio E10 + HD598 & ATH M30. So far the sound is acceptable, but I am looking for a DAC which can make the sound much better than from E10.
    My requirements and budget are following:
    • Budget is < US$ 500;
    • For headphone only, no need to consider the speaker & portability;
    • If possible, DAC include amp function;
    • I will have more budget for other headphones soon, if the DAC needs other type of headphone;
    • I’m curious about most types of music, but rock is not on the list;
    • Not important: I have a big iMac (27”), thus it could be better if the DAC works on iMac;
    I would very appreciate you comments and suggestions.
  2. Digital-Pride
    There are several excellent options in your budget range.  Here are some:
    Audio GD NFB-5.32, NFB-11.32
    Fiio E17+E09K
    Matrix Cube, Mini-i
    Yulong D100 mark II
    These(except for the E09K) are dac+amp combos that would work well with your current headphones and set a solid foundation for future headphone upgrades.
  3. Roykim
    many thanks....
    does above list is in order by the qualities?
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I'm guessing with your budget, it would be better to invest in better headphones, first.
    Sell off the Fiio E10 and HD598 and see how much cash you can spend on a new DAC/Amp.
  5. MHOE
    O2 w/ ODAC combo for sure if you are serious about audio:
    1) amp + DAC
    2) A-class reliable measurements
    3) perfect neutrality suitable for every genre
    4) gain switch + gain resistors' customisation (for various headphones)
    5) You can even purchase new headphones with it, it is going to cost you way much bellow 500 dollars range!
    Honestly, buy it and you are not going to need to replace it almost forever... The performance is flawless if you use the right gain setting for you headphones and don't run it on batteries. The others are going to be coloured a bit and not that detailed, also not that flexible.
    I own (for example) that so-called neutral E9 amp but it's not neutral in comparison to O2 amp (however, still very neutral in comparison to other amps). E9 can work as a preamp section for speakers and that's why I still have it!
  6. Digital-Pride
    No, it's in alphabetical order.  As MHOE suggested, the Objective 2 amp and DAC combo is another option for ya.
  7. Roykim
    May thanks...I am studying Objective 2 now...
  8. Lord Voldemort
    If you are expecting "much better" improvement, spend that money on something else. The differences, if audible, between an E10 and more pricey amps are negligible at best. The HD598 is by far my favorite dynamic headphone but it is always nice to spend money on other headphones and hear music from a different perspective. 
    If you really want to invest in a DAC, ODAC is the safest choice and will easily outperform many pricier DACs. 
  9. Roykim
    guys, thanks a million for your advices...
    I decided to put a order for a O2+ODAC...
    Re Headphone, I will definitely try to test more...
  10. Roykim
    It is a little bit difficult to find a suitable AC for O2+ODAC in China. Anyone know a related provider?
  11. MHOE
    I personally use the ideal (according to the autor of the amp) WAU 16-400 transformer with a good stepdown converter to be safe but you can read through "O2 details page" on the blog to get an idea what you should get :)
  12. Roykim
    MHOE, many thanks. I find the AC is same as a model of Creative and I had got one from Taobao...
  13. Roykim
    I have got O2+ODAC...afer 1 hour listenin, I have to say that it is worthful to invest into O2...
    Many thanks again for your suggestions above....
  14. MHOE
    Glad you like them :) I am not going to replace them ever honestly... They together provide everything I would ever want from an amp and DAC for headphones (excluding Stax...). Now I need to wait until a brand new Audeze LCD-2 rev2 arrive and am finished with this ,-)
  15. Roykim
    LCD 2 is my next target too...even I am quite fine with HD598 now...what is the price of rev2 in the states now? waiting for your coment for LCD 2+ O2+ODAC...

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