Are there any <= $500 all-in-one desk solutions a la Asgard/Jotunheim?
For context, the reason I don’t want to go down the path of Asgard 3 or Jotunheim 2 is the need to unplug the headphones when you want to switch between headphones and speakers. I wish they just made it a 3-way switch in the Jotunheim (headphones - preamp - both), but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyways, I would rather have a separate DAC than unplug my headphones every time I want to switch, so that’s the route I’m about to go, but if any knowledgeable souls can point me in the direction of a proper all-in-one solution it would be much appreciated!
For anyone curious I’m currently looking at the Drop + THX ONE amp since it seems to have the desired behavior. The Topping L30 seems to do the same thing as well, admittedly in a more attractive form factor, but I remember there was an issue with the L30 blowing up headphones.
@gilgamoosh Topping has new versions of the E30 and L30. ASR really had high marks for the L30.
At least with the jote and a 20 dollar switch box in between you could get around it somewhat.
I think you could potentially look at the JDS Labs Element 3 if you are looking at an all in one desk solution. It has a preamp although only rca and I am not sure if there was some sort of switch for the outputs but you should check it out. Honestly though I preferred the output of the jotunheim 2 over the any of those amps
sounds like you’re looking for AIO’s with output switches could maybe find Fiio K9, topping DX7 used for around that, not sure about new options
RebelAmp has a pre/headphone switch (though not both simultaneously) though it costs more. Sounds great though!
Does the switch function of the Singxer SA-1 accomplish what you’re looking for?
I’ve never used it myself, but maybe take a look at the Burson Funk? I think that might be in the ballpark of what you’re looking for?
Update to this search. I didn’t really notice it the first time I looked, but after revisiting the JDS Labs Element III, it appears to be an all-in-one solution. It’s an integrated DAC + headphone amp, with a button to toggle between headphone and pre-amp outputs.
They say the volume for the pre-amp is controlled separately, which I assume means there’s onboard memory to keep track of the headphone and pre-amp volumes. This can be a good thing, because you don’t need to worry about blowing out your headphones when you switch to them, but it can also be an inconvenience if your last used speaker volume was high, since you would have to turn down the volume at the source if you don’t want to wake the whole house as soon as you switch to the pre-amp out (and certainly I would forget sometimes that I had it really high the last time I used it, so I would have to develop the habit of turning down the volume before switching to headphones).
In any case, this actually sounds like exactly what I wanted. The only real downside is the switch between headphones and pre-amp is located on the back of the device, and is right next to the power button, and is shaped exactly the same as the power button… but to me personally, it’s still far better than having to unplug my headphones every time. If the element III actually sounds good then I think I’ve found what I’m looking for.
Did they change to a digital volume? My EL2 has the same switch but the volume is analog so wherever the dial is set is where the volume will be on both the outputs.
As far as I can tell there is no indicator on the Element III for volume, and their wording would lead me to believe it’s digital.
That’s great! Balanced outputs, too. I have had bad experiences with DAC + Amp combos from SMSL in the past (returned two then gave up and switched brands), so I’ll have to do some review digging.