AMP/DAC required for mixed usage?

Hi, new the forums and audio gear in general so I apologise for my mistakes and misunderstandings beforehand.

I have been using mostly headsets (mistake #1) whilst on the PC.The usage mostly boils down to: games (non competitive), movies and TV shows and some music. I rarely listen to music on my PC due to having a better audio setup with speakers in another room.

Having had the Astro A40s (mistake #2) for quite a while, I was really unimpressed with the sound quality and bought a Sennheiser HD 6xx. And whilst it was a better experience, it still felt like I was not getting the most out of them due to connecting directly to the PC mobo.
A friend lent me his Audioengine D3 (small usb DAC/AMP) to try out and it does help, but I am hopping it could get better with a quality DAC/AMP combo.

Being new to all this, I am quite overwhelmed and feel lost amongst all the terms used in the reviews.

I do want to upgrade my listening experience but am not ready to spend all too much due to lacking knowledge of the field and who knows, maybe I can’t even tell the difference between different ranges of devices.

What would be a solid choice for a desktop AMP & DAC, or a combo unit, for say, 200-300€ (so think Europe in terms what is available)?
Usage will mostly end up being the same as mentioned above.
Naturally, I would like to stay with the HD 6xx for now as I do like them, but I feel I could like them even more with the proper setup

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The fiio k5 pro is a great dac/amp for a great price, and really is all most people need


I almost bought the K5 Pro myself…was a really good deal but I missed it by a hair. the person that asked just before me took it. :stuck_out_tongue:

it’s interesting that there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of DAC / Amp makers in Europe but for top end summit fi level stuff.

Haven’t heard the K5 pro but at $150 it seems like it is a good deal. I’ve become a fan of the Schiit stack (modi 3, magni 3) $200 usd…

My personal desk setup is modi 3, and liquid spark $220 USD

Now is a good time to get into audio because good audio is becoming cheap.

Yeah, you can get a really good setup for an actual reasonable price that most people would be willing to spend

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You should see better results with a proper DAC and amp though.

Yeah, I wish I got in when stuff was this cheap and readily available. Although with my growing collection I don’t regret being a part of this hobby at all

Also personally I prefer the k5 pro over the schiit stack, but that’s because imo the magni 3 has gotten beat out by cheaper chinese amps in the recent years

I find it’s harder to actually choose an amp around $100… Which is a great problem to have. If you listen to any of the magni 3 , liquid spark, or jds atom… it’s hard to be upset with any of those

beaten out how? the Magni 3 has one of the highest power levels for any amp at the $100 price level…2.5w.

they’re so cheap, epic…get one of each! :smiley:

But the sound is not that great imo if you compare to the price. There is more to a good sounding amp then just power output. I would much rather have a jds labs atom for a lot more transparent sound, or the liquid spark for a warmer sound, or for more demanding headphones

The magni 3 is over 3 watts the spark Max is about 2.4

yeah…Magni 3 is spec’d for 3w but only delivers 2.5w…but that’s still higher than everyone.

by transparent…would that mean neutral or cool vs the warmth you say the Spark has?

The jds labs is a really transparent amp for the price and does not color the sound, and is very clean, and imo very close to the thx 789’s single ended output. The spark is tilted more towards a sound with a bit more low end impact vs the jds atom which is pretty uncolored

The magni suffers from a bit of compression and that kinda bothers me a bit, but it has a fairly balanced sound

I think he means in terms of sound. That’s subjective though. We have a spark and magni 3, depending on the headphone and music type I could make an argument for both… side note I email geshelli and haven’t heard back. I work for a tech review website and wanted to know about possible review unit…

We may buy one any way though

I’d say the spark has more resolution in compared to the magni… So, I agree it has some compression.

I think the magni has more impact in the Lowe’s.

The spark is more mid focused with a slight roll off in treble around the range things get siblant.

Well mastered open music sounds better on the spark.

Current crappy mastered edm, rap where the compression isn’t as noticed has more impact on the magni 3

Have you heard a jds labs atom yet? Something to check out/review for sure

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That’s said of the 2 if I could only own one it would be the spark. The sound is more refined… And paired with bright light lively headphone and IEM it is a match made in heaven.

I haven’t reached out to JDS yet, but I’ve considered ordering one to see how good it really is.

It was a toss up between the spark and atom. Amazon and weekend delivery is what pushed my decision on the last little bit to get the spark.