Balanced DAC $150-$200

I have a THX 789 AMP and DROP + GRACE STANDARD DAC (balanced). I don’t think that DAC is bad, but I feel like I can do a lot better for not too much more money. I’m also cool going over $200 if it’s a great value. I want the sound to be very clinical (a very clear sound). Also it would be nice to have a USB input that is separate from the power so I could use it with my phone. Bluetooth would also be cool (but I honestly wouldn’t use it much). Also EQ adjustments would be cool (but again I probably won’t use it much).

Oh, my headphones are 6XX (Balanced Cables), Beyer DT 770, and AKG K240.

you cant get analogue EQ for that price. TBH, I would personaly just stay where you are. The jump in quality of dac wont be crazy until you start looking a decent bit higher than that. Unfortunately dacs are one of the areas where small improvements cost the most. If you are itching for an upgrade, the atom ad E30 are on the more clinical side of that price range

Completely forgot you were wanting balanced. Even more so then I req stepping up cans or amp before the dac

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I’ve owned both the mentioned E30 and Atom, and they’re very good indeed. But, your title suggest Balanced DAC, so I’ll drop a mention for the Schiit Modius - I own this DAC too, and for <$200 it’s one of, if not the best I’ve heard. To get something significantly better you would need to step into the Bifrost 2 / Ares II both are @ $700.


oh, damn. You are right. Totaly missed that. Sorry OP

The SMSL SU-8 is a pretty good DAC and is currently on Drop for $212.00. I ended up buying it from Shenzhen Audio on sale with free shipping.

Nice little DAC for 1/3 the price of a BF2.

Ok, thanks for the help. I thought that might be the answer. :joy: