Best DAC/AMP or DAC AMP combo under 200$ for DT1990s with Competitive Gaming in Mind?

Sorry for the essay of a title for the topic.

Will be upgrading to 1990s here soon, was wondering if there’s a specific dac/amp or dac amp combo that’s recommended for them when it comes to competitive gaming in mind. From what I’ve looked into, the Zen DAC v2 (if it can amplify them enough, not too sure), schiit hel, and good ol schiit stack are the go tos. Not sure what else is out there that’s under the 200$ USD price tag that compliments the DT1990s well. I could extend the budget a bit more if its worth too.

Monoprice liquid spark amp. For those who want to dial in the treble a bit and add a bit more depth and warmth

Jds atom. Very clean ever do slightly brighter. More emphasis on imaging and analytic

Schiit magni. Colored yet rather neutral. Good for spatial recreation though rather minor upgrade in this area especially compared to asgard


Donald dac. Probably the best performer budget wise for imaging

Topping dacs such as d10 or e30. Leans warm. Very high performance for price

Combo units

Soundblaster g6 or other higher end models. Capable of driving 600 ohm beyers(others in this list can as well except zen dac) doesnt provide audiophile quality sound but provides what’s needed with some extra software such as 7.1, voice morph, and footstep emphasis button recon mode

Ifi zen dac. Weak unless using its balanced port yet still can power 250 ohm headphones unbalanced. Leans quite warm and bassier with the addition of a bass button. Not as good as dedicated units, has it’s own stack with zen can which is the dedicated amp… yet still has the issue of weak less using balanced

Schiit hel. Not recommended good but not for the price point imo

Dedicated units up top can be found mint used market for around $70 per initial or $140 for the stack otherwise $200 new


One good thing about Sound Blaster G6 is that it can output its SBX’s features (one of Creative’s versions of surround) digitally via optical to a different DAC, so you can have both a gaming soundcard and a normal DAC, though it won’t be the most efficient choice financially and clutter-wise, and there are cheaper software alternatives. However, the G6 also has plenty of other gaming-related settings gathered together in one place. So perhaps it can somewhat useful.

You can get Tygr from Beyer for €112 if you’re willing to buy B-stock (I was). Leaves you with more money for the other things you’ll be buying.