Best portable amp

Hey, I‘m looking for a portable amp that has more power than dongles.
I want enough power for my DT1990 and maybe future headphones like planars that require a lot of power and current.

Would something like the Hip DAC 2 be enough for my Dt1990 or should I go for the Topping NX7?

The hip dac is definitely more convenient because I don’t have to connect a dongle or Bluetooth dac to it. With the topping I would probably blue tack my BTR5 to it.

The power difference between those two is huge (ifi 280mW, topping 1400mW) but I don’t know if the topping would be overkill

Is this more about walking around with it or using it in changing locations?

Walking around. Size is honestly not that important. I would even get something like a WA8 or Diablo if I had the money

I feel like the size and ergonomics for walk-life could be better, but for portable price/power I love the xDuoo XD-05 line.

I’m currently using the Gryphon and loving it, but it depends on what your budget is.

I mostly have 500-600€ Headphones so getting a 600€ amp would be pretty stupid in my case

I wouldn’t say it was stupid, just something that each person has to value for themselves.

The thing I like about the Gryphon is that it is an all-in-one device that can basically do anything I ask of it.

I also like the BU2 and the Go Blu as portable solutions, each of them serving a different function.

I originally bought my Hip DAC V1 to use as a portable walking around device, but found it not so friendly of a pocket dac/amp. The clunky USB A as well as the volume knob having to be pointed downwards in your pocket because of the cable, either made it hard to adjust the volume or easier to just randomly change because it’s rubbing against to pocket more. There was a lot of taking in and out of my pocket to adjust volume or any of the settings. Furthering that issue I was using a Galaxy S8 and the USB port on those is very shallow so the cable would come out super easy moving around in my pocket. So if whatever you are going to connect it to has a shallow port as well i wouldn’t recommend getting the Hip DAC. it’s a great product and I keep it on my desktop because I like the way it sounds. As far a portable in pocket devices go there are better choices out there IMO.

That isn’t really a problem for me because I never put a phone-dac amp stack in my pocket. I don’t have that much space in my pockets so I put it in my jacket or bag.
The USB A is required to use it with the camera connection kit with my iPhone

Haha well then don’t mind me…
I have actually switched over to an iphone since buying the hip dac so I might have to snag an adapter and see if it fairs better on the go for me.

Gryphon if you want what I’d consider the best all in one portable or the xCAN if you don’t need an all in one solution.

Does the Hip Dac have enough power to drive planars like Aeon noir? The power spec seems to be way too low but many people say it works great

I think it’d be safer to go with a more powerful DAC/amp. I had the first hip DAC briefly. Too warm and unresolving for me. Plus, it didn’t come close to powering my t60rp’s. I didn’t expect it to (30 ohms/92db), but thought that might be helpful. Someone mentioned the Gryphon, which would be my suggestion, but if you want cheaper try the tri tk2 or xduoo xd-05 plus. I have the NX7. It’s just an amp, so you’d need a DAC. I like it, the specs are great, but it’s very transparent. It adds no flavor. The gryphon seems so versatile.

I ordered Aeon Noir now. When they arrive, I’ll test how well they work with my BTR5 and my Xduuo X2s (it’s a dap that has a dac mode and 250mW in 32 ohms). If it doesn’t work at all I’ll get the NX7 and use it with my BTR5

Yeah if you like the sound of the btr5, the nx7 will just make it more powerful. I use it to boost my m3x, and it works great.

The apple dongle might also be a convenient dac for the Topping but I have the EU version which doesn’t have enough volts. I think the BTR5 has about 1,8V single ended so it should be fine.
I just wish the Topping had a balanced input or a single ended in the back so I don’t have all this mess in the front of the unit. But I guess balanced is just for convenience and the unit is not really balanced inside

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Quick update: received the Aeon today and they obviously can’t run off my BTR5.
But they work great on my A30 Pro on medium gain which is about 470mW in 32 Ohm on Medium gain so I expect them too also run off a Hip Dac with balanced.

The only knock on the Topping NX7 is that isn’t a DAC. I have actually seen a couple people use the BTR5 as the DAC with it, with a rubber strap. I like the BTR5 and 5K, using balanced output, they cover everything in my collection, but won’t be enough for everyone.

I keep thinking that the NX7 and an Apple Dongle ( non EU ) is an impressive combo, a ton of power, loads of battery, and very clean sound, all while still being portable. It also means that if you buy something more power hungry down the road, you won’t feel the need to upgrade just to listen to it.

yeah, the topping is the smartest move. I would probably attatch it with blue tack to the topping and use it with bluetooth which makes it more portable than the Hip DAC imo. Bluetooth should be fine for portable use.
If I want to go crazy audiophile, I could strap my SMSL Sanskrit 10 to it and power it with a power bank

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That is a bit odd, that it isn’t balanced for either input or output. I am so used to balanced basically doubling your output power, that is seems odd to not have it work that way here. I am guessing it saved them money to not have two isolated systems. Also without a built in DAC, what input would they pick 4.4mm? All my portable gear is 2.5mm, so now I need adapters. At least I have 3.5mm SE.