Best portable dac/amp?

I’m thinking of getting the sennheiser hd58x or the dt880 250 ohm or 600 ohm haven’t decided yet but what’s a good portable amp/dac?

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Monoprice Monolith Portable.


Ifi xdsd. Great sound sound with good features

Edit: the fiio q1 mk2 is a great budget option as well (but probably wouldn’t work well with the 600 ohm)

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Is this a Dad/amp or headphone question…category confusion lol

I have pretty limited experience, but bought two fairly well reviewed portable DAC/Amps in the Monoprice THX portable, and the Topping NX4. I mainly use them at work paired with my laptop with headphones I don’t mind bringing into the office. For me, the Monoprice is the better choice since I haven’t had any issues with anything I’ve plugged into it. IEMs didn’t sound good on the Topping, and I read reviews where the USB port has given people issues after a few months. The build quality on the Monoprice seems way better to me, but it’s close to double the price so it should be. I’ve mainly used my HD6xx and Meze Noirs at work, but had good results when I ran the Elex and Ether CX through it at home. The Topping also worked pretty well for those as well, but I heard a lot of noise when using my BGVP DM6 IEMs

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ifi Nano bl all day long comes with a balanced 3.5mm, line out and an IEM matched output too.

You should really settle on which headphones you want, then pick the DAC/amp. It’s a pretty big difference going from the 58X to the DT880/600.


Yeah, and also make sure to prioritize the headphones over the source, since most of the time the headphones will make the biggest difference in sound quality

I have the dt770 250ohm and they work perfectly on the topping NX4. The NX4 has pretty much all the power you’ll need portable and is only like 5% larger than the Fiio Q1 mkII. If you really need power (like for the 600ohm or t50 mods) then the xDuoo xd-05 is pretty good with 500mW for $200 or the iFi micro iDSD Black Label for 4W but it’s like $500-600.

Well the iDSD BL really isn’t what I would call portable. Its nice to have but not really something you can put in your pocket and use on the go. It’s more of a transportable unit that you can just bring in a bag and connect to a laptop on a desk, rather then trying to attach it to your phone. If you truly need that power for a headphone anyway, its probably not really made to be used portability.

I also would recommend the xd-05 if you want more power then something like a q1mk2 or NX4.

Look. Some people are crazy and want to experience argons on the go or take those KOSS electrostats on a walk. To them the iFi is VERY portable.

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I’m one of those crazy people. I do the same occasionally with my BL strapped to a m11. But most people wouldn’t do that. And we’re talking about someone who is looking at a 58x or 880. If they had that budget they should be looking for higher their headphones rather then an amp like this

Yeah I agree. The XD-05 is the most anyone would need portable. The Q1 mkII and NX4 are the best choice for a real portable/pocket solution. But still, 4w and battery powered is pretty nice (but expensive) so it is at least worth a mention in the “best portable dac/amp” thread.

I apologize for the necro, but I thought it might be better than making a new thread. I’ve haven’t been following the latest gear releases lately, so is there anything I missed in the $200-$300 range that is better than XD05? I’m looking for something with 1/4 output for LCD 2CB

Z rates the Aune BU1 :+1:

Portable SE isn’t going to be the best for the LCD2CBs. A Fiio Q1 and ES100 will run them but I would definitely go balanced. Even then I don’t think they produce the current needed to make them sound their best.