Dac/Amp Combo for DT880 600Ohm

As the title suggests, I am in search of a Dac/Amp combo for the DT880 Premium 600 Ohm headphones. I’m pretty new to this with a budget of ~$125 (although this is semi-flexible if I can find a really good deal on used or refurbished pieces). I’d like the combo to have pre-outs so I can attach powered monitors to them, so that when I want to swap between headphones and speakers, it is a relatively seamless transition. I’m really trying to avoid a separate amp/dac or a stack and would like to only have a single box since I’m planning to mount it under the desk. Mostly, I’m looking for something that can sufficiently power the headphones.

I am originally coming from this thread:

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600ohm are great if you already have an amp that can throw gobs of power at them. But I wouldn’t buy an amp to just power them, nor would anything in the $125 be able to power them. If you under power them, they’ll still sound fine, but probably not as good as properly powered 250ohm version.

Honestly, go for Tygr. Easy to run, similar to 880.

A quick pairing would be a Zen DAC, but I’m not a fan of them with lacking DAC quality and lots of noise for lower impedance headphone like IEMs.

I’d recommend looking into the new Topping DX3 Pro+ that was just released, $200 with a good DAC, lots of power, and line-out options with volume control with remote. It’s actually Hasn’t hit reviewers yet, so I’d wait a minute–especially to see if they fixed the issues with volume problems with the line-out. But you can run the Tygr from anything in the meantime and just be fine.

hmm… I need to correct a few things… some misinformation here

this is… extremely incorrect as there are amps even at like… $60 that can power the 600 ohm beyer such as samson s-amp or douk class-a dac/amp… at $125 thats still within budget for a used setup since magni and modi (and others of the entry level variety) can be found there on the market maybe a little higher… The issue here is making sure the amp hes using has the pre outs he wants since he wants to involve speakers

What? no its not… not even close. open back vs semi open back. Subtle V shape leaning more warm vs bright and mid centric with good bass tones somewhere inbetween the change of a 1990s pads, clamp is different, build is different, etc. While extremely easy to run the tygr has other complications… such as being less capable of full equalization, it doesn’t agree with a lot of pad swaps in comparison, it doesn’t scale anywhere near the degree, not as detail heavy as the 880, etc

if underpowered they lose their bass, sound quiet, and sound slightly more muffled…

this will not drive the 600 ohm dt 880 unless the 880 is running balanced and even then its iffy.

this will create some issues… but its not impossible… as mentioned above theres a few units within that price margin that will do the trick that are combo… though I would still encourage separate units as you stand to gain more in terms of sound quality and more flexibility on choices… you can still put them under the desk as something like the liquid spark paired to say its respective dac or a topping D10 are rather small units that can fit quite easily in places.

The preouts is the thing leaving me kinda stumped at the price range. I guess a used d10, douk u3, and a switch box between them might be in budget. Something like a little bear mc2 can convert the single ended output of the d10 to dual xlr out for monitors and has an analog volume knob so I guess that could be an option.

My phone can run them too. Properly? No.

Similar. They’re not super different at the end of the day, just similar–like I said.

Yes… like I said.

Wasn’t recommending the 600ohms.

Please read my post again, and try to respect someone else’s opinions. Nothing I said was wrong, misinformation, or worth picking apart; just not your opinion, and that’s not worth the effort to “correct”.

250s aren’t really even close sound wise to the 600ohm variants. On 880s and 990s the 250ohm kinda suck imo. They’re almost different headphones. Tygrs are decent on low power but a lot smoother and warmer and not nearly the detail of 600ohm 880s.

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Those units I mentioned run the 880 600 ohm just fine with magni or spark over there having headroom still by quite a bit. Samson and Douk over there were brought up by no theme in his review of them showcasing that they also have headroom and manage to drive the 600 ohm beyer just fine. The issue with the beyers at 600 ohm is scaling is rather ludicrous so going up in the chain makes them sound different and in some cases that change is rather drastic.

going to agree to disagree on this one man, they are completely different headphones.

you did not state this, you mention they will sound fine just maybe not as good as the 250 ohm… this is not the case, when under powered they are damn near unusable in many cases

assuming you meant to pair with the tygr in this regard? misread that in my case my bad.

with due respect, when I read it it sounds misinformative which is why I chimed in on it… it meant no offense to you and your more than entitled to opinion however, theres also a difference between factual statements and opinion such as what amp will drive a headphone, differences in frequencies when comparing the two, or there isnt a unit within that price budget that will drive the 600 ohm beyer these are statements not so much opinion. Nonetheless, we can leave it at that and move along agree to disagree on aspects and help OP with his question.

I tried to like the 250 ohms over the 600… I think in the 990s case it was a bit better to me for 250 ohm but that glaring brightness in comparison was too much for me after a long time listening… 880 seems similar in that its very apparent on how high that treble is at 250 ohms… in 600 it balances itself out to my ear which makes it so much more enjoyable.

I love the tygr, for competitive as he mentions I would rate them near the top in its budget… 880 is just damn good at other areas like detail, some cases of music, stuff like that… but if hes just going to use this like strictly for fps gaming… I would point him to the tygr hands down over the 880 since he can just use his speakers for music… tygrs arent bad for music but i always find the 880 superior to tygr in this regard just imo

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If I had to get a traditional all in one on this budget area for those cans, maybe Fiio K5Pro.

I’d really probably get a dongle for now and a Liquid Spark or Magni 3+ or MT-602 if you’re open to futzing with tubes. Spend money on the amp side.

Not sure how you settled into the 600 ohms, but you’re giving yourself a tight budget for amplification. It’s not that they need anything otherworldly, but you must understand that they deserve some juice.

is this and this the products you were referring to? If it is just wiser to get a stack, would the Schiit stack of the Magni 3+Modi work as well? Also, given the tighter budget would it make sense to get the DAC at a later date after saving and just focus on the amp? I will be doing the same for the speakers as well.

yes those, they are a bit more expensive directly through monoprice though… You can find those kind of units in practically mint or brand new condition from other people or stores ranging between $65-$105 per unit…

Spark and magni there have a hell of a lot of power behind them and sound good… they are the typical entry level recommendations… Magni is your more neutral slightly colored slightly warm amp while spark will deplete the treble and add quite a lot in terms of warmth… neither is the best in terms of spatial recreation(youd want something like asgard for that big sound but this is out of budget in this case)

technically, yes you can just buy an amp and use your own pc as a dac… however, there is a risk of some distortion, less clean sound, your pc may offer some small fuzz or interference from the components electrical currents… in most cases that I have tried in this regard thiough its fine… just not the cleanest of sound of course.

Noob question time: I was able to get all those for the prices you mentioned (the Modi is on the way) but I have a 3.5mm to RCA splitter and I am not sure how to get it working with the Liquid spark and my motherboard (Asus ROG Strix B550-e). When I plug the splitter cable into the front headphone connector-> liquid spark-> DT880s, everything works fine, but that’s horribly ugly and impossible to cable manage well. There’s a green lineout in the back that I plugged the same cable in and there no audio. WTF am I doing wrong?

use the back one. there should be a 3.5mm on your motherboard. might need to change your output in the sound options.

provided the cabling is done correctly its most likely just needing to set windows sound settings over to it or something… you should be able to simply connect it to the back like mentioned without issue.

EDIT: I got it to work. Instead of using my motherboard official drivers, I just went and installed the generic realtek drivers

I’ve tried all of them, the only ones that seems plausible is “Digital Audio SPDIF” since the rest are all monitor or microphone outputs, but there is no sound coming out. I have also attempted to connect 3.5mm to USB C audio and updated my mobo sound drivers. The stuff that works is when I plug it into the front and use the “Headphones: High Definition Audio” output which goes away when I plug it into the back