DAC/AMP for Hifiman Sundara

Hello everyone!

I’ve purchased a Hifiman Sundara and I like too much them!
But it’s sounds a little low in my soundcard and I consider to buy an DAC/AMP

Which are recomended for this headphones? For give him a lot of power, I don’t know anything about DAC/AMP so is a little difficulty find the correct, my current setup is a sound card Sound Blaster ZxR, if is real, I think is not necessary an dac, only the amp because I can make a combo with my sound card, but I want a combo DAC/AMP because I don’t have space in my desk and I wanna use them in a smartphone, tablet and game console too

And I have another question and is, in the menu of the Soundblaster, I can up the gain too much, is only for headphones with 600 ohms and in the menu says like is dangeours for headphones with less of 600ohms but the headphones sound much better with this gain
I have a risk if put this?

Thank you!


The most common recommendation seem to be the “Monolith Liquid Spark”. I have neither the Sundara or the Liquid Spark, so can’t tell for sure.


Or the Ify Ican when would only use as Amp is good with the True Bass function are solid on the Sundura.
When would a Dac/amp the Ify Hip Dac or Zen are for sure a good option.
Otherwise the Asgard 3 as only Amp.

I have and like that combo, but they really came alive on the Liquid Platinum. My DAC for both was the SMSL SU-8, until recently.

I could see the Liquid Spark DAC and amp being a really nice stack at a Great price!

Really? So, is secure?

I’ve heard this too, and this with a good dac is enough for the Sundara but I not sure of this

I don’t know Ifi Hip Dac an Zen is enough, but I think is enough for mobile or game console
For PC is probably I gonna buy an amp for now

Yup, go or it.

Planar Magnetic headphones like the Sundara really deserve external amplification - as you’ve found.

I think you should find a nice portable device that you can also use when you are at your desk, given that you’d like to use this portably.

Maybe look at the xDuoo portables? XD-05+?

Can you do it like that, nothing is out of the question.
But your onboard card cannot play Dsd if you should consider that you would be well equipped with the Ify without having to invest, at least with the Ify Zen dac.
It is enough if you decide later for Roon or Audirvana, if you want to play Dsd.

Apart from that, because of the 600 ohm history, you don’t have to worry about the sound card.
If the Sundura draws 80 ohms as an example, then it draws only 80 ohms or it always depends on how many watts the amplifier can output. This is always due to the design.
If you read 32 at 1 watt in the description, this means that the amplifier can output 1 watt of power on headphones with 32 ohms.
And on the other hand, it also means that the sound card can withstand loads of up to 600 ohm headphones.

So if you can switch your sound card so that the Sundura runs better for you, that’s okay. It wouldn’t be anything other than a low and high gain switch that you sometimes find on amplifiers.

Aside from the Ify, you can also get a Magni 3 or Jds Labs. Or the Little Spark are good ones.
And it would also be worth mentioning if you want to keep the card or use it as a Dac and want to connect an amplifier that your PC is grounded.
Otherwise you will always have an ugly hum.

I’m gonna pick up an amp and dac combo for desktop for now, is more necessary than in mobile devices

For now, I’m no considered a format like DSD, maybe in an future, but an cheap an good DAC have this feature is very good.

Oh, I get it now about the ohms, thank you

About to keep the sound card, I think is better buy an DAC away of my sound card, sounds good but I think is not enough power for drive this headphones, have lacks in the detail and soundstage

I’ve heard a schiit DAC with an Little Spark is very good, an JDS Atom Amp is very good too

No problems with the up on the gain, so is secure!
But I still heard and sense a low level in details, sound stage and the mids, so I will need an DAC too and make a complete AMP/DAC combo now
Is enough a DAC like Ifi Zen Dac with the Liquid Spark?

I’ve heard the Atom and the Anchel Pro the highs can fatigue and in the case of the Atom have issues in the balance

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With the Sundura, many say it doesn’t have as much bass.
With the Ify Zen, you are well served by the push of a button.
Apart from that, it tends to be musical and thus also enlivens the Sundura somewhat.
Because the basic tuning is a bit flat.
When I heard it briefly, that was my first impression.

If you’ve already heard the Atom and it’s not yours, it’s just too neutral in combination with the Sundura.
I think you’ll be happier with the Ify, it won’t sound fatiguing.
In the worst case, if you don’t like it, you can always send it back.

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i would ask soundblaster exactly what changes when you switch gains like that. the minimum impedance may go up on the high gain setting if it is designed for 600ohm headphones.

that being said, if you have already tried and nothing went haywire, I can’t see it going haywire in the future. it would of the moment you first tried.

edit: typically gain settings are just that. more juice in the channel. can make them harder to use with lower ohm headphones, if the headphones can not take a lot of juice. sundaras can take a lot of juice

About the bass, I think the bass is more than enough, but mobile sounds more balance, the bass is little less than in my PC, maybe is my soundcard, in PC sounds a solid bass and with good mids.
Maybe I can consider de Atom, but in my country cost more 35 USD, like the Liquid Spark, I’ve read the Liquid Spark is very good for modern music, games and movies, with smooth and transparent sound, the Atom too but is more analytical but with fatigue in the highs, so I will to decide this
For DAC, maybe between the Ifi and the Schiit Modi 3

About that, in this moment I though the headphones they were having problems, I heard crackling popping noise in all situation, but they were connected direct on the sound card, now when I plug in their adapter for more connection the noise is gone but in a some songs still having this noise but in a few songs not, this case is same in my mobile and the same songs, maybe is a bad recording, is this right?
In movies and games not, or yes but with direct connection on the sound card

bad recordings have crackling. listen to wutang clan C.R.E.A.M. prime example. great song, terrible recording. snaps and cracks everywhere in it. so it could be for those songs

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if you go with the ifi zen dac, just buy the dac first and use its amp. if it does not get loud enough for your tastes, then look at amps as well. with the power match button, it will drive a surprising amount of headphones to respectable levels.

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That’s the life of a grimey, real-life crimey

C’mon now, if 36 Chambers sounded “clean”, it would not feel right.

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i agree with ya, some of my favorite tracks are recorded bad, but thats half the charm of them.