DAC/Amp options in the $200-$300 range (Sennheiser 600)?

Hello, I’m looking for a good DAC/Amp combo for my Sennheiser’s 600. I have been checking this by my own for a couple weeks but I’m still a bit lost. I just want to get some good value from my money. I’m not an audiophile myself, but I enjoy listening to some FLACs from time to time.

I don’t care if it is a portable DAC/Amp, desktop, if it has external power, nor do I care if it is a DAC/Amp combo or independent units. I’m just looking for the best quality at this price.


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Which sound characteristics are you hoping to hear or improve upon?

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Would you potentially be interested in a tube amp? You could get a darkvoice 336se and a topping d10, and that would be a very nice pairing imo. I really like my 600 most on a tube

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It also depends whether you plan to use the 600 balanced or not.

At this price range I wouldn’t suggest considering balanced unless you go with a portable amp

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I was thinking of the iFi xCan or the Fiio Q5S, but yeah there aren’t many balanced options under $350.

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I think the xcan would pair better with the 600 than the q5s imo

I also prefer my 600s on tube. I have used it on both hybrid and full tube and both sound better than on solid state.

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Yeah I think they just get so much more enjoyable with a proper tube amp, more sit back and enjoy the music

Thanks for your answers.

I’m looking for the cleanest and most 1:1 sound that I can get (if that makes sense at all). This is why I opted for the 600 vs the 650 some years ago.

I’m totally fine with tube amps. I would just ask about how much power do these units draw and if the tubes need some kind of mantainance/replacement after some time.

Balanced audio, honestly I don’t understand at all the pros and cons. I will be using a 2m long normal cable with my headphones and the DAC/Amp will sit near the computer.

I may consider about ~$350 if it makes a noticeable difference, that’s not a problem at all.


If you really want the cleanest you can get, the jds Labs atom and topping d10 would be the thing to get for this price range imo. Personally with the 600 this isn’t my favorite pairing as it’s too harsh and also not really as enjoyable to listen to imo after hearing it on tube amps, but that’s preference.

If you feel you want clean then the darkvoice might be too colored of an amp for your tastes.

So my recommendation is in the middle then, if you can get a used Eddie current zdt jr, that would be a good balance between a more accurate sound and a tube, along with a d10. If that’s not an option, the xduoo ta10 is also something I would recommend for sure. If you just wanted the most clean as you say, the atom and d10 is there

Just double the power rating of most tube amps and you’ll be in the ballpark, for headphone amps that’s not a lot.
Tubes generally last thousands of hours, I would assume you end up replacing them about every 3-5 years, it might be longer on a headphone amp because they aren’t running at the higher voltages some speaker amps do.

FWIW The 600 series Sennheiser’s are completely different headphones on a tube amp, sound much better than they do on SS amplification. I’ll double the ZDT Jr used recommendation, I paid $250 for mine, I’ve seen a few even cheaper.

Yeah it really depends on what voltage they run at by design. I typically replace them every around 2-3 years if I use something often

Hells yes. This was the best price to performance I’ve experienced. Everything after this is incremental.

Worthwhile if you’re so inclined, but incremental

I was finaly able to made a decision.

I have ordered the JDS Labs Atom + the Topping D10 for ~203.20€/~$226.77 inc. shipping. I think this fits me better than the tube options. I have seen that both units have very good specs for the price and are indeed perfect recommendations.

I will be listening to voice most of the time, eventually uncompressed music. So I guess this setup will do a very good job.

Thank you very much.


Nice, hope you enjoy it :+1: