DAC / AMP recommendation for $800

I recently purchased the Hifiman Arya’s (non stealth). I’m wanting to invest in my first desktop DAC / AMP combo. If you had a budget of around $800 what would you recommend looking at?

I currently have the Ifi HIP-DAC which is a bit underpowered for the Arya’s. Sound-wise if I go with something like the Schiit Magnius / Modius, Topping D50s/A50s, or the Burson Audio Playmate 2 would it be a noticeable upgrade in the sound?

Budget? What kind of sound are you looking for?

Budget is up to around $800. I like the hip-dac but maybe looking for something a bit more resolving. It’s the only dac / amp I’ve heard so far so I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to prefer. I know it’s completely subjective but mostly currious if a dedicated desktop amp / dac is going to be a significant improvement over the ifi hip-dac.

For something like the Arya I would save up a little more and get a more resolving set than say a $400 DAC/$400 AMP. They’re pretty resolving. Maybe use a cheap DAC and put most of your budget towards the amp for now?

Sorry, I know this probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for.

I’m open to saving. What would you recommend I look at?

Rebelamp does pretty good with the Arya’s and for a cheapish DAC the smsl m300 mkii isn’t horrible if used with a douk U2 pro with coax. Definitely wouldn’t recommend cheaping out on an amp like @RenEH said but at the same time, there’s not a ton of really good options much better than something like a rebelamp or singxer sa1 or jot 2 in the sub $1000 price range.

What are your thoughts on the Burson Audio Conductor DAC / AMP? It’s on sale for about $800 today, normally about 1k.

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Fucking yes. Do it.

Singxer Sda 2 C or Questyle CMA400 ist not a bad Dac/amp too,with much power to drive the Hifiman.
The Burson looks not bad too.:+1:


Schiit Jot 2 + Bifrost MB…$1100…last u a life time. Drive most any headphone out there well.


I’ve heard a couple people say that they’ve been able to find a Liquid Platinum for $500-ish. If you manage to find a deal like that, you could pair it with a Geshelli J2 (or a Schiit Modius) and be pretty close to your $800 budget. Might be worth looking into?

EDIT: Currently seeing it for $600 on Monoprice:

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So with all the deals going on this weekend, I ended up going with the Singxer SA-1 for the AMP and the Topping D50s. It was a huge impulse by so no idea if that will be a good pairing but from what I’ve read the DAC makes much less impact on sound than the AMP.

Now to wait on everything to come in. I bought everything from APOS so hopefully, it doesn’t take weeks to get here.

Ah… so close you could of had the Bifrost 2+Singxer. DAC’s do make a difference IMO but everyone’s hearing is different.