Here is my setup:
- Cans: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (32ohms) and Sennheiser HD 599 SE (50 ohms).
- FIIO BTR5 as a USB DAC.
- Mac Mini M1-2020.
I am not looking to buy higher impedance headphones for at least few years.
Here are my questions:
a. Is there any DAC/AMP which will bring out full potential of my headphones?
b. Is FIIO BTR5 just enough for my headphones? Or if buying a new DAC will not bring enough value compared to the money spent?
b. Can ‘ifi Zen DAC or Zen CAN’ replace FIIO BTR5 in my setup and provide more value?
I appreciate you taking time going through my questionnaire.
Honestly if you stick with those cans and don’t want the x bass or a preout, I think you’re good to go
But if you’re planar curious or want some better cans in general a decent amp like an Asgard 3 and a 3.5 to RCA cable wouldn’t hurt to much
Even now you could get a bit of improvement from a good amp because I don’t think a 100€ DAC will be that much better than the fioo
All in all if you stick with those cans don’t worry and save your wallet before the hobby gets you
I agree with the Asgard 3 recommendation if you are planning to get a pair of headphones from the Hifiman lineup or something similar. Just keep in mind that the Asgard 3 runs hot, so make sure you have enough space on your desk to give it some breathing room.
welcome to HFG, KGF!
the iFi Zen Air DAC would be a good starting place, but if you get any planar better than the HE-400se / 400i / X4, etc, you will want more power than what it can provide. note, the Zen Air DAC is a DAC / Amp combo unit. the Signature DAC is just a DAC. it’s confusing because there are also Zen amps.
Thank you everyone for your kind replies.
I will wait till I’m ready to get both planars and Asgard 3.
FIIO’s new K7 might be an option also $200 DAC/AMP with way more power than IFI’s Zen or Air DAC/AMP
and then you could keep BTR5 as a portable, I’d look at reviews though I haven’t heard about how it plays with planar headphones
I’ve had three Asgard 3 with and without the onboard DAC, and would recommend something with a balanced DAC for planar magnetic headphones which need current. The 4volts instead of 2v on an RCA DAC will be really helpful powering them. I ran out of volume wheel in high gain mode many times on those with planars. On paper it sounds like a lot of power until you realize the 2v DAC (and on the 4490 version it’s even worse at 1.45v) is holding it back. The Magnius/Modius is much better, and these days I’m using a Topping A30Pro/D30Pro and on optical it’s really hard to beat.
I have a Topping A90 behind me and don’t use it since the A30Pro sounds just as good, but full power on all the connections. No more buying balanced cables, or running out of power equalizing 600ohm Beyers with a big preamp reduction. This powers the Hifiman HE6SE up until -4db preamp reduction which is all the power I’ll ever need.
If they are going that rout then the Topping L70 would also be an option worth considering. I own one that I use as a preamp for my speakers, but I have tried my Arya SE on it, and it is ok but it feels like it is missing something (my HD 660s sounds good on it though). Granted my main setup is a Bifrost 2/64 + Burson Soloist 3XP. The Topping A30 pro would be closer in price to the Asgard 3 though. There are a lot of options under $500.
I am looking for an Amp and DAC. I have a few cheap DAC’s from Amazon.
I already have a really nice huge Amp from an old sound venue (Crown PS-200 2-Channel). What I want is a Dac/Amp for my headphones and my speakers. That has a remote.
Any suggestions plz.
I just saw this and will do the job, but I can spend a little more money.
Not much power in that Aiyima amp. Only .12 of a watt at 32 ohm. Dongles have more power than that.
It will work for cans with low-to-moderate impedance and high sensitivity, but those cans can be driven straight from a phone, anyways. Anything that requires more power, and that amp will be brought to its knees, I would think.
By comparison, the Atom+ is considered an excellent cheap amp but slightly underpowered for some cans, and it outputs 1 watt at 32 ohm. The Aiyima has one-ninth of the output power.
I love my Atom+ amp/DAC stack, by the way. Superb for $220 new, and you can find a bunch used in the $150 range for the stack. A superb starter setup for desktop listening. Clean power, smooth DAC with minimal coloration of the sound. Only negative for you is no remote.
topping DX3 pro+ is a AIO DAC/AMP with a remote $200ish depending where you get it
I see you’re holding fire for now, but just wanted to mention I can help answer any iFi specific questions and whatnot.