So I am a beginner here.
My current setup is macbook pro + fiio btr1k + Hifiman he400se
I want to make an upgrade in my setup.
I am looking into fiio btr5 2021 and topping L30, I know it’s a strange choice.
I have read that these headphones require about 100mW
And as I can see fiio btr5 in balanced connection can provide twice than this.
But I have also heard people recommending topping stack for planners to get the best out of them.
Which puts me in the confused state.
Is a headphone Amp really necessary for these ?
Could I just get a btr5 + cable (portability could be useful) and be done with the setup or should I pick an AMP for now and use it with my macbook pro’s internal DAC/btr1k (I have read & felt that both are decent) and after sometime buy Topping E30 ?
P.S. In the meanwhile btr1k could suffice my portability needs as these headphones gets decently loud on full volume with it, albeit with distortion.
I’ve done BTR5 balanced with my 400se I’d say it’s around 95% as good as something like a IFI Zen Dac balanced.
A desktop unit/stack would be better but you are paying more for it.
mebe look at the iFi Zen DAC v2 or the newer iFi Air Zen DAC. these are combo units with both DAC and amp. the Zen DAC v2 has a 4.4mm pentacon balanced out for more power if you use a balanced cable to the headphones.
Btr1k is pretty old and weak by now. Won’t recommend that.
Had a Edition XS and Arya V2 on a qudelix 5k, pretty much the same as btr5. It could drive them fine, even with EQ (over balanced).
If you get an amp maybe not the L30.
The problem that it breaks and grill the headphone might be solved but they lie about the power output instead of 2.3W it only gives out 1W at 32 Ohm
Maybe look at the L50 instead or SP200, Magni.
Topping dx3pro+ would be another idea. Dac/Amp combo, less power than the amp only models but still more than enough with 1.7W and much more than the Zen Dac with 400mW (true bass function would be nice tho if you don’t EQ) .
Also possible. Get the btr5 / qudelix 5k for now and on the go use later. Later when you find a good deal for a (used) amp like the L50 you get it and use the btr5 as your DAC. If you think the amp doesn’t give you any sound improvement you can sell it again for the same price as you bought it.
(or get something from amazon for trying and send it back lol)
A big brick for walking around, but a battery-powered dac/amp that delivers good (basic) or very good (plus) power and interface on a desk is the xDuoo XD-05. A great build, knob, 1/4" output that makes its powered unbalanced.
Bluetooth can be added on as desired.
I have read that If you’ll feed it 3V from DAC then it will give the rated output.
Anyways according to my current headphones I guess I won’t need that much, so L30 might be a decent choice.
Schiit and atom are not available where I live.
xDuoo pretty much exceeds my budget.
Anyways guys didn’t expect that I will get a response so fast. So thank you so much for that.