Good-looking midlevel headphone amp?

Dear Forum,

Could you advise on some midlevel headphone amps to drive my AKG K7XX? I’m using them when sitting in front of my PC. Ever since the portable DAC/AMP that I had broke down, I have had to resort using my bluetooth headphones because IMHO the K7XX sound quite thin without amp. Can’t even properly enjoy Stryper anymore. So please help me out.

Ideally the amp would not be made in China and look moderately good on a desk. Fully prepared to spend a couple of hundred bucks. If you have a matching DAC to recommend (for optics and hipster cred) I’m all ears, but I would be just as comfortable plugging the amp directly to the audio out on my mainboard to be honest.

Thank you for reading!

So you would really prefer made in the USA? You could go for an enog 2 pro and archel 2.5 pro stack, or a jds labs el dac ii and el amp ii stack. If you wanted a combo unit, the schiit Asgard 3 with dac module or jds element ii is a good choice

I would suggest not spending too much, and going for better headphones imo. Personally I would just suggest a schiit magni heresy and better headphones

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I read that as a Medieval headphone amp :smiley:




Dear M0N,

many thanks for your suggestions! Judging by the pictures and some reviews I skimmed, the JDS and Schiit products you suggested scratch exactly the itch I have. I agree it is then a matter of how I want to allocate my budget – either upgrade the whole setup now or splurge on the units now and headphones later.

Is there such a thing as a canon midlevel pair of headphones in this forum? For reference, I have the aforementioned AKG K7XX, Bose QC 35 II and some Steelseries gaming thingamajig.

Made in USA sounds good to me. I also checked for equipment made here in Germany, but the prices are outrageous. I suspect that in a manner analogous to Kopi luwak coffee, local manufacturers make the transistors go through the digestive system of a native marten species before assembly.

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If you live in Germany I would guess that schiit is the easiest to get ahold of because they have eu stores. The magni heresy is pretty great for the price, you can just run it from your motherboard. If you wanted a higher tier amp, the Asgard 3 with the dac chip is pretty great

There are many well loved mid-range headphones, it all depends on your preference and what you want out of the headphones. There really isn’t a one size fits all headphone or best headphone


LakePeople G103-S may be an option. Not sure if 270€ is within budget.

I haven’t heard anything from Lake People or Violectric, but they are reputable and majority of reviews are very very favorable. Solid recommendation in my opinion.

They are very good, but out of the price range for the most part imo, I wouldn’t suggest spending that much here


Would the RNHP be too expensive here?
Also tube amps look really pretty imo.

Absolutely too much. Doesn’t make sense with the headphones being used, also no matching dac which I think would most likely be important to @delusionspectrum

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At what point does it make sense?

When you step into the 700 or above range, depends on the headphones imo, otherwise stick with the heresy, spark, a3, archel, what have you, and skip the 250-450 range of amps

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+1 to the JDS labs products. Gone through a few of their products el dac II, El amp II, switcher, and Atom. really like the build and quality on all of them. Also the one time i needed to go through support to get something fixed it was super easy, although i’m not sure it would be the same for EU. I would assume just longer shipping times. Good products good support like them a lot

Gotcha. Just wondering haha.

I’m positively overwelmed by the amount of suggestions and replies. Many thanks to this wonderful community. My favourite as of now is the Schiit Heresy, but I will sit on my decision until the week-end.

Time to start browsing the headphone suggestion threads for inspiration :wink:

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Lol, lots of things to research out there, good luck on the search :+1: