I am glad the moment came when I have to ask for help with purchasing my first next-level audio gear.
I am currently using ATH-m50x, which I bought a few months ago, but they didn’t impress me, so I want to prepare for the change.
I decided to buy Sundara, after a good time of the research. But in trying to find a DAC/amp combo for it, I found the barrier as the subject is very complex. So I decided to ask for help in the end.
My budget is 250 $/EU. I don’t know if I should get DAC and amp separated, or if I should go for a combo.
The one that caught my eye is the FiiO k-5 pro. Schiit is not available in my country (and I think in Europe in general, but I am not sure). Topping, zen, smsl, and lake people are available. And maybe some others I cannot remember.
If you think that I will benefit a lot if I spend 250$ on an amp only, and then save money for the DAC to buy later, I will also consider that option. But only if I will benefit a lot.
I would gladly accept to review any recommendation, and I would like to thank you for your time.
P.S. The music I listen in case it will be helpfull: Metal very rarely as I am older, hip-hop and variations not at all, but everything else from clasical, through jazz, rnb, blues, pop… to the hard rock, yes.
I always ask the big simple questions when I see someone pivot pretty intensely.
In this case, are you cool with tons of sound-leak? Like, the person in the next room can clearly hear your headphones. Also, you don’t need a TON of bass, do you?
If yes, no – then proceed. What source are you going to be using these with primarily?
Depending on your use-case, you could definitely run a dongle for your DAC.
Lots of options.
How about xDuoo? The headphones would be happy with an MT-602, hybrid tube amplifier (no dac).
If you’d like a capable device that is portable flexible, the XD-05 Plus is a large portable DAC/AMP. Possible you could be happy with an XD-05 Basic, but I’d like to have double the power for Sundara.
Topping DX3 Pro+ is an all-in-one that fits your price range. K5 Pro is the old price/power all-in-one.
You have a lot of options at this point. Refine your use-case and we can help trim it down.
Thank you for the recommendation, I will consider to go for this, it seems like they would be a good pair with sundara. I will probably go for this actually, if I can get them (I think I can), but I would also like to ask you two final questions before I make the final decision:
What will this xduoo amp/dac give me, which for example fiio k5 pro can’t?