Hifiman Arya: AMP/DAC upgrade help

Hi Everyone,

First post here, I’ve been using my Arya Stealth’s for 3 months now and enjoy them so much more then any other headphones I have owned. My birthday is coming up and would like to upgrade my setup. Currently the Arya is paired to Zen Dac V2 and SMSL SP200. I was originally going to go with the Topping A90 or the Singxer SA-1 leaning more towards the SA-1 paired with the Zen Dac. But seeing the K9 Pro ESS reviews seems I can get two upgrades in one, but was worried on the power seeing its seems lower in power then the SP200. Any insights appreciated.

MUSIC: EDM, Metal like, Animal as Leaders, Polyphia, etc.
Videogames mainly, CSGO.


Honestly with those headphones I’d want to be a bit higher amp wise (at least going off my experience with the older arya, not heard the stealth though). I’d really want to look more at something like a burson soloist 3xp for something more neutral and forward with lots of control and clarity, a used bryston bha-1 for something a bit more impactful, warm, wide, and richer, or a used violectric v281 for something more relaxed, sweetened, and grand, all three would be big technical steps up. Something in that range to make a meaningful step forward and really start to get a lot of those headphones (dac wise will depend on what amp you go with).

If you can’t swing that though, I would personally prefer the SA-1 over the A90 as they offer a somewhat similar sound but the sa-1 is smoother and a bit warmer but offers a bit more technical ability, another good option is the monolith liquid platinum as well for something a bit more energetic, spacious, and a bit more technical than the sa-1. The cayin iha-6 is also a very solid option that would likely play pretty well too on the more neutral and forward side of things. Same thing with dac choice depending on what amp you would be after

I’ve not heard the K9 Pro so I can’t comment there. Do you have any specific goals for the upgrade, as in are you looking for any sort of specific signature or traits to focus on? And do you have a hard set budget you are working with or is it flexible?