K5 Pro vs Element 2

I just ordered a Fiio K5 Pro for $150 but I was eyeing the Element 2 from JDS Labs that costs $400. Does anyone have any experience with either of these products and if so, when talking purely about the sound, would the Element 2 be worth the extra $250? I would prefer a simple all-in-one solution for audio as opposed to a separate dac and amp. If you have any other suggestions $400 or below, those would also be appreciated.

If you are going purely for sound, I do think the element ii is a clear step up. The k5 pro does present a better value for the money, but doesn’t offer the sound and build of the element ii. What headphones are you using, and does it have to be an all in one?

Right now I just have some 598’s but I’m planning on (eventually) getting a variety of different headphones. DT 1990 pro, Sundara’s, Focal Elex, Fidelio X3 when it comes out, or maybe one of the Audeze cans. If I HAD to get a separate Amp/Dac, I would go for the new SMSL SP200/M200 stack or another Dac that pairs well with the SP200. That would cost me over $500 though so it would be a question of whether that’s worth it over the $400 Element 2.

To be honest just based on the amp only, I would prefer the element ii as imo it would have a better amp than the sp200

I personally say it wouldn’t be worth it for the sp200 and m200 stack

The main reason I wanted to go for the Sp200 was because it’s one of the cheaper THX amps. Does THX really make that much of a difference or am I still better off going with the element 2?

Imo the element is a superior amp to thx. Thx is more detrimental than good imo, and I actually prefer stuff like the magni heresy or jds atom to thx amps

Ok, cool. I’ll look into the Element then. By any chance, do you have any other recommendations within that price range of $300-$450 for a Dac and Amp that sounds better or as good as the Element 2? Preferably a combo but I’m open to trying separate units.

Imo the element ii is real solid. The Asgard 3 with the multibit card is pretty nice, the element ii would be more neutral with a touch of fun, and the Asgard 3 would be a bit warmer and smoother

Thanks man, you’ve been a real big help!