hi, i’m looking to buy an amp/dac my budget is 150$ i’m open to any recommendation also i have eyes on iFi ZEN CAN 150$ and fiio k5 pro 135$ and schiit magni 3 90$ + topping d10 90$ or smsl m100 94$ i could buy k5 pro and zen can right now but magni 3 + dac is out of my budget but if it’s worth extra $ i could wait till i have some more cash.
Which headphones do you want to use with it?
right now i only have pc38x, i will get focal clear on near future and i might also get 6xx , hifiman 400i
Your PC38X are super easy to drive, so I wouldn’t worry too much about an amp/DAC right now.
I suggest you choose a headphone you want to buy, then find a amp/DAC combo that works well with it.
my pc 3.5mm headphone jack ain’t working so i have to buy an amp in order to use my headphone on my pc
I see. Then grab a Zen DAC. Easy enough to run and will drive a good variety of headphones, especially with the balanced output.
Hmm, Zen Dac/amp will give more head room, but K3 is also an option. link to Zen dac/amp
K3 is a bit more compact and a little cheaper, but I think it has like 60mW less power
https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Headphone-Amplifier-Computer-Balanced/dp/B07KR3RF4H (buy it used for less that this imo)
I’m looking to upgrade from my K3, but in your case based on what you use and are thinking of using the ifi zen can or K3 combo’s should be fine.(I’m newish so if someone disagrees please call me out)
thanks you. btw ifi zen dac is also an amp ? i don’t need to get anything else with it ?
edit: nvm i’m an idiot didn’t see dac/“amp”
Yeah, it’s marketed as a “pre-amp”, I had to double check because it isn’t super clear.
***Note: that is using a 5v as power not passive usb, I’m not sure if it comes with a 5v adapter(the link above that isn’t open box doesn’t)
Btw most dacs with an output(2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm 6.35mm) also would work for what you want it for, but amps are nice even if your cans don’t need any juice, gives you some room to grow into cans that might need it.
Both the ifi Zen can and FiiO K3 are built like tanks so buying them used is a good option since your on a budget. Hope I’ve helped!
thank you i really appreciate your help