Portable USB Dac Upgrade from DF Black

Hello everybody,
i recently just picked up some HifiMan Sundara Headphones and they sound amazing.
Parallel i bought to fire them up an Dragonfly Black V1.2. This combo sounds realy good especialy compaired to the price and small space it took up.
I use this setup these days for Home Office conferences, listening to Music via Tidal Hifi while working and after work for light gaming.
I tested the Headphones also with my Denon 4400 AVR and this sounded amazing rich, wide but also crisp clear so i asked myself if i can get a bit better sound then the DF Black from an other portable DAC USB Device for around 150€.
I also tested the headphones with my neighbours Schiit Magni and this was not enjoyible for me and the DF Black sounds way better for mine and his ears.
It should also be compatible with my Android phone so powered via usb and being compact.
I had looked at aliexpress for some USB dacs like this one:


or is it better to look for an DF Red ?

Thanks for your advices.

I think it would depend upon what your expectations are for an “upgrade”.
Would you be seeking a power upgrade or sound signature change or both?
You have indicated that you like the form factor of the DF so that is accounted for.
I think those are the type of things you would want to consider to get an adequate return on an upgrade purchase.

Thanks Dan for your reply,
for me the power is enough when you mean with power the loudness of the Headphones.
I would rather search for a more detailed sound signature.
The formfactor of the DF is nice but i would also be ok with an size of an Powerbank if the sound would be clearer because of the space for more capacitors.
Yesterday i switched from Spotify premium to Tidal hifi and i´am appreciating the sound profile how tidle is playing their songs over Spotify. So i think with the combo of the Sundara headphones, DF Black and Tidal HIFI it gets very close where i want this setup to be.
My problem is that the DF Cobalt has so good reputations over the black and i was thinking whether there is something similar to the Cobalt but not at the same prize point?
But i also have no other comparison to the DF Black than the Denon 4400 AVR and the Schiit Magni and because of the Virus i can not go to an Audio store and compare the DF Black against the Cobalt.

Hello everyone,
the past few days i have read a lot of forums and watched youtube videos.
I came to an nearer conclusion after today i tested the Dragonfly Red and Cobalt at my local store and i must say they both are nice but not worth the price.
So my 2 Options are 1st Ikko Zerda because it should sound the same as the DFCobalt and 2nd Topping NX3s with an LT1364 mod.
So can anyone give me a hint what to chose ? From the sound stage i prefere the DFC very much and for the NX3s i only could find forum threads where they say that with the mod they sound amazing but nothing compared to eg. the DF Red or Cobalt.
I am looking forward to your answers :slight_smile: