Selecting an DAC\AMP Around 320$

Hello, I would greatly appreciate the help in chosing an DAC\AMP combination for around 320$
I’m going to use it with Sennheiser HD650

Would prefer a more enjoyable sound over the super clean one
Mostly for Music and games

I have looked on Topping E50+L50 but i think it’s more monitoring like pieces than the ones that i would enjoy listening, and xDuoo TA-22 which is tube hybrid, but idk about this cause i’m not really know about the tubes and would they do good.

My setup as of now is DT990 pro + Creative G6

For now in consideration is:
Topping E50+L50 Stack
xDuoo TA-22
Ifi Zen DAC V2 + Zen CAN

Tell me if those a bad choice, what would you get? Or if you know a better one

Hey welcome to HFGF :smiley: sounds like you might like iFi’s Burr Brown chip implementation/house sound, kinda warm and engaging…maybe check out their Zen Can Signature series they have one ‘tweaked’ to be used with HD6XX too :+1:

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But then you would still need a DAC as Zen Can is only the amplifier or am I missing something?

Zen Dac v2 does have DAC and AMP in one device but I don´t know if it´s powerfull enough to drive HD650

If buying used is an option have a look over at Head-Fi in the Classifieds…you can get a Zen Stack (Zen Dac + Zen Can) for under 300 bucks

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Welcome here! Glad to have you.

HD 650/HD 6XX is excellent on tubes. If you want a warmer, more organic sound, look into a tube amp and buy a separate DAC.

I’m a firm believer in DAC/amp stacks instead of integrated units. If your amp or DAC fails with an integrated unit, you need to replace the whole thing at higher cost. Plus, buying separately allows you to incrementally upgrade just your amp or DAC.

I think you’re right :+1: I do love the iFi sound signature but their naming of their products is wack lol

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Haha yeah, it’s pretty confusing :woozy_face:

The Ifi sound really is great, Zen Dac v2 also has plenty of power for my usecases and I can run it solely from USB which is really convenient

I can’t seem to find the Zen DAC, only Zen air DAC which i assume a bit cheap version of the first? Is it pretty same or don’t worth it?
The flaws are they also opposite colors with Zen Can and would look ugly on the table

Hello! Thank you, but i don’t think i have a budget to go with lamps.
Only choice i’ve seen is xDuoo TA-22 which is hybrid DAC\AMP and uses lamps as pre AMP

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I feel like it’s a meme to recommend a Schiit Modi DAC and a Schiit Vali amp, but this budget pairing sounds great with an HD650.

I have since dispensed with the DAC, and use a line out from my DAPs to my Vali 2 when listening to my 6XX. It makes me happy. :+1:

Thank you!
Not possible for me to get a Schiit’s products at all.
Need to look elsewhere

Sorry I´m not familiar with Zen Air DAC, they have way too many iterations and different products :smiley: Zen Dac, Zen Can, Zen Air, Zen Blue, Zen One…it´s ridiculous :smiley:

Maybe @CartrKellr_iFi can shed some light.

Where are you located?

Zen Dac v2 should be available!?

You should really consider the used market, usually it is full of Zen Stacks because many used it as a starting point and then suffered from upgradeditis :mask: :microbe:

Another rec would be Fiio K7, it´s warm leaning with plenty of power, maybe worth a try

I have reviewed a couple of the Zen series DAC’s and amps, if that is of any use to you.

They (the reviews) are available here on the forum but it would take me some searching to find them, so I will leave links to the same reviews on my blog:

Zen DAC Signature V2 + Zen Can HFM:

Zen One Signature (DAC)

Zen Air DAC

Zen Can Signature:

This is an extract from the Zen Can Signature review that may be of use:

"Now, all of this naming scheme can get a little confusing, I know I certainly get confused, so before moving on, let me just quickly recap what Signature devices actually exist and how to know which is which.

ZEN DAC Signature - Released in 2020 (now discontinued), this is a pure DAC that was introduced at the same time as the ZEN CAN Signature HD6XX.

ZEN CAN Signature 6XX - Released in 2020, this is an amplifier specially tuned for the Sennheiser HD6XX and can be identified by the HD6XX setting (along with XSpace) on the front.

ZEN DAC Signature V2 - Released in 2021, this is a pure DAC that upgraded the original ZEN DAC Signature. There is nothing on the front to identify this over the original ZEN DAC Signature, only the mention of V2 on the back of the device (although the original has been discontinued for quite some time, so anything in stock should e V2). I reviewed this DAC here.

*ZEN CAN Signature HFM - Released in 2021, this is an amplifier specially tuned for the Hifiman planars, it can be identified by the HFM setting (along with XSpace) on the front. I reviewed this amplifier here. *

ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 - Released in 2022 (as far as I am aware), this amplifier is tuned to be used with the Meze Classic 99 headphones. It can be identified by the MZ99 setting (along with XSpace on the front).

ZEN One Signature - Released in 2022, this model could add even more confusion to the naming scheme as there are other models in the One series that do not match with the Signature series at all. The ZEN One signature uses the same aesthetics as the signature series, and is also a pure DAC, however, the One SIgnature features Bluetooth, Optical and Coaxial Digital inputs, along with USB, whereas the other Signature DACs only feature USB inputs. However, it does lose the volume control found on the others. The ZEN One Signature is very easily recognized due to the front panel having many more features than the others. I reviewed this DAC here.

ZEN CAN Signature - Released this year, this amplifier does not aim at a specific model and, along with XSpace, it features an XBass setting on the front.

There are also other ZEN models but they do not match the aesthetics used on the Signature line, so I am not going to mention them."