SILENT amps? [SQ+Silence > Wattage]

I’m rocking this killer ~$30 Douk U3 Mini amp lately, with the stellar iPower2 PSU to keep noise down as much as possible, for all my headphones & IEMs. Great amp sound, but there’s a lot of background noise still, esp if my phone comes within 3 feet of it :slight_smile: So I need a decent upgrade, and get ALL the noise out…

Been thinking about trying JDS again(loved the ATOM) - El Amp II+?.

Had an A30 Pro for a while, and liked it a lot, except the weird vol dial. I’d like to hear a different sound variety than this, however. I don’t care about amp power much, but how good the amp sounds and that it’s silent. (if it needs an iPower2 to achieve silence, that’s fine)

Above that, there’s the new tube/tubeless Lyr. But can’t say I’ve ever been super thrilled with Schiit stuff :\ Asgard 3 was alright. Jot 2 v1 not very good sounding…

At the top of my current consideration, is the Liquid Platynum. Any background noise here…? I would assume this would have the best SQ, to earn its cost.

Depending on which headphones you are using you might want to look at the Topping A90D as well. I used to have a Asgard 3, but I decided to make a jump to the Burson Soloist 3XP. I agree it is hit or miss with the Schiit Audio offerings as my Asgard 3 failed just before I made the upgrade. I do not have experience with the liquid platinum, but it is a few years old now so I am not sure if it is worth the premium over other options released recently. Personally I like separates, but if you don’t like cable clutter or you are space limited then I can see why you are looking at AIO options. As far as silence vs wattage goes, a lot of amps seem to be both silent and powerful lately as long as you don’t intend to run it at high gain and max volume.

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the source can also make differences in noise (straight USB from my PC to external Dac’s gives a bunch of USB noise (especially when I move my mouse)), I found that some usb filters helped but the topping one helped me the most (runs hot though), never had the issue with my laptop/phone but ymmv
Topping’s amps are supposed to be some of the most silent amps there are but real world performance is another ymmv

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I second what the comment above says - the source can make a huge difference too. I have a Zen Dac v2 and I always thought it’s unusable with IEMs - there was just too much noise floor to really enjoy my music - when plugged into my PC… But then I plugged it into my MacBook Air and suddenly, quiet!

Zen v2 at max volume high gain (obviously no music playing) has less noise on my Mac than 50% volume low gain on my PC.


El Amp II is more of a usability and build quality upgrade on Atom than sound quality, although it does have more power.

The huge volume knob is very nice but the bigger difference is having the relay that switches between headphone and preamp out for speaker being button driven rather than a plug being in the jack, allowing for you to leave headphones plugged in and instantly switch to speakers.

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Ah, I see, I see.

This is news to me. I just got rid of my Soloist 3XP, partly because of the noise. Wonder how this A90D sounds compared to A30Pro, and does it have any noise? :thinking: I don’t recall A30P having noise, and SP400 was silent but sounded quite dull.

A90D vs MLP?