Small (maybe portable) DAC/amp advice needed

Hi all:

I want to buy a DAC/amp to drive my Meze 99 Classic, Moondrop Starfield and the probable upcoming purchase of either HiFiMan Sundara, HiFiMan HE400i (2020) or Sennheiser 560s. Yes, I know the 99 Classics and Starfields don’t NEED amplification, but I think both would benefit from it.

Anyways, I’m looking for something small that I can use to drive those cans with Spotify at 320 kbps (CD Hi-fi soon!) from an iPhone 12, MacBook Air and Lenovo ThinkPad laptop. I’m trying to stay at $150 USD or lower. I want something that doesn’t color the sound that much and has low noise, enough power to drive some hungrier cans I may buy in the future.

I’m not wed to either the dongle or small, portable box form factor. Bluetooth capability isn’t essential, either, but would be nice. Here are the models I’m considering, and why:

iFi Hip: Excellent reviews from numerous professional and consumer sources. The ability to run balanced, if desired. But not as truly portable as a dongle. Will need to buy USB-to-Lightning adapter cable or Apple Camera Connector to use with iPhone. No app. Most expensive on list.

Zorloo Ztella: Good reviews from numerous professional and consumer sources. Love the small form factor and that you can buy with Lightning adapter. Can’t run balanced, though. No app. Moderate price.

Tempotec Sonata HD Pro: Good reviews from numerous professional and consumer sources. Cheapest price on list. Love the small form factor and that you can buy with Lightning adapter. Quality control problems reported, though. No app. Enough power for higher-impedance cans?

Qudelix 5K: Excellent reviews from numerous professional and consumer sources. The ability to run balanced, if desired. Plenty of power. Great app with parametric EQ. Will need to buy USB-to-Lightning adapter cable or Apple Camera Connector to use with iPhone. Does Bluetooth work that well with AAC – iPhones don’t have LDAC. A bit quirky with setup? Toward the high end in price.

Which of these models do you think would suit me best, all things considered? Any other models I should consider?

Thanks for your help!

Lotoo PAW S1 small balanced and versatile :+1:

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