What am I missing out on?

Hi all, I own the SMSL SU-8 version 2, Geshelli Erish and Focal Elex, along with balanced cables from Hart Audio Cables. I love my stack and headphones. Like almost all the time, sound quality will depend on how it was recorded at the studio. That said, I was astounded after listening to a 16bit 44.1khz song, it was Glad You’re Here by Macy Gray. Some albums it’s hard to tell the difference. I also liked When I Fall in Love by Michael Buble at 24bit 96khz. Vocals were very clear, and yes, it doesn’t have the best Soundstage in the world but it it’s very very decent!

Now, I’ve read online from some people (can’t find link) that the su8 is an “ok” dac. Am I overthinking this? If I want to stay within that price range, would I see a vast improvement if I had another dac, amp, or headphones? Like I said I love the sound, but I have nothing to compare it to as I haven’t tried other things with this friggin covid. I don’t want to be loving an item if a few weeks later I think to myself I could have gotten something even a bit better at around the same price point, or a $100 more.

Enjoy your setup! It already sounds like you are too.

Next time, don’t read reviews after you have purchased the item. Otherwise, you’ll always be second guessing yourself. I’d ask for advice you aren’t sure about buying A vs. B before the purchase.

It’s the worst to feel buyer’s remorse, so definitely enjoy what you have.


It’s unlikely you’ll hear any substantial, if even noticeable difference, if you upgraded to a $350 DAC. If you got different a amp and headphones, you’d have a different sound but it def wouldn’t be a “vast improvement”. The Elex and Erish are both good.

It’s always recommended to start out with cheaper stuff so you can make a more informed decision when purchasing more expensive stuff. Anyway, your next purchase should definitely be another headphone, rather than an amp or DAC.


It gets better, it gets more expensive. If someone told you the best sound you could get from an audio chain was what you had now would you be happy? There’s a lot more out there but you’re at probably the sweet spot as far as value is concerned.

Before you start throwing money at things though, find out what you really want sonically as an improvement.

There’s also a lot you may be leaving on the table depending on your source, a clean clock signal and good linear power supplies help quite a bit and you wouldn’t have to change a thing, but you’d gain a good bit of benefit.

1 Like

If you really want more, you have to make substantial jumps in price. Stay in your happy place and save money for more substantial purchases in the future.

1 Like

Thanks a lot guys. I asked since I just bought everything a few days a go and I’m still within the return period. I will stick with what I have. I will keep my Elex and maybe down the road I will purchase the LCD-X. I’M STILL A HAPPY GUY NONETHELESS!

Elex is a damn good headphone… Spend time with it and verify that is the sound you like… When you are ready just come on back and ask… Their are so many extremely helpful people here to guide you down the rabbit hole hahaha!! When you find that just right sound, It is Valhalla to say the least.


I’m very happy with this community. They’ve helped me tremendously. I’ll stick around :grin:


Remember that the first jump is always the biggest. How things hit your ears, how they are placed, how things make you turn around because you could swear that sound was behind you.

Does it get better? Yes. But not the big jumps you have made without huge cost. i would suggest giving it 2-4 months with what you have and see if you still have the itch or youre happy and what you have sinks into your normal day. Spend this time figuring out what flavor you like, and dont rule out thst you may already be there.