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<$150 desktop headphone amp options?

aether_tech

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I'm looking for a new headphone amp, my only requirement is that it has a 3.5mm or RCA input, any other features are a bonus, but not necessary. Preferably, the closer it is to a black or dark grey metal box, the better. Clean power, and clean sound is all I'm after in an amp, I'll let my headphones color it afterwards.

The headphones I will be using it for include : Verum One (gen 1,) 6XX, 58X, Elex, X2HR, Pro82, K533, and a few other dynamics.

I prefer something that is a little bit bigger, and heavier, to reduce sliding around. It will be a mostly permanent location. I haven't been keeping track of audiophile related tech and products for the last 3-4 years, but I have tried to do a little research. So far, I've got the IFi Zen Air CAN, FiiO K5 Pro, Schiit Magni Heretic and Magni+, and the SMSL SH-6 on my list of possibilities.

Suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated.
 

SiW

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Fiio K7 is great with balanced output as well.
 

Astoneroad

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staticV3

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From the US you have
-JDS Atom Amp+ (can be ordered with metal weights inside)
-Schiit Heretic
-Schiit Magni+

And from China there's:
-Topping L30 II
-SMSL SH-8s (order from Drop)
-SMSL HO100
-SMSL SH-6
-Sabaj A10h (order from Hifi-express)
-Sabaj A20h (order from Hifi-express)

Out of those, I would get the Topping
 

Joffy1780

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Wow, the numbers for the L30 II look almost magically good...
Not sure whether you are implying they are too good here? Phenomenal performance for the cost, I agree, and Topping produce this level of performance consistently.
As do SMSL to be fair to them also.
 

rentaclaus

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Recently I got a Schiit Magni+ as a gift. It sounds great, needless to say more.
Oh wait; if you intend to use the output as volume control e.g. for your active speakers, the RCA output depends on the gain switch, so it might be to high or to low ...
 
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Phorize

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aether_tech

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So, between the various forums and discords, the Magni+ seems to be winning out.
 

staticV3

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So, between the various forums and discords, the Magni+ seems to be winning out.
Plenty of subjective, placebo-fuelled opinions around that model ("Discrete>Integrated") with Schiit fanning the fire as well (somewhat).
I'm not saying it's a bad Amp though, just take the countless impressions and reviews that you find online with a heavy serving of salt, unless they come with measurements and/or a description of the blind listening test setup including confidence score.

The Heretic is the objectively better Amp of the two, though understandably, people want to believe there's more to it than just the numbers, which often reflects in their listening impressions.
 
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aether_tech

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Plenty of subjective, placebo-fuelled opinions around that model ("Discrete>Integrated") with Schiit fanning the fire as well (somewhat).
I'm not saying it's a bad Amp though, just take the countless impressions and reviews that you find online with a heavy serving of salt, unless they come with measurements and/or a description of the blind listening test setup including confidence score.
That describes every product pretty much universally...
 

Joffy1780

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That describes every product pretty much universally...
But the reviews on this site are solely objective. There is no hyperbole in Amir's reviews, just facts.
I'm assuming you've read the comparison between the Heretic and +
I would still go L30 II but between the 2 Schiits the Heretic is a clear winner.
 

Joffy1780

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Those are the old models. Schiit have since updated them both.

Out of the new pair, Amir has only measured the integrated model so far: Link
Though there are APx555 measurement reports of both versions on the website.
Apologies.
 

julian_hughes

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I'm looking for a new headphone amp, my only requirement is that it has a 3.5mm or RCA input, any other features are a bonus, but not necessary. Preferably, the closer it is to a black or dark grey metal box, the better. Clean power, and clean sound is all I'm after in an amp, I'll let my headphones color it afterwards.

The headphones I will be using it for include : Verum One (gen 1,) 6XX, 58X, Elex, X2HR, Pro82, K533, and a few other dynamics.

I prefer something that is a little bit bigger, and heavier, to reduce sliding around. It will be a mostly permanent location. I haven't been keeping track of audiophile related tech and products for the last 3-4 years, but I have tried to do a little research. So far, I've got the IFi Zen Air CAN, FiiO K5 Pro, Schiit Magni Heretic and Magni+, and the SMSL SH-6 on my list of possibilities.

Suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated.
I have the JDS Labs Atom and it drives the Sennheiser HD6xx very nicely, but physically it is lightweight and, yes, it can slide around the desk. On a tight budget and wanting something a bit more physically substantial I'd probably go with the latest Schiit Magni or Heresy model. Or some adhesive pads.
 
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