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Amp for Hifiman Sundara

Misguided

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Hi

Up until now I was using a Topping NX4 DSD but I would like to buy a desktop amp. I dont really see myself using anything harder to drive than my Sundaras, I may at some point buy some Sennheiser HD600 or similar but nothing in the hard to drive range.

I've been looking at at few different Amps am I correct in thinking that as long as it can drive the Sundaras and provides a distortion free sound within the audible range there is nothing really in it? I'm looking at the JDS Atom, Topping L30, Schitt Magni, Sabaj A10 or Ifi Zen Can Air. I have also been looking at an Amp / DAC combo such as Topping DX3+, SMSL C200 or Fiio K7 as there is a bit more functionality.

I don't need a DAC, I'm not against it but the majority of the sound will be coming via a 3.5mm from my Xbox Series X for now at least.

As my headphone ambitions are fairly low will any Amp with a good clean sound that will drive them do a good a job as the best amp I could afford. For example I know the Topping L30 is the best out of the above list but will it sound any different to me from the Sabaj A10 or SMSL C200.

Also on another forum I read there is a lot of promotion of balanced outputs when driving planars, I know you get extra power and lower interference with balanced but the same outcomes can be achieved unbalanced, I didn't think there was anything else to it but if anyone does know otherwise please say.

Thanks in advance.
 
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IAtaman

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Hello. Despite the username you have chosen, your take on what you need seems to be well-guided. Any of the amps you mentioned will be fine and the chances that they will sound any different that will effect your experience is very slim if any. You can not go wrong with JDS or L30 or SMSL or K7.
 
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M

Misguided

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Thanks, I am leaning toward the SMSL to be honest but I do like the K7. I think the Amp / Dac combination may prove to be more useful in the longer run for not a huge amount extra.

The name is based on my gamer tag which is also based on a childhood nickname I had. Long story but I use the name a lot on forums and games.
 

Dunring

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I'd go with a Topping l30 ii which I use as a daily driver with an E50 DAC on optical. For gaming the silent noise floor is a huge advantage, and plenty of power for the headphones you mention. On my He5se and Ananda they sound great, same with the hd6xx and hd660s I have currently.
 
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Misguided

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I do like the Topping but it’s £150 and for £50 more I can get the SMSL C200 or for about £50 less a couple of the other amps. I know you get what you pay for and the quality of the Topping is by far the best but will I notice a difference with just my Sundaras?
 
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Misguided

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Hi. Thought I’d update. I bought at SMSL HO100 Amp from Amazon today, it was on sale at just £104.30. It should be absolutely fine with my Sundaras and is very reasonably priced plus I can use the RCA input for the Xbox sound and add a balanced DAC later using the XLR.

I would have gone for the SMSL C200, there was an open box on there for £150 which was an absolute bargain but it doesn’t have analogue in which I need and I don’t think Microsoft will allow the USB audio as they only allow it for officially licensed products.

Thanks very much for the advice.
 
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