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DAC AMP Headphones / recommendation medium portability

Joined
May 15, 2019
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#1
Hi guys,
Very interesting forum indeed. I am new to this and there is so many options to choose from. I have SR80 Grado and Shure Se125 IEMs as my headphones. Portability and easy setup would be a nice since i go to work to different offices and i can carry around.

I heard good things of Schiit, FiiO, Topping and JD Labs

A) Fulla 2 Shiit - U$D 99.-
Pro:
small, good price, all in one, many ports.
Cons:
Some people says it does some Quality Control issues (knob, hissing) and the sound is just so, so. Nothing gonna blow your mind. U$D 99.-

B) FiiO E10K or K3 - between U$D 75 and 110.-
Pro:
Good all around system. Small and portable
Cons:
Some hissing noise.

C) O2 + sdac dac/amp / U$D 150.-
Pro:
Good quality sound
Cons:
More pricey than Fulla 2. Acording to Z reviews it is a mess to hook up. I don´t know if that right tough.

Topping supposed to be very good too but cannot find DAC / AMP together at reasonable price.

What would you suggest? Maybe other piece or setup?

Thanks for your help!
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
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#2
D) JDS Lab Atom $99
Pro:
* measures better than Schiiit Fulla, Fiio , O2. More powerful. Can power most demanding cans.
* low output impedance for your IEMs - No need for iFi IEMatch adapter or anything, no static noise.
Cons: Lack of inputs but none of those you list have inputs.


As for DAC, JDS Ol Dac should be fine, as should SDAC be.
 

maxxevv

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#3
If its to be plugged into a laptop / notebook, you can consider the Sabaj Da3. More than enough power for your needs (via its 2.5mm TRRS balanced output) and it just needs a USB-C cable. Its about US$100/- give and take a few dollars if there is / isn't a sale on Aliexpress / Amazon.

And its smaller than all of the above listed.

Amir has done a review of it too.
 
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#4
D) JDS Lab Atom $99
Pro:
* measures better than Schiiit Fulla, Fiio , O2. More powerful. Can power most demanding cans.
* low output impedance for your IEMs - No need for iFi IEMatch adapter or anything, no static noise.
Cons: Lack of inputs but none of those you list have inputs.


As for DAC, JDS Ol Dac should be fine, as should SDAC be.
Thanks for the fast reply!
JDS looks quite good. I will have to buy a DAC separately, right? maybe reduce some portability. Any other tip in a whole DAC / Amp combo? I will mostly connected with my laptop.

Cheers,
 
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#5
If its to be plugged into a laptop / notebook, you can consider the Sabaj Da3. More than enough power for your needs (via its 2.5mm TRRS balanced output) and it just needs a USB-C cable. Its about US$100/- give and take a few dollars if there is / isn't a sale on Aliexpress / Amazon.

And its smaller than all of the above listed.

Amir has done a review of it too.
Thanks!
Looks quite interesting. How about the sound and quality? Where i can look for Amir review?
 

Veri

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#7

maxxevv

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#8
Honestly isn't the Fiio K3 slightly more attractive? Again, with a 2.5mm balanced cable it has less noise better performance and double power, just like da3. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...iew-and-measurements-of-fiio-k3-dac-amp.6859/

Also very (trans)portable.
Are you sure about the noise part ?

Although not directly comparable, but half an Order of magnitude better for the Da3 ? (jitter seems pretty comparable)





And Does the K3 actually have that much power over the Da3? Amir seems to have tested it using its single ended output. Since he never indicated which one he used.
 
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#10
Are you sure about the noise part ?

Although not directly comparable, but half an Order of magnitude better for the Da3 ? (jitter seems pretty comparable)





And Does the K3 actually have that much power over the Da3? Amir seems to have tested it using its single ended output. Since he never indicated which one he used.
So it is way more powerfull than Fulla Schiit?
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
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#11
Thanks for the fast reply!
JDS looks quite good. I will have to buy a DAC separately, right? maybe reduce some portability. Any other tip in a whole DAC / Amp combo? I will mostly connected with my laptop.

Cheers,
As I said, JDS Ol dac + JDS Lab Atom. Which is $200. The SDAC is also worth it. But I'd go full JDS.
If you have the money and want desktop, go for this, you'll next upgrade will need to be something in the 1-2k price range.
If you buy one of the other things you mentionned, your next upgrade could be the Atom, as it outperforms it's own price range.


I see you mention the Fiio K3. I was looking for a portable DAC/Amp and I got the Topping NX4 DSD.
$110 from China or something. Very well regarded there. Similar format to Fiio Q1 Mark 2 and others.
The Topping NX4 DSD measured extremly well as DAC unit.

For my most power demanding headphone, I still prefer the Atom. (subjective)
 

Tircuit

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#12
Not sure how portable you need, but the Atom has a heavy power supply, so isn't ideal for cafe hopping with a laptop.

Great amp though. I use it at home. As already said, low impedance+high power means it can work with most headphones.

The Xtreme Pro is small, cheap, tests well, and is what I use on my laptop: https://www.amazon.com/XtremPro-X1-...=usb+amp+dac&qid=1557946005&s=gateway&sr=8-20

I've had good luck with Topping and FIIO products too. No issues with noise.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
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Location
California
#13
Hi guys,
Very interesting forum indeed. I am new to this and there is so many options to choose from. I have SR80 Grado and Shure Se125 IEMs as my headphones. Portability and easy setup would be a nice since i go to work to different offices and i can carry around.
I heard good things of Schiit, FiiO, Topping and JD Labs
Topping supposed to be very good too but cannot find DAC / AMP together at reasonable price.
What would you suggest? Maybe other piece or setup?
Thanks for your help!
Topping DX3 Pro
https://drop.com/buy/topping-dx3-pro
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
62
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19
Location
California
#14
Hi guys,
Very interesting forum indeed. I am new to this and there is so many options to choose from. I have SR80 Grado and Shure Se125 IEMs as my headphones. Portability and easy setup would be a nice since i go to work to different offices and i can carry around.
C) O2 + sdac dac/amp / U$D 150.-
Pro:
Good quality sound
Cons:
More pricey than Fulla 2. Acording to Z reviews it is a mess to hook up. I don´t know if that right tough.
Thanks for your help!
So far I've heard any know issue about the O2/ASDAC issues.
But check out Head-fi website forum.
 
Joined
May 15, 2019
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#16
As I said, JDS Ol dac + JDS Lab Atom. Which is $200. The SDAC is also worth it. But I'd go full JDS.
If you have the money and want desktop, go for this, you'll next upgrade will need to be something in the 1-2k price range.
If you buy one of the other things you mentionned, your next upgrade could be the Atom, as it outperforms it's own price range.


I see you mention the Fiio K3. I was looking for a portable DAC/Amp and I got the Topping NX4 DSD.
$110 from China or something. Very well regarded there. Similar format to Fiio Q1 Mark 2 and others.
The Topping NX4 DSD measured extremly well as DAC unit.

For my most power demanding headphone, I still prefer the Atom. (subjective)
Thanks for the tip!
The JDS Ol dac + JDS Lab Atom looks like a great combo. And $200 for both units seems a good deal for desktop, indeed.

Topping NX4 DSD. $110 from China or something.
It around $175 everywhere i look. Too close to the JDS combo which i believe is more sound, power and bang for your bucks. I am not sure anymore.
 
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Nov 27, 2018
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Location
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#17
just curious, which is the difference between Topping MX3 and DX3 model? Are they both DACS and Head Amps. The DX3 cost twice the first one.
By the way, is it safe to buy in Ali Express? Where do you guys gets most of your audio stuff?
I know very little about the Topping MX3, but it appears the DX3 Pro is more about audio quality (dual DAC chips).
I've bought from AliExpress, no complaints.
 
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May 15, 2019
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#18
Hi guys!
Thanks for the very good suggestions. I did learn quite a bit in this post.

So, it is settle. For Desktop DAC/AMP, i will go for the

A) JDS Ol dac + JDS Lab Atom in case i can get it at a reasonable price to my country. I live in Argentina, so until came to my home the cost might double. Something that not happens if the product came from China.

B) Topping MX3, which looks good (maybe not as good as the JDS Lab combo) but i can buy it easily from Ali Express at a reasonable shipping cost to my country. The DX3 combination.

To be honest the JDS Lab is the way i would like to go. I hope it turn out ok in shipping cost.

Best,
 
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