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Help looking for a portable AMP/DAC without a battery

michty_me

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Aug 24, 2021
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Morning all,

I'm looking for a portable Amp/dac that does not contain a battery to replace my Soundblaster G3.
I currently have the G3 bundled with my laptop bag to power some HD560s and K702 headphones however I feel it is a bit lacking power wise. I did own a G6 previously on my desktop but thought I would try something else other than Sound blaster stuff.

I've been recommended the ifi hip dac a few times but the issue I have with it is the battery due to the nature of my work. The flight company gets a bit funny with batteries in things like this or airpod type containers. Oddly they are ok with laptop batteries. That and the recommendations of it aren't too hot on here.

Anyway, Ideally I would like something with the following:

A good bit of power behind it to do fussy headphones when needed
USB-C connection
Mic input support
Preferably no battery
Good sound staging/imaging/detail

Any recommendations or is this a unicorn item?
 

twsecrest

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Schiit Fulla 4 USB dac/amp.
Needs two USB connections, one for signal and one for power.
 
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michty_me

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Schiit Fulla 4 USB dac/amp.
Needs two USB connections, one for signal and one for power.

See, I was always intrigued by this and wanted to give one a try however, there appears to be a good few issues with them currently.
My brother offered me back my old Soundblaster G6 but still considering the Fulla, Which is better?
 

twsecrest

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See, I was always intrigued by this and wanted to give one a try however, there appears to be a good few issues with them currently.
My brother offered me back my old Soundblaster G6 but still considering the Fulla, Which is better?
Different beasts, CL SB G6 offers a lot of options, so power is spread over many functions.
Where as the Fulla only really has to power the DAC chip and headphone amplifier.
But if the G6 is free, might as well just use it.
 
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michty_me

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Different beasts, CL SB G6 offers a lot of options, so power is spread over many functions.
Where as the Fulla only really has to power the DAC chip and headphone amplifier.
But if the G6 is free, might as well just use it.

Apologies, I think I got confused between the Fulla E and the Hel 2E, I think it would possibly be the Hel 2E I would be looking to purchase which I believe is more powerful than the Fulla.
I'll probably use the G6 for now but wouldn't mind something else down the road to play about with really. Something to replace the G3 and keep the G6 at home as a backup.
 

twsecrest

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Apologies, I think I got confused between the Fulla E and the Hel 2E, I think it would possibly be the Hel 2E I would be looking to purchase which I believe is more powerful than the Fulla.
I'll probably use the G6 for now but wouldn't mind something else down the road to play about with really. Something to replace the G3 and keep the G6 at home as a backup.
AKG K702 like a lot of juice, so Schiit Hel makes sense.
 
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michty_me

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Thanks! I'll possibly look at purchasing one. I'll probably use the G6 until these become available in the UK due to what seems like a higher returns rate fo the original Hel 2. I wouldn't like to be paying returns costs from the UK to the USA.
 

jameswilson

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How portable are you talking? Are you looking to use your phone as the source or a laptop?

I feel like the mic input support is really going to hinder your options... I don't think the Hip Dac has mic support, but even if it did, I have one and I wouldn't recommend it. The battery life is garbage and you can't allow it to draw power from your phone... I've got a 10 year old Fiio K17 (battery powered) that will let you charge from the phone lol... tangent aside, it also doesn't sound nearly as good as my Tempotec HD Sonata Pro or Lotoo PAW S1. Both of which are some of the best options available, excluding mic support.

I'd definitely try something other than Soundblaster stuff.
 
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michty_me

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How portable are you talking? Are you looking to use your phone as the source or a laptop?

I feel like the mic input support is really going to hinder your options... I don't think the Hip Dac has mic support, but even if it did, I have one and I wouldn't recommend it. The battery life is garbage and you can't allow it to draw power from your phone... I've got a 10 year old Fiio K17 (battery powered) that will let you charge from the phone lol... tangent aside, it also doesn't sound nearly as good as my Tempotec HD Sonata Pro or Lotoo PAW S1. Both of which are some of the best options available, excluding mic support.

I'd definitely try something other than Soundblaster stuff.
I'm looking for something fairly portable. Potentially a couple of inches by a couple of inches and preferably powered by USB. The laptop will be the source.

The mic input support will be the limiting factor but is quite a requirement due to the amount of teams calls I make daily when travelling. The less clutter the better hence ideally wanting to be able to have it all in one.

iFi confirmed to me that the hipdac has no mic input function so I've crossed that off the list.

As long as the device should be able to power some AKG K702 to reasonable levels with a decent DAC (Better than the Soundblaster at least) then I should be happy!
 
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