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Purchase advice for DAC / interface + headphone amp for driving Genelec 8030C and various headphones


New Member
Apr 16, 2021
Hi, I'm pretty new to speakers and non-budget audio in general. I purchased a pair of 8030C (or well, the newer but similar Genelec G three B's, but got them for the price of 8030s), and am now considering various options of upgrading my audio stack to be able to output to them in their full glory. For the speaker output probably a dac / interface with fine measurements and balanced output is what I want.

Besides the speakers, I would prefer my audio stack to be able to also drive my Beyerdynamic 250 OHM DT 990's (which are exceptionally challenging pair of phones to drive) and in the near future I might also be purchasing a pair of 6xx:s, which I would also like to be able to drive, but they probably work quite fine with any headphone output that can drive the 990s.

I've been reading a lot of Amir's reviews (and watching the youtube vods, big props to the vods for introducing me to Amir's style of doing sane audio reviews), and based on my current needs I have basically arrived at a couple options at differing price points and with different upgrade paths for the "future".

DAC's and interfaces that probably require a separate headphone amp:
Scarlett Solo (80€) / 2i2 (120-150€)
Motu M2 (120€) / M4 (200€)
Schiit Modius (200€)

Headphone Amp options:
Topping L30
Topping A30
JDS Labs Atom
Schiit Magni / Magni Heresy

Multifunction (I could avoid a headphone amp for at least some time):
Topping DX3 Pro (Pretty cheap for a good multifunction, but lacks balanced speaker output)
Topping DX7 DAC
Cambridge Audio DACMagic plus

So the actual question is, can anybody help me rule out some / lots of these options? I've spent a couple days looking at these options and feel like (since they all measure pretty well) I'll just roll a dice or decide by aesthetics / let the SO decide by aesthetics. (Altough I guess getting by with a single device would have some nice upsides so that maybe skews me a bit into the Multifunction direction.)

Right now looking at the options I think just a Topping DX7 looks like the best option. Is there something I'm missing?

Budget is basically "whatever gets the job done well". Which I guess is part of what makes deciding on this that much harder.


Senior Member
Nov 27, 2018
Technically your not driving the Genelec 8030C studio monitor, you connecting to them.
Some who read your post might get slightly confused about what your asking.
(but no big deal)

The DT990 250-Ohm headphones are fairly easy to drive (for 250-Ohm headphones).
Where as the 300-Ohm HD600/HD650/HD6XX really seem to do best with lots of voltage.
The Schiit Magnius looks like a good option, with a Modi DAC.
I like my Topping DX7s, is nice, but the USB is sometimes flaky and one channel on the balanced headphone jack does not work.
Back to using my Audio-GD NFB-11.28 DAC/amp.
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