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Hi folks,

 

I hope this hasn't been discussed elsewhere; if it has I'll be happy to move this discussion to another thread.

 

I'm currently looking for an affordable all-in-one headphone DAC/amp around $200. While I'm at it, it'd be great if this thread collects your recommendations in case others are seeking similar devices in future.

 

I currently own the Sabaj DA3 that works really well with my Oppo PM3; I'd like to try something different to it. I've read mixed reviews about the Ifi Zen DAC and there are a bunch of Chinese brands that operate in this price range.

 

What else is out there that I should consider?

 

Thanks!

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How some of Schiit offerings like the Schiit Fulla 3 or Magni/Modi.

 

Or maybe the usually suspects such as JDS or Mayflow o2 + odac, if you can find it used may be able to get around $200~

 

I even think the gaming dac/amps from Soundblaster sound alright such as the Soundblaster X3 and has a bunch of DSP features for gaming/music if you are into that sort of thing.

Edited by bruc3
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Have you looked at the Fiio range.  I have a little Fiio E10K  that is surprisingly good.  Many options under $200, just looking at Amazon now.

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3 hours ago, bruc3 said:

How some of Schiit offerings like the Schiit Fulla 3 or Magni/Modi.

 

Or maybe the usually suspects such as JDS or Mayflow o2 + odac, if you can find it used may be able to get around $200~

 

I even think the gaming dac/amps from Soundblaster sound alright such as the Soundblaster X3 and has a bunch of DSP features for gaming/music if you are into that sort of thing.


I'll check out the Schiit stuff again; last time I checked, it was above my price point (to get all in one DAC and amp; and the Fulla's reviews aren't flash). Will check out the JDS and Mayflow.

 

Thank you!

3 hours ago, aussievintage said:

Have you looked at the Fiio range.  I have a little Fiio E10K  that is surprisingly good.  Many options under $200, just looking at Amazon now.

 

I had the Fiio Q1 MkII which  was really underwhelming... will check out the E10K and see if I can commit to Fiio again ;)

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17 minutes ago, nowallet said:


I'll check out the Schiit stuff again; last time I checked, it was above my price point (to get all in one DAC and amp; and the Fulla's reviews aren't flash). Will check out the JDS and Mayflow.

 

Thank you!

 

I had the Fiio Q1 MkII which  was really underwhelming... will check out the E10K and see if I can commit to Fiio again ;)

 

Hmmm.  I had the earlier Q1.  I wouldn't say it was bad.   Oh well, take my opinion of the E10K with a grain of salt maybe?  I used it mainly as a DAC, not much for headphones.

Edited by aussievintage
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9 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

Hmmm.  I had the earlier Q1.  I wouldn't say it was bad.   Oh well, take my opinion of the E10K with a grain of salt maybe?  I used it mainly as a DAC, not much for headphones.

 

I don't think one can be too picky at this price range - so I realise I'm probably asking too much in terms of performance. The Sabaj DA3 I have is amazing for the $150 I spent on it; and now just want to try something else that punches above its weight in this class of DAC/amps :) I wonder how the Q1 sounds to me now... might take it out for a spin!

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If you haven't tried the older Objective O2 DAC / Amps I highly recommend them, they're still great today, clean and transparent. 

Topping gear is worth looking at as well.

I would look on Gumtree and eBay at their used items to get better value for your $200.

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Would also recommend the Fiio Q3. The balanced 4.4 out is actually quite powerful. 

I have it and love it. It's a great little device.

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