recommendations for a good usb dac headphone amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-01-2014, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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My friend recommended the Benchmark Dac1 and used it is $600

But I cant justify even that cost as this is for those times when I want to use my system without bothering people.

My criteria are high res/audiophile, more than one headphone jack easy to use with my htpc.

Not adverse to used gear.

Thanks!

PS if there is a better section of the forum to post in feel free to point me that way smile.gif
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-01-2014, 10:43 PM
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Two headphone jacks?
That's going to be tough to find something of reasonable quality than the Benchmark for $600.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 12:35 AM
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Mind if I tag onto this thread? I use my Sennheiser 650s mostly for music but when I plug them directly into my Sony STR-Dn1000 headphone jack they sound anemic. Absolute garbage actually. The Benchmark is way out of my range. I'm searching for a DAC that has both a USB in (for direct laptop connection) and a stereo RCA in so that I can stereo pre-out from the receiver as well.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 02:12 AM
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I'm using the Fiio E9K + E17 combo and it works pretty well paired with my Macbook Pro Retina etc. For headphones I have it paired with the AKG Q701s and I also have a pair of B & W P7s. This combo makes the AKGs in particular sound much better since they are less efficient. The whole combo costs less than $250 and you also have a portable headphone amp as well.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 03:33 AM
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I don't know if this is still available but check it out,it may be what you are looking for.I'm just waiting for mine to be delivered any day now.
http://geek.lhlabs.com/geekout/
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtf612 View Post

Mind if I tag onto this thread? I use my Sennheiser 650s mostly for music but when I plug them directly into my Sony STR-Dn1000 headphone jack they sound anemic. Absolute garbage actually. The Benchmark is way out of my range. I'm searching for a DAC that has both a USB in (for direct laptop connection) and a stereo RCA in so that I can stereo pre-out from the receiver as well.

For low cost and decent sound how about the Audioquest Dragonfly?

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

For low cost and decent sound how about the Audioquest Dragonfly?

+1 for the AQ-you could always use a splitter
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!

Re: the AQ tangent I have heard nothing but good things about it and as far as price goes it is not too bad in the world of electronics where the sky is the limit. smile.gif Although, I have no personal experience with it.

I think in the sort term I may try this......

Marantz AV7005 --> http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=777&item_id=029446 ---> headphones

I happen to own that behringer micro amp from another application and I might do some A/B testing to see how headphones sound with signals from the marantz with and without the micro amp and also test to see how multiple headphones sound through the micro amp.

This would give me a short term fix. O

Long term I think I may just hold off and get a benchmark only because it does a few things that I could take advantage of..... for example I have an external sound card but it is old and only 16 bit. DAC1 is 24 bit which would allow me to transfer vinyl. The reason I am still leaning that way is that I have a feeling that the behringer micro amp will probably add a bit of noise to the signal and the point of this endeavour is fidelity.

I am somewhat surprised in the lack of dac/amps with two headphone jacks. Maybe recording studio dac/amps is the way to go as I could see the need for more than one jack in that situation.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Scratch that just learned that a DAC and ADC are two different beasts.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 08:46 AM
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ibasso do a few headphone amps/dac

www.ibasso.com

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

Jealous of my speakers?

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

For low cost and decent sound how about the Audioquest Dragonfly?

I'd lso need to use a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter. Not sure if that thing will drive the 650s well.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 09:44 PM
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Another option is the ODAC coupled with the Objective2 (the ODAC is a DAC only, while the O2 is a headphone amp). The two boxes are for portable use - the ODAC is USB powered while the O2C can run from built in rechargables.

They also sell it as a combined unit, but the limitation is that it requires AC power only - it cannot run from batteries. ODAC+O2.

A caveat is that both are by the "controversial" NwAvGuy who has riled up a few people because he calls a spade a spade and on other forums angered sponsors because he discovers their equipment is, well, junk.

The O2 is able to drive practically any headphones from 8-600 ohms.
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