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Thread: USB headphone amps

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    Default USB headphone amps

    Hi all,

    I'd like to ask for some advice from you.

    I'd like a new USB headphone amp to replace my Fii0 Olympus that just failed.

    The Fii0 was far better than the 1/8" stereo out on my laptop, but not exactly riveting in terms of 'sound quality'-subjective as that may be.

    So...can you recommend a relatively budget friendly USB headphone amp to replace it with?

    Appreciate your insight,

    Jeremy

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    My solution is the cheapest "Schiit Stack", a Modi DAC and a Magni 3+ amp. Just over $200 with shipping. The sound is smooth, full, detailed and easy to listen to.

    I carry the 'lil stack back and forth between my home office, where I connect it to my laptop and a pair of HiFiMan HE-600s, and the basement where I hook it to my smartphone with a USB-C cable and a pair of Massdrop x NuForce EDCs for my workout soundtrack.

    BTW, the more I use those Massdrop earbuds the more I like them. $100.
    GO!

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    Thank you, that looks like a good suggestion.

    As a bonus, the RCA outs on the amp will be useful to me. I just placed an order, looking forward to listening to it.

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    Nice! I hope you like yours as much as I do.
    GO!

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    You can't currently beat the Schiit stuff for what they charge. It's full value, zero snake oil and I'm not sure how they make money on it. I love the Schiit DAC at my office. The next step up I've found is top quality pro audio interfaces. The components are very low noise and because of the economies of scale (way more units in pro audio than hi-fi home audio) the quality is better than any boutique stuff at double the price. My home setup is a Sound Devices USBPre2 and nothing comes close at 3x the price. And the bonus of a good mic/line input is handy.

    (also davids, glad you got and like the rogue audio preamp. don't want to necro the other thread...)

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    I got my 'stack' recently.

    Very nice indeed. I like what I am hearing.

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    You're very welcome, and I'm really happy you like the stack.

    I'm drinking the Schiit Kool-Aid for sure: I've got an Aegir power amp arriving next week and am thinking about a Bifrost to replace my 28 year old DAC.

    It's going to be a long winter in front of the stereo!
    GO!

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    Default Re: USB headphone amps

    This Aegir amp has been nearly magical in my system. Greater dynamics (both 'slam' and the finely graded moment-to-moment changes); better depth and separation; and subtlety & airiness. And I'm relieved that it's more than powerful enough for my speakers and room.

    I'm getting enough moments of true transparency - where my equipment disappears and I'm face-to-face with the music - that I'm thinking about what else I can do to get me more of that connection.

    I'm a happy boy here. The Aegir is some might good Schiit.
    GO!

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