Question Amp+dac or amp/dac for AKG 712 pro (first time buyer) ~230€ budget

leyo96

Reputable
Dec 10, 2016
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Hello,
I just ordered my first pair of real headphones and now I need a Dac and Amp or a dac/amp combo for them. I currently have a bad 25€ amp/dac from amazon for my Sennheiser Momentum.

Ideally my budget would be 200€, I spent 160€ for the headphones, I don't really want to spend way more for the dac and amp. If it's really really worth it I could go up to something like 260€, but not really above that.

Thank you for your help!
 

leyo96

Reputable
Dec 10, 2016
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Ok so these days I carefully made a list with all the amps, dacs amp/dacs that I was suggested, with their price and shipping time. It took me a while :sweatsmile:
I hope you can help me having all my options in front of you.
Thank you a lot!

Edit: Added xDuoo TA-01B and JDS Labs Element 1, clarified that the Topping DX3 pro is v2

Edit 2: Added Creative Sound BlasterX G6 at 160€, I could get a discount on the Beresford Caiman SEG, added a 10€ cheaper Topping D10 option but w/ longer shipping


DAC
  • Schiit Modi 3:
    • 139€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)
    • 128€ + probably taxes= ̴ 178€ // 1-week (schiit USA)
  • Topping D10:
    • 109€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay UK) [no optical in]
    • 99€ // 3-4 weeks (Topping Audio EU) [no optical in]
  • SMSL m100: 91€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay Germany)
  • Topping E30: 143€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)
  • Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100: 148€ // 4-5 days (Ebay IT)
  • Topping D30: 111€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)
AMP
  • JDS Labs Atom Amp: 123€ + probably taxes= ̴ 172€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Magni 3+:
    • 139€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)
    • 128€ + probably taxes= ̴ 178€ // 1-week (schiit USA)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box S: 95€ // 1 week (Ebay IT)
  • Topping A50: 184€ // in a week (Audiophonics.fr)
DAC/AMP
  • Aune X1s 10th Anniversary Edition: 209€ + possibly taxes= ̴ 286€ // 1 month (AliExpress)
  • Topping DX3 pro v2: 220€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • xDuoo XD-05: 217€ // 10-25 days (Banggood)
  • FiiO K5PRO: 180€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • iFi ZEN DAC: 150€ // 3-4 weeks (Amazon)
  • Fostex HP-A3: 293€ // 2-4 days (Thomann)
  • Beresford Caiman SEG: 236€ (I could get a discount) // 5-10 days (Home HiFi)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box Digital S2: 245€ // 1-2 weeks (SoloMusicaOnline)
  • JDS Labs Objective2+ODAC combo RevB: 291€ + probably taxes= ̴ 391€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs) [no optical in]
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Red: 163€ // 6-11 days (Ebay IT)
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt: 260€ // 6 days (Ebay IT)
  • xDuoo TA-01B: 179€ // 3-4 weeks (Ebay USA)
  • JDS Labs Element 1: 160€ // 1 week (USED 2 years – Reddit, from Slovakia) [no optical in]
  • Creative Sound BlasterX G6: 160€ // 1 week (Amazon)
DAC+AMP STACK
  • JDS Labs OL DAC usb + optical & JDS Labs Atom Amp: 257€ + probably taxes= ̴ 347€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Modi 3 & Schiit Magni 3+:
    • 268€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)
    • 228€ + probably taxes= ̴ 311€ // 1-week (schiit USA)
RCA CABLES (X2)
  • Handmade Van Damme cable w/ Monster connector: 20€ // 1-4 weeks (Ebay UK)
 
Last edited:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Without you trying the setup all people can do is list the same thing you listed to try, any of them are good options to try. iFi Zen is great for the price and you may not be able to tell any difference between that and the higher priced models.

Your headphones are 62ohm, you don't even need a power amp to run them properly, although having one may give you a bit of an improvement, usually there is a feeling of a more open soundstage with a nice amp.

For audio you are really asking "what should I try FIRST" instead of "what am I going to keep forever". You will always be wondering how another setup sounds, it's not likely you will stick with one amp or dac over the course of owning those headphones. And you will probably be looking to try other headphones as well.

I have 4 sets of headphones, two sets of IEMs, and a set of studio monitor speakers, using a $60 FX-Audio X6 with them all, that thing works just fine, runs my speakers off the line out with plenty of power for my headphones. You can even get one of those and would be perfectly happy with how it sounds if you want to start on the cheaper side, with the low power needs of the headphones you can do pretty much anything you feel like doing and still be just fine for quality.
 
Last edited:

anort3

Titan
Moderator
Your headphones are 62ohm, you don't even need a power amp to run them properly, although having one may give you a bit of an improvement, usually there is a feeling of a more open soundstage with a nice amp.
Nope. The K712 is the hardest to drive pair of headphones I own. Harder than the HD600/HD650 or the DT1990 Pro. And I think he bought a JDS Atom. :)
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Nope. The K712 is the hardest to drive pair of headphones I own. Harder than the HD600/HD650 or the DT1990 Pro. And I think he bought a JDS Atom. :)
They are listed at 62 ohm, even factoring that is not the only thing that determines how much power they need, it seems very odd that they can't be run off even onboard sound. I can run the HD 58X Jubilee Sennheisers off my onboard sound that that is double the ohm rating.
 

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