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shmee's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 week ago
Joined: Jun 14 2015 - 5:26pm
USB DAC Recommendations in the $250 - $350 range


I've been doing some research on some headphone amps and while I may have a direct in, I will likely use USB DAC a good amount of the time at work. It's so easy to get overwhelmed with all the options these days.

While I would love a good quality amp, my budget is within the $250 - $350 range. It doesn't need to be portable as I will probably never move it. I prefer one that operates off of a power supply versus one that I have to charge the battery all the time. I will be using my Philips Fidelio L1 full-size open headphones with the amp.

I am currently leaning toward JDS Labs O2+ODAC Combo. In looking at the Wall of Fame, I see the Leckerton UHA-6S MKII, but it appears to be out of production. The Bottlehead Crack is outside of my comfort zone in terms of DIY. I have heard ones talking about HeadAmp's Pico as well.

Any recommendations that you can provide would be much appreciated!


Gibsonmac's picture
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jun 17 2015 - 11:16am
The SCHIIT audio Modi2 usb

The SCHIIT audio Modi2 usb DAC with the Vali tube hybrid amp will be a MUCH better setup for you and keep you under the $350 mark. The Bottlehead would not be a very good amp for you, as straight tube amps are generally best suited for 300ohm or higher headphones, but if you are into the tube warmth a hybrid would be right up your alley.

But honestly look into the Schiit audio lineup, they make INCREDIBLE amps and DAC's that generally compete with gear 2-3x their price.

indrel's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: May 27 2013 - 7:25am
ifi micro idac2

The iDAC2 looks promising;

and the free sampler that Sound Liaison has provided for the introduction campaign are great test files for any DAC; 3 files in 3 different formats, DSD, PCM and FLAC,
great for auditioning any DAC that you might want to check out. or

cotak100's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Aug 7 2015 - 10:00am
O2+ODAC is my vote

It's reasonably priced, can drive most cans, and you know it's good.

Really why think about anything else?

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