Class D amplifiers for Headphones

O.K I own the IFI signature DAC/HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER. (similar to the black label) What is Torq’s-take or others on how the Tungsten or DAN CLARK E3 would pair. If I also threaded the IFI to the receiver? Could it fix some of the power requirements needed for either of those headphones? What price level, makes the most impact on something like the TUNGSTEN?(in terms of extracting the most of sound quality) And yes, I’m sure that the signature probably can not power that headphone. I know of thousands of songs ranging in genres. The Arya v2 (I have) sounds great on the AVR alone. without the use of the IFI signature. My issues are that I’m chasing after a setup that is engaging and tonally correct. (without harshness) Is there a setup that has smooth sound characteristics and inclusion of rhythm that is fulfilling at a affordable price? Rarely do I hear about the genres and commercial song titles that pair perfectly with A B or C setups. Thanks!!! :small_blue_diamond:

I have no idea which product that is. You’ll need to give me a link to it, or I can’t answer.

When I don’t understand here is why you are so intent on using the receiver at all. As useful as a Swiss Army knife is, it’s not always the right tool for the job. And the Denon isn’t a Swiss Army knife.

However, in true reality, a stereo receiver is also a dessert topping and a floor wax too.


Like you, I saw that the night it first came on.


O.K pennstac Do you have an opinion on IFI signature dac/amps. Because I’m thinking that Ferrum OOR W/DAC > fIIO K7 > And a couple of others have let me down…What is an ultimate setup which won’t? Try and be sensible…when price is the key. Anyone who has something that defines all genres and checks all the boxes? PLEASE. :large_blue_diamond:

If you can’t tell us WHICH model you’re talking about, it’s all pointless.

“IFI signature dac/amps” could be any of a bunch of models, since they don’t have one specifically called that … and the things that could be fit among those terms range anywhere from $200 to $3,000+.

Either be specific, or stop asking.

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iFi Micro iDSD Signature Transportable DAC and Headphone Amp I HAVE NOW COPIED AND PASTED THIS INFORMATION<

That iFi DAC/Amp is pretty nice, it’s got significantly more power than my iFi xDSD which was sold in the same period. I have not heard that model, but @Lothar_Wolf speaks well of it, and says it shares the iFi house sound as does mine.

Based on its ratings it would be a much better match for most headphones. I found that my iDSD is a little weak for power hungry high impedance headphones including the HD-6xx, which your model should drive well. I can’t speak to the headphones you are considering but @Torq can. By the way, you sound frustrated, it’s not worth letting the process of finding the right chain be annoying, it’s learning and discovery.

If for you as for me, price is an obstacle, learn to be happy with a solution that is 95% of what you want. Mostly.


Nope. That was before my time. I did see this one on first run:

However, it’s not really satire because many sauces are mostly corn syrup. Take away the color from BBQ sauce or the yellow from honey mustard and Karo is what’s left.

You can use this tool, one of several I created, to determine whether a given amplifier or DAC/amp has the power to properly drive a specific headphone. You just pick them from the lists provided, and it’ll do the rest.

Here’s what you get with the iFi micro iDSD Signature/Tungsten(DS):

What you’re looking for, at a basic level, is that the dB/SPL number for SPL w/ 20dB Headroom is at LEAST your normal, average, listening level. Easiest way to approximate that is to get an app for your phone and use it to measure how loud the output from your headphones is when listening normally (take them off, put the phone between the cups).

For me, that average level falls between 80 and 84 dB, so the iFi would just squeak in. However, personally, I like to see the Max SPL figure somewhere around 120 dB/SPL, as that means the amplifier isn’t running flat out (where performance tends to suffer a fair bit) to hit various musical peaks.

So, in this case, I wouldn’t personally pair this iFi unit with the Tungsten.

With the DCA E3 it’s a different matter entirely:

There’s plenty of headroom, and the amplifier isn’t going to be working that hard even when it hits the biggest, extended, peaks and crescendos.

NOW … regarding the iFi Micro iDSD Signature here … ALL of the calculations above are based on iFi’s quoted/claimed power output capability for this unit. However, it seems that with the Diablo and Diablo 2 (which seem to be very similar to the Micro iDSD Signature), those power claims are not using industry-standard RMS measures.

You should read what @GoldenSound has to say about this, here.

At the actual measured output power, using the standard RMS methodology, the Diablo and Diablo 2 have less than half their quoted power. If the power output for the Micro iDSD Signature is quoted using the same method, then it would fall well below what’s needed to properly drive the Tungsten.

I can’t say for sure without either iFi clarifying how they get their numbers for ALL their products (and then publishing numbers using an industry standard approach), or measuring them (which I’m not going to do - as I don’t have them available to measure and have better things to do with my time anyway).*

*I may pull all the iFi products from my tool. It assumes an industry standard RMS measurement to do its calculations. If that’s not how the quoted power numbers are derived then it is very misleading - and I don’t want my tools showing things will work for X or Y when the reality is they either won’t, or won’t work as well as they claim. And unfortunately I can’t just throw in what numbers I think should be there - that’s inviting way too much hassle. We’ll see if iFi can/will clarify if their other products are quoted the same way or not and go from there.