Dan Clark Audio Stealth - Flagship Closed-Back Headphones

Okay. Care to be more specific. I’m generally very interested in these headphones, so I’d appreciate what your findings are. :slight_smile:
Thank you.

I can’t recall everything, but “current hungry” never came up. Yes, they do benefit from better amplification, like most headphones, but not that they needed serious power to wake up. I read that a lot about the Susvaras, for example.

DCA Stealth or HEDDphone one are almost in the same league => monstrous power hungry headphones and probably among the most juice demanding headphones on the market…
I would say that almost more than 2x3W at 32 ohms is more or less required to avoid most of the clippings for “demanding” music (it’s very easy to test in a few seconds with “Cradle to the grave” track from Max Richter on “hostiles” album)
Definitely, such type of headphones have too low sensitivity for a lot of amps (at least portable)… I noticed that most of portable amps and Daps can’t provide, for low impedance headphones, enough current at this sensitivity level.
So, with what I tried these last 2 years (since I own an HEDDphone One)
A&K Kann Alpha (12V), FIIO M11, Sony WM1A , Hiby R6Pro => All Failed,
Centrance M8V2 => Failed, though at a low volume level it’s not clipping that much,
Xduoo XC-05 => Failed,
iFi MQ1S-2.5mm => Failed, (same with the former version 4.4mm)

Monolith THX887 => passed (not clipping and providing amazing details, dynamics and speed for impressive low frequencies kicks)
FIIO M17 => passed (impressive results as a DAP, but can be even better and reach a very good SQ level as a desktop device with a ifi ipower Elite DC 12V4A)
LESS Bx2+ => passed (very good SQ, but too bulky, so it’s a real pain to use on a portable way)

Basically, I am not really talking about increasing SQ, speed and dynamics, that such types of headphones is able to provide when they are correctly feeded => but, I just make reference to the terrific and frequent clipping which is unbearable when you listen to music !!!

They require nearly as much power as my Susvara and by nearly I mean the Volume knobs are nearly identical on both headphones (within a micrometer of each other) with the rest of the chain being the same. They are some of the most inefficient lowest impedance cans available, but they sound GREAT when properly amped!

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IMO, an external amp for stealth should be a given. While the bartok amp seems subjectively passable in reviews it doesnt handle high current scenarios very well, and stealth actualy need even more current than susvara. As for actual amp recommendations, that obviously comes down to budget

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My initial findings but gave only had a few hours to listen and compare.

These are quite current hungry HP, just made and A-B-C comparison

A - Chord Hugo 2 - Sounds good and worthy as a travel/transportable companion

B - Chord Hugo 2 to AHB2 with and HE-6 adapter - Sounds fantastic

C - Chord TT2/MS - Sounds very good

D - to be continued, I need to check Chord TT2/MS to AHB2 with and HE-6 adapter but need to re-arrange and move things to same room and to much work right now.

E - Chord TT2/MS from the 2 x 3 pin XLR in the back of the TT2, but need to buy a cable to do this so will have to wait as well…

These headphones do need a bit of power to sound its absolute best…

But I would not turn down using a CH2 just because but it does benefit with more power…

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I heard this on a Hugo TT2, and much like the Ether 2 this is one of my favorite pairings. Definitely give them some low output z juice.

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I’ve been messing around with covering up the ports on different songs to see what their effect is. The biggest thing I have noticed is their effect on bass frequencies. For example, when I listen to 32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco, the bass drum and bass guitar are very prominent on the Stealth, especially the bass drum; you feel its impact. When I cover up the ports, though, the prominence of those instruments and the impact of the drum disappears. Kinda neat! The other frequencies seem largely untouched (at least audibly).

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Closing the ports on the Stealth lowers your impact since that way you introduce unwanted reflections of sounds.