General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!


I have an apple dongle and today I was in the middle “of a battle” with my better half because of it. So it’s time to get a redundancy.

Any good options in similar ballpark than above that one would like to suggest? Of course I saw a couple of alternatives, but proven experience is always better.

Budget would be up to 30 bucks. USB-C only, please. Application is podcasting. You know, something to hear at the gym, street running, etc.

Thanks much. Cheers. :beers:


That amazon one is unlikely to be a genuine Apple product. Possible, but unlikely.

It would still probably work for you just fine.

Alternatively, Monoprice generally makes solid cables. (Monoprice USB-C Digital to 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Adapter, Black - Not the best by any means, but usually quite reasonable for the price, and with good customer service. (And you can always upgrade to higher quality (and much more expensive) interconnect/adapter/cable later if you feel like you can hear the difference.)

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I can vouch that the Amazon one is indeed a genuine Apple product. I just bought one a few days ago, using that exact same link.


That’s probably your best bet then!

Welcome to the community @robur44

That is a lovely DAC (from what I’ve read, I haven’t heard it myself).

SS vs. tubes for the VC is entirely personal - if you like the tube sound and perhaps want the opportunity to tube-roll, then there are lots of possibilities. I’d start by looking at the ZMF Pendant, given it’s in your price range. Offerings from Feliks Audio are worth a look or for an increse in budget ampsandsound (they make the Pendant but have several other fine offerings under their own name) alongside Glenn, DNA, Pathos, among others, will be worthy considerations but for increased cost (unless you buy secondhand, which I’d personally advise).

It really comes down to what sound you’re looking for and what you’re looking to achieve e.g., you might prefer the EL84 over the EL34 tube or a KT88. Or you might love the lushness of 300B’s. Alternatively, you might be seeking a very neutral tube amp or perhaps even a hybrid (like a Pathos Aurium).

It’s a similar story with SS, what sort of sound are you looking for? Something ultra-clean sounding like a THX amp, a wire-with-gain approach or are you looking for SS with a little more character, colouration, warmth, sweetness vs neutrality. E.g., a THX amp might not be your cup of tea because you seek a little more warmth in the presentation etc.? You may consider Class A designs to be preferable to Class D for your needs.

You’re likely to get more helpful recommendations (and general responses) the more specific you can be about what you’re looking to acheive. In a room of 10 VC owners, they likely all have different rigs and slightly different objectives. Personally, I like a warmer signature in my gear, I’m not all that interested in neutrality (in a purest sense) and I tend to gravitate toward a more euphoric and holographic presentation but not an overdose of this. I dislike equipment that I perceive to be sibilant, treble-peaky, sterile, overly analytical, or digital/hard in character.

Part of the reason I like warmer gear is that I listen to a lot of poorly recorded or harsh sounding music - more than 60% of my music collection is metal of some form. So, a little warmth in my rig goes a long way to make my listening experience more enjoyable across my collection - which is my leading objective, to enjoy my collection, rather than be limited to styles or recordings of the higest order. Your objectives might be manifestly different to mine.

Having said all that, the collective opinion is that ZMF headphones love tubes. Zach himself is a big tube fan and ZMF sell a tube amp. So if you’re worried about ZMF headphones pairing with a tube amp, don’t be! ZMF headphones paired with a GOTL, Feniks, Woo Audio, ampsandsound, BHC, DNA, etc., the consensus is extremely positive.

You might also be better off in the official VC thread, where you can get the attention of owners: ZMF Vérité C - Closed-Back Dynamic Headphone - Official Thread


Done a little exploring, a lot choices and decisions to make. Moving from a cheap amp and Beyerdynamic mmx300 to Monoprice THX dac/amp with Hifiman Arya (with Corpse Cable XLR) sound pretty good together.

Back to the mention of running, I’ll never bring IEM’s running, I have a large laundry list of headphones I’ve destroyed running due to sweat except those beat 3 some how survive but I don’t always run with music cause I have a bad habit of turning up past what I need. (surprised my hearing is still good)

I have the Focal Clear inbound. I know many don’t suggest Topping A90/D90, it’s suppose to be in today, I’m on the fence of just sending it on it’s way instead of trying and paying the restocking fee. I also have the Bifrost 2 with Jot coming today. I have some fear that the Jot is aging technology and won’t sound as good as the THX amp, the Monoprice is growing on me and it’s 550, pretty light on the budget.

For giggles, I found locally a Dragonfly red that I tried with Hifiman Sundara. My Iphone barely powered the Sundara, so I kind of wanted to know what it would sound like if I wanted to listen to music at work. This is not a necessity although I’d have more time at work to list then anywhere else, I do quite a bit of a mix of desk work (sitting at a desk) and light physical work. I have a 256gb 12 pro max, kind of thinking with the right music service, that could be my hub for now for music.


That should do. Thanks.

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I posted this on the Focal Clear forum but haven’t gotten any responses, so I’m posting here as well: I use the Focal Clears with an android phone + mojo for classical music. I like the mobility this provides, as I like to listen in different rooms / walk around, etc. I need to replace, however, the focal cable which has failed yet a second time, and I’m wondering if there’s a better amp out there. I am looking for an upgrade would be that preserves that mobility while improving the SQ. It’s the only standalone amp/dac I’ve had. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hi, if you like the sound signature of the Mojo you can give a try to the If Micro iDsd Black Label or the Nano Black Label. The latter is more compact and less expensive but you loose the Xbass+ and 3D+ functions as well as a wider possibility of fine tuning your gain.
If you look for a different sound signature you can check the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt. Coming from Mojo I opted for the Cobalt for portability reasons and because it works with the battery of your device so you don’t have to mind about a second battery. The Cobalt isn’t power angry and drives the Clears quite well. @Resolve review:
To second the transparent sound of the Clears I prefer the Cobalt over the Red. You can chose the Red if you want a more materic, dense sound in order to change a little the tuning of the Clears.
Another @Resolve useful video here:
I hope this can help.

I forgot to mention the Ifi hip-dac. It is a smaller unit than the above suggested from If and you still have the xBass. It is a battery powered unit. You can check @Resolve review here:

How much do you want to spend on it?

Long post!
Time to upgrade?

I’ve recently purchased my first IEMs and bought my first pair of really good headphones. I went for the TinHifi T2plus and Drop+Sennheiser HD6XX.
I enjoy my Tin T2plus quite a bit. Even when I have to do some tip-rolling on a day to day basis and comfort is not really great with any tip. I find a good fit every time (sound wise) and like listening to the IEM.
I’ve also been enjoying my other purchase, the HD6XX.
I like the sound signature on those headphones. Although I’m sometimes missing some sparkle in the highs and some sub bass extension.
So I’m now contemplating an upgrade. It’s more like I’m looking for an addition to what I already have. Something that is an upgrade but has also something little different from the sound signature of the head/ear-phones I currently own. Some more analytical or better sound stage or better detail or better bass or better highs or accurate to the Harman target curve, … all of the above…?

I’m not upgrading both IEM and headphones at the same time. I want to enjoy the one upgrade first and then go for the other. I think it’s way more fun like that.
So now the question is, what to upgrade first and with what?

I’ve done some research and think these IEMs will be something I can enjoy:
ThieAudio Legacy4
Moondrop KXXS
Or go straight for the Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk? (<=my max budget for an IEM)
Other suggestions are welcome!

The Blessing 2 Dusk is quite a step up from the Tin T2plus.
Should I best go for something in between the Dusk and the T2plus to get an idea about what I gain by upgrading and saving some on the budget? Also, I’m a bit worried about the ergonomics of the Dusk.
Or should I go for the headphone upgrade first? There’s a lot less options to choose from here. Many will suggest the Sundara but I don’t like the build quality/look (DIY project built from scrap metal?). It can sound impressive but I don’t think it’s worth the money with that kind of build. The HD560s is more a sidegrade than an upgrade. I also own a Beyerdynamic DT770pro (250Ohm). After getting the HD6XX I haven’t used it for more than 30 minutes. The mids are too far in the background. The bass is not as nice as on the HD6XX. There’s enough bass, but it doesn’t sound right. And there’s that sharp edge in the treble. Overall that sound signature is much less what I like than the 6XX.
Any good suggestions with regards to headphones? (budget: let’s say €500/$500 max)

Oh, and have stepped away from EQ. Not that I’m against it, but I want to experience the phones for what they are, at least for now. Discover all the details in the sound and learn about what I like in a product and what not. I will get back to EQ-ing later, I’m sure.

I actually have no idea what to expect from an upgrade from a product well above the budget I have invested now). And I’m not sure if I will keep tolerating the comfort issues I have with IEMs? Everything is new now with IEMs. So it’s still fun. But will it stay like that?

I’m not in a hurry. :wink:

So: IEMs or headphones? Which ones?

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I would upgrade what you feel you would get the most enjoyment out of, and only you can decide that.

For example, if you use IEMs as sort of background music while doing other things, but you actually sit and listen actively to the headphones at home, then maybe you would enjoy an upgrade (or a different flavour) of headphones. Or vice versa.

The Tin T2 Plus is a great set of IEMs for its price, but then again, so are the HD6XX (even more so). I would say that an upgrade from the HD6XX, or even something as good but different, is going to cost more than the upgrade from the T2+. I prefer the Starfield to the T2+ but I have the Blessing 2 or the Dusk on my purchase list, so if you can make that jump, then I think you will see a huge difference in comparison to a much larger inversion in headphones.

Of course, this is just IMHO, YMMV etc.


You should consider that the Blessing 2 Dusk are comparatively huge!


for example :man_shrugging:

Regarding the Blessing 2 Dusk: I wear CP100 XL eartips on the T2+. Does that give me a good chance of tolerating the large nozzle on these IEMs?

According to Crinacle the iBasso SR2 is not so great: “Shouty, shrill and lacking the proper heft in the bass region.”
Looking at the freq. graph that is exactly what I would expect them to sound like.

Like I said, the Sundara will likely sound great but I don’t know if I want to spend the money on someones mediocre attempt at a DIY headphone. I know this is a very harsh judgement, but that’s the feeling I get when I’m looking at pictures from that product.

In some ways I’m hard to please, I know.

I’m switching between IEM and headphones regularly and am inconclusive what I enjoy most.
Maybe best go for the IEMs then? Better chance of being happy with the purchase atm I guess. There’s nothing really in the headphone market that speaks to me in the price-range I’m looking at.
There’s much more interesting IEMs out there.

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I don’t know Crins ears, but in my experience nothing is correct in this assessment.

If you read other reviews of these headphones, they have been consistently positive.

Yeah, I’ve watched some reviews on YT which were quite favorable.
On the other hand my ears tend to agree with measurements I see. (basing that assessment on Beyer DT770 pro, Superlux HD668b, Senn HD6XX) Unfortunately I have no way of checking out the iBasso before I buy them. …which goes for about any other HP I will consider… :grin:
I’ll put it on the list.

What about the AudioTechnica ATH-R70x? An older model. But gets good reviews and measures about the same as what I see/hear/read in the reviews.

I’d upgrade the item you like the least so that you’ll get more of a benefit from the new item. You could then sell the original item if it no longer has a place in your collection. I don’t know the IEMs you’re referring to so I’ll confine my comments to headphones.

The HD 6XX doesn’t have the deepest sub-bass presentation, as you note, and it is quite laid back, so if you want more sparkle, you may need to go with a different headphone. The HD 600 might be better suited to your preferences even as it retains some of the other qualities of the HD 6XX.

What’s your current headphone setup? The HD 6XX and HD 600 are great headphones and are famous for scaling with a higher quality source and amp.

Where are you located? If you can buy Schiit Audio products affordably, and if your budget is €500/$500, then I’d recommend getting a Modi 3, Vali 2+ or Magni 3+ first, seeing how you like the setup with your HD 6XX, and then if you’d like to get a different headphone, you could sell the HD 6XX and get a HD 600. (Or buy used and get the DAC, amp, and headphone within your budget).