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

Dang, what a legend.

I wish I could afford your headphone collection.

May god bless you with the best headphones of all time!

Do you think I should buy the 660s or are they just bad?

Could you recommend me a good entry level dac too? Would greatly appreciate it.

The 660s are certainly not bad headphones, but considering your preferences, these are now technically and tonally outperformed by a Hifiman Edition XS, an iBasso SR 2 or 3 or a Grado 325x …… for example.

Unless you are extremely focused on voices, then the Sennheiser is still the market leader.

Of the current 6xx’s range, my personal preference is the HD600.

If you want to go with the Sennheiser, the ifi Audio Zen DAC is a good Choice.

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The original 660s aren’t worth it since the 600, 650 and 6XX exist and are all better sounding IMO. The 660s2, which I’ve not heard, costs too much money according to those in the industry that have heard it and are trustworthy.

Here’s an alternative option: for gaming, pick up the Sennheiser HD 599 when it goes on sale (usually for $99.99); that leaves $300 for a good pair of music/mixing/mastering headphones.

:+1: Absolutely …………


I keep that exact setup for my secondary “reality check” system. The ZenDAC with a balanced cable avoids all the common HD600 pitfalls – including excess brightness, harshness, and lack of bass.


I’m good on buying headphones specifically for gaming, I’m going to try one more time to fix these dt990s by stretching them outwards, Wish me luck lads.

How long do you think I should stretch them @Lothar_Wolf

Earlier this week my beloved JDS Element said peace out and died. It was exclusively used as a couch-side device while I was watching sports with the volume muted. I want to replace it and could use some recommendations. iFi ZenDac V2? JDS Element III? It’ll be used with the HD 600 and LCD-X 2021.

Thanks in advance!

Sorry to learn that, brother. I do something similar. Optical output from TV - to - DAC/Amp, then headphone extension cable to closed-backs at couch. Nice to have that option when no one else is interested in what I’m watching…


Obviously cost is an object. In the same price range as your old JDS is the almost here FIIO K7, which looks like it is borrowing some of the goodies from the more expensive K9 PRO that a few of of have and like. You also suggested two other obvious choices, if you liked the form factor of the Element the Element III will remind you of it every day. And yes, @InvisibleInk who among us has not grabbed a long TOSLINK cable and found the optical out from the TV.


Trying to decide if I want to purchase a dac to compliment my new A30 Pro . I became, I guess soured is a good word to use , on the a dac, based on my Atom Dac+ . Sounded like all the air got sucked out of the room, if that makes any sense . Having my A30 run to the back of my sound card (Asus Xonar D2X , burr brown pcm 1796 dac chip) , sounds ok to me .

The D30 Pro dac seems to be mia pretty much everywhere outside of AliExpress, where I only found 1 . I found another place , had several, for only $100 or so . I thought “too good to be true” , but , last the D30 Pro was on amazon, they sold for just over $100 . Apos has a Topping E70 on sale for about $260 at the moment . Don’t get paid until next Thursday though.

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If you like the BurrBrown chip, the iFi Zen DAC is probably a better choice. Topping and SMSL have a reputation for a similar measurements-focused “dryness” to the sound as the JDS Labs stuff. IMO iFi and Schiit have better sounding offerings in the budget range.


I had looked at a Modius actually , price seems fair . The IfI Zen Air looks nice , but I’d like something that matches in looks if I can . If not , oh well . My Asus Strix sound card has a Sabre dac . Sounds ok, but it is a little “sterile” without using some eq . Would like to stick to $300 or less if I am able . .i saw an SMSL M200 on Amazon, but since my SP200 isn’t being used presently ,… May have to take another look at the Modius , if I can’t find a D30 Pro . Not too off topic, I get good volume on both my HD6XX, & HE-4XX , at around 11:30 on my A30 Pro . No real complaints :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you prioritize appearance then you’ll likely have to live with less-than-ideal sound.

The ESS or AKM products in this price class tend to have a similar clean, dry, sterile character. I concur with @ericrosenfield regarding the ZenDAC – it’s warmer, thicker, and easier on the ears. I use one in my secondary system. Schiit’s budget products vary by model and era. I don’t like some because of noise/roughness, some are sterile with the same ESS/AKM chips as other brands, and some models are very nice.


Personally I would take the Modi Multibit 2 over the Modius unless you really need balanced. But I’m a big fan of the Schiit multibit sound, which sounds richer and fuller to me than the delta sigma implementations.

That said, you can’t really go wrong with the Modi+ either for much less money. I used that for a long time and loved it. (I have a Bifrost 2/64 now.)


Not so much a fan of looks , to the point of sacrificing sound, but it would be nice if things match , @generic . The ifi Zen Dac V2 looks interesting, I jjust worry my A30 pro will not sit flat on top, & desk space is at a bit of a premium . @ericrosenfield , the one thing that always made me cringe with Schiit, is the power toggle on back instead of up front , with their amps anyhow .

iFi aggressively pursued the mid-century space-modern look with the ZenDAC series. Yes, it’s odd. I resisted it myself because it doesn’t fit in with anything and pictures make it look unstable in a stack. However, it’s pretty stable in a stack as the curves stick out harmlessly.

You are shopping in the entry-level budget category and compromises must happen. You might consider Geshelli Labs, but their appearance is also polarizing. You might also extract the board and put it in a new case or put a shell over the case – DIY people often do that stuff.

Schiit uses the back toggle to reduce costs. Some leave their products on all the time or use a power strip or external switch. I leave my Bifrost 2/64 and Lokius EQ on 24/7.


Will it provide enough juice for the HD 600? I’m looking at the ZenDac v2.