One Box

Is there something like a consensus here on what the best ‘one box’ solution is for a headphone DAC/amp with streamer (preferably wireless and Roon-tested/ready)?

For me it’s hard to pick a one box. Everyone has its mixed bag. I know @mfadio’s using a Matrix and he’s enjoying it. I’ve considered for a short time getting a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge but I’m a vinyl kinda guy and I ended up investing more money in the analog chain.

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If you wanna go all out there’s the dCS Bartok…

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Lots of things to consider here: do you have a budget that could help us out?

It would also help to know HOW it will be hooked up, wireless, usb to a computer, ethernet.

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Due to its price, the dCS Bartók with headphone amplifier is not something most people just go out and buy. For me, it was the culmination of many many upgrades over the years, and downsizing from a full size speaker system to a TOTL headphone system.

Was it worth it? I would say absolutely.

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I’m not aware of any consensus. There also is the Naim Uniti Atom.

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I agree, just wanted to throw it out there so OP was aware. It’s not really a jump right in type of option. However, OP may have the resources to consider something like that. I also couldn’t think of any others off the top of my head :joy:

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As others have stated, there are options available. The problem is the solution can vary in price as evident from the dCS suggestion.

So to respond to your question, it depends……

Desired outcome and how much you are willing to pay for it, especially for the Roon Ready feature. At the minimum your current phone could be a one box solution, or your computer, or tablet. Heck even your tv could be used with Roon if it has Chromecast or Airplay.

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Yeah, a phone, tablet, or DAP would suit the needs of some.

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Thanks all. The Bartok is not currently in my range. :rofl:

I was looking at numerous headphone DAC/amps and wondering why there weren’t more that added a wireless and/or network streamer module to be more of an all-in-one. In my use case, I would use it as a wireless endpoint in a room other than my main listening room. I can certainly plug in my Node 2i to a normal DAC/amp combo, but was looking for an elegant/attractive one box option.

Thanks for the input!

Edit: Phone w/portable DAC and/or DAP is how I currently do this.

A few options:

The Matrix Mini-I pro 3 will do this, but is best with higher impedance headphones.

Chord Hugo2+2go, or Mojo+Poly should take care of you.

Pecan Pi Streamer Ultra checks all the boxes too.

Obviously you can use a headphone out of a Blusound node, Marantz NA6006. Cambridge CXN, NAD integrated, Naim Uniti, etc.

I am also an avowed all in one fan, If Hegel can make a world class stereo integrated amplifier, with preamp and DAC, why can’t we get the same with a decent headphone stage?

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One box… well that would sacrifice a bit of quality but the only true one box solution I can think of is probably a computer but… :man_shrugging:t2:

FYI, a member @DVass13 is selling a Matrix Element X. I owned one and can attest to its quality.

The headphone amp is typically viewed as the weak link, and for certain types of cans, it is, but it is pretty powerful and as quiet an amp as I’ve heard. High impedance stuff will sound better on tubes for sure, but most other stuff is really great with this device.

Not sure of your budget, but this is a stellar all in one in my experience and if I had not been bitten by the tube mosquito, I’d still own it.

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Auralic Vega is pretty good.

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