Pairs good with HD6XX
First headphone DAC/Amp. Saw this on Drop for $41, decided to buy it as a “cheap” place holder until I have funds to buy a premium DAC and tube amp to pair with my HD6XX.
Initial Impressions: DAC/Amp came in a cheaply branded, almost generic looking box and packaging. Included PC USB seems to be cheap. However, as soon as I took the unit out, build quality is impressive for the price point. Brushed aluminum body feels premium and finished well. Toggle switches feel good, volume knob also feels upscale with nice, subtle click positions whenever you turn it. Unit is quite compact.
Sound Impressions: I thought my HD6XXs sounded pretty good just plugged into my computer's onboard audio as well as my iPad, but this little "cheap" unit brought my HD6XXs out more. The lower end is definitely more fleshed out. Tested some songs using Tidal with available Master or HiFi quality options: “Get Lucky” - Daft Punk, “Deacon Blues” - Steely Dan, “15 Step” - Radiohead, “Money” - Pink Floyd, "Uh Uh" - Thundercat. All sounded much better with the DAC/Amp. Sound stage opened up more, definitely a better sense of space and clarity. Bass/drums have more impact and depth. Bass is more controlled and tighter as well ("Uh Uh" can be a chaotic mess of bass lines, but HD6XX + X6 handled it very well). I’m a bass head and I would say the DAC/Amp paired up with the HD6XX satisfies the low end well. The HD6XXs are somewhat difficult to drive at 300 ohm impedance, but this unit provides good power and allows to HD6XX to get very loud if needed and definitely shows with how much presence the bass and mids have now. I eventually got time to sit down and have a listening session and listened front-to-back "Kid A", "In Rainbows", and "A Moon Shaped Pool" albums by Radiohead, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all, the DAC eleveated the listening experience.
Overall would recommend. Definitely improves the sound of my HD6xx and the unit occupies minimal space on my desk. Will update if my unit dies anytime soon as have happened to some others. and remember to listen to your music too, not just your equipment.
Would recommend to a friend.