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Hello, I'm new to headphones. I ordered the HD6XX and I'm thinking of a DAC/headphone amp. I own a Wyred 4 Sound audio dac and love the sound. I was thinking of purchasing the Wyred 4 Sound µDAC-HD. Anyone have any experience with this dac?
It's not quite clear wether you need help with an amp or a DAC or both, since you already own a DAC and seem to want the amp feature in the µDAC-HD, so I will talk about amps.
I don't have experience with the devices you mention. You are hitting price points far beyond diminishing returns already, I advise buying a cheaper Schiit or O2 amp instead. The headphone is always by far the weakest link in the signal chain, and spending $200 on them (or >$500 by value for the HD 6XX) while spending an equal amount for the amp and DAC is questionable.
Direct performance increase in amp/DACs is very subjective and, if measured, often not even existent. Take Noise and Total Harmonic Distortion (lower is better) for measurements as an example:
µDAC-HD: 0.0035 % (advertised)
Schiit Magni 3: <0.001 % (advertised)
JDS Labs O2: 0.0006 % (measured by innerfidelity)
HD 6XX has an advertised distortion of <0.05 %, far more than all amps listed, therefor amplifier impact will be negligible. They are still one of the best headphones though. (As a rough guide, distortion below 1 % is generally accepted to be inaudible)
Noise and distortion isn't everything that counts, but both the O2 and the Magni 3 cost $100 and are everything you will ever need until you spend multiple thousand dollars on headphones alone.
Which W4S DAC do you have? You may not need the uDAC-HD at all and just need an amp. I've got experiences with the W4S DAC2, which is a very fine DAC. Options suggested by @Horten are fine, but the HD6XX scales impressively with a good amp, whether it's worth it is up to the individual listener.
Don't pay too much attention to advertised THD, they are always going to be < 1% when measured at optimal output in a controlled environment, for example the Schiit Magni's THD is measured at 1/10th of its total output and THD generally grows exponentially from optimal output. It's not uncommon to get 10% THD at peak output. Also THD+N is the better rating, THD is kind of useless.
Thanks for the reply. You make a good point. The Schiit seems to be very popular.
Thanks. I have the DAC2dsdse. I love the sound. Work well with the W4S SX1000 based system. I've listened to Sennheiser headphones at different audio shows, so this deal is a great opportunity to explore the sound of "better" headphones. I do like the sound of the ESS Sabre dac chips.
With the good gear curse, it's hard to find lower end gears that will satisfy, so if you're looking for a great amp to match that great DAC. Look into the Violectric V281/280 or EC Black Widow. The Black Widow is currently out of stock, though you can probably find one second hand for about $1.5k. You'll also want a balanced cable for the Violectric, check out Ursine Audio. There's also the Schiit Ragnarok but people either love it or hate it, if you're not going to audition, it's probably too much of a risk to take.