Headphone Amp + DAC - Wired or Wireless?

gex23

Well-known Member
Now I have some Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusk IEMs on their way to me, I'm looking to add a headphone amp / DAC to them.

The hardware will be a Macbook Pro 16 (2019) and a rather dated Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the Moondrop Blessing 2 Dusks.

Music source will be Amazon Music HD.

Budget is around £250 - £300 for this DAC / Amp

With this in mind - would a Bluetooth amp compromise the music quality too much and if so should I consider wired only? What brands / models would you recommend all things considered?
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Every portable Bluetooth DAC / amp I have tried noticeably removes frequency range versus a wired source, particularly in the bass. As you go up in headphones performance this cannot be unheard

So I think it really depends on usage case to justify removing a cable

*This is to mean your phone (or other device) sends music wirelessly to the Bluetooth DAC / amp and your headphone plugs into the Bluetooth DAC / amp
 

3rdignis

Active Member
(I dont know much about usb)
If that's not enough amp add one of these
 

iamsludge

Active Member
As a point of reference I use Etymotic IEMs (ER4XR/ER4SR) with their Bluetooth/DAC cable and it’s really good - as good as wired as far as I’m concerned. The key seems to be having the DAC after the bluetooth receipt.
 

Edmondz

Novice Member
If the music quality is your Graal, I would stay away from any wireless solution.
That said, a LDAC compatible set (headset+DAP/DAC), would be the best solution to this day.
 

gex23

Well-known Member
Thank you for the suggestions and replies - I'll take a look at the suggestions!

I've gone for the Fiio UTWS3 wireless adaptors as a stop-gap solution when I'm walking - however, I think I'll go for a wired DAC / Amp for use from my computer.

What are peoples thoughts on the Chord Mojo - still a good choice in 2021? I'm looking at used if possible but hear of overheating issues and failing batteries...
 

3rdignis

Active Member
I would say your sorted for mobile.

I had a mojo.
Dac is one step down compared to my bluray player which sounds the same as my gustard dac x26 (through headphones)
Amp is not half as good as a50s.
 

gex23

Well-known Member
Another product I'm looking at is the Audioquest Dragonfly Red or Cobalt;

I tend to read very polarising opinions about these particular products - some saying they're fantastic and produce a noticeable SQ improvement over OEM DACS, whilst others say they're not worth the USB stick they're printed on.

Any thoughts on them from resident AVF members?
 

guttersnipez

Active Member
I use a dragonfly cobalt with tidal premium and it’s fantastic with Sonos fives.
And sennhieser hd 650 headphones from iPad Pro and Samsung s21 ultra phone.
 

killiefan

Active Member
You cannot get Hi Res audio via Bluetooth. Have a read through John Darko’s website. It’s explained in there.

So having paid for Amazon HD it’ll be a hard wired solution for you.

There are so many headphone DACs and amplifiers out there. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

I use a Dragonfly Black when on the move. I do like it. Like you I’m looking to do something for home listening. Schiit get great write ups. Also don’t overlook Ed Sally’s reviews on here. Hint - he tells you what kit he uses to test headphones, so look at headphone reviews as well as DAC/amp reviews. I suspect Ed spends quite a wee bit on his stuff mind you.

Hope that helps.
 

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