Headphone amp/dac combo for 200€ (o2/oDac vs Schiit Stack vs ???)

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Well, now its my turn to go down the slippery slope of audio. I started out with better audio about ≈ 1 year ago, when i got a pair of the Shure SE215 IEM's. I loved them but that was it. Now 2 months ago or so i got to try a pair of dt770 with the Schiit stack combo and i was hooked instantly. So earlier this week i ordered a pair of DT990 and i built my self a cmoy amp. Well, today i tested my dt990 using the stack combo (old gen) and it was just lovely, everything was so crisp. So now i'm looking in to getting a amp/dac combo for around 200€
Since i know that The schiit stack (gen.1) is great i would love to just order them. So you may say, well what’s the problem then just get it since you liked the combo. The thing is that i will have to pay more 300$ for the units and shipping. Just for me to get it in Sweden will be ≈60€. Thus i cant really get it for the great price Americans can.

Next i found the O2/odac combo made by NwAvGuy. I can get this combo as a diy kit. There is 2 ways i can do this. I can buy a kit including everything or i can buy the parts, pcb, and supply separately and 3d print a case for it. There will be a small 10-20$ difference but the price will be around 150-170$ + shipping (15$). The thing that makes me not consider the o2/oDac combo is all that empty space where you put the batteries if you want a portable amp. Then i also have the ”problem that i have all ports in front instead of having power in the back. ofc the input cable will be in the back thanks to the dac. But back to the main ”problem” i have with the o2 amp, the empty space for batteries. I just feel that that space should be able to be used so much more efficiently since the o2 will be my Desktop amp and cmoy will just be the portable if i for any reason want to use the dt990 on the go. It like 1/3 of the whole amp’s pcb that is just sitting there unused. Is there a desktop version of the o2 out there with the pcb and everything done? or is the o2 more then enough to power any kind’s of headphones, maybe not headphones like the Hifi man HE-6 planar headphones.

  • Is the o2/odac the way to go since i can get it for around 170-200$?
  • Do you have other recommendations to look in to?
  • I can get a fiio e10k for 110€ + uDac3 110€, is this worth the little extra cash?
  • I appreciate all input i can get! I want the best sound for the money and since i’m just getting in to ”high end” audio i have little to no experience.


Is it worth the money to upgrade from my current cmoy? or should i just get a dac for it? This idea sounds pretty dumb since a cmoy is a really simple amplifier and i think a o2 will preform much better. Also, if i decide to get the o2/oDac combo as a diy kit. Will the solder i use make a difference in the sound quality, and if i get mediocre joint (i think that is what finished soldering is called) will that affect sound quality? Lastly since i will be getting a dac/amp combo at some point in time, is it better to make internal connections between the dac and amp (only goes for the o2/oDac combo) or will it improve sound quality to use external cables with L and R jacks?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Regards Patric!
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