I’m looking for recommendations for a single chassis with streaming, DAC and Headphone Amp that is also Roon compatible. I’m not looking for DIY, multiple boxes or units capable of driving speakers, nor tube-based units. This will only be used with headphones, not as a preamp and it needs to be able to work with a variety of headphone impedances from 25 or 32 ohms up to 600ohms, no IEMs.
The network connection will be wired, so wireless is not a requirement. Size needs to be small-ish, easily located on a bedside nightstand. The two I mention below are the kind of unit and rough size that will work.
Gold Note DS-10
Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition
(Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!)
Matrix Audio mini ipro3.
Hard to beat IMHO.
Great headphone amp
RCA and XLR outputs
Spdif1, USB, toslink and i2s inputs.
The Mini iPro 3 does look good. I didn’t mention in my original post but it might be nice not to be “locked in” to Roon. I use it now and don’t plan on dumping it, but the app is so unstable and getting worse that I’m slightly hesitant to buy hardware that requires it. Not interested in AirPlay/Bluetooth - if I drop Roon would want DLNA.
I’m using as headphone endpoints a Naim Atom HE, a Matrix Mini i3, a Matrix Element i2, a Rose RS250 (with additional amp) and some headphone-dacs with RPis.
The Goldnote DS-10 I’ve tested some times ago.
I would prefer here in the most cases a dedicated headphone amp, but if you really want an All-In-One-Item, then I would take the Matrix Element i2 (better headphone amp, better display,…) or the Naim (bit warmer sound and really good with Focal Clear MG and Sennheiser HD800).
Thanks. Yes, I agree that putting all functions in one small box is likely to force compromise and that a dedicated amp will likely always perform better.
However, all-in-one is the intent of this thread as I really want a small compact box for a night table without need for interconnects and multiple power cords etc. This will not be my primary headphone listening system.
I have mine in the bedroom on a bedside table, connected by USB to my Roon Core with Powered Studio Monitors connected by XLR. Have extension headphone cables for both 4.4mm Balanced and 6.5mm and use 4 different sets of headphones/IEM’s.
Has worked previously on a smaller set of drawers at the bed head (similar to what you may be looking at) just connected to iPad or iPhone by USB and also by Bluetooth but I find that with the current setup as above I have no issue with playing DSD content by Ethernet and USB connection.
Auralic Altair G1 or if you’re feeling spendy; The G2.1
I wouldn’t grade the headphone amp as world class, but it sounds good enough for me most of the time. (My other kit is the more HA-oriented Moon 430HAD, which beats the Altair hands down when fed by a NanoPi NEOor similar)
Edit: Noted that you suggested the Goldnote DS-10, while a pretty decent streamer it does not do DSD with Roon for obscure reasons…
I originally listened to the 5”s at the DJ Studio Store but got an email 30 mins later that the 7”s were only $50 more on special, so got these instead. Probably well over spec for my bed/listening room but unfortunately I spend a lot of time there and the sound quality never disappoints.
Another vote her for the Matrix Audio mini ipro3. I have one on my home office desk with some Genelec active monitors. It has, in my view, an excellent built in balanced headphone output that drive a pair of Sennheiser HD 660s very nicely indeed.
The mini ipro3 does not have Spotify connect built in but I have a spare Pi connected to it for that.
The newer element i2 does have Spotify and seems largely based on similar hardware although I have seen a few comments around pointing out that the headphone output is slightly lower. It’s also $500 more expensive.
Probably on the lower end of ‘Fi’ than most options but take a look a Bluesound Node. All the features you’ve asked for but I can’t comment on the quality of the headphone out. Clean and no wall warts. It’s an ‘always on’ device but think you can dim/blank the lights (would need to confirm)
I’d look for a used Chord. I managed to purchase a used Chord Dave that is far better than what I expected to find. It is a two channel DAC with a headphone jack. It has a great sound and comes with multiple inputs, volume controls, and handles DSPs very well.