Suggestion needed for headphone DAC/Amp

Hi everyone, suggestion for a Roon certified, WiFi DAC/headphone amp that plays MQA files? I’m only aware of Matrix Audio Element, while dcs Bartok is out of my price range.

Oh balanced headphone amp too please. :slight_smile:

Thanks boys and girls.

If you are willing to split the streamer out (e.g., use RoPieee on an RPi4), there are a lot more options open. Pro-Ject S2 Digital, etc.

Even more options if you forgo the MQA malarky…

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The Mytek Brooklyn Bridge is another option worth looking into.

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Thanks, but the Pro-Ject only has SE headphone output :slight_smile:

I actually have the Brooklyn in my main system, not the Bridge version though, however it sits too far away from my couch and would need at least a 5-meter headphone cable to make this work.

It is a very good suggestion though, basically fitting my requirement, I do want to see if there are more options. Any chance you have use the Brooklyn to drive full size cans? I am planning to get the Meze Empyrean.

Thanks a lot.

I have a Chord Hugo2/2Go, a Chord Mojo/Poly, and a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. Good as the Chords are, the Mytek is better. With Focal Stellias, it’s the poster child for precise audio.

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Wow, do you mean the headphone amp section or the DAC? That is indeed very high praise for the Brooklyn consider how highly regarded the Hugo is :), I am all ears!

If you get a BBridge, you may want to get the balanced output adapter (that uses both the 1/4” jacks). I use it with a 20’ Moon Silver Dragon with a 4-pin termination. Sounds great.

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Yes indeed, I have heard about that adapter. Since I have no full size cans right now, I cannot try how good the Mytek is, but from what you have said, the Mytek should not be half bad!

I have the BB and Brooklyn Amp in my main system. To tell the truth, I’ve hardly turned the Amp on since I got into headphones. Maybe just a phase, but the musical experience of good phones is imo way superior to what you get from good speakers, at least with the volume constraints of urban life.

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Totally agree, speakers will always be my preference, but with family in an apartment, hard to get a good listening session when you want one.

Any other suggestions welcome !

You didn’t mention budget.
I have four (plus one special) at widely different price points.
SMSL SU-8 DAC + Drop THX AAA 789 amp: $600
Chord 2go + Hugo 2 streamer/DAC/amp: $4000
Benchmark DAC3 + HPA4: $5,000
Chord M-Scaler + Hugo TT 2: $11,000

All balanced except Hugo 2
All USB and require a streamer except the 2go/Hugo 2 combo, which is not only a streamer but WiFi and battery powered, great out in the garden
All are excellent, SQ differences are minor but align with the price ladder.

None are MQA, I don’t use any MQA music because I have many devices including cars and portables, they are all chosen with care, I will not make MQA support a requirement, a non-standard format that doesn’t work right on all devices is not acceptable.

(The special is a Schiit Jotunheim R to drive the oddball RAAT headphones.)

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Thanks, my budget is around $3K. I have no preference over MQA but just like that as an option.

Of my choices, the THX AAA 789 is a miracle amp, cost $350 when I bought it, you can put any DAC in front of it, I chose the $200 SMSL but you can obviously go higher, including MQA I guess.
The $3000 Benchmark HPA4 is based on the same licensed THX technology, but add a DAC and it gets more expensive. But both the 789 and HOA4 are fabulous — I have written about how the 789 made me revise my notions of amps.
The Hugo 2 by itself, without the 2go, is $2700.

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Thank you indeed :slight_smile:

I have used one to drive my Audeze LCD-3 and it works great, so I am sure it will have no trouble running the Meze empyreans.

There is also a company called Cocktail audio (or Novafidelity outside of the USA) that make some all-in-one units, but I haven’t tried them.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, here is a list of Roon partner brands. The companies will have A variety of Roon ready streamers. Here is also a List of specific devices

Just start going through them and checking out websites and you will find something that fits what you are looking for :slightly_smiling_face:

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Benchmark DAC 3 HGC.

$2500, I think.

Never mind. Not balanced. Mot MQA.

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Violectric v281 gets a lot of praise on many forums as a superb headamp it also looks impressive. You can add a digital board to it, but your likely better using a seperate DAC. I woulf get one if I had the spare money.

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Thank you, I have gone through the list but very hard to find a decent all in one solution, as my headphone rig will be separated from my main system, so I’m hoping to cut down on boxes and cables etc. :slight_smile: