Top DAC & Amp Recommendations – Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO / Drop DT 177X

Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro

beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro Studio Headphone
Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro (Image: Amazon)

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The Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro is the follow up to the very popular Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. This updated model hosts various improvements that allow it to compete with more modern headphones. 

Some of the improvements include new drivers that are technically superior to the old ones. The build quality has also been improved. The DT 1770 Pro now has an all-metal build that is similar to the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro. Also, both the earpads and the cable are now easily removable and replaceable. 

However, one downside to the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro is that it now has an impedance of 250-ohms. If you are not familiar with headphone impedance, this basically means that this pair now needs a headphone amplifier. You can read more in our Headphone Impedance FAQ. 

If you do not wish to purchase any additional equipment, you can also opt for the Drop x Beyerdynamic DT 177X GO, which only has an impedance of 32-ohms. But if you already have the DT 1770 Pro, then having a headphone amplifier or DAC/Amp is essential to bring the DT 1770 Pro’s full potential. 

In this article, we will be talking about the best DAC/Amps for the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. We will be going through desktop DAC/Amps, transportable DAC/Amps, as well as some stacking options. Our top pick is the iFi Zen DAC and the iFi Micro iDSD Signature. But, of course, we have more options for you. So keep on scrolling to learn more. 

Best DAC/Amp For Beyerdynamic DT 1770 PRO & Drop DT 177X

iFi Zen DAC + Zen CAN 

iFi Zen DAC - HiFi Desktop Digital Analog Converter with USB3.0 B Input/Outputs: 6.3mm Unbalanced / 4.4mm Balanced/RCA
iFi Zen DAC (Image: Amazon)

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Our top recommended pick for the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro is the iFi Zen DAC. This DAC/Amp is one of iFi’s entry-level DAC/Amp. However, it is widely considered as a bargain thanks to its driving power and number of features, which easily allows it to compete with more expensive DAC/Amps. 

In terms of its design, it has a small and flat form factor with a futuristic design that still manages to blend well with the other equipment on your table. Its flat design easily allows it to be stackable with other devices such as the Zen CAN, which we will be talking about later. 

The iFi Zen DAC is USB Bus-powered and can be directly connected to your MAC or PC. Additionally, you can also use the 5V power supply for a cleaner signal or if you wish to use the Zen DAC with a device that cannot supply power over USB, such as smartphones.

In terms of the features, the iFi Zen DAC has a 4.4 balanced output as well as a 6.35 SE output. This isn’t normally seen with DAC/Amps at this price, which further adds to the Zen DAC’s value proposition. 

iFi Zen CAN Balanced Desktop Headphone Amp and Preamp with 4.4mm Outputs - Launch Edition Includes 5V Power Supply
iFi Zen CAN (Image: Amazon)

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Additionally, the Zen DAC also features a Power Match and True Bass feature. Power Match is basically a gain switch while the true bass is a bass boost feature that is commonly seen on iFi’s other devices

The DT 1770 Pro already has lots of bass, so you might think this feature will be useless. However, it is there in case you want to experiment with it. 

Lastly, like most of iFi’s DAC/Amps, the iFi Zen DAC has MQA Compatibility. MQA is starting to become prevalent with a lot of modern DAC/Amps, so it is nice to also see it in a budget model. If you aren’t familiar with MQA, you can learn more in our MQA FAQ

In terms of its sound quality, the iFi Zen DAC is able to deliver a natural sound with spot-on technicalities. It is utilizing a Burr-Brown DAC chip, which helps differentiate it from ESS Sabre, and AKM powered DAC/Amps. 

The power output is also very clean and has plenty of power for the DT 1770 Pro. But if you want to get the best out of this combo, you can also add the Zen CAN to your setup. 

The Zen CAN not only add more power but also further enhances the sound signature of the Zen DAC. You also get access to the 3D Holographic Mode, which helps expand the soundstage of the headphones. 

Overall, if you are looking for the most feature-packed budget DAC/Amp or stack on this list, then the Zen DAC or Zen DAC + Zen CAN stack is one of the best choices for your Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro. 

Zen DAC Specifications 

4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL)

330mW@32 Ohm; 6.6V@600 Ohm;

16 Ohm – 600 Ohm Headphone

6.3mm S-BAL (SE)

230mW@32 Ohm; 3.3V@600 Ohm

16 Ohm – 600 Ohm Headphone

Zen CAN Specifications

Balanced

>15.1V/385 mW (@ 600 Ohm)

>11.0V/1890 mW (@ 64 Ohm)

SE

>7.6V/196 mW (@ 300 Ohm)

>7.2V/1600 mW (@ 32 Ohm)

iFi Micro iDSD Signature 

iFi Micro iDSD Signature
iFi Micro DSD Signature

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The next product on our list is another product from iFi. This time, it’s the successor to the famous iFi Micro iDSD Black Label, the iFi Micro iDSD Signature. The iFi Micro BL has been featured several times as our top pick here on this website. And that is because of its output power, features, and build quality. And with the updated iFi Micro Signature, you are getting an even better product. 

Just like the iFi Micro BL, the Micro Signature is a transportable unit that is smaller than most desktop DAC/Amps but larger than traditional portable DAC/Amps. It has a long and flat design that makes it sit well in a desktop setup. It can also be easily stored inside a Pelican hard case if you want to transport it. 

There are a few aesthetic differences and new ports in front and at the sides of the device. The Micro Signature has a blue color, which makes it distinct from the Micro BL’s black color and the original Micro’s silver color. 

There is also now a dedicated USB Type-C port on the side of the device for charging. This is great since you can now charge the device without using the full-sized USB cable at the back. 

The iFi Micro Signature also now has a 4.4mm balanced output along with the standard 6.35mm SE output. The 4.4mm balanced output is a welcome addition, especially given its popularity in recent years. Additionally, both outputs feature iFi’s “S-Balanced” Technology, which promises to give the benefits of a balanced connection in the single-ended output. 

In terms of its sound quality, the iFi Micro Signature uses a dual DAC configuration (Burr-Brown Chip) that helps produce a natural and accurate sound perfect for the DT 1770 Pro. The dual DAC configuration helps produce strong channel separation and lower noise floor in case you also want to use it with sensitive IEMs. 

As for the power output, the iFi Micro Signature has several power modes that are designed to drive less efficient headphones and planar magnetic headphones. Even the eco mode should be loud enough for the DT 1770 Pro. 

Overall, if you are looking for a powerful headphone amplifier with lots of features and versatility, then the iFi Micro Signature is perfect for you. 

Specifications 

Turbo Mode

Power (max) 10.0V/4,100 mW

Power (continuous) >1,560 mW @ 64 Ohm >166 mW @ 600 Ohm

Normal mode Power (max) 5.5V/1,900 mW

Power (continuous) >100 mW @ 300 Ohm >950 mW @ 32 Ohm

Eco mode

Power (max) 2.0V/500 mW @ 8 Ohm

JDS Labs Element 2 

JDS Labs Element II
JDS Labs Element 2 (Image: JDS Labs)

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If you are looking for a desktop DAC/Amp that can easily drive the DT 1770 Pro without any additional equipment and has a neutral signature, then the JDS Labs Element 2 is a great option. This unit has an all-aluminum chassis that feels considerably more premium than competing options.

The element 2 also has a very clean and minimal aesthetic. There is only a single potentiometer that acts as a volume control found on the top of the device. Other buttons, such as the gain switch and connectivity options, are hidden at the back. And on the front, only the 6.35mm input is found. 

In terms of the power output, the Element 2 can pretty much drive anything from the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro to even more demanding and less efficient headphones such as high-end planar magnetic headphones. It does this with authority, which helps bring the DT 1770 pro to life. 

Also, the Element 2 does not introduce any coloration to your headphones. This is great if you plan on using the DT 1770 Pro for professional applications such as sound mixing or video editing. 

One potential downside with the Element 2 is that it is not the most feature-packed product on this list. It doesn’t have any hardware bass boost or 3D mode, and it does not have a balanced output. But if all you want is great output power and a neutral but smooth and detailed signature, then this is all you need to get the most of your DT 1770 Pro. 

Specifications 

Max Continuous Power, 600 Ω

165 mW (9.9 VRMS)

Max Continuous Power, 150 Ω

656 mW (9.9 VRMS)

Max Continuous Power, 32 Ω

1.3 W (6.53 VRMS)

Chord Mojo 

Chord Mojo Black DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Chord Mojo (Image: Amazon)

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The Chord Mojo has been one of the most popular portable DAC/Amps thanks to its small form factor, unique design, ability to drive high impedance headphones, and its sound quality. Chord claims it can power headphones with an impedance of 800 ohms, which is more than enough for the DT 1770 Pro. 

The Mojo is small and light, making it a great device for portable use. It can also sit well in a desktop setting. Additionally, the Mojo can connect to the Chord Poly, which gives it wireless functionality. 

One of the downsides of the Mojo is its button-based volume controls. Buttons are usually less efficient compared to a volume wheel, especially in a desktop environment. 

In terms of its sound quality, the Mojo has a warm presentation that can alleviate the peaks of the DT 1770 Pro. Of course, this kind of presentation won’t be as precise as the iFi Micro BL or iFi Micro Signature. The Mojo presents a more fun and less analytical sound compared to those two models. 

Overall, if you are looking for a warm and smooth sounding source that can easily drive the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro, then you should give the Chord Mojo a try. 

Specifications 

Output Power @ 1kHz – 600Ω 35mW

Output Power @ 1kHz – 8Ω 720mW

Schiit Hel – Gaming

Schiit Hel (Image: Schiit Audio)

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Schiit is a company that is often associated with two things, its quirky name and the excellent price to performance ratio on its products. They mainly focus on audiophile equipment but also occasionally cater to other markets such as gaming. 

If you wish to use the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro for gaming but don’t want to skimp on the sound quality, then the Schiit Hel is the perfect product for you. Just like other Schiit products, the Schiit Hel has a great sounding DAC/Amp section that is more than capable of driving the DT 1770 Pro. But unlike the other models in this list, the Hel also has a fairly capable microphone input as well.  

The Schiit Hel is amazing in terms of build quality. It is built well with its solid metal construction that is on par with other Schiit products and other audiophile-grade DAC/Amps. The volume wheel is smooth and does not have any audible static when adjusting the volume. Switches and connections also feel premium and will likely last for years. 

The quality of the microphone input is decent, and you have gain controls to help you get the best quality of your microphone. However, compared to dedicated audio interfaces such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, the microphone input is inferior. Of course, most audio interfaces do not have a headphone output as good as the Schiit Hel, which is the tradeoff that you get with these kinds of devices.

Now in terms of sound quality, the Schiit Hel is utilizing the AKM 4490EQ. It is the same DAC chip used in their widely acclaimed Modi 3. The Magni and Modi 3 stack is one of the best entry-level headphone amplifier and DAC stack, so having the same DAC chip instantly makes it outperform similarly priced gaming DAC/Amps.  

The power of the amplifier section won’t be as strong as the Schiit Magni, iFi Zen CAN, or the iFi Micro Signature. The Schiit can hold its own, but if you are not satisfied with the Hel’s performance, you can always hook it up to a dedicated headphone amplifier. 

Overall, the Hel and DT 1770 Pro is one of the best combos for gaming. If you don’t need the extra audiophile centric features of the other DAC/Amps on this list, then the Schiit Hel is a great choice. 

Specifications:

Maximum Power, 16 Ohms: 1200mW RMS

Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1000mW RMS

Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 650mW RMS

Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 200mW RMS

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