Best DAC & Amp Recommendations for Drop HD58X

The Sennheiser HD58X is arguably one of the best bargains in the audiophile headphone market. It is the most affordable member of the highly acclaimed HD6XX family. However, its sound quality and build quality easily beat almost all options in its price range.

This headphone inherits the neutral/mid-centric sound signature of its older siblings. However, it modifies the sound to achieve a more fun, and mid-bass-focused sound signature. Additionally, Drop has managed to cut down the impedance to 150-ohms. 

This means that the HD58X can be comfortably used with your PC, laptop, gaming console, or Mac’s onboard soundcard. But, of course, those who wish to maximize the HD58X’s sound quality must still invest in a proper DAC/Amp. In this article, we will be discussing the best DAC/Amps to pair with the HD58X. Our top pick is the iFi xDSD and the iFi Micro Signature. But, of course, there are plenty of great options here so keep on scrolling to find out more.

Best DAC/Amp For Sennheiser X Drop HD58X

FX Audio DAC X6 

FX Audio DAC X6

Read our FX Audio DAC X6 review

If you are looking for a more entry-level option, then the FX Audio DAC X6 is one of the better options in its respective price range. While it may not compete against Schiit or iFi’s offerings when it comes to sound signature, it is still a significant step up from basic sources such as your PC’s onboard soundcard. 

In terms of power and sound quality, the manufacturer claims it can power headphones with an impedance of 300 ohms. While some users have said otherwise, it can still comfortably run the 150-hm HD58X. 

Also, unlike other entry-level DAC/Amps, the DAC X6 has a neutral signature. This is great since it won’t negatively affect the HD58X’s sound signature by adding coloration that decreases clarity. 

One downside that the DAC X6 has is its build quality. It is very basic, and the metal parts aren’t up to par with other companies such as iFi. It does the job and is durable enough for daily use. You can also easily open this DAC/Amp if you want to do some mods. 

Overall, if you have a tight budget and want an immediate upgrade over your PC’s onboard soundcard, then the FX Audio DAC X6 is a decent choice for your HD58X. 

Drop x Sennheiser HD58X (Image: Drop)

Check on Drop

iFi xDSD

iFi xDSD Portable Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amplifier - for Smartphones/Tablets/Computers/Digital Audio Players
iFi xDSD (Image: Amazon)

Read Amazon Reviews 

One of the best mid-range DAC/Amps right now is the iFi xDSD. It serves as a good middle ground between the entry-level iFi Nano BL and the more expensive iFi Micro BL/iFi Micro Signature. It has the bass boost and 3D+ Holographic modes found on the more expensive iFi Micro Series but has the compact and portable form factor of the more budget-friendly iFi Nano BL.  

But additionally, the xDSD has a unique feature that gives it the edge over the iFi Nano and Micro BL. That feature is its Bluetooth functionality. This makes the xDSD more versatile than the other two since you can easily connect it to different devices such as smartphones, laptops, and DAPs that support Bluetooth. This also makes it more convenient to use outside since you won’t have to mess around with OTG cables or IC cables. 

Additionally, the xDSD has more inputs than the iFi Nano BL. It has support for digital audio input via USB/USB OTG as well as coaxial/optical input. Its 3.5mm output also serves as a 2V line-level output. 

Overall, if you are looking for a feature-packed DAC/Amp that has plenty of power for the Sennheiser HD58X, then the iFi xDSD is a great option.  

Specifications 

> 2.82V/500 mW @ 16 Ohm

> 3.7V/270mW @ 50 Ohm

> 3.8V/48 mW @ 300 Ohm

> 3.8V/24 mW @ 600 Ohm

iFi Micro iDSD Signature 

iFi Micro iDSD Signature Transportable DAC and Headphone Amp
iFi Micro iDSD Signature

One of our top picks is the iFi iDSD Signature. This model is the sequel to the highly acclaimed iFi Micro iDSD Black Label, which has been featured multiple times on our website. 

And that is mostly because of its output power, features, and build quality. With the new updated model, you can expect even better results. 

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 HD58X. 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 Sennheiser HD58X. 

Additionally, you can modify the sound of the HD58X without the use of a digital EQ. You can tighten the low end of the HD58X as well as widen the soundstage through the use of the xBass and 3D Holographic features. 

Overall, if you are looking for a powerful and feature-packed DAC/Amp for your Sennheiser HD58X, then you cannot go wrong with the iFi Micro Signature. 

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

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)

If you are looking for a budget desktop DAC/Amp, then we highly recommend the iFi Zen DAC. Despite its entry-level positioning, it is widely considered as a bargain thanks to its driving power and features. It can easily 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. 

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

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

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 HD58X. 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 adds 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 fairly intimate soundstage of the HD58X. 

Drop also offers the iFi Zen DAC + Zen CAN Signature Edition. It is a modified version of the Zen CAN and Zen DAC tailored specifically for the HD58X. The price is significantly higher, but it might be worth looking into if you don’t plan on using this setup for other headphones/IEMs. 

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 the Sennheiser HD58X. 

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)

Schiit Hel 

Schiit Hel (Image: Schiit)

If you wish to use the HD58X 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 capable of driving the HD58X. 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 amplifiers and DAC stack, so having the same DAC chip instantly makes it outperform similarly priced gaming DAC/Amps.  

The power of the amplifier section isn’t its strongest suit. It is about equal to the Zen DAC and won’t match other options such 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 Schiit Hel and HD58X 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

JDS Labs Element 2 

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

If you are looking for a desktop DAC/Amp that can easily drive the HD58X without the need for an external amplifier, and if you wish to have a neutral signature, then the JDS Labs Element 2 is a great option. This unit checks all the boxes for both professionals and audiophiles.

It has an all-aluminum chassis that feels considerably more premium than competing options. The overall design is also very clean and minimal. 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 HD58X to even more demanding and less efficient headphones such as high-end planar magnetic headphones. It does this with authority, which helps bring the HD58X to life. 

Also, the Element 2 does not introduce any coloration to your headphones. This is great if you plan on using the HD58X 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 soundstage expansion, 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 HD58X. 

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)

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