Headphones + DAC

Hi all.
Let’s start with thoughts on Chord Mojo vs Ifi Hip DAC
and then pairing with Grado SR325e (WTB) & B&W PX7 (own)

QOBUZ via laptop & IPHONE IOS

DAC @ £400
Headphones @ £300

Thoughts, recommendations and alternatives always welcome.

Thank you

Hi i have this setup Mojo and Grado 325E which i use at my PC Mojo is a great DAC and Grados are fine as long as nobody else is around. There are a lot hear who would recommend the Meze 99 i havent tried them.

I cant comment on Qobuz although i live in France My village has bad internet so we use a 4G Sim with a data cap so no streaming service

On Iphone i use Onkyo Player connected to Mojo sounds great.

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That’s great. Thank you Xenasys

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+1 Meze 99’s
I have the same Grados but use the Meze’s more.

DACs - lots of choice at that price, as I’ve found out - see the headphones thread - ranging from aggressively neutral to musical to bass-heavy etc. Variety of technologies used, and don’t discount the need for a decent headphone amp if you go DAC only. Currently trialling Topping DX3 Pro (~£160) and RME ADI-2 Pro (~£700). ADI-2 is better but not vastly, Better enough for serious listening, but maybe not good enough for that. For bedside - not so sure. Office - probably…

I have the Mezes and have used them with a range of chord DACs, there is a real synergy there and I’d recommend that pairing anytime

All down to personal taste as usual, but I was very happy with a Chord MoJo and Senn HD 600’s fed from a laptop using either Qobuz or flac files. I have since upgraded to a Hugo 2 and Meze Empyreans, SQ is certainly superior but sadly much more expensive.
I would be tempted to listen to Meze 99’s with the MoJo, I suspect its an excellent combo and in budget. Good luck!

Thanks guys. Mezes sure do get mentioned a lot and no doubt for good reason I’m sure. Has anyone compared the SR325E v Meze 99?
It’s clear the mojo is a clear choice for headphone DAC

Not for me I hated it.

What would you suggest CrystalGipsy? Please share both DAC and headphones if possible. Thank you.

I have two setups. Meze 99 classics which I pair currently with an SMSL SU9 DAC and Schiit Magni 3 Heresy Head Amp in the bedroom. This gets a lot of use at weekends. RME ADI-2 DAC/Headamp with Focal Elears for main listening when not playing via my Naim hifi…

Love them both. I have had quite a few to get here AudioQuest Dragonfly Black, Red and Cobalt, and recently replaced Ifi Nano iDSD BL with the SMSL dac. When I tried a Mojo out I preferred the cobalt so it went back. I also have a DAP and Meze Rai Solo IEMs which gets use at my desk or out and about and some Shure SE425 IEM’s.

I am in no rush to look for anything else now, as it all for me works well and sounds great.

Wow. Nice work! Yeah I’ve gone through the AQ DACs and I was impressed but since moving away from MQA It’s just not getting used. So you would go with Meze over grado… for portability what DAC would you recommend? It would get used from iPhone and MacBook Pro…

I have owned Grado 325e and now GS3000e. When doing demos I found that various headphone marques seemed to have a definite ‘house style’ across several models. Grado tend to be quite fresh, fast and lively rather than rich or mellow. I would say that this is quite like the PRaT of classic Naim actually. I love them.

I guess what I am saying is I would be really keen to listen to several headphones before buying as in my experience they can sound very, very different and that is before you factor issues of comfort which can also be a deal breaker.

Be aware the Grado 325e are open back and leak a lot of sound if that matters to you. I have not heard the Meze 99 but that is a closed back design. By definition it is likely to sound quite different to any open back.


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I don’t like Grados from the experience I have had forgot I have a pair at work but as I have not been in since March forgot about them. They are a too bright , lack bass, no isolation, leak audio to everyone else and are poorly made in my opinion. Open backs are only good for truly private and inside listening.

For portable DAC use I don’t think you can beat the value of the AudioQuests. I tried the Mojo and my Ifi but too bulky and the Mojo suffers from RF interference which I find absolutely laughable considering its designed for portable use. The AQs are small so don’t take any room and sound good enough for mobile use. But I decided to ditch my portable and go for a dap instead. The Hiby R5 I use now is amazing for the cost and very small compared to many, balanced out and I can have all the streaming services for on/offline use and my phone is free for other things.

I’m with you CrystalGipsy, among other headphones I also have Grado 325e but I prefer a more natural sound so these are a great waste of money for me. They are way too bright and that is my main objection to them. You can make them almost acceptable with the tape mod on the cushions but as they are also uncomfortable they stay in the box. :grimacing:

Hey Chris how did you come to own the Grado ?

I have a headphone obsession and read several reviews of how they were supposed to compare favourably with other similarly priced headphones. It wasn’t possible to hear them before buying so I took a chance :frowning: How stupid is that?

I hear you been there done that !!!

Thanks all. I’m going to go with Meze 99 C and AQ Cobalt. Will post thoughts once delivered and worn in


Enjoy and please share your thoughts Cheers

There are not a lot of options when choosing headphones to hear them in your own rig. It’s a leap of faith but so far only had one bad call.