All in one unit for headphones- help me decide

This is a follow up to a previous thread. I am looking for an all in one unit to run headphones (Sennheiser HD800S) at a newly acquired vacation home. I am looking for a Dac, headphone amp, streamer, ability to play files from a SSD (internal or external) and self contained software/app. Based upon my spending time at Axpona, I have the following 4 candidates:

Auralic Altair (g1.1 or 2.1)

Naim Atom headphone edition

Hifi Rose (250 or ?)

Cambridge eVO (150 or 75)

I can easily review the features ( so limit your comments), but I am interested if anyone has experience with the relative sonic performance through headphones of these units. I am not interested in the performance through speakers and their amp output, only headphones. I have a suspicion that since the HIFI rose and Cambridge focus more on display and bells and whistles, their sonic performance is a bit below the other two.


I auditioned the Naim - I it was very pleasing and a significant upgrade from my preamp with a headphone jack.

I would consider separate headphone amp and Bluesound node over the a unit with amp section and headphone amp. 

I haven't heard the first two, but can confirm the Rose and Cambridge models are not what I'd call really serious headphone solutions. They are fine for casual or late night listening on a $200 headphone, and I'm glad they have the option. But for a great headphone like HD800S you really want something more than those. 

@v-fi  +1


Very few integrated components with speaker outputs have quality headphone outputs… even on $10K units. I have heard some people say there are some. But I have never heard one.

So I would definitely nick the two bottom ones.