Best USB DAC to pair with the Aune X7s Class A headphone amp

    I'm currently in the planning stage of how best to upgrade the headphone portion of my home a/v system.  It's a combination 5.1 surround for ht and 2-channel computer audio music system.  For music I use a laptop running JRiver version 21 along with an Oppo 105 and Synology 2TB NAS all communicating with each other via wi-fi.  For headphone listening, I currently just use an older Audioquest Dragonfly usb DAC outputted to an older pair of V-Moda M-100 headphones.   As you can no doubt understand, I want to significantly update/upgrade this portion of my system.
     I've been doing a lot of internet research over the past couple weeks and decided the headphone section of my system would benefit most by 3 upgrades that I will be purchasing in the next few days:
1. A new usb DAC capable of converting my stored music on 24/96 flac files, but preferably up to 24/192 or higher just for future proofing.  As I currently understand DSD, I don't think I'd be needing that but I'm not adverse to having a DAC with that capability as long as the cost increase is reasonable. 
2. A new pair of high quality headphones.  
3. A headphone amp.   

     So, I'm looking for input, advice and specific suggestions about all 3 of these interrelated components from members with experience in computer audio. Lastly,  I'll just a give a few requirements, info and preferences on these 3 components to facilitate more informed and useful comments:
1. USB DAC- My laptop is on a swiveling stand at my listening position with a fairly large end table to my right.  I think a good solution for me would be running a usb cable from my laptop to the new dac.  The Dac would then be placed either on or below my end table with its l+r rca outputs providing the inputs for the headphone amp.  I'd prefer an 'in-line' type of usb DAC such as the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC or the JDS Labs Standalone ODAC RevB ($149).  Budget is $200 for a DAC.

2. Quality Headphones- I prefer headphones that are accurate with solid frequency response and dynamics from top to bottom.  I like impactful and extended bass response but only when the source material calls for it.  I'd love to be able to afford Stax, was considering the Monolith  and Audeze  planars but I'm not a fan of exagerrated bass like the Beats. Unfortunately, due to spousal considerations  I'm limiting my choices to over-ear closed back models to reduce sound leakage.  These are for home use only so portability is not needed.  I currently am considering the Sony MHR-1A and MHR-7Z and Oppo PM-3 but I'm still open to suggestions.  Budget is $500 for headphones.

3.Headphone amp- I was originally considering the Aune X1s combination DAC and amp but decided the Aune X7s pure class A amp with a standalone usb DAC would produce better sound quality.  I made that decision after watching this review on youtube: 

Budget is $300 for a headphone amp.  Total budget is $1,000.

Thanks in advance,

11/21/17 Update: Due to the lack of responses to this post, I had to make my choices without the benefit of the vast knowledge base that exists among the numerous members on this site.

However, realizing what a buzz and ’on the edge of your seat’ anticipation I caused throughout the entire Audiogon community by my scintilating thread, I know I have an obligation to these billions and billions of members to satisfy their almost unbearable curiosity and inform everyone of my choices so that they can attempt to recover from the constant conversations, emails, meetings and media reports all speculating about what decisions I would make regarding these crucial audio matters. I sincerely hope that most of these billions of members will be able to gain some semblance of a normal life after I announce my component choices listed below:

1.USB DAC- I bought the JDS Labs OL Dac for $100. I bought this desktop unit, rather than the Standalone ODac inline unit for $180, because it includes an added optical audio input and a separate ac power supply that requires no usb power and reduces noise. I also saved $80 and can stll stash it out of sight if I’d prefer.

2. Quality headphones- I bought a pair of open box "as new" Sony MDR-7Z for $459 (msrp new was $698). The site I bought them from,,in Mn., has a $100 off sale on these and other good phones right now, so I could have bought a new pair for $598. I bought the 7Z mainly due to this video review by Zeos Pantera at Zreviews

3. Amp- I bought the Aune X7s headphone amp for $289 from a seller that had this unit in stock and is located in the US. This amp is available for $249 but from vendors in China. I basically paid $30 more to get it in a few days rather than a few weeks. I bought this amp because I thought it was a good opportunity to experience class A amp sound at a very reasonable price and I know I’d never buy a class A amp to drive my home speakers.

I profusely apologize to all for the mass hysteria I caused by my provocative post and really wish we’ll all able to put this audio crisis I inflicted upon us all behind us.

Thank you

Tim, as long as you are enjoying yourself, the world with it's billions is a happier place because of it.

Informative self-post that's also funny. Thanks.

Hope you are feeling the Agon love now.....

I needed this as we just ran into a plumbing glitch with the kitchen renovation. : )

Keep us posted on your impressions and how everything works out.
Hi david_ten,

     Thank you for your kind reply.  I hope your kitchen reno plumbing glitch has been remedied without too much expense. I've been through a kitchen reno recently and understand a bit about unexpected glitches.  Hang tough and everything will likely turn out nicely.

     My new headphone system components should start arriving this Friday and I'm really looking forward to setting it all up and hearing the results.  I think I made some good choices but actually listening will be the true test.  

     Initially, I was just trying to figure out how to listen to my hi-res flac file music through headphones without running a long extension cord from my Oppo 105's headphone jack to my listening chair about 14-16' away.  Once I discovered there were no good methods to send outputted analog signals from my Oppo's dac without wires to a pair of headphones without sonic degradation, the solution became more obvious.

     I realized I'd need to set up a separate headphone system with its own dac.  I'd still be using JRiver software on my laptop to select the flac file to play.  The only difference will be that my Synology storage device will be instructed to stream the music file digitally to my laptop rather than to my main system's Oppo for D/A conversion.  My laptop will then channel the digital stream, through its usb output, to my new JDS Labs OL DAC for D/A conversion.  The analog signals will then be amplified by my new Aune X7s class A headphone amp and finally sent to my new Sony MDR-7z headphones for playback..
     I wrote this rather detailed description not only to remind myself of how my headphone system will function, but also so that future readers of this thread are able to gain insight on how they can also setup their own headphone system. 
     Once I have my new headphone system up and running for a couple weeks, I'll post again on this thread about the perceived results.  
Update on 10/20/2018:

    I had promised a followup post on how the system is functioning and sounds after it was up and running for a few weeks on my last post on 11/23/2017.  That was almost a year ago so this is obviously a bit overdue.
   Well, better late than never, right?  
   Everything arrived on time and in perfect condition.  It was a breeze to hook it all up and it's functioning just as expected.  The JDS dac is located under the end table next to my listening seat with the Aune amp and Sony 7Z headphones on a stand on top of this end table.  My Samsung laptop is located on an 'air desk' that allows it to be rotated in front of my chair when needed.
     I've been using it for about a year now listening to music from Spotify and my NAS as well as some A/V sources viewed on my laptop and listened to via my headphones from Netflix, Xfinity and Amazon Prime.
     I've really been enjoying this headphone system.  The dac and amp combo deliver a very detailed, full-bodied and natural sound with no detectable distortion or background noise.  The sound is reminiscent of the good class A amps I've heard in the past.  The power and dynamics are also very good with 1 watt of continuous class A and a whopping almost 4 watts of class A power available when required; plenty to drive the Sony 7Z headphones. 
     The headphones are  extremely comfortable with excellent bass response and a detailed and extended treble response that I don't perceive as rolled off but is also never fatiguing.  By 'excellent bass response' I definitely do not mean an over emphasis or an increase in the relative volume of the bass like Beats headphones favor.  I don't like the Beats type of bass that dominates the overall sound at all.and avoid it like the plaque. 
      I perceive the Sony 7Z's  bass response as completely different and excellent sounding because it is not over emphasized, it is just there in a very capable manner when the content calls for it.  The bass is natural, accurate, textured and as powerful as it needs to be with a consistently effortless quality. 
     This great bass response combined with a full-bodied midrange along with a detailed and extended treble results in what I consider an exceptionally good headphone for music and ht.  My understanding is that the unusually large bass driver utilized in the Z7 is mainly responsible for its extraordinarily good performance.
     I would describe these headphones as detailed overall with a slight warmth to the bass and midrange that I don't perceive as inaccurate on the content I listen to but I realize others may depending on the content they listen to.