It's interesting how differently we all hear things, because I very strongly disagree with this. I really like my Porta Pros and I think they represent a fantastic value, but I pretty much never listen to them because I prefer all of my other gear. Anyway, my pick for budget gear is the classic Bottlehead Crack + Sennheiser combo (HD6XX, HD650, HD600). It lives up to its reputation and sounds simply lovely. I've used a few DACs with it and it doesn't seem to matter a significant amount. It sounds great with my old Schiit Modi 2 Uber or Modius (AKM version) and even better with my Bifrost 2/64. As far as I understand it, the Speedball upgrade has pros and cons and isn't necessarily better. Mine doesn't have it, and I quite like it the way it is, so I'm not sure if I'll ever install the Speedball. If you get upgraditis, the Crack works wonderfully with ZMFs, too. I hear good synergy with my Auteur and Atrium, in particular. It helps to smooth the ever-so-slightly rough lower treble. The downside (or upside depending on your perspective) is that it's DIY, so you have to build it. Or spend some time finding a pre-built one. I enjoyed building it, but others may not.