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Do I need an amp to go along with the Zune?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all, do I need an amp to go along with the Zune and Shure E500? I know that Zune doesn't have a line-out. So does it affect the sound quality at all if I use an amp via the headphone-out? Is is worth to buy an amp? Thanks.
post #2 of 8
The Zune will do fine through the headphone-out. An amp will noticeably improve the sound, but it's up to you to decide whether you'd sacrifice quite a bit of portability for that increase.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna use Xin Supermicro, so portability is not an issue. I worry that the signal out of the headphone jack is not as good as the signal out of the line-out. Has any Zune owner compare the SQ out of headphone jack and out of the A/V jack on the dock? I don't want to pay 200 more for the amp without any real gain in term of SQ.
post #4 of 8
It sounds like there will be a line out option for the zune sooner rather then later.
post #5 of 8
I purchased my Zune after taking possession of a Black Hornet (or has it possessed me?).

Before the Zune, I used a Nano 2G with line-out. The Nano didn't have enough capacity, so I had a choice to make. Thanks to the great folks at Head-fi, I decided to get the Zune based on the reported SQ. (I also got the Cardas 6" mini-mini cable to connect them.)

Originally I used the Zune/Hornet rig to drive Sennheiser HD650s with outstanding results.

After realizing that the HD650's were not conducive to quality listening while at a crowded/loud Starbucks (the hell with the strange looks), I purchased the e500s.

IMHO, the Zune headphone output by itself is outstanding: no hiss, no clipping, no stress or congestion that I can discern. Of course this applies to the e500s only.

While Hornet did improve the e500s (insert the usual cliche audiophile superlatives here), it was subtle and I could live without it. However, given the choice, I wouldn't want to.

BTW, I set the Zune volume to 20/20 when using the Hornet.

Edit: I think I would be quite happy if the Zune line output was the headphone output without attenuation. Would that be phony?

-m
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ingwe View Post
I purchased my Zune after taking possession of a Black Hornet (or has it possessed me?).

Before the Zune, I used a Nano 2G with line-out. The Nano didn't have enough capacity, so I had a choice to make. Thanks to the great folks at Head-fi, I decided to get the Zune based on the reported SQ. (I also got the Cardas 6" mini-mini cable to connect them.)

Originally I used the Zune/Hornet rig to drive Sennheiser HD650s with outstanding results.

After realizing that the HD650's were not conducive to quality listening while at a crowded/loud Starbucks (the hell with the strange looks), I purchased the e500s.

IMHO, the Zune headphone output by itself is outstanding: no hiss, no clipping, no stress or congestion that I can discern. Of course this applies to the e500s only.

While Hornet did improve the e500s (insert the usual cliche audiophile superlatives here), it was subtle and I could live without it. However, given the choice, I wouldn't want to.

BTW, I set the Zune volume to 20/20 when using the Hornet.

Edit: I think I would be quite happy if the Zune line output was the headphone output without attenuation. Would that be phony?

-m

How did the 2nd gen nano with line out and hornet compare to the zune from the headphone out with the hornet with your E500's?
post #7 of 8
Yeah, zune headphone out at 20/20 can actually compete with iPod's lineout
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JarodL1 View Post
How did the 2nd gen nano with line out and hornet compare to the zune from the headphone out with the hornet with your E500's?
Good question; I recall preferring the Zune, but I don't recall why. So, I'll take a risk/plunge and compare them. Stay tuned...

Edit: BTW, regarding the The Hornet Effect (should be a movie title ) on the 500s, I -do- recall that the Hornet revealed more definition and seperation within the recording--more 3D, if you will. But, as always, YMMV depending on source and other stuff in the chain.
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