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Help! Need an portable amp for work <100

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

My job this summer has been terribly boring sitting at a desk and databasing...the sound quality out of the computer is not so hot, I think it's time for an amp! I don't really want to invest more than $100, and I want something that will get better sound out of my Grado Sr60, B&O form 2, K81 DJ, basically the headphones I use at work. Something portable and not too big would be ideal. Running off of either batteries or being powered by computer are both options I would consider. I own a boostaroo, and I do not consider this to be any sort of fidelity improvement. Please help me!!!!!! I will be willing to spend up to $150 if it is absolutely necessary or will provide me with much greater value. I am also looking for a high value/price item... you know, basically the KSC75 or PX100 of headphone amps..

Hope there's something out there that suits my needs!

-Rob
post #2 of 48
Well if you want sound quality improvement you'll want a USB soundcard to bypass that cheap onboard audio. For < 100, why not try a M Audio Transit? It's not an amp, but amplifying the trash audio card is just garbage in, garbage out. Who knows, it might make your boostaroo perform better.

If you want both amp and USB in one unit, try to pick up something used off the for sale board (like a Porta Corda MkIII USB). The Move is real nice but you will pay full price ($235) to get it. I can't speak to other vendor offerings but Meier designs good quality stuff with great value.
post #3 of 48
I am also looking for a high value/price item... you know, basically the KSC75 or PX100 of headphone amps...

I'd check out the Go-Vibe from Norm if I was in your position. Head to the Go-Vibe website and also search this forum for people's impressions of it. The cans you listed as your "work" cans are all fun listens, so your amp should be, as well. The Go-Vibe definitely fits that bill. You'd be powering it by battery or wall-wart though, not USB. Also, because buying it won't break the bank, if it gets damaged or stolen while at work you won't be too set back. Good luck in your search and I hope you have fun with whatever you settle on. zD
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsborken View Post
Well if you want sound quality improvement you'll want a USB soundcard to bypass that cheap onboard audio. For < 100, why not try a M Audio Transit? It's not an amp, but amplifying the trash audio card is just garbage in, garbage out. Who knows, it might make your boostaroo perform better.
hes right, start from the source, so what you need to do is look for an AMP with a built in DAC.

http://www.headphone.com/products/he...head-clear.php

can anyone teach me how to embed urls without actually having the URL in there?

i wanted it to just say "total bithead" but then direct to that link.
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
I dont know how to get it to just say the word instead of th link but thanks for the suggestions. Zombie, you hit the nail on the head, my work headphones are all fun-sounding, and I would like to expand on the fun. I agree with Chris Himself that a built in DAC would not be a bad idea, as from what I am reading, that is what will upgrade the sound. I have access to a wall plug as well, I forgot to mention this.

Can someone please just recommend something that will A) get me the most out of my headphones... and B) not cost absolutely more than $150. (with less than 100 preferable) C) Keep the options for "fun" amps coming.

Borkin, what website can i find the amp you recommend at?
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
Also at some point down the road, probably in september I am likely to upgrade my SR60 to something higher end in the Grado/allesandro line... so recommendations for an amp that suit grado's well would be great. Thanks
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post
can anyone teach me how to embed urls without actually having the URL in there?
I will give an example but change url to urm so it doesn't make a link:

[URM="http://www.google.com"]http://www.google.com[/URM]

see how the link is in there twice? If you change it between the bracketed mark-up, you will have what you want:

[URM="http://www.google.com"]Google Home Page[/URM]
post #8 of 48
For under 100$ i would look for:
- Xtra x1 i love the sound
- minibox d (very nice looking i don't know for the sound)
- ibasso t1 or t2
- go-vibe v5 if some are left or v6 which is for me the best 100$ portable amp out here...
post #9 of 48
For cheap portable amps, I'd check out GoVibe or something from MisterX (you'll need to PM him).

I wouldn't want to buy something with non-conventional rechargeable batteries like ibasso t2 because then you'll be out that much money down the road when you start getting < 5 hrs on a charge.

Also, if since none of your headphones NEED an amp, I'd recommend extending the budget (...as always) and getting a Supermicro ($180) or Supermini ($200)... just get some Eneloop AAA batteries and you'll retain charge for a very long time, too.

I also just found out the Supermini has a built-in impedance adapter so it supposedly cleans up the sound of cans like KSC75 and IM716/ER4P... but I'm not sure about other cans. Pretty neat, IMO.
post #10 of 48
Of the ones I have heard in that price range I would suggest the Porta Corda MkIII ($160 including S&H) or the Supermicro IV ($182 including S&H). Good luck.
post #11 of 48
Or you can get a cheaper solution. With not the same audio quality, but very good sound for the buck for sure which is the PAV2V2. Costs $60 shipped, the battery lasts FOREVER and it comes with a charger also ...
post #12 of 48
just bought a PA2V2 and itll come on friday id suggest you buy one of those two because the guy told me i could return it if i could find a better deal anywhere else.
post #13 of 48
Did anyone say iBasso T2 yet? Ya prolly but I'll say it again.

It works well with SR60.
post #14 of 48
i cant put too much confidence into something that small and i wanted something that looks cool enough to carry around, it just looks like an ipod nano attached to my zune.
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
how is the total airhead or total bit head? Are these overpriced relative to some of the others?
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