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~$200 to play with, recommendations?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I have about $200 to put toward a portable amp and I need your help. I have Shure SE530s connected to an Ipod Nano. I looked at the massive 38 amp post and the other SE530 post, but I'm overwhelmed and over my head. I can't figure out which amp (or amps) would be the best pairing for my price range. I'm looking at the HeadRoom Airhead, iBasso, Little Dot MK I, etc. I haven't explored all the options available, so any recommendations are greatly appreciated. One thing that may help is that I don't need to plug it into a computer, so a DAC is not a necessity. I just want the best portable I can afford to take with me on trips. Thanks!
post #2 of 38
Hmmmm i dont know much about the Ibasso D2 Boa, but ive read alot of mixed thoughts on it. I personally have a Go Vibe Petite and its great value for the money. I had to toss up between it and the Boa since both are around the same price delivered to Aus. The little Dot MK1 seems to get a bit of love also... All i ended up doing to choose mine was read peoples thoughts/reviews on here and The Jaben forums. Little Dot MK1's go for a fairly cheap price on Ebay except you void the warranty if you dont buy from the right distributers and something goes wrong with the amp.
post #3 of 38
Darkhaven -- Skylab's description of the Meier Corda XXS/Headisx made it seem like perhaps the best value for the money out of all those amps, and it's in your range. I just bought a used Headsix from a Head-fier. I hasn't arrived yet, but I'll post my thoughts when it does. Keep in mind, though that while I've had some good home theater/hi-fi equipment in my day, this is my first foray into headphone amplification. Take anything I say with a shaker full of salt.
post #4 of 38
I have a very similiar setup and I love the ibasso d2 boa and it is right at your budget
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townyj View Post
Hmmmm i dont know much about the Ibasso D2 Boa, but ive read alot of mixed thoughts on it. I personally have a Go Vibe Petite and its great value for the money. I had to toss up between it and the Boa since both are around the same price delivered to Aus. The little Dot MK1 seems to get a bit of love also... All i ended up doing to choose mine was read peoples thoughts/reviews on here and The Jaben forums. Little Dot MK1's go for a fairly cheap price on Ebay except you void the warranty if you dont buy from the right distributers and something goes wrong with the amp.
what mixed thoughts? I have read hundreds of posts and basically every one was great and said that the ibasso is the best bang for the buck under 200 dollers
post #6 of 38
There is another thread on the cheap tomahawk on ebay
post #7 of 38
I would try out some used full size headphones. If you dont like them, you can always sell them back here for a decent price
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyb213 View Post
what mixed thoughts? I have read hundreds of posts and basically every one was great and said that the ibasso is the best bang for the buck under 200 dollers
Well alot of people are saying that it is mint with the Shure E530's... and Edition 9 Ultrasone's.. Amps are one of those things, you buy and try it.. Either like the one you use or dont. Not everyone uses the same setup, things "can" clash etc. But hey im new to this aswell so i dont have a big say here!
post #9 of 38
A lot of good choices in sub $200 amps!

Mini^3

MiniBox E+

C&C XO

Headsix if any are left!

PD XM4

Best of luck on your quest Darkhaven:-)
post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 
Lot's of options here, no doubt. I'd like to look at Podster's list, plus the iBasso Boa. Let's go through them, tell me what you think. My thoughts are:

Corda Headsix - Can't speak to audio quality, not much info on specs. Doesn't have many adjustments, no rechargable lithium (bain or boon, depending), no DAC

MiniBox E+ - Can't speak to audio quality, but the specs are certainly impressive. Like the adjustability, powerful rechargable 18v lithium. No DAC (not a necessity for me, but a nice option). I'm really impressed with the look of this amp on paper.

C&C XO - Can't speak to audio quality, but the specs look pretty good. The fit and finish is impressive, the adjustabillity is AMAZING!. Nice lithium ion rechargable, No DAC. I'm really impressed with the look of this amp on paper.

PD XM4 - Can't speak to audio quality, but on paper specs are generally good. The exception that worries me is a limited dynamic range. It starts at 40hz, which appears to cut off some usable bass. IF this is true, I would disqualify the XM4 from consideration. It's got a lithium ion rechargable options and many sound options, which are nice.

iBasso Boa - Can't speak to audio quality. Specs are not known, but generally regarded as a nice little unit. Rechargeable battery and gain switch are a plus. Only one in the line-up with a DAC, which is very nice. Definitely a contender.

I'm most impressed with the MiniBox E+, C&C XO, and iBasso Boa. Any thoughts on my comments or these three amps? Thanks!
post #11 of 38
I don't think the XO gets too many good reviews on here. I think quality wise the boa is better than the minibox - but the minibox's form factor is cooler lol.
post #12 of 38
I've heard great things about the mini^3
post #13 of 38
You might also consider the Go-Vibe Petite+USB DAC. This is on the SoundCat sponsor link on the Head-Fi home page now. Looks like $195, prolly have to add some for shipping though.
I dont think you can make an well informed decision before you read the http://http://www.head-fi.org/forums...ess-up-338443/ by HeadphoneAddict. He has the SE530 in his review. His review does have amps beyond the $200 mark, but it might help some, maybe.
post #14 of 38
why not a Little Dot MK I
post #15 of 38
I'll give you my input when i receive my d2 boa
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