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Amp option for iPhone?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have the new 3g iPhone and am looking for an smallish amp to go with it. Any suggestions, please?

I currently have the Hornet which is fine with my 5.5th gen iPod , but can't really see myself bolting it on to a iPhone!! it'd be far too bulky.

I'll also need to figure out a decent out cable to use with my iPhone 3g as my ALO cable no longer works with it (not even using the airplane mode)

I tell you, if someone released a small amp that fitted directly into the dock they'd make a fortune!
post #2 of 32
Your dock needs to have pin 1 and 11 connected to work with the iPhone. As for amping I decided to go without for several reasons.

1. The iPhone headphone out is actually pretty good and certainly good enough for me for portable use.
2. Even though I didn't have a doc cable with the right pin configuration I tried to put my Xin SuperMini (the only amp I would consider for the iPhone due to it's size) next to the iPhone and got my ears blasted from rf interference so guess it would be the same with most other amps unless they are shielded.

Actually I have now sold my Nano+SuperMini's as the sum total of using just the iPhone is so apealing to me and it does everything I need it to do good enough.
post #3 of 32
x2 to NC8000's comments.

I'm running a pair of Yuin PK1's (fairly power-hungry) directly from an iPhone 3G and they've got plenty of power to drive them with authority. They have a slightly wider soundstage driven from my iPod 5G+Predator, but I'm not missing a whole lot beyond that.

Andrew
post #4 of 32
agreed as well. iphone 3G along with my yuin pk-1 or UE-10 sounds good enough to me.
post #5 of 32
post #6 of 32
Count me among those who wonder whether an amp is really a plus to listen to music out of an iPhone or not ! (connected unamped to a Touch , my GS 1000 sound very good) .
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thaks for the replies. I'm considering an amp as I may well get a pair of UE11s, and I don't think I'll get the best out of them unamped
post #8 of 32
U are always better off with amps...it always comes down to how worse are u without them?
post #9 of 32
My iPhone sounds fine with both the Klipsch Image and the UE-10pro with no amp.

You can amp with a LOD if you turn off the phone and reboot with the LOD attached. If you don't put it in flight mode you can have interference.

The SQ is pretty good, but then I only have AAC 256 and MP3 on my iPhone, and my iPod 5.5 with ALAC, LOD, Hornet then UE-10Pros still beats it pretty well.

Just depends on your needs, I would never consider my iPhone to be my critical listening DAP. Convenient as hell if I have some IEMs in my pocket when I end up with some time to waste... but not the same as lugging the good stuff for music off the iPod, or a movie burned into the iPod Touch.
post #10 of 32
I just got my Tomahawk last Friday. First off, RSA sent it out the day I ordered it and it got to Canada in 2 business days. Hats off to Ray for customer service.

This is my first headphone amp. I can confirm that the improvement in SQ, while there, is not going to be blow your mind. I use the iPhone 3G, LOD, Tomahawk, SR-325i/HD590/SE310.

I find the soundstage to be a bit wider. The clarity/separation on busy tracks to be better. Dynamics are more dramatic. You can't always notice the difference, since some tracks just don't have that much going on. The Smashing Pumpkin's "Siva" really showed the difference with the overdubbed distorted guitars each being well defined, while it went to mush using the headphone out. I would say the average improvement would be around 3-5%. Is it worth the money? That's up to you. I don't regret getting it, but I doubt I will be upgrading soon. Another $500 for 1-2% gains, just doesn't strike me was worthwhile and I feel the current setup is as audiophile as I am willing to go with a mobile setup.

I'm a n00b, so these opinions are based on my ignorance.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzylogic76 View Post
That's a no no. You'll die of the planet-destroying static it produces when it's close to cellphone interference.
post #12 of 32
I've also recently received a Tomahawk and feeding the amp with my 1st gen iPhone. I don't have a LOD yet but I'm not even sure if I really need one for what probably would be a minuscule difference in SQ (if any). From what I can perceive, the soundstage opens up a bit with the Tomahawk. Details are also a little more refined and the sound is tighter and more on point overall. There was a bit of sibilance from the amp initially but I've had this baby burning for at least 60 hours now and the sibilance is now tamed. I don't really hear all that much of difference in SQ out of the amp compared between now and when I first listened to it other than the aforementioned sibilance issue. The Tomahawk sure did a great job on my ATH-ANC3 headphones (with the active NC turned off), but that's not too big of a surprise as they are 90 ohms. The Tomahawk also deals with the phone interference quite well.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonthouse View Post
That's a no no. You'll die of the planet-destroying static it produces when it's close to cellphone interference.
Yes I guess that must be about as bad as my experience with a Xin SuperMini, not pleasant at all
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones13 View Post
You can amp with a LOD if you turn off the phone and reboot with the LOD attached. If you don't put it in flight mode you can have interference.
Forgive my ignorance, but on my iPod 5.5g/Hornet combo I use an Alo cable. Is this a LOD? The reason I ask is that my iPhone 3g does NOT work with the ALO using the flight-mode trick. I've tried turning off, inserting Alo, and turning on then choosing flight mode (as well as putting on flight-mode then restarting) but nothing is coming through the line out.
post #15 of 32
LOD = Line Out Dock so yes to your question.

I was pretty much quoting Ken from ALO about using his LOD with iphones. You can read his remarks in his forum section above.
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