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Thinkin about a Total Airhead for my 80GB 5.5G iPod

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So for the last few years I've been using my Audio-Technica ATH-A500s right out of the headphone jack of my various iPods. I've been thinking about upgrading my A500s to get better sound. They sound fantastic out of the 5.5G 80GB headphone jack. At least I thought they did...

Tonight I did something I hadn't done in a very long time. I plugged my headphones into my receiver and popped a CD in my Pioneer DV578A-s. Wow! I completely forgot what bass sounded like! And the detail! Just amazing how much difference there was. So I got curious and popped my 3G fat iPod nano into my iPhone dock and hooked up a mini-jack to RCA cable. I was blown away again! I heard detail in music I hadn't heard in years! Right now I'm listening to Metallica's “One”. The MP3 I encoded from the CD using EAC, LAME 3.98 and HA's recommended settings for -v 0. The quality of sound coming out of the line-out being powered by the iPod nano is just mind blowing. I forgot how good music can sound. No wonder I've been disappointed with music lately!

I just spent a few hours going through all the music I had bought over the last few years and had only listened to through my iPods headphone out.

I absolutely miss all of this detail. And the bass! I'm not a basshead (anymore!) but wow. I forgot what a bass drum is supposed to sound like. When Lars hits the bass drum theres actually low frequency deep sound coming out of my headphones, not just a dull thud like on the iPod! “Enter Sandman” is playing now. I can actually hear the bass guitar! Amazing. I haven't heard that in years.

So I'm wondering, will a Total Airhead give me this level of quality? Will I be able to hear all of the detail I do now? Thats sort of a silly question considering its coming out of the iPod line-out at the moment. But will the sound be as “alive”? Will low-end bass finally exist again? If I listen to Alicia Keys am I going to get a deep rumble that makes the headphones vibrate or am I going to get a boomy thud? If I listen to a fast rock song, am I going to “feel” that bass drum like I do now running the iPod's line-out to the receiver?

I just switched back over to my 5.5G iPods headphone out and I can't believe just how dull and lifeless it sounds. The detail is gone, the bass is gone..

I like the idea of a the Total Airhead or Bithead because of Headroom's willingness to stand behind their product with both the warranty and 30 day money back guarantee.

I'm thinking about using one of those with my A500s now and maybe a pair of Grado SR60s, since I'm listening to more rock lately.

So.. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 3
Well... I had a Total Bithead, and while happy with it for a while, I am quite a lot happier with my iBasso D2 Boa. However, if you are looking for just an amp and not a DAC as well, you could get a better amp for the $ of the D2 Boa.

The Total Bithead will go down low enough, coupled with a line-out dock for the iPod. It will let you overcome the deficiencies in the iPod's headphone port... but there is still room to move .
post #3 of 3
I have the Bithead and Boa. I use the Boa more but the Bithead is a nice backup when needed. The Bithead does not play my high-rez files (>48kHz) while the Boa does.
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