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portable amps' usefullness

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
...with easy-to-drive headphones...

After having burnt in my ATH M-50 simply using them for a couple of weeks, my Voyager does not look worth its price anymore...

Now I drive them straight from my iPod... Though I must admit that some times I have to raise the volume a little to make them sound well, I'm really reconsidering my choice...


...Any similar experiences here?
post #2 of 29
If you're already getting plenty of volume, the main advantage of using an amp is to provide additional current for those types of headphones that may require it. A good example of this would be with Grados. Grados sound OK right out of a portable, but gain that authority if you give them a decent amp.

Another advantage is that an amp may allow you to use the lineout on a device, which often provides a cleaner signal on a portable than the headphone out.
post #3 of 29
That's why I sold my portable. I just run Grados straight from an iPod now. LODs, DACs, amps, etc. are more than I want to deal with portably. Besides, I'd rather put that money into the home rig where I can really settle back and enjoy it.
post #4 of 29
same here, I just don't really believe in a truely portable amp, having extra wires and even the smallest one stacked with your player is too much for me
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
I don't have portability necessities, just speaking about SQ! it looks like there is, after some time, too much of everything for my phones (ad I use a LOD!).

I don't know if I'll keep just to watch movies from my DVD...
post #6 of 29
"Another advantage is that an amp may allow you to use the lineout on a device, which often provides a cleaner signal on a portable than the headphone out."

that's already the reason why i use a portable amp
post #7 of 29
My ety hf5 set was fine out of the iPod, but it gained a more authoritative and assertive bass (it had a good bass, but it was not assertive so much as well defined and demure).

-Nkk

PS: This was without bass boost. With the boost, the become bass monsters compared to what they were.
post #8 of 29
even my easiest to drive IEMs benefit from the use of an amp, sensitive low impedance IEMs actually require more current than most daps can provide; sure you can drive them to ear splittingly loud levels, but the bass and HF extension and definition is not on par as with an amp. I dont believe in amping for amping sake, there must be a lineout present for me and the amp must be a big step up in quality. i'm not a big fan of amps like the E5, although I hear they do have good synergy with some gear.

of course the next level is using a portable dac/amp via optical and that has some serious advantages. as it is akin to improving the source, which will always bring results.
post #9 of 29
I can say that my Predator that I kind of bought on a whim after casually lusting after one for 6 or 7 months definitely has helped my Shure E4CL's when using a LOD from my iPod. Grado SR125's also have benefitted.
post #10 of 29
I don't think there's much doubt when it comes to portable amps and improved sound quality.

I am not using my portable amps on the go as much as I used to nowadays. When I am out and about, sound quality takes a back seat to portability.

I still do have portable amps and do use them, but now I use them when I travel or when I know I'll be relatively stationary but away from my headphone rig (I have two at home and one at work).
post #11 of 29
I use mine for volume boost more than anything, as my MP3 player can't compete with 75 mph wind noise and earplugs in my helmet. When just listening I don't use it, but I did opt for the mini^3 as I still wanted good sound....it was worth the $100 to me.
post #12 of 29
i do agree that with an portable amp, it will make your look weird but look at it, if your mp3 have a line out, (Apple ipod, creative vision M) it will make the sound more clearer and sound better.

If i use my MS1 with amp and compare without amp. MY MS1 would sound better with an amp, given it tightness in the bass, and bringing out.

And amp not only amplify out the volume, but also enhance the music quality.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edoardo View Post
...with easy-to-drive headphones...

After having burnt in my ATH M-50 simply using them for a couple of weeks, my Voyager does not look worth its price anymore...

Now I drive them straight from my iPod... Though I must admit that some times I have to raise the volume a little to make them sound well, I'm really reconsidering my choice...


...Any similar experiences here?
Let's be honest... portable headphone amps are just a luxury good that is good for looking serious about audio. (I do use them BTW, but NEVER on the move)

They're just like jewelry. Except that I probably wouldn't wear jewelry when no one sees me.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeless View Post
They're just like jewelry. Except that I probably wouldn't wear jewelry when no one sees me.
They are like jewelry except they can functionally turn me on and I don't let people see them when I wear them.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jian View Post
They are like jewelry except they can functionally turn me on and I don't let people see them when I wear them.
Well, jewelry can functionally turn you on just as well (or better, because it is reasonable to say that jewelry or not makes more difference than a portable headphone amp or not).


Regarding others seeing them, that's not required of portable amps, for you to feel proud (or just good) about your seriousness in portable audio.



So portable amps are indeed a luxury good, at least equally to jewelry.
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