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ESW10 - can these improve more with an amp?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am still trying to convince myself that an amp will improve my listening experience with my ESW10 headphones but feedback has generally indicated only a small improvement.

Alternatively I can focus on my ER4P IEMs: get a class D ultra portable amp, get custom moulds and 'S' them.

Two situations, different requirements - work and travel.

* For work I wear my ESW10s as I can take them off without difficulty and there is no fatigue associated with having something jammed in my ears... and they sound darn good too.
* For travel, the ER4P IEMs are small and well... portable and isolate any background noise.

I listen most at work by a good margin so foucsing on my IEMs for travel may not represent such a good return of investment unless amping the ESW10s is a waste of money.

OK, now we have that over with here are my thoughts...

* Go for gold and get the best sounding portable to get the maximum improvement - can I really improve the ESW10s though?
* What am I after: more soundstage and detail.
* DAC is a nice to have but not essential, at least right now but you never know!

The list below represents some choices in order of preference with portability and cost removed

1. Lisa III
2. iQube (DAC vesrsion)
3. P-51 Mustang
4. Meier 3MOVE (cheap anc comes with DAC)

Can anyone please tell me if they have noticed a positive difference with any of the above with ESW10 and which amps work best including any not in my list??? I've also pretty much listed these as Skylab has them on his latest amp review update changing 2MOVE for 3MOVE

...so if I am completely wasting my money I may fall back to focusing on some of the latest ultra portables for my ER4P IEMs.

1. Pico Slim
2. Headstage Arrow 12HE


The Pico has such a nice looking build, the Arrow has configurability and is cheaper. Both reportably have great battery life. The again maybe I'm just after something for my ESW10s
post #2 of 28
I had mine for a while now and my portable (pico) rig yields little improvement. It becomes an EQ choice after that.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thats a really interesting point you make there Infoseeker; EQ.

Maybe thats somewhere I should be looking but can't help noticing just a gain switch at most on the vast majority of portable rigs. The Lisa is a slight exception with some bass control - more 3D staging would also be very nice.
post #4 of 28
i have esw9 which is essentially the same. tried with headsix that i owned, no diff. borrowed ttvj slim and iqube, no difference too. I guess it should be the same as to esw10. i even hooked it to desktop amp, no different too except a slight hint of bigger soundstage, thats all
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
I can't quite believe this (still in denial) but its looking like concensus is don't waste your $$$. I'd be interested to hear from any Lisa III owners/borrowers who have tried this combination.
post #6 of 28
I use my ESW10 at work with a Pico DAC/Amp. The combo is defiantly an improvement over the headphone jack of my computer/IPOD, but the amp alone makes an near infinitesimal difference. From my testing, the source makes all the difference.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately plugging into my PC is not going to be an option at work though I can see how a DAC can improve my setup at home. I was hoping it wasn't going to come back to the source as its too convenient having everything in one place - my iPhone.
post #8 of 28
buy clip+ and 8/16g micro sd. plug it to your esw10. voila, you have a separate phone and phone. whats best, this dap costs you only 70-ish depending on what micro sd you opted. trust me.....i've been in this road and happy. only since i got the cheap tf10, i switch camp. esw9 still a bit better BUT i dont want to sacrifice the ultra portability with esw9
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
The news looks grim on the DAC front, at least reading this post where ESW10s were used in the evaluation...

CEntrance DACport - high-sampling ready portable USB DAC - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

So its not like these are terrible sounding headphones, far from it, but its the idea that you can make incremental improvements to what you have over time that excites me.

In my case I needed/wanted closed over the ear that were relatively discreet for the environment I am in and the ESW10s fitted the bill exactly. Denon D7000s on the other hand were going to draw plenty of undesired attention and would take up too much real estate in my bag. Sigh
post #10 of 28
I am not complete sure how he tested, but I think you need to read between the lines.
My interpretation is that he saw a bigger change with the hd800 because they are harder to drive. If he was just comparing the output of his netbook vs the dacport, the dacport probably has a much better amp section. This would give a good performance bump to the senns if they were being underpowered.

There are small performance boosts to be had, but amping these really does not do a whole lot.

I owned the d7000 for a few months and they did not change a whole lot between amps either.
post #11 of 28
The ESW10s sound wonderful even straight out of an iTouch. It's designed to used as portable headphones so I doubt exotic gears are necessary. If you need a nice, affordable companion with it, think about the Nuforce uDAC ($99) which sounds amazing for its value and has great synergy with all the ATs I tried so far (AD2000, ESW9, ESW10).
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Awesome - the Nuforce even comes in Orange :-) This might be just the ticket for my Genelec 6010a PC speakers which use RCA if nothing else. Definately worth some reading up.

I had mentioned in a previous post how cool it would be if say the iPad AKA giant iPhone, which I would have a genuine use for, supported a DAC - it supports a USB LOD for copying files over from you camera's memory card though I suspect DAC support would be a little more exotic, at least at this time.
post #13 of 28
The ESW10JPN, as said already, sound plenty good out of a DAP.

However, out of my WA6, they shine to the class of my other fullsize headphones like RS1, HD650 and K701. It would probably be overkill to dedicate a fullsize amp just for the ESW10JPN alone though.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Nice amp though might attract a little too much attention; its also in the same price ballpark as the Lisa III

Not knowing much about tubes (at present) I see they can run you up a few bucks depending what type you have if they blow

Its looks really nice though (drool)

So how much better to we get to with the WA6 - hell; I can't see myself using an amp on the road. Just need a armoured carry case for this puppy - those tubes are way too delicate.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post
The ESW10JPN, as said already, sound plenty good out of a DAP.

However, out of my WA6, they shine to the class of my other fullsize headphones like RS1, HD650 and K701. It would probably be overkill to dedicate a fullsize amp just for the ESW10JPN alone though.

yeah, my darkvoice yields a bigger difference too.
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