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HeadRoom Portable Micro impressions [UPDATED WITH PICS]

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
UPS screwed up, they put the wrong shipping label on my box. Anyway it got here intact and on time.
The box was just a white carton box. The Amp itself is contained in two pieces of shock-absorbing foam. Also is a wall-wart that came with the amp.
BUILD
It it smaller than it looks on the pictures, though it was heavier than I expected. The aluminium shell sure is tough, if you knock on it, you will not hear the empty oscillations of a thin metal casing. There are two rubber gaskets at both ends (not water-resistant in any way). The casing is slightly curved and has rounded corners unlike a lot of those aluminium-box type of amps out there. I suspect that the aluminium is anodized, not painted, and that it is quite slippery despite the light textures. Indeed it feels very substancial in your hand... Nothing rattles inside, the switches are firm and the pot is smooth when turning. Very high quality build, indeed.
SOUND
Eqp: IPC 160GB Late 2009. RAM Electronics I-Extreme iPod docking cable, straight plug, 5ft. beyerdynamic DT880-32 (2005). Amp at Mid gain, Crossfeed ON.
The Portable Micro shows substancially improved control over the Total AirHead. Bass was improved, not in quantity, but in quality. It feels much more impactful and has better extension. The bass is very detailed without sounding overly rich. Mids are quite flat, however due to this improved control, it has become apparent to me that this beyerdynamic has mids that are a bit sunk. The highs are clear, well extended, but does not feel completely open (sounds a bit uneasy).
Binaural tracks sound wonderful with this (Crossfeed OFF). The sound position is simply incredible. Basically, when listening to the Audio STAX CD, close your eyes and you're off. This was never found on the AirHead. The sound is notably way more dimensional and full.
GRIPES
Arn't much, really. You'll hear just how badly recorded (and / or mastered) they are, some of your tracks. With the amp itself, the charge indicator is never off (it's supposed to be off when fully charged), just dim. HeadRoom says the amp recharges fully in 2-3 hours, well I left it there for around 4 hours and that light is still just dim. Minor defect?
SUMMARY
I bought this amp mainly for the crossfeed, since I get headaches without it. Did consider the ZENHEAD, that was supposed to sound tube-like, so no. There are many, many other amps out there around this price ($400 USD), and unfortunately I have never even considered them (notably RSA) due to the lack of crossfeed. If you don't get headaches, though, you get way more choices. Your call.

EDIT: The charge light tunned OFF after (a total amount of) about 10 hours of charging. Maybe they stuck a huge-capacity battery inside now?
LL
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post #2 of 31
Very cool, i like those headroom designs. Headphone amps for audiophiles no doubt.
post #3 of 31
I have the 2006 Micro Dac, which is wonderful for listening to files on the computer with top-o-the line headphones.

Only problem is,,that I spent extra money on the dedicated 6-port P/S and it just crapped out. No fuse. I am back to using the dreaded wallwart. Big difference in output. Have to contact them.
post #4 of 31
I want to hear some more HeadRoom amps. As one of the Original headphone amp makes, i dont see many people talking about HeadRoom on the forums anymore. Its a shame.
Im curious how this sounds next to the Portable Desktop.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Sorry sorry, can't afford-y!
But you may ask Tyll about that one. He uses an HD800 with it.

EDIT: Anyone ever heard about Tyll's old bundle, and iRiver H140 with a nine-volt micro DAC and micro amp?
post #6 of 31
I had the micro amp and it sounded incredible with hd650.If I have to criticize one thing,it is the highs.I think the highs can be a bit more clearer and opened with some more air,but otherwise fantastic.I also drove the k701 with it and I felt that it was super with them.the soundstage depth could have been better,but otherwise bass and airness were fantastic with the 701.I only sold it because I purchased the wA6 and I needed another headphone to complement hd650.I regret it at times because the synergy with hd650 was really really good.I hope the woo6 will be better when it arrives.
post #7 of 31
I absolutely love my 2005 Micro. I will never sell it! and when it dies, I'll probably buy another one.
post #8 of 31
Funny, markkr. I just saw Shaun the Sheep for the first time this morning at a coffee shop here in Shanghai. I was giggling.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post
Funny, markkr. I just saw Shaun the Sheep for the first time this morning at a coffee shop here in Shanghai. I was giggling.
Shaun the Sheep is the BEST. I think I enjoy watching it more than my kids do.

I've even gone as far as buying the DVD's <embarrassed>
post #10 of 31
I'm a huge Micro fan. I use the Micro stack and love the versatility of it with any can I throw at it. I've got the 2006 Desktop module in my Micro amp and I'm curious how the newer ones sound in comparison.
post #11 of 31
Headroom has a basic house sound like RSA? How does it sound compared to RSA?
I heard one at the past meet with unfamiliar phones and was less than impressed.....but it could have been lack of synergy so i have to give it all another listen sometime.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag0n View Post
Headroom has a basic house sound like RSA? How does it sound compared to RSA?
I heard one at the past meet with unfamiliar phones and was less than impressed.....but it could have been lack of synergy so i have to give it all another listen sometime.
+1

I would really like to have the opportunity to compare it with the RSA Shadow, which I own, but never heard these. I like the Shadow as a truly portable amp due to its diminutive size and excellent battery life.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post
+1

I would really like to have the opportunity to compare it with the RSA Shadow, which I own, but never heard these. I like the Shadow as a truly portable amp due to its diminutive size and excellent battery life.
The Shadow is considerably smaller than a Micro. The Micro isn't the smallest portable amp around...
post #14 of 31
When i was in highschool i used to carry a boombox, so size doesnt matter to me.
Id carry a Lisa lll if it gave me the sound i want. I dont complain when the whole setup cant fit into a tictac box...lol.

I think there will come a day when people complain the Shadow is just to big and bulky to carry about...lol.

I just want to know if it sounds better than any of the other amps out there, or if its the same thing really, because honestly most amps are close enough, with only a few that truly stand out from the rest.
You have to directly compare to tell the difference. If i changed the innerts of your beloved amp while you slept and you woke up the day after to go about your daily business and took your music along, i bet most people wouldnt realize it was changed at all. Your aural memory just isnt that good. Oh i know some will swear they can tell the least change hearing it again next week, but theyre fooling themselves.
So is the Headroom amps any better, or close to the same in the same price range?
They look different.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well, the HeadRoom amps put up the least show, I'd say. No fifteen colors to choose from, no weird fonts, no Victorian designs, just a solid black aluminium box that sounds quite awesome to me.
I can compare the P-Micro to the AirHead but they're not exactly on the same level. Someone else? You've got the Arrow, RSA's, Pico and some others around this price.
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