At least that makes some kind of sense.
Well thanks everyone. As a result of your advice. I have been told that a Headphone amp with MacIntosh type sound is around the corner. So soon I shall find out if earplugs can do it. Originally I was using the headphone out on the computer as a source.
To try added amplification I tried:
Computer> analog> receiver> earphone
This was not much different. So I moved the DAC conversion away from the computer, ahead to the receiver.
Computer> digital> receiver> earphone
There was not much change in the sound out of the earphones.
The speakers on the other hand had a fantastic change.
Computer> digital> receiver> speakers
Everything is different with the receiver’s DAC using speakers. I can hear people on the sidewalk in the background on TV shows downloaded from Vuze. Music that I have lived with for years mysteriously has picked up a few new instruments. The receivers DAC made a greater change to the speakers than it did to the earphones. Maybe the iMac computer had enough power and conversion to deal with the tiny earphones. Enough so that the receivers DAC did not make a noticeable improvement. The speakers were always using the receivers amps, but until now not the converter. The conversion to analog inside the receiver instead of the computer, unleashed more sounds to the speakers, but not to the earphones.
okay, troll or not, you deserve a short answer. what an amp will do for the sound is similar to what good suspension will do in a car: it makes sure the engine power is useful when transferred to the wheels. if you dropped a lamborghini 12 cylinder engine into a vw beetle without changing everything else, you would not enjoy the result. a dedicated IEM amp can help you get the best out of IEMs (but not in the silly analogy you make with macintosh amps). try it and listen, instead of speculating on the basis of an inappropriate example.
It's not worth it (I don't like the extra bulkiness). I only use amps where necessary - on big headphones. If I only had IEMs then I wopuld use the amp for movies and stuff. I just use the IEMs for mp3 players and they're definitely loud enough.
It's not about loudness. It's reproducing frequencies properly, with enough (or desired) decibels to each frequency range, instead of hearing noise.
Like one sticky said (someone correct me if I start spouting rubbish), you can crank up a radio with a good amp; or you can crank up a rather good player/CD player with a lousy amp. You're not going to like the reproduction.
Of course most people could live with sound being "just nice" but plenty in head-fi are of the agreement that even portable amps offer substantial improvement in sound. Whether it's SQ, having desired sounds (warm, neutral, cold, blah blah).
I agree with the post above. It's not about the Loudness. In car and home audio I prefer alot of headroom. The lower I can keep the gain on a amplifier the better. Now that is not a end all statment but you get what I mean. Like everything you are a slave to your signal. The cleaner the signal means the lower the distortion. The lower the distortion means the better the sound and lower the Heat/Stress put on your speaker.
Nothing Personally Against the OP but it's post like your first one that make me really hate McIntosh users. Just because the spend "x" amount of money doesn't mean they are the super audiophile. The best quote I have heard was on Diymobleaudio.com and that is "The ability to purchase high end audio gear does not make you a audiophile."
IMO in portable terms you can bypass an integral amp (line out) from your device delivering a flat output which then enables you to manipulate the sound the way you want it.
In amps where you cannot roll opamps they are built and geared to delivering a better sound than any headphone out/source opamp can without distortion.
If the headphone out delivers enough power without distortion and you like how it sounds, fair play.
There are soo many people who are still walking around with original apple earbuds, again fair play.
Those people do not post here.
The comment of not worth it, again imo makes me wonder why you even reached this site in the first place.