Ok, so I've been lurking around Head-Fi for a few months now, reading mostly about head phones and I finally decided on the Ultrasone HFI-580's. I've had them for a few weeks now and I love them. But now I'm becoming keenly aware of how underwhelming an iPhone is as a source. So I've been reading about desktop amps and dac's and I think I've settled on the Fiio E9/E17 combo. But before I actually go buy them, I wanted to run a few things by the geniuses of the Head-Fi forums. I do most of my music listening (mostly symphonic metal) at work with my iPhone (can't use my work computer for music). Currently I just plug my 580's directly into my iPhone. Here are my questions...
1) Can I do this... iPhone --> E9/E17 --> 580's without having to have anything plugged into my computer?
2) Do I need one of the Fiio LOD cables to achieve what I'm trying to do?
3) By using the setup listed above, will the E17 work all the time without having to be "charged?" In other words, does it run off the A/C power of the E9 or a battery that has to be charged?
4) I may also be getting some earbuds, possibly the Yuin PK2's for now... would this be a good setup for those as well as the 580's?
Thanks in advance for your answers. Some of my questions may have already been answered in this thread, and I did do some searching before posting, but I don't really have the time to read all 83 pages of this thread.
If you're going with a desktop setup using the iPhone as the source, you don't need the E17. Better yet, get an E9i instead. It's the same amp, but has an Apple LOD instead of the usual FiiO dock so you can dock your iPhone directly to into it.
1) iPhone --> E9/E9i without a computer will work.
2) Any standard iDevice LOD to mini plug will work. You don't need one if you get the E9i.
3) You don't need the E17 for this setup. That said it will charge off the USB connection (not the AC adapter) of the E9. I'm not sure if an E9i will charge your iPhone though.
4) Sorry, haven't heard the PK2, but in general most earbuds/IEMs should be fine straight out of the iPhone headphone out. The E9 has way too much gain for IEMs/earbuds in my experience -- it leaves only a very small usable range on the volume knob, even at low gain.
Edited by HK-47 - 4/18/12 at 8:54pm