What portable amplifier would suit my Westone 4R the best? They seem to be somewhat hard to drive compared to my previous Westone UM3X which I still love to death. On my iPhone 4 I managed to get the Westone 4R to sound acceptable, and then I preferred them over my Westone UM3X, but with the iPhone 5 the DAC and amplifier seems to have changed and now my phone isn't able to utilise the Westone 4R as good as my iPhone 4 did. As a result I find myself using the Westone UM3X instead of the Westone 4R.
I guess I'm out of luck in regards of the DAC as the iPhone 5's lightning connector does not support any direct AUX cable, people claim that using a Lightning to 30-pin connector and then use a 30-pin AUX cable should do the trick, but that's just way to flimsy, ugly and not user friendly at all. As there is barley any half decent portable amplifiers that spots the "Apple DAC certificate" one wont be able to bypass the internal DAC any other way.
I've been looking at the FiiO E12 "Mont Blanc" but I guess it might be completely overkill for a pair of 32 ohms IEM's and might be a bit too heavy and bulky for portable use? Still I would prefer something that fit the footprint of the iPhone 5 compared to something more awkwardly shaped that would be hard to be supported on the back of the phone while jogging etc..
I have the 4R with the E12. The E12 is only slightly bigger and thicker than the iphone 4, so it is not that bulky. It will drive the 4R very well and the SQ is quite neutral, a very compatible and portable setup.
I will post up some pics of the setup when I have the time later tonight.