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Looking for good portable amp for $100 or less.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm looking for a portable amp that I can use with either my Grado 325i's or AKG701's (sometimes maybe my Klipsch Image X5's) along with my 8GB Sansa Clip when I just want to chill in a part of the house away from my main system.

 

Two amps I'm looking at are the FiiO E7 and the HeadRoom Total AirHead. I understand that the E7 has a built in DAC, I'm not sure if that is used right out of the Clips headphone jack or not and mainly I'm interested in the amp but if this is the better amp AND it has a nice DAC built in that would be great.

 

Is there a clear winner between these two amps in terms of sound quality or is there a MUCH better choice in the portable amp market under $100  that I'm unaware of? I've been using the FiiO E5 along with the Grado's (most of the time) but I'm looking for better sound than you can expect from a $20 amp.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,

Kevin

post #2 of 10

Hey Kevin,  

 

I am not qualified to answer your question, but I am in the hunt for a cheap amp as well. I don't have the phones that you have, so I cant say what to get, but you might be hard pressed to get answers, as this may have been asked before. I do not know if you have performed a search. If not, do so. There will be alot of threads that may just be similar to yours.

 

From my reading, the Fiio E7 DAC cannot be hooked up to the clip. It is to act as a USB DAC for your computer, so no benefit to the Clip. It might be worth considering if you would like to use it on a laptop. There seems to be a consensus that it sounds good though.

 

There seem to be many options though, so unless you have narrowed it down to just these then fine. I bit the bullet for a PA2v2, a Clip+ and a Beyer DT 235 'phones. I haven't gotten them yet though, so no comments on the sound. You also seem to have the cmoy and ibasso amps as well such as the T3 and a few others.

 

Just some food for thought.

 

D

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 10
Quote:
There seem to be many options though, so unless you have narrowed it down to just these then fine. I bit the bullet for a PA2v2, a Clip+ and a Beyer DT 235 'phones. I haven't gotten them yet though, so no comments on the sound. You also seem to have the cmoy and ibasso amps as well such as the T3 and a few others.


+1 on the PA2V2, I've owned mine for a couple months now on my my m50's and am extremely pleased. 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, I love this site and wish I had the time right now to read dozens of reviews as I do know that they're here its just a time (that I don't have) issue right now.

 

I was just hoping that someone here that has heard the HeadRoom Total AirHead and/or the FiiO E7 would chime in with their opinions. Your right in that the DAC portion of the E7 would be of no help to me with the Sansa Clip but it still has the built in amp and I just wondered if it was on par with the HeadRoom unit or not. I know that the Total AirHead has the crossfeed feature and I'd love some feedback on that if possible. Anyone?

 

I assume, maybe wrongly so that the Total Airhead by HeadRoom would be a step up from all of the Altoid Tin amps that are on the market......maybe not.?

post #5 of 10

Why would you consider the E7 when you will have no use for its DAC at all? You are far better off waiting for the soon-be-released E11 amp or find other alternatives.

 

Basically, you would be paying for both the DAC and the amp sections.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've never heard the amp built into the E7 nor the HeadRoom Total AirHead so that would be why I would consider the E7 until I read or hear enough about it to cross it off the short list of amps I'm considering. Maybe the amp section is pretty good for the money......I don't know as I've never heard it.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

D,

The PA2v2 looks very interesting and I love the small size, I'll have to see what more I can find out about this unit, thanks for the info.

post #8 of 10

How do you think the PA2v2 will work in combination with the Senn Hd 380 Pro?

post #9 of 10

E7 + 701? T3 neither

it probably not a good combination

 

what will be your maximum badget?

 

would you consdier larger amps?

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

The phones I use around the house are the 701's and 325i's, I also have the Klipsch Image X5's but those I mainly use when I'm on the go. I already have a desktop HP amp with my main system so this is mainly just when I'd like to listen to the Grado's or AKG's in another part of the house when I'm relaxing. The FiiO E5 allows my Sansa Clip to drive my Grado's better the the Clip on its own but I'm looking for a small amp (no need to be as small as the E5) that has more power/control than the E5 and sounds as clean as possible in an amp at or under $100.

 

Thanks.

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