First of all let me apologies if my request for help goes slightly out of "Headphones (full-size)" jurisdiction, but if I post separate threads in the designated forums I just know I will get contrary advice that would only complicate my choice. And since I chose the headphones as the start point of my quest I think my request fits in. But if some of you feel I might get a better solution elsewhere, please redirect me to the thread.
Second: I love music!!! And more so, I love my music!!! Jazz, dub, good pop, hip-hop, house, alternative, electro, techno, rock classics, etc. The list is long and heavy. But lately I've been moving about the world more frequently and staying at different places for prolonged time intervals. And things being as they are I seldom get to listen to my music back home from my system. Of course I love my iphone paired with my really old ATH-ES7, but the sound just doesn't cut it for me anymore. I want the same dedicated or semi-dedicated system that I can put in my hand luggage together with my toothbrush and socks and fly anywhere without the fear of loosing my baggage or finding my sound in pieces after all the tossing and kicking it will get after getting separated at the check in.
I've been reading a bit recently, reviews, impressions, threads. But nothing really applies to me, or maybe I was looking in the wrong places! So I do have thoughts on what to buy, just looking for someone who can validate or redirect my thinking pattern.
My budget is $1000-1200 and as a bonus I hope it can give a little boost to my portable sound and be compatible with my home based dedicated sound sources.
I was thinking of going HiFiman: HM-601(source+DAC)-->EF-5(amp)-->HE-4(sound). The questions I have are: Can I use the 601 model without the internal amplification through the Line Out or would I need the 602 for this? And will the DAP do justice to the
EF-5+HE4 combo, or should I get another amp+headphones set, or another DAP? The reason I'm not considering a new sound card for my laptop is because I would like to use the DAP as a portable piece as well, but if you guys persuade me that there is an impossible-to-bridge gap between the two options I might reconsider. As long as it stays in my budget. The reason I'm thinking
HE-4...I don't know! May be I just want a little bit different sound, and comparing with other planar magnetic phones they seemed to be of good value, looks that appeal to me, light weight and good enough sound to compare them with the top dogs (at least from the impressions I've read, couldn't find a review or a comparison review, if anyone can give me a link, that would be great). But it also might be the case that I'm being slightly irrational with this and I don't know what I'm talking about, I can't discharge this possibility.