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Head-Fi Buying Guide (In-Ear Headphones)
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Mini^3 vs Arrow 3g vs Fiio E11post #1 of 75/11/11 at 1:19amThread StarterGuys, being based on the same Opamps, the AD8397, which one between the Mini^3 amd and the Arrow 3g sound better? I am hoping atleast they be on par if not one better than the other. Also if anyone heard the Fiio E11, How does that compare to these?
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 75/12/11 at 11:49amThread Starterpost #3 of 75/26/11 at 4:27pm
The somebodies. You got no response cause no one got their E11 until today. I just got my E11 in and I got a mini3 (gain 2) so I'll let you know once the thing finishes charging. I can already tell you one advantage is that the mini3 allows you to listen to it while it is still charging unlike the E11. They are the same exact size with the mini3 being 1.75x as thick as the iphone and E11.post #4 of 75/26/11 at 6:27pm
I noticed you have the RE-0 and that's what I have been using to test them out. I found that the Re-0 benefits from both, but it definitely depends on what you are looking for. My mini3 is the high performance one with a gain of 2. I don't write reviews very often so these are my impressions after listening to these headphones for a day at the library
Portability: The winner is the Fiio E11 hands down. It is the same length and width as the mini3 but is half the size which is huge when you are throwing it in your pocket connected to the iphone. It also makes a pretty nice setup when you hook it up to your ipod/iphone via a L9.
Cost: $60 is a pretty amazing deal for the E11 while the mini3 costs slightly more at $90 from glass jar audio.
Sound: The mini3 maintains the typical sound profile of the Re-0. When I first used the E11, my first impression was dang this thing is dark. Enough that I couldn't believe I was listening to the RE-0. I do have a bias because I really do love brighter sounding profiles. I did find though that the darkness disappeared when you switched the gain up. Both amps can drive the heck out of the mini3 and i'll take the E11 home today and tell you how it drives my HD650s. The bass boost is very helpful with 3 settings and can really improve the low end of the RE-0 that people so often complain about. It could be worth a shot if you are sick of how the RE-0 sounds.
Battery Life: Roughly the same. I get around 8-10 hours on both of them. I have not played with low versus high gain battery life on the E11 yet.
Overall: The portability of the E11 is amazing, but the fact that you cant use it while charging is a bit annoying especially when you cant wait to use it. It is just too dark for my taste, but it would be great if you thought your RE-0s were too bright. In this battle, the mini 3 wins because it preserves the things I love most about the RE-0.post #5 of 75/26/11 at 8:48pm
uhhh are you really trying to compare amps that range in the price spectrum? Mini^3 is 90 while the arrow 3g is 300, which one do you think is better. Just ask everyone in the arrow appreciation thread what they think.post #6 of 75/26/11 at 9:49pm
Higher cost doesn't necessarily mean better performance. These three amps are made using different approaches. Each approach translates to a different price level, even before considering the actual product.
E11 is a mass produced amp. Most of the manufacturing process is fully automated and done by machines. Because the volume they sell is so high, they can get the raw parts much more cheaply. The labour costs for the non-automated parts of the process are also lower since they are based in China. Very good value for money.
Headstage also mass produces, though probably at a lower volume than Fiio. So the parts don't come as cheap, and neither is renting time on the machines. Labour costs are also higher since they are based in Germany. Headstage knows this so they cater to the higher end consumers. You pay more but get a higher level of prestige.
Mini^3 is a DIY amp. AMB did the hard design work and gives out the finished design for free. There are no advertising and marketing costs. You buy the parts yourself and assemble it on your own time. The enjoyment comes not only from using the amp, but also from building it and knowing that the amp is uniquely yours in a way that a pre-made one can never be.
(I'm a little biased, being a DIYer.)
Each approach is good in its own right. Notice that I am not comparing the actual products in question, only the method of production. I have never heard the E11 or the Arrow 3G. It's entirely possible that in this case the most expensive one is really the best sounding.post #7 of 75/30/11 at 9:40pmThread Starter@singha,
ditto. I like the way the RE0s sound. And the first time i listened to the Mini^3 via the 0s, i was like, this thing is clean. I love how the sound is powerful and pure, to me it sounds transparent.overall, awesome amp, i love all the power it has in such a form factor. If the E11 is dark, mayb i should jus forget buying it at all.
i am not basing this comparison on the price point of view.
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