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How much of a difference does my Fiio E5 REALLY make?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

First of all, let me explain my setup. I have a Fiio E5 headphone amp, a Fiio L3 line-out dock for my iPod 4g, and last but not least, a pair of Audio Technica ATH M-50s.

Now here's the catch: I recently misplaced my line-out dock and had to revert to using a 3.5mm - 3.5mm cable to connect my iPod to my amp. Frankly, it sounded a lot worse than when I had it hooked up to the iPod dock.

So then I hooked up my M-50s directly to my iPod. It sounded way better! But what confuses me is that I use my E5 amp for my desktop computer, too, which is hooked up via 3.5mm - 3.5mm cable; it almost sounds better than when I have it hooked up to my iPod using the L3 L.O.D.  Is this because my computer has better drivers than my iPod? This is all very confusing.
 

Also, would it be worth investing in a desktop amp or a Fiio E7 for my M-50s? And do gold-plated 3.5mm cables transfer the audio better? Sorry for all the questions, I'm kind of a newbie audiophile.

Thanks in advance! dt880smile.png

post #2 of 11

when you have it ipod headphone out -> e5 -> m50 , make sure your volume is maxed out on the iphone.

 

I think the gains of using the e5 with the m50 vs directly driving the m50 are marginal if even noticeable.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Bumping for more answers, please!

post #4 of 11

Just my experience... Used my friend's E5 with my M50's and couldn't tell a difference.  Tried:

 

HTC EVO -> E5 -> M50

Dell E6410 Laptop -> E5 -> M50

 

Later purchased an iBasso D4 and I can definitely tell a difference when using that with the M50's, but that's a $20 dollar amp vs a $200 dollar amp/dac, not really comparing apples to apples. 

post #5 of 11

how much difference does an E5 really make? not that much. ive heard its ok with some cans


Edited by qusp - 6/3/11 at 8:46pm
post #6 of 11

The E5 doesn't really do much, it just gives you more juice to power harder to drive cans with more volume. I've had decent results with the DT770s which were my only hard to drive cans at the time. The real reason to like the E5 is its bass boost feature which is nice to use if your headphones need a little more low end.

 

I've since replaced my E5 with an E7 for this purpose, much better. E7 is going to be replaced by an X02 actually.

 

I've said this many times, but the E5 sounds like junk if you connect it to a DAP using the headphone out. Do not use them with anything less than LOD from a DAP. I defintiely do not recommend maxing out the DAP's volume heading Headphone out into amp... this sounds way too dirty to me. This also holds for higher end amps like the RSA Mustang -- I really don't understand people who use Cowons and output them into Mustangs or Picos or what not. Makes absolutely no sense to me. I've compared side by side doing this and using a real LOD, and the difference in clean sound is quite huge.  But that is another matter.

 

Out of a PC, it makes more sense that they work better, because the soundcard of your PC probably outputs oodles more power than any DAP. This is certainly the case with me. It also begs the question: I bet your PC doesn't need the E5 at all, period. It has more than enough power I'm sure, and you can get loads of EQ features on it that will work better than the Bass Boost. And since your PC isn't portable (I doubt it is) I don't see the point of using it with a portable amp.

 

 

Now as to your question -- does your M50 need a dedicated desktop amp? In my opinion... no.  I've heard some small improvements with the M50 on certain amps but they are not that noticeable, and certainly not worth it. If I had to amp an M50, though, I would use a bright amp like the RSA Hornet.  I would stay away from Tubes, which don't really work well with the M50 imo. But all in all, the M50 doesn't really work well with amps at all IMO. Doesn't need them. 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

     Thanks, guys. I found my Fiio LOD a few days ago and now I still think It sounds better, but I think that's because I'm using the LOD. And somehow I still prefer the sound of listening off my desktop using the E5... Maybe it's just me. But hey, what can I do? Thanks for all the help anway.


Edited by JiggyJones - 6/5/11 at 3:57pm
post #8 of 11
Just remember that what really matters is what your ears think. What i or anybody else says isn't important. As long as it sounds best for you, go with it.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Just remember that what really matters is what your ears think. What i or anybody else says isn't important. As long as it sounds best for you, go with it.


Thats true, isnt it ? We spend a lot of time here bagging people who can enjoy themselves with the stock iPod buds (I know - that IS a tough sell) or Skullkandy etc, but if they can get their jollies without spending megabucks on kit, I guess more power to 'em.

 

post #10 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Just remember that what really matters is what your ears think. What i or anybody else says isn't important. As long as it sounds best for you, go with it.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter View Post




Thats true, isnt it ? We spend a lot of time here bagging people who can enjoy themselves with the stock iPod buds (I know - that IS a tough sell) or Skullkandy etc, but if they can get their jollies without spending megabucks on kit, I guess more power to 'em.

 



It's nice that the people on this forum understands this. Another forum I go to, there is a user who represents a retailer who tries to impose the idea that a more powerful and expensive amp is an absolute need. No amount of explaination seems to be good enough for him. Perhaps he should read this thread.

post #11 of 11

A bit of topic mabye but...

i got to try a pair of AKG k450 from my E5,and they just lifted,:)

much "deeper" sound fuller,not just louder and or bassier.

everything just sounded bigger,way bigger :)

 

same amp,same play and my HD-25's I cant really tell a big difference,more volume and if boost is on a tad more boom.not much at all.

this little amp is just what I need,that bit of extra volume it ads is al I need,at busses and such.

 

now I have to try diffrent phones whit it to see if I can make any others just "pop" :)

 

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