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!