Yea yea yea the HM-601 is better at analog, natural, real, organic, seductive sound and the butterscotch filter takes away the digital grain!!
It also sounds like it was made in 1979...
oh wait, it was. ;)
I guess I'm just old-school. If its been out since 1979 I guess that means its had a lot more time to get refined then ;)
Yes generally the Hifiman 601 won't need an amp at all. But it does sport a line out if you want a different flavor. Same goes for the T51, but I really did enjoy its Line out over its headphone out. From what I hear the J3 has a pretty good amp inside(the Hifiman and T51 will still have the edge in the amp section though) but its generally good enough to drive most IEMs.
I really like my Hifiman HM601, however my Cowon D2 and Cowon O2 sounded fantastic and were much cheaper. I honestly didn't care for the clip much, but it was awesome in form factor for cutting the grass with my Marshmellows
I figured kill 2 birds with 1 stone and just get the iphone 4 for that purpose. But since updating to iOS 5 I can't use Media Monkey to load music on it. So until that happens I won't be using it for music. I hate itunes and will not resort to that bs crap program. Not to mention I have all my playlists organized on media monkey and can't be bothered fiddling around with mp3 files at this point.
It could pair decently well using the EQ on the Cowon. I'd figure the Hifiman 601 would still be a better match as its mid centric and that is the weakness of the TF10s. Also the Cowon is treble centric and may not pair well with the TF10.
The Sony X1060, iPod Nano 2G (Rockboxed), iPod Video 5G (Rockboxed) Sony S639F, Cowon D3 and J3, Sansa Clip+ and Fuze (both Rockboxed) and my new iPod Nano 6G are the best sounding DAPs that I own. Each of those players has its own sounds but they are all good sounding. However the worst sounding DAPs that I own is the Cowon D2 and Creative Zen X-Fi2. I don't know if my D2 isn't working properly but I feel the sound quality is lifeless and the bass but not as bad as the Creative Zen X-Fi2 which has really poor sound quality IMO. Again like the D2 the X-Fi is dull and boring sounding even with the X-fi expand and crystalize functions switched on. I have mixed feelings about the sound quality of my Samsung R0 and iPod Touch 4G though the EQu and Equalizer apps for the 4G make it sound much better.