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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Altorfer View Post

Thanks for the reply, Moshen!

I think I probably would not be able to notice such a bass rolloff with the Philips Metro Downtowns. However, since the Downtowns are low impedance cans (32 Ohm) and the Total Bithead supposedly works best with higher impedance cans, maybe the Total Bithead would not be a good match for my cans?

 

I have the 38 ohm DJ100 and it's perfect with that. I had the Downtown awhile back, but sorry I don't remember if I tried that combination.

 

BTW it even sounded great with the PX100-II. That's 32 ohm and very easy to drive.

 

There is also the Fiio E7 you can try..

post #17 of 21

I'll give a little input. I have both, had the bithead for about a year or two and just got the e10 about a month ago. I've used my senns hd555 and hd25ii with them both. My honest opinion, so far, is that the bithead is better. I say so far because I still need to listen to the e10 more before making a definitive answer. Don't get me wrong I like the e10, it seems to pack quite a bit a juice and I find it actually goes really well with the hd25iis. I think this is mainly because the hd25iis don't have much of a soundstage, so that isn't much of a factor in that setup. Where as the hd555 are open back headphones, with pretty good soundstage. They clearly like the bithead more due to its better soundstage. Also the crossfade is pretty awesome. One pro to the e10 is that you can use the dac separately through the line out into another amp if that's something that you might use. Thogh you cant use just the amp without the dac, where as with the bithead you can.  A pro to the bithead is you can use batteries and use it in portable setup. In the end I'd say they both warrant their price tag. Hope that helps

post #18 of 21

Thank you tdockweiler and fcpchop88 for the feedback!


Sorry guys, for taking so long to reply. My vacations are over and I’m back in the salt mines, with little or no time for posting forum messages.

Measurements indicate the BitHead DAC section has actual 14 bit performance (Stereophile), whereas the Fiio E10 has actual 16 bit performance... when set to 24 bit! (according to a banned source I cannot quote here). This means the DAC units of both devices perform below their capacities, but the E10 technically outperforms the Total Bithead. I do not know to what extent this difference can be perceived by the human ear. It may make no difference at all.

 

I gotta tell you guys what’s been happening at work these last few days.

So far I had been listening to music from YouTube. Not really music videos, but video files with ripped CDs in them, showing only the CD cover as a video image. You must have seen them. Lately, they have been uploaded in various formats, from low rez to FULL HD, which affects sound quality accordingly. So, when listening to such CD based music videos on YouTube, I simply had the clear impression that the onboard soundcard in my PC was utter crap. The high end of the sound spectrum was so harsh and edgy, it literally hurt my ears, at low volume levels!

A month ago, I’ve decided to bring all my CD’s in a portable hard disk, ripped to a lossless format. To my total surprise, the sound quality leaped a great deal! I suddenly thought “wait, this soundcard ain’t so bad!”. Then I looked it up on the internet, and it turns out that this PC I’ve got at work may indeed have reasonable onboard audio. I don’t know exactly which DAC I’ve got here, but I know it’s an Audio Devices DAC within the AD198x range. It’s probably 16 bit, but no matter, it sounds quite good playing lossless files!

Here’s a link on this Audio Devices soundcard, and a quote from it:

http://eetimes.com/electronics-news/4164190/Health-monitor-techniques-differentiate-PCs-by-more-than-their-color

When the 20-bit DACs on Analog Devices' newest codecs are compared to $99 PCI Sound Cards, using industry standard audio tests on an Audio Precision System 2, the analog performance meets or exceeds that of the PCI sound card. The DAC performance of the AD1981A AC'97 codec also approaches the performance found in the same $99 PCI Sound Card.

The highs sound a bit recessed, but the Philips Downtown cans could be blamed for this. The mids are clear enough. It’s the bass that sounds worse. The bass sounds very weak and distant, so I’ve increased it using Real Player’s equalizer. That’s when the bass starts sounding distorted and strangely metallic, as if some electronic noise infected it. The stronger the bass, the higher is the metallic noise. I cannot blame the Downtowns for this, as I had already noticed this with the earplugs I previously used. It’s not a lossy file thing either, for it is clearly audible with lossless files. So, it must be a limitation of the Audio Devices onboard soundcard.

At work I need to reduce fatigue as much as possible, and there seems to be some anecdotal evidence that crossfeed helps reduce fatigue. I suspect crossfeed could make a difference for me. However, I also like clarity, though I am not a detail freak. Some claim the Total Bithead lacks clarity. I also fear having to spend money on batteries just to make the Total Bithead sound better, as some claim it sounds underpowered on USB. There are too many variables in this decision. I know a simple listening test would clear the issue and then I could decide this in a minute. Unfortunately, I cannot compare them myself unless I buy both units.

 

I'm enjoying music here through the Audio Devices soundcard built into the Dell PC motherboard. I will make a decision soon, and I have a feeling it will probably be a Total Bithead.

 

Cheers! smily_headphones1.gif

post #19 of 21

tdockweiler,

I’m afraid I don’t like the form factor of the Fiio E7/E17. I neither like the volume control buttons facing upwards nor the fact those devices hijack Window’s own volume control. I guess I’d feel drawn to that design if my primary need was portability.

So, I take it that the BitHead drives 32 OHM cans easily, with no detectable bass rolloff. That’s great news!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I have the 38 ohm DJ100 and it's perfect with that. I had the Downtown awhile back, but sorry I don't remember if I tried that combination.

 

BTW it even sounded great with the PX100-II. That's 32 ohm and very easy to drive.

 

There is also the Fiio E7 you can try..

post #20 of 21

fcpchop88,

You’ve owned the BitHead in the past and now you own the Fiio E10 for a little over a month. Do you still feel the BitHead is better? How are you enjoying the Fiio E10?

You say crossfeed is pretty awesome. Do you mean there is a “wow” factor? Do you miss it a great deal when you use the Fiio E10?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fcpchop88 View Post

I'll give a little input. I have both, had the bithead for about a year or two and just got the e10 about a month ago. I've used my senns hd555 and hd25ii with them both. My honest opinion, so far, is that the bithead is better. I say so far because I still need to listen to the e10 more before making a definitive answer. Don't get me wrong I like the e10, it seems to pack quite a bit a juice and I find it actually goes really well with the hd25iis. I think this is mainly because the hd25iis don't have much of a soundstage, so that isn't much of a factor in that setup. Where as the hd555 are open back headphones, with pretty good soundstage. They clearly like the bithead more due to its better soundstage. Also the crossfade is pretty awesome. One pro to the e10 is that you can use the dac separately through the line out into another amp if that's something that you might use. Thogh you cant use just the amp without the dac, where as with the bithead you can.  A pro to the bithead is you can use batteries and use it in portable setup. In the end I'd say they both warrant their price tag. Hope that helps

post #21 of 21
sorry i just noticed your question now. I stand by what i said, I think the bithead is better than the e10 but its also over twice the price new, you have to take that into consideration as well as what kind of headphones you plan on using because yea the crossfeed on the bithead is pretty awesome with headphones that like a good soundstage.
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