Originally Posted by McNuggetsPie
Which one gives better sound by itself?
What's your source? Is it going to be your computer? If so if it was my money I'd much rather spent $85 on an E9. It has tons of power, much more than the E11 for sure.
If you use a computer as a source, you can then buy a nice DAC. The E7 or E10 would work. I'd save up a little more and get an ODAC though.
If you have a decent soundcard, you can get by with just that for awhile straight to the amp. People say soundcards are garbage, but the Realtek HD I have (and don't use) is ruler flat and sounds pretty good.
Some of the Creative and Asus cards have really good measurements too. Not sure which ones have a line out though. The Realtek chip on my laptop is awful though for whatever reason.
BTW for the price of the E17 you can have the E9+E10. Some soundcards actually sound better than the E10 though.