Originally Posted by Nec3
Can anyone confirm if the Fiio E12 is a valid portable amp? I can only buy amps from Canadacomputers.com (retail) because I don't like paying my parents to use their credit card. Plus I just joined the workforce to fund my music addiction and pay for tuition. I listen to music, EVERYWHERE in my house (except at the dinner table and showers of course). So portable and local retail is a must.
Edit: My current portable/desktop setup is a Sony Walkman E474 and Fiio E07K
I admit, I'd be very curious to read what FiiO makes of "Is the E12 a valid amp?" after they translated it to Chinese, took a guess at what you mean, and replied back in their colorful English. That isn't a judgement of anyone, just noting how difficult it can be to understand eachother.
The E12 is a little more pocketable than the Q701 is portable, so I'd say it is a portable, but you probably wouldn't want anything else in a pants pocket with it. In a backpack or other bag, though, the E12 is hard to beat. I think both the E12 and E07k (I have the E12, never heard the E07k) will have enough power to drive the Q701 to adequate volume, but what you would gain with the E12 is a greater sense of transparency/realism/lack-of-grain, a more refined bass boost, and more "muscle" to effortlessly provide impact and speed to each note. The E12 is FiiO's cleanest, most reference amp to date. As a side note, the E12 has a very low output impedance for sensitive headphones yet tons of power on tap for power-hungry headphones, so the E12 is probably one of the most versatile portable amps, especially at it's price range. I also happen to think the bass boost compliments the Q701 very well with music. The high gain mode of the E07k does not made it sound like an E12...
Here's what I recommend: use the E07k first. Though it has basically the same amp section as the E6, it ought to be adaquate for the Q701, and you already have it. After you use it for a while and if
you feel like the Q701 is held back by it, the E12 will provide you with all the benefits I listed in the above paragraph.