I've been living in a realm of medicority and sub-par audio for years, hoping that by buying higher end headphones and earbuds that I can relieve some of the strain of the dreaded ipod sound quality on my ears. I've purchased a large collection of ear buds and over ears from Shure E2's, Sure E3's, Sennheiser CX300, Sennheiser eH350, Monster Turbines, JVC HA-M750, AKG K171, Ultimate Ears 600 and even the Bose In-Ears. (Collected over about 10 years)
At home through my Onkyo home theater setup, or my Rotel preamp I can be quite happy with most of these. But at the gym I'm relying on Apple iunit crud in , crud out kind of setup. And life is really just too short to be listening to crummy audio at the gym.
I won an ipod nano which is small enough that if I ditch my cell phone in my locker (which I started doing anyways) I could put one of these portable DAC's I keep reading about in my pocket and not worry too much about the extra bulk. Then I can listen to my fav headset and not worry about the lack of mids or 101010011 sound stage that the ipod creates.
I've been getting confused though.... FIIO seems to be the one to look at. And the E7 seems to be the one in the lead. But what about the E6 or E11. I'm only using it at the gym, and I got a more than capable Rotel at home. So is it worth it to spend $100 when I can get away with maybe spending $40 or $60? The phones I use at the gym now are the CX300's or the Turbines (The two best in ear style I'm comfortable wearing at the gym. I use the Shure's with my wireless-inear kit for my band)
OR, could I get away with the E1?