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Portable amp / DAC for Sennheiser PXC 450?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 


Hi folks


Firstly, I only found Head-Fi a few days ago, and it’s amazing! The discussions are great and a pleasure to read, probably because everyone is so keen about the topics.


Anyway, I’m struggling to choose my first portable amp / DAC unit, which I’ll be teaming with my Sennheiser PXC 450s. I’ll be using the rig for about 3 hours on the train each day (the reason for the 450s), and will be either watching movies on my lap-top or (more likely) listening to my iPod.


My price cap is about $200, and I'm currently thinking of:

  • Leckton UHA-4
  • Fiio E17
  • iBasso D2+ Boa


I had thought of the Headstage Arrow and the RSA Mustang, but that would be going over budget.


Music would be a variety of classical, rock and alternative. No heavy metal or rap though (not quite my thing). Pink Floyd, Nick Drake and Pearl Jam come to mind.


Looking forward to any suggestions or comments!


Cheers.  smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by uku383 - 2/16/12 at 9:46pm
post #2 of 5

I really liked using the E10 with my Sennheiser PXC 350s, so I'm thinking that the E17 would be a great combo since you need a portable amp as well as the dac/amp combo when you're on your laptop.  Both very small units.  I would definitely get the E17 if I commute.  I don't think the PXC's need a really powerful amp since it has it's own internal amp though I did find an improvment in EQ when I used it with my E10.

post #3 of 5

How important is it actually to use an amp with PXC 350 (or PXC 450 which I'm considering buying)? 

post #4 of 5

Always consider an amp only after the fact. Never listen to volumes that need an amp so you don't ruin your ears. Most of these portable earphones/headphones don't need amps at all. There are a few exceptions, and mostly, those are only because the output of the portable player in question is crap. It doesn't have to be that way. Amps can be very nice, but please find the right headphone first. You can spend money upgrading endlessly later. Headphones are the most important bit.

post #5 of 5

What he said ^^.

Amps are not needed unless you're dealing with high impedance / low sensitivity. As a general rule of thumb, if it gets comfortably loud with your iPod, then you can use it as is.

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