Originally Posted by AnakChan
And that's probably the main point. It's all relative & quite highly subjective. I think the OP could further assist by narrowing his/her criteria & limitations.
Personally for me, I think I can't live without an external iDevice DAC/Amp simply cos I've listened/owned a few for the past 8 months. And if someone were to say that I can't carry one, then I'd rather get rid of the iPod & get another player (like the iBasso DX100 or Sony Z-1070). But that's my personal opinion, with my personal criteria, & my personal budget.
The way I personally look at it is "of course you can do better....what's your price?".
Agree. The other thing to consider is where to spend that cash. Whilst you've got some gear that probably justifies an HP-P1 or CLAS set-up, I just wonder whether it would be worth it spending ~ $5-600 to bypass the iPod dac - when it could probably be better spent on upgrading OP's headphones. That would probably give an arguably bigger sonic enhancement.
In the end though - this comment from the OP intrigues me ......
yeah i looked at the algorithim solos, they are like $500+, more expensive than my ipod lol. i didnt really want to spend on that so thanks for letting me know my ipod has good enough DAC lol, now i can sleep at night
From that it actually sounds as though he's quite happy with the sound out of the iPod and is looking for reassurance. If that's the case OP - stick with what you have and enjoy the music! Personally I have an iPod Touch G4/iPhone4 + Arrow HE4G, and I'm completely happy. I know some people rubbish the iPod dacs sometimes - but if you like the sound, that's all that really matters. Just a thought anyway.