Originally Posted by proton007
Well in that case, not really. If you just enjoy the natural sound signature of your headphones, then I don't think there's any need.
Many here will say that there are definite improvements, but how much of it is real and how much of a difference there is in reality are two separate things. An amp is mostly adding gain to the signal, its the same as before, just amplified. If you're looking to enhance bass/treble/mids then you can use the EQ, or maybe a third party app to do that.
There is an additional difference you are discounting--using an LOD you are bypassing the internal amp of the iPod. The external amp is then amplifying that line-out signal instead of the pre-colored headphone-level out from the iPod's headphone jack. This definitely affects the sound, generally in a rather positive way.
Originally Posted by ajudhian
Now I get confused again
. Surely I won't spend $70 if the sound not improved significantly... Any other thoughts? Sorry for keep asking since I'm new in this...
I've got a pair of Shure 440's as well. I found them virtually unusable straight from my 4th gen iPod Touch. They were just so shrill (bright in the highs) and lacked bass. I ended up replacing them for music use with a pair of Sennheiser HD25's but the 440's definitely respond nicely to an amplifier. I briefly tried them with my iBasso D-Zero and they were much less fatiguing. I use them now with my home theatre receiver for late-night TV/movie watching as I live in a condo and don't want to disrupt the neighbors late at night, and they sound really really good that way, and I feel it's due to the receiver being such a good headphone amp.
I think it's worth your money to try it. As others have suggested, an E11 with an LOD should be a good choice in your price range.