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post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mutnat View Post

You're a bit all over the mark here ;)  It's tough because there are a lot of choices in your price range, starting from quite inexpensive (such as CmoyBB well south of $100), intermediate (such as C421 @ just under $200), the headstage arrow or alo national ($300), right up to the pico slim, TTVJ slim, etc.


Here's some good starting points for you:


Budget amps round-up:  http://www.headfonia.com/music-on-a-budget-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout/

(includes CmoyBB, others)


A bunch of portables round-up:  http://www.headfonia.com/the-usual-suspects-12-portable-amps-compared/

(includes pico slim, mustang, etc)


JDSLabs C-421:  http://www.headfonia.com/?s=c421


Fiio E17: http://www.headfonia.com/the-upgrade-fiio-e17-alpen/


Once you've read through all that you will be in a better place.  I think if form-factor is your absolute most important thing then the pico slim, mustang, or headstage arrow will probably fit the bill nicely.  If you're okay with a bit bigger but still quite slim, the C-421 is great, or even the E17, and both are quite a bit cheaper.  The CmoyBB is supposed to be quite good for it's price, but is quite a bit bulkier and the whole mint-tin thing never really did it for me personally, but your mileage may vary!

Thanks just took a read through.


Right now I'm looking at the Fiio E17 and the Pico Slim. Not sure which to go with though. I heard the J3 doesn't need a DAC?

post #17 of 21

has the J3 got a line out? if yes, look at a Graham Slee Voyager


if no, don't bother. It will sound no better, only louder

post #18 of 21
I'd recommend the Headstage Arrow. Real slim design, great feature set, and you really don't need the added power you'd get with a bulkier amp, as the W3s are ridiculously sensitive. The EQ functions are nice to have, and probably sound a good deal better, in terms of basic bass boost, treble boost, and crossfade, than those on the Cowon. But the big question is whether or not you need an amp at all. Adding an amp would surely make a difference, but given the sensitivity of the Westones, probably not a huge one. If I were you, I'd save up a bit more money and upgrade to the custom domain, possibly with the Westone ES5. I personally had this same J3 - W3 combination for over a year and loved it, but moved on to full-size headphones. My current favorite is the AKG K550.
Edited by budgetboy - 6/29/12 at 11:19pm
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 



 I'm moving onto full size headphones too and am currently looking at the Denon D2k or maybe the K550 and the Ultrasone 900 Pros. Really dont know what to do here...

post #20 of 21

Do you want to be able to use them outside? If so, the Pro 900s are the only real choice there. The Denons have very little isolation and the AKGs have a very long cord. But if they're to be home headphones, it comes down to comfort and sound signature. I haven't tried the Ultrasones, but FWIR they are less comfortable than both the Denons and AKGs. As a current owner of the AKG's, the soundstage and detail they project are amazing from any decent source with quality files. And for me, they're very comfortable. The size of the cups allows my ears to rest comfortable inside. They're awesome for sitting someplace and listening to music, but for moving around, the 10ft cord gets in my way. The AKG's will be generally neutral, with great extension on both ends of the spectrum and a killer soundstage. The others I can't speak for in terms of sound. But as for me, I'm sending my AKG's back and going for the UERM. Full-sized closed headphones in general make my ears warm, plus I want something more portable. Hope you find something that suits you.

Edited by budgetboy - 6/30/12 at 7:34pm
post #21 of 21

hi, i don't know if i should buy the alo national or the headstage arrow. the arrow has more feautures and all that stuff but the alo is it better, is there a big diference? thanks alot

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