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Some advice for a portable amp/dac and home amp?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I'm in the market for a device that can function as a portable DAC/amp while I'm at school and work, and which can be used as a standalone amplifier while I'm at home. The home setup will be my Xonar DX running a line out to whatever amp I end up getting. The reason for this upgrade is that the soundcard of my work PC is pretty lackluster, and I would like to have the option of getting some higher impedence headphones down the line. 

 

For now, this is only going to be driving the headphones in my sig, but I might eventually grab some DT880 250ohm's if I spot a good opportunity. 

 

As for the devices I'm considering, I'd like to keep it around the $150 range if I can. In that range, my primary contender seems to be the Fiio 17, since it appears to do exactly what I need it to do. I would be very willing to buy used if I get a good deal.

 

Are there any other such devices you would recommend over the Fiio? Thanks for all the input!

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

Hey all,

 

I'm in the market for a device that can function as a portable DAC/amp while I'm at school and work, and which can be used as a standalone amplifier while I'm at home. The home setup will be my Xonar DX running a line out to whatever amp I end up getting. The reason for this upgrade is that the soundcard of my work PC is pretty lackluster, and I would like to have the option of getting some higher impedence headphones down the line. 

 

For now, this is only going to be driving the headphones in my sig, but I might eventually grab some DT880 250ohm's if I spot a good opportunity. 

 

As for the devices I'm considering, I'd like to keep it around the $150 range if I can. In that range, my primary contender seems to be the Fiio 17, since it appears to do exactly what I need it to do. I would be very willing to buy used if I get a good deal.

 

Are there any other such devices you would recommend over the Fiio? Thanks for all the input!

Be warned, some say there isn't enough power while others say otherwise.

 

Most people have told me that the E11 and E17 have enough power for the current gen 250 ohm beyers while others (one or two) say there isn't enough power.

 

At the exact $150 range for the features you want. There is only the e17. there is the iBasso D-Zero but that isn't on the level of the e17 as reviewed by CLIEOS and Mike from Headfonia.

 

There are some nuforces, but the ones in this price range have some problems when looked at objectively and may be a bit too costly for you.

 

I'm a bit hungry....wanna make me a Chili burger?

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Be warned, some say there isn't enough power while others say otherwise.

 

Most people have told me that the E11 and E17 have enough power for the current gen 250 ohm beyers while others (one or two) say there isn't enough power.

 

At the exact $150 range for the features you want. There is only the e17. there is the iBasso D-Zero but that isn't on the level of the e17 as reviewed by CLIEOS and Mike from Headfonia.

 

There are some nuforces, but the ones in this price range have some problems when looked at objectively and may be a bit too costly for you.

 

I'm a bit hungry....wanna make me a Chili burger?

If I extended my budget to $200, what choices does that open up for me? There's the Headstage Arrow, the UHA-4 and the like. Would it be worth going up in the price range?

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

If I extended my budget to $200, what choices does that open up for me? There's the Headstage Arrow, the UHA-4 and the like. Would it be worth going up in the price range?

Th Headstage is just an amp, so it won't fix your qualms of when you are at the office with no good DAC.

 

Not sure about the UHA-4 as I don't have experinece with that one, looking up comparitive reviews would be best. As this is just a carry around device as an alternative to your DX, in my opinion, spending too much wouldn't be good, but too little may also have problems. It is up to you. Research is key my friend!

 

Now...about that chilliburger I was asking about?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Th Headstage is just an amp, so it won't fix your qualms of when you are at the office with no good DAC.

 

Not sure about the UHA-4 as I don't have experinece with that one, looking up comparitive reviews would be best. As this is just a carry around device as an alternative to your DX, in my opinion, spending too much wouldn't be good, but too little may also have problems. It is up to you. Research is key my friend!

 

Now...about that chilliburger I was asking about?

 

 

It's looking like the E17 is the best in it's price range, though the UHA-4 isn't too far off, honestly... I think I might try it if I can find one for a little less than list price.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

 

 

Some may even say used can work, I've heard many good things on both devices.

 

There has not been a part revision on the E17 yet. Only a switch of the words on the back from E17 to Alpen so buying used won't give you a product that had a minor defect like teh E10. Not sure about the UHA

 

It's 2pm here, I want a Chilli burger

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

Hey all,

 

I'm in the market for a device that can function as a portable DAC/amp while I'm at school and work, and which can be used as a standalone amplifier while I'm at home. The home setup will be my Xonar DX running a line out to whatever amp I end up getting. The reason for this upgrade is that the soundcard of my work PC is pretty lackluster, and I would like to have the option of getting some higher impedence headphones down the line. 

 

For now, this is only going to be driving the headphones in my sig, but I might eventually grab some DT880 250ohm's if I spot a good opportunity. 

 

As for the devices I'm considering, I'd like to keep it around the $150 range if I can. In that range, my primary contender seems to be the Fiio 17, since it appears to do exactly what I need it to do. I would be very willing to buy used if I get a good deal.

 

Are there any other such devices you would recommend over the Fiio? Thanks for all the input!

Fiio E11 ($65) portable headphone amplifier, can fairly decently drive 250-Ohm headphones.

You can plug the E11 into the Line-out/headphone jack on the Xonar DX.

 

You can get a simple AC battery recharger to recharge a spare battery (BL-5B) while your using the E11.

 

Chance are whatever your using for a portable music player can not have an external DAC connected to it.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Fiio E11 ($65) portable headphone amplifier, can fairly decently drive 250-Ohm headphones.

You can plug the E11 into the Line-out/headphone jack on the Xonar DX.

 

You can get a simple AC battery recharger to recharge a spare battery (BL-5B) while your using the E11.

 

Chance are whatever your using for a portable music player can not have an external DAC connected to it.

I have strongly considered the E11. My main issue with it is that I want to use this device with my work PC and my laptop while I'm at school, so I would really really like a good DAC for those systems.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

I have strongly considered the E11. My main issue with it is that I want to use this device with my work PC and my laptop while I'm at school, so I would really really like a good DAC for those systems.

DAC Destroyer, USB DAC, usually sells for around $60 on eBay.

From what I understand, the E11 amplifier is a little more powerful then the E17.

If you plug the E17 into the computer's digital output port (optical or USB), you bypass any sound card and get zero surround sound features for gaming or movies.

 

With the E17 you do get Optical Input-DAC-Amp all in one package.

And I believe you get just bypass the E17 DAC feature and just use the amp feature with the Xonar DX.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

DAC Destroyer, USB DAC, usually sells for around $60 on eBay.

From what I understand, the E11 amplifier is a little more powerful then the E17.

If you plug the E17 into the computer's digital output port (optical or USB), you bypass any sound card and get zero surround sound features for gaming or movies.

 

With the E17 you do get Optical Input-DAC-Amp all in one package.

And I believe you get just bypass the E17 DAC feature and just use the amp feature with the Xonar DX.

The E11 is 200mW @ 16 ohms of output and E17 is 215mW @ 16 ohms. (STOP!! THIS ISN'T RIGHT)

 

Edit, read bottom


Edited by bowei006 - 7/23/12 at 4:34pm
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

The E11 is 200mW @ 16 ohms of output and E17 is 215mW @ 16 ohms.

So it looks like the E17 is the right tool for the job?

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

So it looks like the E17 is the right tool for the job?

Remember this though:

 

 

Quote:me

Be warned, some say there isn't enough power while others say otherwise.

 

Most people have told me that the E11 and E17 have enough power for the current gen 250 ohm beyers while others (one or two) say there isn't enough power.

 

I have only tested the E17 with 80 ohm Beyer DT770's, not 250 ohms and how one perceives what "loudness" means and how loud differs.

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Remember this though:

 

 

 

I have only tested the E17 with 80 ohm Beyer DT770's, not 250 ohms and how one perceives what "loudness" means and how loud differs.

Yeah... and I guess if I'm going to spend this much money, I should go a bit extra and grab the UHA-4. I wonder how the DAC compares to my Xonar's, might just sell the Xonar and use the UHA-4 if it proves to be better.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChillburger View Post

Yeah... and I guess if I'm going to spend this much money, I should go a bit extra and grab the UHA-4. I wonder how the DAC compares to my Xonar's, might just sell the Xonar and use the UHA-4 if it proves to be better.

It's that kind of thinking that made me go from an

 

hmmm what about E11? to adding $100 onto my budget and dropping on an E17 half a year ago. 

 

But as an Asian, I do it a lot so no worries! Whatever fancies you, if I remember correctly I thought I read a review of the UHA4 being superior. Read some reviews, and comparisons, look at features and then overal pricing and if it is availble in your regiion and authorized suppliers and go! :)

Check the power outage of the UHA 4's though, it's a mistake to auto assume that a device worth more portably has more power. (although generally you get more power, but checking is good too)

 

I didn't eat my chilli burger but got chicken...yumm chicken.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

The E11 is 200mW @ 16 ohms of output and E17 is 215mW @ 16 ohms.

Guess I heard wrong.

What about at 300-Ohm?

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