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iPhone (4) is the only audiophile portable player you'll ever need!

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Compared the iPhone 4 to my desktop system (high end) with the HD 800. They sound the same, pretty much. dynamics slightly better on the M1HPA maybe. Bass a bit more powerful on the iPhone but it's really just minor details. iPhone drives the HD 800 without ANY problem at loudest volume (best anyway, since its digital volume control) it sounds like high end hifi. 

 

Trust me, if you have an iphone (wish I didn't sold mine), don't spend your money on a portable amp unless you're using very tough to drive cans. Not really necessary. 

 

This surprised me, and I know many will go: 

"Ofc a phone can't match a high end desktop rig!" 

"It's to cheap to be that good" 

"Its so small, HOW?" 

"It's not even a dedicated audiophile product!" 

"Blasphemi to use a high end headphone with a phone!" 

 

Blabla, these people need to be more open minded. Just look at measurements if you don't believe me! 

post #2 of 47

what is your "high end" desktop system? 

post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 

It's a musical fidelity M1HPA (very good measured performance, linear clear, but smooth sound, the best solid state amp I've heard for headphones so far) connected to a USB dac built for me by a friend. Never asked about the circuitry but it uses a pretty expensive "super-clock" for the D/A conversion. He said the performance of this DAC made him laugh hearing the stuff in stores. I trust him as we share the same opinions on most things sound related.

Having listened a lot in stores I must say I agree.


Edited by Lan647 - 7/21/12 at 10:43am
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

It's a musical fidelity M1HPA (very good measured performance, linear clear, but smooth sound, the best solid state amp I've heard for headphones so far) connected to a USB dac built for me by a friend. Never asked about the circuitry but it uses a pretty expensive "super-clock" for the D/A conversion. He said the performance of this DAC made him laugh hearing the stuff in stores. I trust him as we share the same opinions on most things sound related.

Having listened a lot in stores I must say I agree.

I have seen the M1HPA at my dealers but have not had the opportunity to sit down with the HD650's. I spend 4+ hours per day in the car for work and the iPhone 4S with my Etymotic hf3's and custom ACS earpieces are the system that I use. I am looking for a good portable amp and DAC (Fostex HP-P1?) but at the moment when I am totally portable I am OK with the iPhone and the hf3's. 

 

However, I have definitely enjoyed the larger, fuller sound of some of the higher end gear I have auditioned. It is simply a matter of budget realities, travel realities and portability. I am looking to add some new gear, from what I have listened to it will be an upgrade, but I am certainly able to enjoy what I have for now!  beerchug.gif

post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 

I think "fuller" sound is more a matter of different tonality, rather than an "improvement". Could understand how gear sound bigger though, as the iPhone is slightly limited by it's amp. More power generally amplifies dynamics and soundstage.

post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 

I've never used a portable amp, I'll try to audition the HP-P1 sometime and report back to let you know if you need it at all :) Doubt it, but hey you never know when it comes to audio...

post #7 of 47

I have an iPod Touch 4G and I have a cheap E1 amp for it....but...that's just in case the headphone jack ever goes..it also has a handy in-line remote which saves me having to touch the iPod every time I want to change volume/track.

 

I'm not all that clued up about good headphone amps or the headphones they drive ;)


Edited by Dreamnine - 7/21/12 at 2:38pm
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

I think "fuller" sound is more a matter of different tonality, rather than an "improvement". Could understand how gear sound bigger though, as the iPhone is slightly limited by it's amp. More power generally amplifies dynamics and soundstage.

If the difference in tonality is perceived "As" improvement, then you, for that listener, have a better system. Plus, sometimes it is just fun to have a different experience. for me that is why I enjoy this hobby.

 

beerchug.gif

post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 

True :) But the thing I want to highlight here is that the iPhone/iPod is a high-quality component for audio, just like other "audiophile" branded products. What differs is that people's faith is being used. People expect an "audiophile" product that's expensive to sound good, especially if it looks good in the description. Many manufacturers are using this, and all reviews supporting them just makes it worse. That gives high-end audio a bad name IMO. This thing has proved to me that high-end does not have to cost a fortune (although with headphones I definitely think it generally gets better the higher the price, the headphone marketing/pricing is much more logic IMO) even if many consider that to be the whole idea. 

 

IMO, that's a good thing :D at least if people can be willing to accept it. 


Edited by Lan647 - 7/21/12 at 4:26pm
post #10 of 47

Although the iPhone 4/4S is probably the best phone in regards to driving headphones because of the low output impedance of <1ohm, I don't think it is fair to say it is really satisfactory in all regards.  I believe the iPod Classic 7G compares similarly to the iPhone 4/4S (Cirrus Logic DAC, approx. 30mW output power, approx. 1ohm output impedance.)  Correct me if I am wrong in that regard.

I was not at all happy with the sound of my iPod Classic 7G, or my iPod Video 5.0G for that matter.  To me, both sound "gutless", especially with bass.  I found that the iPod + Fiio E17 with iPod line-out cable sounds much better. 

I suppose it depends on the headphones you are using.  If you can find a set of cans that aren't hard to drive, then the iPhone would be a good choice.  I am now pursuing a stack with the Voodoo Sound Galaxy S (good sound with weak amp) + Fiio E17 as my flexible, portable rig.  I will likely use my iPod Classic 7G (line-out) + E17 for much of the listening, since it does sound rather good in my opinion. 

I think another member put it well in that the headphone jacks on phones is akin to driving economy cars.  If you want to drive a Ferrari, then you'll need to step into some other gear.

post #11 of 47

It's not that your iPhone is good.  It's that your setup, and practically every setup, is not good enough for the HD800.  They need an insane setup to stand out.  

post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lan647 View Post

True :) But the thing I want to highlight here is that the iPhone/iPod is a high-quality component for audio, just like other "audiophile" branded products. What differs is that people's faith is being used. People expect an "audiophile" product that's expensive to sound good, especially if it looks good in the description. Many manufacturers are using this, and all reviews supporting them just makes it worse. That gives high-end audio a bad name IMO. This thing has proved to me that high-end does not have to cost a fortune (although with headphones I definitely think it generally gets better the higher the price, the headphone marketing/pricing is much more logic IMO) even if many consider that to be the whole idea. 

 

IMO, that's a good thing :D at least if people can be willing to accept it. 

It is definitely true that sometimes the Emperor has no clothes.....But if he wrote the check for the perception, it is his/her perception to enjoy.  Considering I spend at least 20+ hours per week with my iPhone4S & Etymotic hf3 combo every week, I can tell you, I do appreciate what it can do for the price and portability!

post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 

Have heard them with a Boulder 1021 CD player and Leben CS300, is that insane enough? I like my sound more :) Leben wasn't really "better", just different. Muscular, rhythmic sound with a quite excessive bass emphasis but not really higher clarity or detail or anything. Too much bass coloration for my taste.

However, you could be right. But the HD 800 is still just a headphone, it's not a piece of magic. Sure it'll reveal everything clearly but it's not like you need a very specialized build to make them shine, at least not IME. 

What would be an insane setup to you? Just interested :) 

post #14 of 47
Can't speak for the HD800 since I don't own them anymore, but the iPhone 4 is plenty good for easy-to-drive, high-end IEMs cool.gif
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by headfinoob View Post

I was not at all happy with the sound of my iPod Classic 7G, or my iPod Video 5.0G for that matter.  To me, both sound "gutless", especially with bass.  I found that the iPod + Fiio E17 with iPod line-out cable sounds much better. 

Were you using a low imedance phones? The 7G IPC has an output impedance of 10 ohm which could affect the bass of such phones.
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