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Using the FiiO E11 as a desktop computer amplifier?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hello! I'm brand new to these forums, and I'm highly interested in high quality audio, and have been for awhile. I just discovered this site while searching for information on the FiiO E11, and it looks like this is the place to ask my question. Primarily I use my computer for gaming, and listening to music. Currently it is using on-board sound (it's a brand new computer, and I wanted to try the on board card before purchasing a sound card) and I have Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I have to say, while I think they sound good, I wish I had done a little bit more research before making the purchase. That being said, I'm stuck with them for awhile.

 

Anyways, I'm using a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's and I'm currently using them plugged into the volume control pod that came with my Klipsch speakers. While it amplifies them, I'm not sure if it's doing the sound quality justice, and on top of that turning up or down the volume on the control pod causes static (apparently one of the special features of the Klipsch Pro Media's is you need to dismantle the pod and clean it regularly..). Anyways, once I move out and have my own place I plan to get a home theater system hooked up to my computer to replace it.

 

FiiO E11

 

So basically, I'm looking into getting the FiiO E11 to power my headphones instead of the control pod, and I was wondering what all of your opinions are on this. My idea is I plug it into my surge protector using a USB->Wall Socket adapter, and then have audio in plugged into my computer, and then audio out plugged into my headphones. That way I don't have to worry about charging it, it's just always plugged in. Would this setup work? Would it be worth the money, and will I notice any gains?

 

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Sound Card

 

Secondly, I'm considering using a sound card that I already own in my new computer. I'm wondering if it will increase the audio quality, as well as get rid of background buzzing that I keep having with my new computer. After doing loads of research on the Internet, it looks like its a common problem and is solved by using a separate sound card. How do you think this kind of sound card would sound with an FiiO E11+Sennheiser HD 280 Pro?

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5 HiFi Stereo Headphones

 

Now, finally, in the future I hope to possibly purchase these. I have yet to listen to them, but I've heard their amazing. At some point I plan to stop by somewhere that carries them and try them out, but in the way future I may be replacing the Sennheiser HD 280's with these. Would these sound good plugged into the FiiO E11 Amplifier and with this setup? Any thought or opinions on what you all think I should do?

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to help a new guy out!

post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostKage View Post

Hello! I'm brand new to these forums, and I'm highly interested in high quality audio, and have been for awhile. I just discovered this site while searching for information on the FiiO E11, and it looks like this is the place to ask my question. Primarily I use my computer for gaming, and listening to music. Currently it is using on-board sound (it's a brand new computer, and I wanted to try the on board card before purchasing a sound card) and I have Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I have to say, while I think they sound good, I wish I had done a little bit more research before making the purchase. That being said, I'm stuck with them for awhile.

 

Anyways, I'm using a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's and I'm currently using them plugged into the volume control pod that came with my Klipsch speakers. While it amplifies them, I'm not sure if it's doing the sound quality justice, and on top of that turning up or down the volume on the control pod causes static (apparently one of the special features of the Klipsch Pro Media's is you need to dismantle the pod and clean it regularly..). Anyways, once I move out and have my own place I plan to get a home theater system hooked up to my computer to replace it.

 

FiiO E11

 

So basically, I'm looking into getting the FiiO E11 to power my headphones instead of the control pod, and I was wondering what all of your opinions are on this. My idea is I plug it into my surge protector using a USB->Wall Socket adapter, and then have audio in plugged into my computer, and then audio out plugged into my headphones. That way I don't have to worry about charging it, it's just always plugged in. Would this setup work? Would it be worth the money, and will I notice any gains?

 

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Sound Card

 

Secondly, I'm considering using a sound card that I already own in my new computer. I'm wondering if it will increase the audio quality, as well as get rid of background buzzing that I keep having with my new computer. After doing loads of research on the Internet, it looks like its a common problem and is solved by using a separate sound card. How do you think this kind of sound card would sound with an FiiO E11+Sennheiser HD 280 Pro?

 

Bowers & Wilkins P5 HiFi Stereo Headphones

 

Now, finally, in the future I hope to possibly purchase these. I have yet to listen to them, but I've heard their amazing. At some point I plan to stop by somewhere that carries them and try them out, but in the way future I may be replacing the Sennheiser HD 280's with these. Would these sound good plugged into the FiiO E11 Amplifier and with this setup? Any thought or opinions on what you all think I should do?

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to help a new guy out!

"Welcome to head fi, sorry about your wallet"

 

At this price range getting a good sound card or dac and amp would be better. The E10 is a very popular option, it is desktop and you can take it for travel, getting a good sound card is another way though, be careful, specs don't mean anything, look for first hand and mass reviews from people that know what they are talking about in soundcards....however this is also a con, the two most popular sound cards the Titanium HD and STX are way out of your range.

 

The e11 can not be used like that....it can NOT be used while it is plugged in and charging. You have to use it.....charge it without using it.and use it. There are accessory packs by Micca with a battery charger and secondary battery that come for $65 total on amazon.

 

A soundcard that one says is good, the E10 or another dac and amp unit would be best in your case

 

 

Someone asked abotu an amp for the P5 a few days ago, here is what I said:

 

http://yklee118.blogspot.com/2012/03/beyerdynamic-t50p-vs-bowers-wilkins-p5.html

 

 

 

Quote:
 The P5 is certainly a warm sounding headphone as such would benefit to a slightly more aggressive amplifier.  

 

 

Quote:
 Both headphones don't require any form of amplification however will benefit from either portable or desktop amplification especially when listening to very complex albums where every detail counts.

 

 

Quote:
 The P5 has a character that allows the listener to enjoy music and its many depths without having to use a complicated headphone amplifier setup,

 

 

Quote:
Having a bit of amplification can make all the difference in The Audiophile World as such when presented with such a great sounding album.  

 

It basically seems anything will power it, having a good DAC and amp however asyou seem to want one would also be a good plus.

 

The e10 is not portable btw.


Edited by bowei006 - 7/22/12 at 7:38pm
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, not only for the quick reply but such great information! Can't believe I hadn't heard of the E10, and was looking at the E11! It looks like its exactly what I need; eliminates my need for a sound card, and gives me an amplifier all at once! So glad I came here for help, I already feel like I've learned a ton.

 

The information on this site is great, for instance I just started "burning in" my HD 280's... Never did and they probably only have about 12 hours of use.

 

"Welcome to head fi, sorry about your wallet"

 

Yeah... My wallet is soon to be very sad indeed.. *begins searching on Amazon*

 

Thanks again Panda-sama!

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostKage View Post

Thank you so much, not only for the quick reply but such great information! Can't believe I hadn't heard of the E10, and was looking at the E11! It looks like its exactly what I need; eliminates my need for a sound card, and gives me an amplifier all at once! So glad I came here for help, I already feel like I've learned a ton.

 

The information on this site is great, for instance I just started "burning in" my HD 280's... Never did and they probably only have about 12 hours of use.

 

"Welcome to head fi, sorry about your wallet"

 

Yeah... My wallet is soon to be very sad indeed.. *begins searching on Amazon*

 

Thanks again Panda-sama!

Be careful, there is a lot of noise on this site.

 

A soundcard is also a good option, but their aren't to many audiophiles looking to buy soundcards at the $80 price range weirdly. Most come here ALREADY with ASUS DG cards or something.

 

If you buy one used, be careful, the E10 has undergone 3 revisions since comming out. Most people unless they follow this site WON'T know that there have been revisions at all. And keep in mind that the E10 isn't a huge problem right now but many fakes of FiiO's are showing up. Amazon actually sells fake FiiO's. Not amazon's fault, but ANYONE can include a product on the page so be careful

http://fiio.com.cn/where/index.aspx

 

Buy from authorized dealers. Believe it or not, their prices are sometimes better.

 

Here are the threads:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/616077/dont-buy-any-fiio-product-from-sainstore-on-amazon-and-how-to-distinguish-a-genuine-fiio-e6-from-a-fake-one

http://www.head-fi.org/t/616893/black-list-of-unauthorized-retailer-in-us-amazon-updated-on-20-07-2012#post_8502426

 

You may be interested in reading about this, it's not out and isn't what you want, but is interesting! :)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/613495/upcoming-fiio-e02i-rocky-and-e12

 

Glad you read my signature :) I always smile when my nickname gets used!

 

There are other amp and DAC combo's at ranges all over so give others a few looks and what not.

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostKage View Post

Hello! I'm brand new to these forums, and I'm highly interested in high quality audio, and have been for awhile. I just discovered this site while searching for information on the FiiO E11, and it looks like this is the place to ask my question. Primarily I use my computer for gaming, and listening to music. Currently it is using on-board sound (it's a brand new computer, and I wanted to try the on board card before purchasing a sound card) and I have Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers. I have to say, while I think they sound good, I wish I had done a little bit more research before making the purchase. That being said, I'm stuck with them for awhile.

Anyways, I'm using a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's and I'm currently using them plugged into the volume control pod that came with my Klipsch speakers. While it amplifies them, I'm not sure if it's doing the sound quality justice, and on top of that turning up or down the volume on the control pod causes static (apparently one of the special features of the Klipsch Pro Media's is you need to dismantle the pod and clean it regularly..). Anyways, once I move out and have my own place I plan to get a home theater system hooked up to my computer to replace it.

FiiO E11

So basically, I'm looking into getting the FiiO E11 to power my headphones instead of the control pod, and I was wondering what all of your opinions are on this. My idea is I plug it into my surge protector using a USB->Wall Socket adapter, and then have audio in plugged into my computer, and then audio out plugged into my headphones. That way I don't have to worry about charging it, it's just always plugged in. Would this setup work? Would it be worth the money, and will I notice any gains?

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Sound Card

Secondly, I'm considering using a sound card that I already own in my new computer. I'm wondering if it will increase the audio quality, as well as get rid of background buzzing that I keep having with my new computer. After doing loads of research on the Internet, it looks like its a common problem and is solved by using a separate sound card. How do you think this kind of sound card would sound with an FiiO E11+Sennheiser HD 280 Pro?

Bowers & Wilkins P5 HiFi Stereo Headphones

Now, finally, in the future I hope to possibly purchase these. I have yet to listen to them, but I've heard their amazing. At some point I plan to stop by somewhere that carries them and try them out, but in the way future I may be replacing the Sennheiser HD 280's with these. Would these sound good plugged into the FiiO E11 Amplifier and with this setup? Any thought or opinions on what you all think I should do?

Thank you so much for taking the time to help a new guy out!

 Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) or a used Titanium (non-HD) would be a good choice/value.

You can plug the Fiio E11 into a sound card's Line-out/Headphone jack.

 

For use with the E11, for around $15, you can a simple AC battery charger and two spare batteries (BL-5B).

 

The Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier will improve the audio quality. but comes with zero surround sound for movies and gaming.

post #6 of 35

@GhostKage

You haven't mentioned your budget!

If you get a soundcard, you have the option of improving your speakers as well, because of a better DAC.

You can add an amp for headphones separately. Many options can be available, depending on your budget.


Edited by proton007 - 7/22/12 at 8:27pm
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

@GhostKage

You haven't mentioned your budget!

If you get a soundcard, you have the option of improving your speakers as well, because of a better DAC.

You can add an amp for headphones separately. Many options can be available, depending on your budget.

I guessed it was $60-$80 considering he mentioned the E11 but then again, he could go higher or has to stay in the $60 area so good point, one should always ask and not make assumptions. Thanks for the reminder Gorrila man.

 

The headphones he is looking at are known to not need super amp powers that a soundcard or E11 can't produce.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

The headphones he is looking at are known to not need super amp powers that a soundcard or E11 can't produce.

 

I agree.

I would put getting a decent soundcard as first priority. That'll solve most of the issues, it'll go well with his Klipsch, and will be the most versatile solution IMO.

Can do without an amp, as you say.


Edited by proton007 - 7/22/12 at 8:48pm
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

I agree.

I would put getting a decent soundcard as first priority. That'll solve most of the issues, it'll go well with his Klipsch, and will be the most versatile solution IMO.

Can do without an amp, as you say.

The amp comes with the DAC for sound cards anyway and you wouldn't just get a good DAC and no amp. What I meant is you don't need a super driving amp.

 

The HD280's are said to need good amping for bass?

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

The HD280's are said to need good amping for bass?

 

64Ohms, so doesn't seem like it needs amping at all.

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

64Ohms, so doesn't seem like it needs amping at all.

That is a misconception, looking at the impendence. I have 32 Ohm cans that are harder to drive than 44 ohm ones. And my AKG Q701's are 62 ohms. Having primary sources is second best to primary testing.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

That is a misconception, looking at the impendence. I have 32 Ohm cans that are harder to drive than 44 ohm ones. And my AKG Q701's are 62 ohms. Having primary sources is second best to primary testing.

I was just simplifying. Ofcourse its not the only factor.

The sensitivity is > 100 db, pretty sensitive.

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I was just simplifying. Ofcourse its not the only factor.

The sensitivity is > 100 db, pretty sensitive.

And then we get into the definition if a headphone "gains" from amping and how much. I have heard from multiple primary sources that the HD280's get a nice bass increase in terms of showing up more prominantely with a good amp past "iPod" baseline.

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

And then we get into the definition if a headphone "gains" from amping and how much. I have heard from multiple primary sources that the HD280's get a nice bass increase in terms of showing up more prominantely with a good amp past "iPod" baseline.

You might be right.

It has a big bump in impedance right about 80-90 Hz.

Any source with high output impedance (or limited voltage, like portable supply) will cause a slightly weaker response in this frequency region if I'm not wrong.


Edited by proton007 - 7/22/12 at 10:05pm
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

You might be right.

It has a big bump in impedance right about 80-90 Hz.

Any source with high output impedance (or limited voltage, like portable supply) will cause a slightly weaker response in this frequency region if I'm not wrong.

I don't know either, I have only heard it from multiple owners of the HD280 that the low frequency responce in itself...in terms of real life quantity and presence is increased a good amount with a good amp past "baseline" (ipods etc)

 

I use an amp to rectify some problems with some of my headphones as well. To cool off the SRH440's harshness, and give it some more oomph and to add "weight" to my AKG K422's

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