Hello everyone, I'm a beginner audiophile (yay!) who would love some advice if possible? :)
I bought the UE 900's in June last year (this forum was a great help when looking into them so thanks!) and love them. They're my first audiophile-grade IEM's. I was aware of some build issues when I bought them (thorough research) but they seem easily fixable/replaceable. My experience with them has been good, thought I'd share, as they're my longest lasting headphones thus far. Earlier this year I started getting some static interference on my left earpiece, it didn't bother me much as I'd adjust it and it would go away but I bought a kit of DeoxIT red and gold cleaning solution cheap from a local electronics store anyway. I only needed the the tiniest bit to clean the connector of gunk and the static instantly went away. Easy.
Now I'm trying to figure out how to get the most out of them. I listen to music with my UE 900 IEM's on my Samsung Galaxy S3 (international unrooted GT-I9300T with that Wolfson DAC running Android 4.3 atm) and enjoy it but I recently got out my broken Cowon S9 (the power button broke so the only way I can turn it on is by plugging it in to charge then quickly taking it out before it completely loads the startup) and it sounds AMAZING with my UE900's. Like ahhh it's so detailed and clear, it doesn't muddy at higher volumes like my S3 does occasionally (so I know I at least need an amp) and the instrument separation is great. Now I know what these headphones can do and I want to be able to please them.
I want to see if I can get my S3 to sound like that. I like the convenience of having everything on one device (phone, camera, internet, music etc) and I like the freedom I have with customizing etc so I don't know if I'm interested in getting a DAP. I think that either DAP's need to catch up with smartphone-like features or smartphones NEED to get better DAC's but I understand some people just want a Dedicated Audio Player and nothing else. I realized how slow/somewhat difficult the interface on my S9 was and how I'd ideally like to listen to my 320kbps MP3 and FLAC files with Poweramp or Spotify on my S3.
So I think I'm looking for a good portable DAC+AMP (that I can also use with my laptop to make it sound better) and I like the sound of the the Fiio X07K Andes? It sounds well loved. A beginner question, though, as I've not had an DAC/AMP before is it a hassle using your portable device when it's attached?
I listen to a wide range of music from Celtic and Soundtrack to Cinematic Rock and Pop. I need strings, in particular, to be good along with sound-staging and instrument separation as they're important to me. I think I like a lush and organic warm sound that is also clear and detailed without being analytical. I like a tight and punchy bass that isn't boomy or overly done. I guess it depends what I'm listening to, though, as I also like an airy sound sometimes.
I'd love some advice about what you think is best to buy to get the most from my UE 900's? Any good DAC/AMP's or DAP's you'd recommend for me?