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Do I need Additional Amplification - is it worth it?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Good morning,

 

I am in a bit of a quandry with regards to whether I would gain any major benefits from using a portable amplifier with my iPhone / iPad?

 

At the moment I have fairly easy to drive headphones (Grado SR80i's / Beyerdynamic T70p / Sennheiser IE6) all of which are used with my home based Netbook system via a uDAC2 (soon to be replaced with an Arcam rPac) as well as my iPhone / iPad when I am out and about, in the office, Away from my Netbook Station.

 

To my ears these sound OK through these devices directly out from the headphone socket.

 

I am about to invest in a new set of higher end IEM's probably the Heir Audio A.4 / A.4i or Westone 4R......possibly the Klipsch Image X10i are under consideration as well.

 

I believe these are all fairly easy to drive IEM's as well and should cope directly out of the iPhone 4S.....but I cant help wondering whether I would gain any additional improvement in sound by using an external amplifier.....possibly one of the following:

 

  • RSA Hornet
  • RSA Tomohawk
  • Fiio E11

 

or am I likely to gain bigger improvements longer term by looking at something like the Fostex HP-P1, GDAP X or CLASS combo.....all of which will obviously by pass both the phones DAC and Amplifier (albeit also a lot more expensive)?

 

Can anybody offer any advice or help with regards to this matter.

 

Also can anbody comment on the difference between the Heir and Westone IEM's?

 

Cheers

Jason

post #2 of 3
JDS Labs C421 is a good amp to consider too.

They may be easy to drive IEM's but most improve with amplification.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Randomkid,

I definately like the look and sound of JDS Labs C421

I am surprised however that nobody else has commented on this with their experiences. I am sure there are a lot of individuals on here who use iPhones / iPads etc as music sources, but I only get one reply about a generalist question.

Oh well.....anyway I am also thinking about the following amps now as a short list:

JDS Labs C421

Arrow 3G / 4G

Pico Slim

RSA protector - mainly because of the ability for balanced / single ended outputs (although not as slim as the others)

I believe the RX also gets good reviews, but is a fair bit more expensive.

Without the ability to try these before buying, it's hard to know what to do.
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