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Thread Starter 

Hello all! It's my first post - been learning a lot from the folks here. Thank you!


As is common for this forum, I'm searching for a better portable playback setup. The factor I'm most sensitive to is uncommon: the noise floor at low volume. SNR specs are helpful, but they measure top to bottom levels, and I feel the most prominent difference is the top volume rather than a cleaner floor. So, I turn to experienced experts for your input!


I have Sensaphonics 2X-S molded IEMs. They sound awesome, and most importantly provide great isolation (I like it quiet and relaxing). However they are very sensitive. I'm normally listening out of my laptop with the volume at 4%. With the signal that low, I am being driven crazy with the digital noise floor!


What I'm looking for:

  1. Noise floor (clean sound at quiet listening levels)
  2. Accuracy (Frequency response and lossless codec support)
  3. Cost (I'm not a Sound Engineer any more - can't justify spending much)
  4. Flexibility (full feature device, or USB DAC for use with multiple devices?)


I'm open to a variety of suggestions and configurations: If a Sansa Clip will get me by, great. I'm up for a new andriod phone and the USB DAC option sounds interesting. I'm also considering Cowan standalone players, and anything else that's working for you!