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Help: Looking for a Cheap Portable Amp

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am new on the scene here. A couple months ago I bought a set of Sony MDR-XB500. I really enjoy them, but I have noticed the varying performance on different devices. I am looking for a portable amplifier that will boost bass without sacrificing overall audio quality and improve overall performance on my laptop, iphone, etc... all for around $50 or less. Does anybody have suggestions, ideas, is my price range too frugal? Any help is greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 13

I mean, there are the Fiio Products, but I haven't much experience with them. I think the Fiio E7 is on Amazon can be had for around $60 if you're willing to pay a tad extra. The Fiio E7 has been fairly well acclaimed to what I have heard as an entry level AMP/ DAC. Other higher end ones would be the Fiio Andes ($89) and the Fiio E17 ($140), but there are others in the lower end of the spectrum as well, such as the E6 ($27) etc. Generally though, if I had the option, I'd go with the E7. Generally though, your spectrum is a tad on the frugal side, BUT, there are options. Not all of us can have $800 amps or $1200 DACs as well (i.e. I don't have that stuff either)wink_face.gif.

 

 

Best of luck!

 

~Kami


Edited by kamikaziH2Omln - 3/16/13 at 8:35am
post #3 of 13

When I say Higher end, I mean higher end Fiio Products, not high end AMP/ DAC. High end AMPs and DACs can be... well, expensive wink_face.gif.

 

~Kami

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been looking at the Fiio e6, but I read that they do not do a good job of enhancing and boosting bass. Now I understand that my headphones are not insufficient when it comes to lower frequencies, but I would still like to enhance the quality and impact of the bass. Would the Fiio e7 do a better job at that?

post #5 of 13

I would go for the E7 due to the added features and the positive feel I have heard about them. Also, I'm a tad in the dark about the E6 overall. Here's a couple of reviews, as I haven't owned either of them. They will probably give you better information than I can give you at the moment. 

 

 

Review of the Fiio E6

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566351/fiio-e6-story-of-the-tiny-amp-continues-w-review-on-1st-page

 

 

Review of the Fiio E7

http://www.head-fi.org/t/504613/review-fiio-e7

 

 

One thing to bear in mind, there have been numerous claims (and cases) of fake Fiio products in circulation. Best bet is to order from an authorized dealer for example Micca Store on Amazon.com.

 

Here is a list of authorized dealers from the Fiio website.

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

 

 

Regards

 

~Kami

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help. I think I will go for the e7 since it comes with both a portable amplifier and a DAC that works as a soundcard. My only remaining question is if the DAC will work for my laptop since it runs on windows 8. On this Amazon page it doesn't say whether or not the DAC is compatible.

 

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B003N0XDT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357013131&sr=1-1&keywords=fiio+e7

post #7 of 13
The Fiio E07k runs beautifully on W8.

Cheers!


Sent from my iPad from Ultrasone Planet using Tapatalk HD
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I looked at the newer version, but its $30 more. Would the e7 not work as well with Windows 8?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverguy View Post

Yeah, I looked at the newer version, but its $30 more. Would the e7 not work as well with Windows 8?

 

Oops, sorry missed your posted budget...

post #10 of 13
Is there anything cheaper, lets say around $10 max?
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdogw View Post

Is there anything cheaper, lets say around $10 max?

$10 Max? You'd be hard pressed to find something like that. Yes, there is the Fiio E3 out there, but it runs on a AAA battery, and the fact that it is bassy is detrimental to the midrange and treble. Bear in mind that this is a AMP as well, not a DAC, so you don't have a line out from your ipod LOD (30 pin connector at the bottom of the ipod), but rather you are going from 3.5 to 3.5 connection. You'll get a boost in sound, but not necessarily sound quality. It might be best to stick with just an iPod/ Zune/ whatever media player you use until you can get one that is a little "nicer" for lack of words. 

 

Best of Luck!

~Kami

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikaziH2Omln View Post

$10 Max? You'd be hard pressed to find something like that. Yes, there is the Fiio E3 out there, but it runs on a AAA battery, and the fact that it is bassy is detrimental to the midrange and treble. Bear in mind that this is a AMP as well, not a DAC, so you don't have a line out from your ipod LOD (30 pin connector at the bottom of the ipod), but rather you are going from 3.5 to 3.5 connection. You'll get a boost in sound, but not necessarily sound quality. It might be best to stick with just an iPod/ Zune/ whatever media player you use until you can get one that is a little "nicer" for lack of words. 

Best of Luck!
~Kami


Alright then I'll find some money. And apologize to my wallet afterwards. Thanks
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdogw View Post


Alright then I'll find some money. And apologize to my wallet afterwards. Thanks

Ah, I see you're adopting the HeadFi ways. "Welcome to HeadFi, sorry about your wallet" wink.gif I'd recommend the Fiio E07K ($89-$100) or preferably the E17 ($140). Both are good budget AMP+DAC combos.

 

 

Best of luck!

~Kami


Edited by kamikaziH2Omln - 3/16/13 at 8:36am
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