I have the Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro (250 Ohm) headphones and a desktop PC with an Asus Xonar DX and also a Laptop (Thinkpad L520) with its onboard sound. If I take the laptop to the university I often use my old AKG K141, they don't sound that well but they isolate much better. At the moment I use the DT-880 with a small mixing board (Xenyx 502) as amp on my Asus Xonar DX and on my laptop I use it just with the normal onboard laptop output. What cheap (in germany) amp is best for both the desktop and my laptop (though the desktop is most important)? And will an amp give me a better sound quality than my mixing board?) I find the mixing board quite good (I don't hear noise and it can be much louder than I need) but it is a bit annoying that when I skype people hear all my windows sounds (both microphone and headphone are in the mixing board) so for example when playing games I need to turn off my game sound and also I have no experience with amps so I cannot tell if it will be better or not. Also as it just costs 35 € I guess it must be of a lesser quality if it is cheaper than the cheapest headphone amp or am I missing something there? :-) Also I have an ipod touch that is really quiet with my headphones so portable would also be an option but only if I don't give up so much sound quality. I would like to spend around 50€ I could maybe spend 100 € if it would really be an extreme sound quality improvement. Is it better to use the sound card of my desktop as source or buy an usb amp with dac?
What cheap amp for DT-880 Pro and Asus Xonar DX or Laptop?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I vote Fiio E11 head amp.
It a little more powerful then the E10's amp.
You can plug the E11 straight into the Xonar DX or laptop or connect it (using a Fiio L cable) to the iPod.
Also you can use an RCA to 3.5mm cable to connect the Mixing board to the E11.
The E11 is battery powered (BL-5B), but for around $15, you should be able to get 2 extra batteries and a simple battery charger.
You can't connect the E10 to the iPod or mixing board.
For the Fiio E11, you can order spare batteries (BL-5B) and a simple battery recharger off eBay.
Now that I have the e11 though, I wonder how good it would sound with a more expensive amp, is there much of a difference to be had with a desktop amp around the 150 € range available in Germany? :-)
Edit: The e11 is great for my DT 880 but doesn't have enough gain (even on the high gain and high power setting) for my AKG 141 with 600 Ohm. I now ordered an O2 amp.
Edited by kirdie - 4/25/13 at 7:09am