Since I couldn't find one specific thread to address this question, I thought I would start a new one. Portable use seems to be exploding as evidenced by sales volume and the introduction of a dozen or so noteworthy mid-fi closed portables in the past year, many of them impressive sonically. If 2012, was the year of the closed portable headphone, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the portable amp- new and coming releases include the FiiO E12/Monte Carlo, BH C&C, JDS Labs C5, Vamp Verza, Centrance M8 and others.
I want to have my cake and eat it too- I am striving for the sound quality of a good desktop setup that I can take with me in the most portable form. I believe I am just about there and am on the fence regarding an additional amp.
My headphones include the B&W C5, V-Moda M-100 and Ultrasone Signature DJ. While the first two are very good, they have been gathering dust since receiving the Signature DJ this past week. I still have a place for my IEMs when it is just not practical to bring headphones. I suppose the ideal portable setup would fit in my pocket.
My amps include Boostaroo (purchased pre-Head-fi), IFuzen, FiiO E11, ZO2.3 and Vamp. My primary amp is obviously Vamp connected to my Iphone 4. If I need a bass boost, I will double-amp with my E11 since the ZO doesn't give me enough volume.
I have a 32GB Iphone 4 which is overflowing and I have needed to make some tough calls regarding files to remove, but it was worthwhile to upgrade my 128kbps files to 256Kbps Apple Plus files. I hear a significant difference, particularly with the M-100 and even moreso with the Signature DJ. I am thinking 256kbps is the best balance of SQ and portable memory space, but I welcome other perspectives on this. I wanted to upgrade to 64GB, but they are only available now in the IPhone 5 which would not be compatible with my Vamp unless I run a 30-pin extension cable to the lightning adapter which sounds like a mess and certainly not as portable. I would imagine lossless is even better, but how much better vs. file storage?
Also, if I wanted to get away from Apple and Itunes at some point, is there an easy way to convert AAC files downloaded from Apple to MP3? Other player options are welcome as well.
What have you found to be the best combinations for your portable listening?
Which closed portable headphones pair best with which portable amps?
Edited by Craigster75 - 2/9/13 at 7:46am