Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Need Help!!! Recommendations for Best Portable Rig Please!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need Help!!! Recommendations for Best Portable Rig Please!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!! Need your help on recommendations for the best sounding potable rig solution.
Source will be iPhone 4S.

SEEKING GEAR:
Portable headphones;
Portable amp;
Portable DAC.

CRITERIA:
I'm always on the go, so I'm seeking the best portable rig setup. Because this will be used in public, i.e. office, plane etc.. I'm assuming I need closed headphones?

CURRENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Headphones:
Beyerdynamic T5p
Sennheiser Momentum
Fostex TH900
Denon 7100
Grady PS1000

Amp:
ALO RX MKIII;
Fostex HP-P1;

DAC:
Cypher Labs Solo -db

I'm really searching for the best sounding setup so that the investment will last a long while. My current front runner is the beyerdynamic T5P + Cypher Labs Solo-db + ALO MKIII or Fostex TH900instead of the Beyerdynamics.

I'm leaning towards the Beyerdynamics but wanted to get feedback on the Fostexs. Is there that much of an increase in sound quality for the money for the Fostexs over the Beyers? Also I've reade that the Fostexs leak a substantial amount of sound and may disturb others and the cups are not very durable for portable use. Also I believe the Grados are open, so they would not be suitable as portables because they would leak too much sound, disturbing others. Is this correct?

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
post #2 of 22

Hi rokheadfi and welcome to the forum. Most of the equipment you have listed is high grade and very expensive. Much of it is not intended for use outside in noisy environments. The iPhone 4S will sound disappointing with the likes of Beyerdynamic T5p and Grado PS1000s. I am sure many would disagree but I can't see the point of anything above 320kbps mp3 an iPod and a nice set of Shure IEMs for listening on buses etc. Hi-fi over the ear headphones are usually open backed for better sound quality which is going to be unfortunate outside. Similarly fragile Grado PS1000s will break and will be a huge loss if left on a plane or are stolen. For a home setup with the usual Colorfly C4/IBasso DX100/HiFiman Hm-801 then this equipment can shine.

post #3 of 22

Strike the open headphones off your list, not suited to portable use because of sound leakage (in both directions). I believe the Denon's in general have a fairly poor reputation for sound isolation, although I'm not sure if the newer 7100 is similarly affected (I've not really seen anything good written about them besides their looks though, I personally wouldn't go there unless you can audition them and love them).

 

T5p will actually sound quite reasonable straight from an iPhone in fact, although it will improve with amping, which you appear happy to do.

 

No idea whether the Fostex TH900 will sound good straight from an iPhone or what its amping requirements are.

 

You might like to tell us more about your listening habits in order to better differentiate the most suitable set of headphones for you. I love my T5p, but can nevertheless see it isn't for everyone. Other headphones to consider in the full-sized closed realm for portable use would include the Ultrasone Ed8 and Signature Pros, if you haven't considered them at all.

 

You seem to prefer full-sized cans, but as per the above post, IEMs may be worth considering unless you really don't want them for whatever reason (I only use full-sized cans myself, don't get on with IEMs at all, so can totally understand that you may not be at all interested in IEMs).

 

The DAC and amps you mention all have very good reputations, I doubt you'd be disappointed with those.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

sefelt103 and NZtechfreak thank you so much for your suggestions.  I'm new to all this, so your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

So I now know that open or semi-open cans are not suitable as portables because of leakage.

 

I prefer full-sized cans vs. IEM's.  So, with your help I'm narrowing my search to closed cans.

 

I'm leaning towards the T5P's.

 

One of the questions I have is whether or not there is a big difference in sound quality between the T5P's vs. Amperiors or Momentums?

 

Second, based upon my research it appears that the selection of closed cans is limited and that the T5P's appear to be the best choice.

 

Any suggestions you may have is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

post #5 of 22

As they say here, "Welcome to Head-fi, sorry about your wallet." Once you try one of those setups, any which one, you'll be curious to try more, no matter how well it seemed be fitting your goals. It's human nature and there is no best.

 

The T5p's seem to be more robust for a "flagship", although I think some people have managed to damage the cable. They are designed for your portable intentions too. You could get those and think about amps etc later simply using your iPhone you have right now.

 

Each of those top tier headphone have music types which they are especially well suited, ie. they have their own refined signature. 

post #6 of 22

Hi there

 

I had the same needs as you! I ended up with an iPod classic with lossless files as server to a Fostex hp-p1 DAC /  amp driving Ultrasone Edition 8 closed back headphones. I use this for commuting by train and walking to work through Birmingham in the UK. As far as I know this is about as good as it gets. There are other options I am sure but this set up sounds awesome. I use this 2hrs a day!

 

yes my wallet went 'ouchhhh'


Edited by David593 - 2/16/13 at 6:49am
post #7 of 22

>> I'm really searching for the best sounding setup so that the investment will last a long while. <<

 

Just a note - the best sounding equipment does not necessarily mean they will last a long while and/or are rugged. Sometimes the great sounding gear is fragile. Just sayin.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatNine View Post

>> I'm really searching for the best sounding setup so that the investment will last a long while. <<

 

Just a note - the best sounding equipment does not necessarily mean they will last a long while and/or are rugged. Sometimes the great sounding gear is fragile. Just sayin.

 

I'm not sure that is what he is referring to - I think he means "last a long while" in the sense of last a long while before he feels a desperate need to upgrade.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

 

I'm not sure that is what he is referring to - I think he means "last a long while" in the sense of last a long while before he feels a desperate need to upgrade.

 

LOL. After spending a few thousand on gear over the years, I don't that would be possible. Seems that no matter what I have, I am always reading about new/better/different gear and so many times, end up buying it. This evil addiction of ours has no cure, and the only thing that remains the same is our need to want more. evil_smiley.gif

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokheadfi View Post

Hi everyone!! Need your help on recommendations for the best sounding potable rig solution.
Source will be iPhone 4S.

SEEKING GEAR:
Portable headphones;
Portable amp;
Portable DAC.

CRITERIA:
I'm always on the go, so I'm seeking the best portable rig setup. Because this will be used in public, i.e. office, plane etc.. I'm assuming I need closed headphones?

CURRENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Headphones:
Beyerdynamic T5p
Sennheiser Momentum
Fostex TH900
Denon 7100
Grady PS1000

Amp:
ALO RX MKIII;
Fostex HP-P1;

DAC:
Cypher Labs Solo -db

I'm really searching for the best sounding setup so that the investment will last a long while. My current front runner is the beyerdynamic T5P + Cypher Labs Solo-db + ALO MKIII or Fostex TH900instead of the Beyerdynamics.

I'm leaning towards the Beyerdynamics but wanted to get feedback on the Fostexs. Is there that much of an increase in sound quality for the money for the Fostexs over the Beyers? Also I've reade that the Fostexs leak a substantial amount of sound and may disturb others and the cups are not very durable for portable use. Also I believe the Grados are open, so they would not be suitable as portables because they would leak too much sound, disturbing others. Is this correct?

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
Try this out broski ipod 5.5 rockboxed, with 64gb cf card in it (60 bucks on amazon with the adapter), fiio L9 LOD just 10 bucks anywhere, c&c bh amp (100 bucks from pollychen on eBay), use 3m dual lock to piggyback ur source and amp (25 bucks for 10 feet of the low profile version on amazon), and sum Logitech UE6000 full sized cans (200 bucks on they're site), that's what I did and it sounds damnnn good with iTunes music especially when u download foobar 2000 and replay gain the songs for rockbox. Here's sum pics



Easily fits in my pocket while looking good and sounds AMAZING!
post #11 of 22

I think I'm currently going through a similar hunt myself for a high-end portable setup. So far, I've tried the T5p and Ultrasone Signature DJ, along with several IEMs (my favorite of which is the Sennheiser IE8 at the moment). Honestly, I'm beginning to strongly get the impression that for portable listening (particularly from an isolation point of view), IEMs are the way to go. As far as overall sound quality, I think the T5p is in another league altogether from the SigDJ and even the IE8, but it just does not isolate that well, which means it wouldn't be as useful on an airplane, public transport, etc. 

 

Now, if you were looking for a high-end closed headphone to use in a reasonably quiet office environment or something, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find something better than the beyers (particularly if you listen to guitar-driven music, as they are mindblowingly good for that). But if you're wanting something to block the noise around you (which is a pretty basic requirement of high-end audio on the go), I'm not sure there's much at the moment that will do better than IEMs. I'm considering trying the Signature Pros as the DJs isolated fairly well, but I honestly don't have particularly high hopes that it will work out. 

 

To be clear, there are definitely some non-IEMs with great isolation (the HD25 comes to mind), but their sonic quality doesn't seem to be quite as good as the T5p et al. If someone knows of a great high-end portable can that isolates really well, I'd LOVE to hear about it!!!! But to my knowledge, at the moment, a truly usable high-end portable setup will probably use IEMs over supra- or circumaural cans. 

 

Best of luck in your search, and let us know how you get on!!

post #12 of 22
I too am in the same search...

About to audition th600's w pico amp dac combo...

Rokheadfi and theogenes.... What set ups have you landed with?
post #13 of 22

Hey Kody! I've messed around with a few different combinations of gear for my portable setup, but I'm currently using an Apex Glacier as both DAC and amp into my IE8s. Honestly, I think the Meier Audio PCSTEP sounds a bit better (has much better soundstage, everything else is close, but still prefer the PCSTEP overall), but I use the Glacier simply due to the better ergonomics. In my case, my portable source is one of my phones (Galaxy S3 or Droid DNA, both USB DAC compatible), and the Glacier's thin width and non-protruding volume control are a big plus. I never travel with the T5p, as they just aren't great for isolation or ergonomics IMO (cups don't swivel, cable not removable, case not really useful for travel, etc), but I use them every single day at home-- in fact, I go to sleep with them on every night. (My detailed impressions on the Glacier vs PCSTEP are here, if you're interested.) 

 

Honestly, though, I have considered selling the Glacier and just using the iBasso D-Zero on the go. The sound quality on the D-Zero is better than it has any right to be at the price, the form factor is very usable for travelling, and I'm still trying to decide if my portable listening really necessitates a higher-end setup. I keep thinking I might end up with a LFF Paradox or Mad Dog, and the increased driving power of the Glacier might come in handy, so I haven't made any changes along those lines yet.  

 

Also, I've looked long and hard at the Sennheiser Momentum as a possible on-the-go can, and I'm hoping to hear one (and a LFF Paradox) at an upcoming meet so I know which way to go. It got rave reviews from Tyll and a few others, so it might be one to look at. 

 

Hope this helped somehow!! Let me know if you have any other questions ;)

post #14 of 22

OK Team...

 

I am auditioning right now:

Iphone5, (crappy apple download quality files)

Pico amp/dac combo

TH 600's

 

and while its sounds great for what I am feeding it, I completely understanding the isolation on the go concern...

 

I have some Beyer T90's (open) which do sound terrific... but let sound in...

 

and I have to say I am disappointed in the TH600 ability to drown everything else out.... sound still comes in, yes a little less than the Beyers but I would hear people talking in a Starbucks if they were next to me...  which is distracting from the quality of the music experience

 

I an a private pilot and have a David Clark headset...  non noise canceling...  gel ear pads and it actually sounds quiet when I wear them (relatively) I would not hear someone speak if next to me in Starbucks....

 

So though the sound is great (still working my way up to full .wav files off of iPad... for demoing the research continues...

 

PS  I like the sound of these than the T90's... better review to follow.

post #15 of 22

If you like the sound you're getting but just don't care for the isolation, it might be worth considering different pads and finding an easy mod for increasing the clamping force on your head slightly. I'm not personally familiar with the TH600 (although I've heard great things, of course), but plenty of people around here are, and you might be able to find some better information in the TH600 thread. I've found that using different pads on my T5p has a noticeable effect on isolation, bass response, and overall sound-- although Beyers are kind of known for being very responsive to pad swapping. 

 

Ultimately, I think the best isolation comes from IEMs, but that is a different proposition from full-sized cans like you have, so I'm not sure if you'd be interested in going that route. Tyll has isolation information included on his charts at InnerFidelity, if you do decide to look at other headphones. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Need Help!!! Recommendations for Best Portable Rig Please!!