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Need advice on portable amps

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, new to the forum. I have been scouring through a miriad of posts on portable amps and the hd650s, yet I am still nowhere near a final decision. My knowledge of what there is out there is limited, so I would like your help. I need suggestions in the 300 to 500 dollar range to be used with my hd650s. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

post #2 of 18

If you don't mind me asking... why a portable amp for the HD 650?


The headphone is definitely not very suitable as a portable option, and you can get some pretty good desktop amps for it in the $300 - $500 range.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

The thing is that I don't listen to music when I'm home, and if I did/do I prefer a home audio system in that case. When I'm on the move I always have music playing and the hd650s are preferable over iems for me, and my iphone 5 can in no way get to their max. 

post #4 of 18

By "on the go", do you mean you plan to use the HD 650 outside while commuting on the train/bus, or do you mean "sitting in a quiet office"?


Because I don't think you can amp the HD 650 enough to kill train/bus noise and adequately enjoy your music without first going deaf.


Sorry to sound so cynical, but honestly, open-backed headphones really aren't people's first choices for "on the go".

Edited by Bill-P - 4/20/13 at 3:44pm
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

I understand what you're saying, and I've read all about the various shortcomings of the hd650, but for me they don't apply. I thankfully live in a very quiet part of the world, sweden, so noise isn't an issue. But to be more specific, I have used the hd650s straight from the iphone when riding the bus/train etc and I was more than pleased with the result. What I need now is a portable amp that will take it from 'more than pleased' to ecstatic. 


As for what I mean by on the go, I mean mostly commuting on the train (mind you I take the rail rather than the subway, which is inherently far quieter). 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the hd650 were a present, and considering their price when they were new and the length that I have owned them I wouldn't really be able to get a substantial offer for them at this stage. Therefore I prefer to keep them and purchase a portable amp to go with.

post #7 of 18

Oh no, I'm not saying you should sell them. (in fact, since we're talking about the HD 650, I'd even tell you to keep them like your life depended on it)


I'm just wondering why you wanted a portable amp specifically for them.


With that said, I think you'll be tempted by someone to look at the Fiio E12, but... personally, I don't think the E12 is a good pairing with the HD 650.


One very good option for under $200 is the Objective 2. If you're in Europe, I think you can buy one from Epiphany Acoustics.


Or if you're simply looking for the absolute best you can grab for $500, I think the Portaphile 627 (or the new 627X) would be worth your while.


Edit: and of course, since I own one, I guess I'll throw the Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II up for your consideration. You can roll the opamp if you don't like the sound signature, or pop a pair of OPA627 in and have some interesting comparisons with the Portaphile 627. It's only $300, so you're saving quite a bit from the Portaphile.

Edited by Bill-P - 4/20/13 at 4:37pm
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

To be honest I'm not really a fan of Fiio's portable line. That portaphile 627 on the other hand does look interesting. 


What about the ibasso pb2. It essentially has customizable sound based on what opamp configuration you use/desire. It comes with a set of 4 OPA604 opamps, and considering that the portaphile uses the 627s, a simple purchase of a set of those I think would make it a better solution to the portaphile, or am I seeing this wrong?

post #9 of 18

I mentioned the Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II, right?


Well, I put the OPA627 into them as well. And I have heard the Portaphile 627 recently.


I don't think it's just a case of simply switching out the opamp. The amps are definitely designed differently, and I can hear that difference.


Then again, I haven't heard the ibasso pb2, so I guess you may still have a point there. However, I think the pb2 looks bigger than the Portaphile 627, and maybe that's a consideration for you?

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

The leckerton seems interesting too and, in addition to being a customizable amp, it doubles as a DAC which can come handy if I want to use it when I'm home.


 The PB2 is definitely larger, its size arises from the battery pack and the fact that the amp has a 32v swing. I don't really have a problem with having a larger amp, but of course that may change if I actually purchase it!


Thank you for your suggestions, I will have to look into them a bit more.


For now I have to go as it is late here, but I will return to this post if I have more questions/suggestions.

post #11 of 18

+1 for ibasso. 

post #12 of 18
I second the o2 suggestion although its not pocket portable its probably the greatest bang for the buck purchase you can make.
post #13 of 18

Headstage arrow portable amps seems to be the king of portables from what i've read. Even with high impedance cans. 

post #14 of 18
I've heard many good things on sr-71a + hd650. Maybe you should try that
post #15 of 18

try the JDS labs c5 :)

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