Recently lost my old cheapy IEM's, and decided to step up to a set of Shure 425's.
Listening at work to the output straight from my laptop, the sound isn't great. It's not terrible, but the dynamic range is lacking. I also find the bass to be lacking (even with properly inserted comply tips).
Off the top of my head, it seems like a headphone amp/dac might solve the problems, and the right one might allow me to add a bit of bass boost too.
I started looking around, aiming for the $150-$250 price range (i.e not the least expensive, and definitely not the most expensive amp), and there are a crazy amount of options! I'd love to hear from folks who have tried any of these with similar IEMs, or if you have any other suggestions that would be great.
Musical tastes are alternative rock, classic rock, hip hop, dance, reggae, etc. Not much classical or jazz, but almost anything else.
1. FiiO E17 Alpen - review was generally good, has configurable bass/treble boost, inexpensive
2. HiFiMan EF-2 -- I used to use a tube amp in my home stereo, and I always enjoyed the warm sound. I only stopped using it when I got some very inefficient speakers that required more power for decent dynamic range and control. No bass boost on this one, though. Reviews seem good. Price is similar to E17.
3. Schiit magni/modi -- review generally good, but reviewer noted some high end sibilance which I probably wouldn't like. Nice that it's a seperate dac & amp, leads to upgrade opportunities over time.
4. Headstage Arrow 4 -- a bit outside the price range new, has bass boost option, but not as many choices as E17?
5. Anything else to think about?
Thanks in advance!!