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Looking for great portable headphone amp

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I recently bought Philips Fidelio X1 and now looking for a great - small size - portable headphone amp.

I pay lot of attention in sound quality and objective is to match with an iphone for portable purpose and plugged to PC in home use.

 

As I was initially looking for an Amp+DAC so some recommended Fiio E17 but now I'm not really sure to need a DAC.

Without DAC, maybe E12 would represent a better option, tbc.

 

So questions:

For home use (PC), does the E17 DAC better that my integrated Mobile PC audio card (basic one) ? 

With a DAC, is the E17 the better option ?

Without DAC, is the E12 the way to go ?

Sound quality E17 vs E12 ?

 

Thanks for your feedback

Rgds


Edited by Padawan38 - 6/20/13 at 10:44pm
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padawan38 View Post

I recently bought Philips Fidelio X1 and now looking for a great - small size - portable headphone amp.

I pay lot of attention in sound quality and objective is to match with an iPhone for portable purpose and plugged to PC in home use.

 

As I was initially looking for an Amp+DAC so some recommended Fiio E17 but now I'm not really sure to need a DAC.

Without DAC, maybe E12 would represent a better option, tbc.

 

So questions:

For home use (PC), does the E17 DAC better that my integrated Mobile PC audio card (basic one) ? 

With a DAC, is the E17 the better option ?

Without DAC, is the E12 the way to go ?

Sound quality E17 vs E12 ?

It would help to know if is an IPhone 4 or iPhone 5?

The iPhone can easily drive the 30-Ohm Philips Fidelio X1s

The Fiio E11 ($60) would be more then enough if you want to use an add-on headphone amplifier.

With the Fiio E17, you can use it with iPhone 4 as an head amp, with an iPhone 5 as an external DAC and head amp.

(DAC - Digital to Analog Converter)

The Fiio E17 can connect digitally (USB or optical or coaxial) to your laptop, which will allow you to use the E17's DAC and amp.

Chances are the E17's DAC is better then whatever DAC the Mobile PC audio card has.

The Fiio E12 is way more amp then you would ever need for the Philips Fidelio X1, but it might hold a charge longer then the E11.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello Thx for reply. I have iphone 3GS today but I'll rget an iphone 5 very soon so better considering that one. FYI I can say without any doubt the 3GS is not able to correclty drive the X1, does the iphone 4 & 5 are better ? I have tried external Creative sound blaster X-fi HD via my laptop usb output and the sound is far better from the 3GS, but it not brings to the volume level I expect. I'm looking for something that would bring to both high sound quality and power, and considering as well I might buy a less easy headphone some day (Grado PS500, Hifiman HE500 or other model...) I have also looked at JDS Labs C5, how does it match vs E17 or E12 ? Thx
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padawan38 View Post

Hello Thx for reply. I have iphone 3GS today but I'll rget an iphone 5 very soon so better considering that one. FYI I can say without any doubt the 3GS is not able to correclty drive the X1, does the iphone 4 & 5 are better ? I have tried external Creative sound blaster X-fi HD via my laptop usb output and the sound is far better from the 3GS, but it not brings to the volume level I expect. I'm looking for something that would bring to both high sound quality and power, and considering as well I might buy a less easy headphone some day (Grado PS500, Hifiman HE500 or other model...) I have also looked at JDS Labs C5, how does it match vs E17 or E12 ? Thx

I'm going to make a "guess" that as the Fiio E12 is the newest of the two (E17/E12) it's going to offer the best sound quality.

The E12 would have the latest "improvements" in amp design, that Fiio might have come up with.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

Let's consider I need a DAC with usb input for laptop PC home use, so I keep the E17 and discard the E12.

Let's also say I need something quite little for external use with my iphone. 

And I would be interested into an asynchronous DAC and this I'm not sure there's any offer in this model/price range ?

 

Now looking at differents posts and reviews I have seen other similar products that might be interesting as well and maybe better in sound quality - and offer asynchronous USB input - than the E17.

 

I have found so far :

iBasso D42 (nice thing is the rollable OPAmp)

JDS labs C5

Hippo cricri+

Fiio E17

Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MKII (but expensive)

... other ?

 

Would you help to isolate the good one ?

 

thx a lot


Edited by Padawan38 - 6/22/13 at 12:46am
post #6 of 6

I own the Fiio E17 and the Pico Slim.  For out of an iPod/iPhone, I love the Pico.  It's stellar.  I'm considering picking up the new ALO Continental V3 just for fun. 

 

But for everyday use, it's the E17.  It's super convenient.  I use this more than any other amp, because I use it at work.  It's a swiss army knife of audio output.  It can do it all.

 

The E17 is good, heck at $140 it's a steal, but for more power hungry cans-- add the E9K.  

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