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Best headphone amp to walk around with?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I currently have the Fiio E17, I'm wondering what's better than that. I use the E17 on +4 Treble and +6 Bass with the V-MODA M100s / LP2s.
post #2 of 22

Also interested to know.

 

I've heard great things about Fiio in general (portable amps being E11 and E12).

post #3 of 22

Define 'best'.  What features do you want .....

 

 - form factor

 - power

 - hardware EQ

 - crossfeed

 - battery life

 

etc, etc

 

Also - what type of sound are you looking for - neutral, bright, very bassy?

 

Not trying to be a tosser or anything - but the way you have originally phrased your question is like asking what is the best type of bread - when we have no idea of what your tastes are wink.gif

 

Couple of clues and you can get some options.

post #4 of 22
Maybe an E6 because it is absolutely tiny? Or an E11.
post #5 of 22

For form factor and features alone, I would have to go with the headstage arrow. I used to use an E17 btw. The arrow is about 1/2 the thickness of the E17, and about 2/3 its weight. Since you use treble and bass boost on the E17, the arrow will fulfill that role as well.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post

For form factor and features alone, I would have to go with the headstage arrow. I used to use an E17 btw. The arrow is about 1/2 the thickness of the E17, and about 2/3 its weight. Since you use treble and bass boost on the E17, the arrow will fulfill that role as well.

 

+1 - and I guess that's what I was alluding to - the need for more information to recommend on.  But out of the portable amps I've owned - the Arrow (for form factor, features and power) was far better than anything else I tried.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Define 'best'.  What features do you want .....

 - form factor
 - power
 - hardware EQ
 - crossfeed
 - battery life

etc, etc

Also - what type of sound are you looking for - neutral, bright, very bassy?

Not trying to be a tosser or anything - but the way you have originally phrased your question is like asking what is the best type of bread - when we have no idea of what your tastes are wink.gif


Couple of clues and you can get some options.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post

For form factor and features alone, I would have to go with the headstage arrow. I used to use an E17 btw. The arrow is about 1/2 the thickness of the E17, and about 2/3 its weight. Since you use treble and bass boost on the E17, the arrow will fulfill that role as well.

+1 - and I guess that's what I was alluding to - the need for more information to recommend on.  But out of the portable amps I've owned - the Arrow (for form factor, features and power) was far better than anything else I tried.

Yes, what I meant is what is better than the Fiio E17? What can top it? I like the way my amp is, the sound sig and the crispness complement my headphones, but the thing is too damn bulky. I don't know what sound I'm looking for in general, as I said earlier, I have the E17 to improve and complement my headphones.

headstage arrow vs Fiio E17? Which one is better? So basically I'm looking for an upgrade from my Fiio E17.
Edited by Existence - 8/5/13 at 9:16pm
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Existence View Post

Yes, what I meant is what is better than the Fiio E17? What can top it? I like the way my amp is, the sound sig and the crispness complement my headphones, but the thing is too damn bulky. I don't know what sound I'm looking for in general, as I said earlier, I have the E17 to improve and complement my headphones.

headstage arrow vs Fiio E17? Which one is better? So basically I'm looking for an upgrade from my Fiio E17.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong - but the headphones you have are the VModa LP2 and VModa M100 - both of which are supposed to be quite 'bassy' cans.  The Fiio E11 is supposed to have quite a warm amp section.

 

The Arrow 4G is more powerful, much better form factor, and rather than a warm signature - I found it quite balanced.  The Arrow 4T (the one Robert has just released) is supposed to have a warmer signature - and I guess that may be more what you are looking for.  By the looks of things - both your M100 and LP2 are quite sensitive and low impedance.  Do you really need an amp for them?  If you really want a very portable set-up - why not skip the amp altogether?

 

Otherwise - back to your original question - yes the Arrow would be a considerable upgrade IMO.

post #9 of 22
You will soon find that it is the best to have none. A good pair of earphones will be fine.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrenvy View Post

You will soon find that it is the best to have none. A good pair of earphones will be fine.

I would tend agree with this, I used to muck around with portable gear, now I don't bother and just use it for long sessions away from home. Too much effort to keep charged, hook up all the time etc, for a very slight increase with what I was using. What are you playing off?

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Existence View Post

Yes, what I meant is what is better than the Fiio E17? What can top it? I like the way my amp is, the sound sig and the crispness complement my headphones, but the thing is too damn bulky. I don't know what sound I'm looking for in general, as I said earlier, I have the E17 to improve and complement my headphones.



headstage arrow vs Fiio E17? Which one is better? So basically I'm looking for an upgrade from my Fiio E17.

Correct me if I'm wrong - but the headphones you have are the VModa LP2 and VModa M100 - both of which are supposed to be quite 'bassy' cans.  The Fiio E11 is supposed to have quite a warm amp section.

The Arrow 4G is more powerful, much better form factor, and rather than a warm signature - I found it quite balanced.  The Arrow 4T (the one Robert has just released) is supposed to have a warmer signature - and I guess that may be more what you are looking for.  By the looks of things - both your M100 and LP2 are quite sensitive and low impedance.  Do you really need an amp for them?  If you really want a very portable set-up - why not skip the amp altogether?

Otherwise - back to your original question - yes the Arrow would be a considerable upgrade IMO.

Answer to one of your questions:
No, I do not need an amp for the M100, I can quite happily listen to them without an amp. With the LP2, the E17 "Alpen" complements the sound, improves it.
With the M100, the sound signature is changed, changed to the way I want it to be, with higher vocs and better bass. I use my amplifier to improve the music, also to turn the music up a bit more than the industry standard in noisy areas.

I tested my LP2 vs my M100 last night, I'll post a complete thread on the results later, but the LP2 is actually the more darker, bassier sound, while the M100 is focused on vocals and all-round sound, so the LP2 is bass-orientated with music, and the M100 is basically an all-rounder. To get the best results out of the LP2, I have to amp it, but with the M100, I can get better sound from amping it, but it isn't needed.

I use a coiled cable with my amp -> aux port, so it's portable. It just really depends on the size of the pockets. It's not necessary to amp.
I'll think about the Arrow, but right now I don't have enough money for it, so we'll see.

Thanks.
post #12 of 22
You still didn't quite answer what they asked haha smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 22

@ Existance

 

What is your portable source / DAP?  Are you comfortable with EQing?

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

@ Existance

What is your portable source / DAP?  Are you comfortable with EQing?
iPod Nano or Touch. I don't use EQ's on the Fiio, and I'm not conformable with it.
post #15 of 22

If it's a later model - check out the Equaliser app from the i-tunes store.  It's pretty mature now, and a better way of shaping the sound than having to rely on a portable amp.  If you want something even easier - the Accudio Pro app is pretty good too.  The actual software equaliser included on the ipod/touch/iphone etc is rubbish.  The add-on apps though are actually pretty good.  With a bit of practise, it's amazing how well you can shape the sound without having to buy a warm amp with hardware EQ (ie bass or treble boost).

 

Just another option - and this one won't break the bank

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