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Iphone only, no amp, am I not giving my IEMS justice? - Page 2

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevms89 View Post

Ok so what is a good beginner amp for my IP5?

 

Fiio E10 is pretty good as a starting amp. 

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post
 

 

Digital To Audio Controller

 

Um. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital-to-analog_converter

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

 

Fiio E10 is pretty good as a starting amp. 

 

I think you mean E11 for portable.  E10 is a desktop.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

I think you mean E11 for portable.  E10 is a desktop.

 

Yes, my mistake. 

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyVier View Post

Well, I am pretty new to this game, read all the stuff about how people may fool themselves about "hearing" things, but I gave it a shot and bought a PHA-1 DAC/AMP for my iPods.

While portability is a new challenge here, there is a definite improvement in sound quality.

Could I be happy without a DAC/AMP, sure... But I like the bit of extra I have now, and I'll find a way to carry it.

 

Did you volume match the output between amped / non-amped?  Common fault with comparisons is having the amped slightly louder than the alternative (straight out of the DAP). Louder sounds better to us - which is where you get a lot of 'night and day' BS about better sound-stage, better quality bass etc.

 

Most IEMs (not all - but the vast majority) are designed to be run straight out of a DAP.  They are generally low impedance, and reasonably sensitive.  As long as the damping factor between your DAP and IEM follows the 1:8 rule - you should have no issues - and an amp is not necessary.

 

What an amp is good for (with IEMs) - IMHO:

 - Hardware EQ (eg bass boost)

 - Correcting an impedance mismatch (which may produce hissing)

 - Colouring the sound (eg Fiio 'warmth') if you like it that way

 - Driving the occasional hard to drive IEM that actually requires amping.

 

What an amp is used for (aside from the above) - again IMO:

 - Following the hype train / crowd think

 - Making you feel better about being an "audiophile"  (I'm not an audiophile BTW - I just love my music)

 - Introducing physco-acoustic and imaginary audio bliss (because I'm not supposed to say the pl---bo word) :D 

 

My personal preference with the IEMs I own (and in particular the SE535 Ltd Ed - which is low impedance and very sensitive) is straight out of the headphone out of my iPhone4 (which matches the 535 impedance requirements nicely).  I use apps like Accudio or Equaliser to add decent software equalisation software.  End result - great sound - great portability.

 

As an ex owner of the E7, E11, and IMO exceptional Arrow 4G - none of those amps did anything for any of my IEMs - which is the main reason I no longer own them.

 

Unfortunately for most newcomers - the only way you can tell is to try yourself.  Just be very careful about volume matching.  Compare without any EQ.  And do it blind (get someone to switch amped vs unamped so you can't see).  It's amazing how many preconceptions disappear if you follow this recipe for testing ;) 

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Did you volume match the output between amped / non-amped?  Common fault with comparisons is having the amped slightly louder than the alternative (straight out of the DAP). Louder sounds better to us - which is where you get a lot of 'night and day' BS about better sound-stage, better quality bass etc.

Most IEMs (not all - but the vast majority) are designed to be run straight out of a DAP.  They are generally low impedance, and reasonably sensitive.  As long as the damping factor between your DAP and IEM follows the 1:8 rule - you should have no issues - and an amp is not necessary.

What an amp is good for (with IEMs) - IMHO:
 - Hardware EQ (eg bass boost)
 - Correcting an impedance mismatch (which may produce hissing)
 - Colouring the sound (eg Fiio 'warmth') if you like it that way
 - Driving the occasional hard to drive IEM that actually requires amping.

What an amp is used for (aside from the above) - again IMO:
 - Following the hype train / crowd think
 - Making you feel better about being an "audiophile"  (I'm not an audiophile BTW - I just love my music)
 - Introducing physco-acoustic and imaginary audio bliss (because I'm not supposed to say the pl---bo word) biggrin.gif    

I just did a comparison again, between the iPod classic straight up and with a PHA-1. With a matched volume (as good as i could), my TDK BA-200 gives a better bass with the PHA-1. There is a difference in sound. I like it better with the PHA-1. However, the difference is not so big i would advice everyone to run to the store and get a dac/amp for their iPod classic.

I also have Grado SR325's, and that is a different story. These need the amp, badly. Without it, they lack the volume to sound good.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyVier View Post

I also have Grado SR325's, and that is a different story. These need the amp, badly. Without it, they lack the volume to sound good.

 

Interesting - the Classic must have crippled amplification.  I owned the 325is - and they didn't need additional amping on either an iPod Touch G4 or iPhone.  Another very easy to drive headphone IMO.  32 ohms resistance and extremely sensitive at 98 dB (SPL 1mW)

post #23 of 25
I have an ipod classic which I use my westone wr4 and er4s and xba4ip on. I connect them to a Graham Slee Voyager. There is a boost switch on it called a contour switch which makes all my ipod music sound better to me. I use a fiio lod which cost £5. The battery life is 80 hours and it uses 1 battery. With the contour switch off the sound is dull and lifeless in comparison.
There are another few hundred products on the market for iphones that give a lot of headfiers a great deal of pleasure that I've not heard. There's also a good comparison of 13 under $200 portable amps on this forum written by some one who's used them all himself.
I am a skeptic too with regards to claims of one perfectly good product over anotheras I'm skeptical on whether a blind test tells us exactly what we want to know about what we're hearing. We cannot force our ears or our mind to listen in exactly the same way to our sample song each time. The mind wanders and our auditory memory and attentio span is microscopic.
So in short it's probably still worth having an extensive listen yourself without spending $1000s just in case the blind testers have got it right......smily_headphones1.gif
post #24 of 25
Maybe because I have European iPods, dunno. My iPod Touch 4G could not do much with the Grado. Had the 325's already a long time and only after using an amp I thought, oh, that's what all the buzz is about...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Interesting - the Classic must have crippled amplification.  I owned the 325is - and they didn't need additional amping on either an iPod Touch G4 or iPhone.  Another very easy to drive headphone IMO.  32 ohms resistance and extremely sensitive at 98 dB (SPL 1mW)
post #25 of 25

Ah - OK - European (volume limited).  Can understand then.

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