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New User, I've been browsing all evening and I'm still lost on my next purchase.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So  I recently found that I've bought some headphones that have a bit (forgive my lack of technical terminology in my early posts) too much resistance for the equipment that I own.  I believe that's how a layman should word it, anyways.  I've got a 10+ year old RCA MP3/CD player amp, an ipod, iphone, and the usual audio devices which are comparable or less powerful.  Just peeked behind my amp; it's 13 years old, 300 watts, and still sounds good to my ears at even 40% of it's supposed max volume with my current speakers.  

 

That all said, I've recently purchased some Zinken Headphones, by Urbanears.  I'm looking to boost the sound, as I understand it, they're capable of more than what my equipment can produce (especially my portable devices).  

 

Specs. Zinkens (I don't usually bother with links, why should I ask you to?)

  • 40mm Handmade Drivers
  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance 85Ω
  • Sensitivity 98dB
  • Max Input Power 50mW

I couldn't find any links or specs on my 300 watt stereo, so just assume generic 300 watt mp3/5disc changer that cost in the range of 175-300.

 

I'm looking to spend 50-150, looking for a good sound across all ranges as my taste in music is quite varied, and am willing to wait for long shipping ie overseas if that's necessary.  

 

I've looked into Fiio a bit and was reading up on the E 5, 6, 11, 12, 17 etc.  What am I gaining for my 300 watt stereo, and what would I gain on my ipod classic or iphone 4s if I went with one model over another?  Is there something else I should be looking at, or is there availability for a large jump in performance if I'm willing to spend upwards of maybe $250?

 

I guess while I'm at it, I'd say that my future might entail other upgrades in these price ranges as well, perhaps more if my career gets off the ground sooner rather than later.

 

I'm open to criticisms to "You bought the wrong headphones" "It's time to upgrade your source, first" or w/e you guys feed the trolls.

 

TLDR

 

I'm looking for a cheap; $50-150 portable amp for my 300 watt stereo/iphone and my zinken headphones.

 

Thanks 

 

~Z

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by zacheus View Post

So  I recently found that I've bought some headphones that have a bit (forgive my lack of technical terminology in my early posts) too much resistance for the equipment that I own.  I believe that's how a layman should word it, anyways.  I've got a 10+ year old RCA MP3/CD player amp, an ipod, iphone, and the usual audio devices which are comparable or less powerful.  Just peeked behind my amp; it's 13 years old, 300 watts, and still sounds good to my ears at even 40% of it's supposed max volume with my current speakers.  

That all said, I've recently purchased some Zinken Headphones, by Urbanears.  I'm looking to boost the sound, as I understand it, they're capable of more than what my equipment can produce (especially my portable devices).  

Specs. Zinkens (I don't usually bother with links, why should I ask you to?)



[*] 40mm Handmade Drivers
[*] Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
[*] Impedance 85Ω
[*] Sensitivity 98dB
[*] Max Input Power 50mW

I couldn't find any links or specs on my 300 watt stereo, so just assume generic 300 watt mp3/5disc changer that cost in the range of 175-300.

I'm looking to spend 50-150, looking for a good sound across all ranges as my taste in music is quite varied, and am willing to wait for long shipping ie overseas if that's necessary.  

I've looked into Fiio a bit and was reading up on the E 5, 6, 11, 12, 17 etc.  What am I gaining for my 300 watt stereo, and what would I gain on my ipod classic or iphone 4s if I went with one model over another?  Is there something else I should be looking at, or is there availability for a large jump in performance if I'm willing to spend upwards of maybe $250?

I guess while I'm at it, I'd say that my future might entail other upgrades in these price ranges as well, perhaps more if my career gets off the ground sooner rather than later.

I'm open to criticisms to "You bought the wrong headphones" "It's time to upgrade your source, first" or w/e you guys feed the trolls.

TLDR

I'm looking for a cheap; $50-150 portable amp for my 300 watt stereo/iphone and my zinken headphones.

Thanks 

~Z
I use FiiO, but check the specs of your headphone x the specs of the amps.
FiiO are a very good company, their stuff is built like a tank.
I have the E17 and E12 Mont Blanc, my $300 V-MODA M100s don't really benefit from the amp besides from clarity improvements by probably 20%.
Ask yourself if you actually need an amp.
Edited by Existence - 9/24/13 at 7:03pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I suppose I'm looking at it from a new audiophile's point of view.  

 

20% sounds pretty substantial and I'm curious to know what 20% of a difference sounds like as I've never used an in-line amp before this inquiry.

 

I've heard that most of the cheaper fiio models help punch up the base and add some clarity, but I'm not sure what noticeable amounts I might hear.  

 

How exactly does one compare specs of headphones vs an amp and actually come up with a meaningful evaluation when I, being completely new to this audiophile scene, have never experienced a noticeable difference in comparison to paper and pen numbers?

 

Upon glancing at your m-100s, and the v-moda verza.... I'm lost for words at how quickly one can drop some coinage upon these endeavors.  I seem to have come to the right place to learn more and appreciate my music a bit better.

 

Lastly and quite possibly off topic, but what bit rate should I strive for and what bit-rate would one scoff at when even attempting to see an improvement across a gradient of new equipment?

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by zacheus View Post

I suppose I'm looking at it from a new audiophile's point of view.  

20% sounds pretty substantial and I'm curious to know what 20% of a difference sounds like as I've never used an in-line amp before this inquiry.

I've heard that most of the cheaper fiio models help punch up the base and add some clarity, but I'm not sure what noticeable amounts I might hear.  

How exactly does one compare specs of headphones vs an amp and actually come up with a meaningful evaluation when I, being completely new to this audiophile scene, have never experienced a noticeable difference in comparison to paper and pen numbers?

Upon glancing at your m-100s, and the v-moda verza.... I'm lost for words at how quickly one can drop some coinage upon these endeavors.  I seem to have come to the right place to learn more and appreciate my music a bit better.

Lastly and quite possibly off topic, but what bit rate should I strive for and what bit-rate would one scoff at when even attempting to see an improvement across a gradient of new equipment?
Yes, FiiO amps seem to punch up clarity, but the difference is the hand size of a medium-size big fish (hand size in air)
It really depends on your cans, with V-MODA pretty much everything is there, but for something like your headphone ($175) they will probably benefit from an amp. Before you buy, try find someone / a store with an amp to try.

Yeah, the M100s are really worth it, $300, I paid about 90 pounds when I was in the UK, my dad paid the rest. Imho, you should of got some V-MODA LP2s, only thing that needs a boost is treble for vocals and bass to back it up, that's where the E17 for the LP2 comes in.

Your headphones will benefit from a LOD (Line out dock) for quality. Something like a Fiio L11, $5 atm on Amazon.
With FiiO, the highest price amp is probably $200, you get well worth your money.

- If you want to control the sound more, go with the E17 as it adds treble and bass control.
- If you want more control over volume and db gain, but may need EQing, go for the E12 Mont Blanc.

FiiO are very good for making small, cheap amps that work on a budget and improve low-end headphones.
The higher you go with your headphone and FiiO amps, the difference in sound.
-Everything depends on your headphone.

Also, when you get an amp, /do not/ turn the gain up to full. I have the gain on 16db on my Mont Blanc, too easy to hurt your ears even though it's normal volume, it brings sounds out that hurt your ears without knowing.

Just with an amp, be very careful with volume.
Edited by Existence - 9/24/13 at 7:52pm
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