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Mad Dogs viable for portable use?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've been using B&W P5s (my first pair of headphones) for about 3 years now and I've really been itching for an upgrade lately. At home, I have a 2.1 system, so I mainly use my headphones while at the campus library, on the train, or sitting in my backyard. I prefer over the ear headphones and since I use them on the go, isolation is pretty important.

 

I was looking into the Sennheiser Momentums for a while. Someone advised me that, while I would probably notice a difference in sound quality from the P5s to the Momentums, I wouldn't notice a $350 difference.

 

Everything I've read about the Mad Dogs make me want them. The reviews make them sound like exactly what I'm looking for and I've been itching to get them. The only thing that stops me is that I mainly use my iPod/laptop as a source. At home, I could plug them into my receiver if I was looking to use them there but I don't currently have a portable amp.

 

Would they be viable to use on the go without an amp? I know that they would sound much better when driven properly so is it something I shouldn't even consider? What about if I were to try and get a portable amp?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

Bump if you guys don't mind.

post #3 of 17

Haven't seen the Mad Dogs dB/mW sensitivity specs, but I've read that they are a bit harder to drive than stock. But I think orthodynamics in general do need amping. Maybe you could look at the JDS labs C5, which its output power is almost equal to the O2, so that would be...an iPod > lod (line out dock) > C5 > Mad Dogs or get a better portable source than a laptop like an ODAC and pair that with an O2.

 

Or get a BSG Cmoy for a more portable solution just like the C5, just tell the amp designer that your Mad Dog headphones have a high impedance and he'll/she'll design it to your specs, as is on his/her ebay page.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Biosciencegeek-Headphone-Amplifier-cMOY-Premium-Amp-/130683326224. I think there's a Fiio amp that has high output, though I forget its name, a E12 or E13 ?... I dunno, but remember reading that its very colored in the midrange, so a balanced amp as I've suggested might be best with the Mad Dogs. Though the best sounding combo will be the ODAC paired with the O2, obviously. Good luck.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Would you say that they would be a viable solution for using on the go instead of opting for cans that were designed to be portable? I took a look at those BSG Cmoys and they look really interesting. I'll definitely take a closer look into those. If anyone has any opinions on those, I'd love to hear. Would I need a DAC to go along with that as well or could I just use a portable amp?

 

This is my first time dealing with DACs and amps for headphones so I'm not too familiar with how they work and the great companies. Or line out docks. I'll look more into that. I was taking a look at some Fiio portable amps that looked nicely sized to carry with me in my bag but I'll look more into their sound and if they're powerful enough to drive Mad Dogs.

 

If the ODAC and O2 were easy enough to use portably, I'd love to go with that. It doesn't seem to make too much sense for my situation, though. Which I guess brings me back to do you guys think I can find some solution to get something like this working? Or am I heading in the wrong direction?

post #5 of 17

Some people like the fiio e11 and lineout on iPod paired with the mad dogs for a cost effective portable setup. As for me, I noticed a differenced amped and umamped; the bass was not present at all and the soundstage was rather narrow.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Have you listened to the Fiio e11 with the Mad Dogs? Is it something you could recommend? It seems like people say that while some listened to them unamped, once they got an amp, they were blown away at how different they sounded.

post #7 of 17
The Mad Dog isolates darn well and isn't too much of a pain to drive. An E11 definitely won't be enough--it's big brother, the E12, is right up your alley. Early production units had a rather forward sound, but it's supposedly become more neutral.
post #8 of 17
The unit I tried out with my HD800 had a slight treble emphasis, which would be great with the rolled off treble of the Mad Dog.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Great, thanks for the recommendation. I'll take a closer look into the E12. How do you go about telling if an amp will have enough output to drive a pair of headphones? For example, that the E11 might not be enough for an E12 would be.

 

Have you had any experience with the C&C BH amp? 

post #10 of 17
there are also dacs that work with idevices, i dont know if you wanna look into that or not. i looked into that and thought ipod+dac+amp would be too huge so i just got a new portable player altogether for a one box solution. the portable player i picked was ibasso dx100 though its not really cheap. i think the dx100 has enough power for the mad dog though i dont own the mad dog. i have the stock fostex t50rp however. volume wise, the dx100 has more than enough for the stock fostex t50rp.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachdini View Post

Great, thanks for the recommendation. I'll take a closer look into the E12. How do you go about telling if an amp will have enough output to drive a pair of headphones? For example, that the E11 might not be enough for an E12 would be.

Have you had any experience with the C&C BH amp? 
The MD is happy with around 500mW
post #12 of 17
Scratch that.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddragon View Post

there are also dacs that work with idevices, i dont know if you wanna look into that or not. i looked into that and thought ipod+dac+amp would be too huge so i just got a new portable player altogether for a one box solution. the portable player i picked was ibasso dx100 though its not really cheap. i think the dx100 has enough power for the mad dog though i dont own the mad dog. i have the stock fostex t50rp however. volume wise, the dx100 has more than enough for the stock fostex t50rp.

That looks interesting but I'm not sure that would work for me. I mainly use my iPhone to connect to my music server back at home. I was thinking that I would just go iPhone/laptop -> amp -> headphones. Do I need a dac for everything to work properly? I know I'd get better sound but for a portable rig just using an amp would lighten the bulk.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachdini View Post

That looks interesting but I'm not sure that would work for me. I mainly use my iPhone to connect to my music server back at home. I was thinking that I would just go iPhone/laptop -> amp -> headphones. Do I need a dac for everything to work properly? I know I'd get better sound but for a portable rig just using an amp would lighten the bulk.

 




oh theres dac/amp in one unit for idevice users, for example, fostex hpp1, sony pha1, go dap x, centrance m8, just to name a few... you dont have to get them separately like the clas+amp solution.
post #15 of 17
For true portable, just feed the LO from your iDevice into the Fiio E12. For your laptop, get something like the ODAC to feed into the E12.
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