I recently purchased a pair of ATH-M50 full-enclosure monitors, along with a FiiO E6 portable amp. This is my first real foray into the realm of hi-fi; my dad is an audio engineer so I've always been aware of the benefits of high-quality equipment, but this is the first time I've had any of my own. But there's a difference between knowing something will sound better, versus the first time you listen to an old song with all of its glory revealed. Needless to say, I'm hooked.
Anyway, on to the question. I play all my music on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3) with Winamp, and I've long suspected that the volume on smartphones is not flat and linear; specifically, when you get to the upper end of the volume setting, it pumps up the bass more than the treble and mids. Is there any evidence to support this, or is it just in my head? Assuming that this is the case, what are your recommendations for the volume coming from the source and going into the amp? My gut tells me I want as strong a signal as possible heading into the amp, but like I said, with the volume cranked on my phone the sound tends to get pretty bass-heavy. I'm interested to hear all of your opinions.