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Advantages of a Portable Amp?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I have been wondering now, i know using an amp to power your headphones will increase the quality and EQ to your liking, as well as power them completely depending on the impedance rate. But let's just say I am using a Android phone as my source. The volume is nowhere near my liking, practically unhearable in loud areas. And my headphones (Beyerdynamic Custom One Pros) i believe have drivers that are around 16 ohm. So If I were to buy myself a Fiio of some sort, would that increase the volume to my liking? They get very loud on my iPod Classic, but that doesnt support lossless format.
post #2 of 7
iPod supports alac which is lossless. You want to use line-out for an amp or USB otg for an amp/DAC to get decent quality out of your phone. Else, it'll probably only sound mediocre
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avelign View Post

So I have been wondering now, i know using an amp to power your headphones will increase the quality and EQ to your liking, as well as power them completely depending on the impedance rate. But let's just say I am using a Android phone as my source. The volume is nowhere near my liking, practically unhearable in loud areas. And my headphones (Beyerdynamic Custom One Pros) i believe have drivers that are around 16 ohm. So If I were to buy myself a Fiio of some sort, would that increase the volume to my liking? They get very loud on my iPod Classic, but that doesnt support lossless format.

 

Yes, getting an amplifier will give you more volume. I agree that the amplifier will increase volume, but not necessarily the "quality". To some extent the "quality" is due to the source that is making the sound, in this case your ipod. To get a bit more SQ out of your ipod, most people would get a "Line-out-dock" or "LOD" which can be found pretty reasonably <here>. It has become a pretty common item so amazon and other places will also have them. Doing this bypasses the headphone amplifier in the ipod, which many people credit to being a bottleneck in the ipod. 

 

On a side note, I wouldn't get too caught up in "loseless" audio support. To a large extent, it really won't matter unless you're really listening to the music and are running a high end audio set-up. Give a search for FLAC vs mp3 test, and a few people have put together blind tests to see how much of a difference is there. You'll see it is.. well pretty minimal. 

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

iPod supports alac which is lossless. You want to use line-out for an amp or USB otg for an amp/DAC to get decent quality out of your phone. Else, it'll probably only sound mediocre

While I know your post is well-intentioned, it doesn't really answer Avelign's question. If only going for a portable amp, the Fiio E11 will probably work fine, and it is inexpensive. I used to have one, and it sounded pretty decent for a cheap amp, and liked that it had a bass boost. I don't have experience with the Custom One Pros, but since it is designed for one-the-go use, the E11 probably has plenty enough power to drive it. The E11 definitely loses in clarity to more expensive portable amps, though. Lot of people also like the various cmoy-type amps, such as the one offered by JDS Labs.

 

As davidsh mentioned, if your sound source has a line out, that is ideal for driving a portable amp (the line out bypasses the typically less capable headphone amp in phones or iPods, but I am not aware of any phones that feature line out). Also, not Android phones support USB OTG. There are threads for that if you want to find out more.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDBiotek View Post
 

As davidsh mentioned, if your sound source has a line out, that is ideal for driving a portable amp (the line out bypasses the typically less capable headphone amp in phones or iPods, but I am not aware of any phones that feature line out). Also, not Android phones support USB OTG. There are threads for that if you want to find out more.

You mean not all android phones support OTG, right? If so, you are right.

 

If he can get neither line-out nor OTG from his phone and the built in amp is that crappy, I say he should consider saving for a better phone as the phone he has is most likely mediocre then.

post #6 of 7
As other have said - using an amp will definitely give you more volume ... more quality will depend on the quality of the amp you'll be using.

I've never used Fiio product - but I see a clear improvement in sound quality when using my Go-Dap instead of the headphone out of my iTouch 4G.

As for lossless - any iPod should support Apple Lossless (ALAC)... and I did hear a difference between lossless and 256 mp3 (well Rdio - which even in high quality streams 256 mp3 (and not 320)). Maybe it's just a placebo, but I figure you can't really go wrong with lossless... once you get the gear that will make a difference, you won't have to re-rip your collection smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the support! Volume is my biggest concern when using my phone, overall it seems to have decent audio quality though (it's a Sony Xperia Z).. I'm probably just going to buy a Fiio e11 and see if it suits my needs.
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