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Will I benefit from an amp/DAC? Streaming audio, cheaper headphones, etc

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I was originally researching some headphones to use while traveling on a plane, and saw mention of the little Fiio amp and have now been reading on the amp/DAC units like the E17 and E18.   

 

But the part I'm unsure of if I will realize a big improvement from one of these units.  I have an Android phone and mostly listen to streaming music using $40 earbuds.  I do have some local music but none of it is lossless.  While at home I'm thinking of picking up some Audio-Technica ATH-M30 headphones, but again, these are only around $40.

 

So using streaming music with my android phone and PC, streaming music using cheaper headphones or even my PC speakers, will I notice an improvement in sound?  Or do you really need to be using lossless audio and more expensive gear?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 5

Hmmm,

 

instead of spending money in the amp/dac I would rather spend the money on a better headphone. You definitively get a much greater return for the money spend. If you buy something that can be driven easily without an amp/dac you will have a much better improvement than spending $150 on an amp/dac for a $40 headphone.

 

Cheers,

K

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  That makes sense.  Plus, I've been reading on the OTG USB cables seem to be pretty hit or miss with the E18 and the phones.  I may let that get worked out for now.

 

The AT M50s seem pretty highly recommended for around $150.  I might considering checking those out.

post #4 of 5
Yep, you can't go wrong awith these and if you search around you can find them for much less than $150. The price fluctuates a lot on amazon and goes down to close to $100 quite often if you are patient.

Cheers,
K
post #5 of 5

Somewhere around 6 months ago I purchased a Fiio E11 headphone amp with all due excitement having read many fawning accolades on Amazon.  I returned the device within a week and left an "emperor has no clothes" review noting that I couldn't  find any discernible difference in the quality of sound streamed via Pandora over my Note 3 phone with or without the Fiios. I was disappointed.

 

Feedback then informed me that the DAC in my phone was all I'd ever hear by streaming Pandora.  Any hope I'd had of musical nirvana was hopeless as the Fiios electronics were superseded by those of the Note 3.  I've no idea whether that explanation is correct or not but, since 90% of the music I hear tends to be streamed through my phone, it doesn't really matter. 

 

Like the man said, invest in a good set of headphones.  I'm currently trying out the Meelectronics duo with dual drivers.  These are supposed to be a step up from my long-loved  Klipsch S4.  

 

GOOD LUCK!

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