In the last week or so I have bought 3 different headphone setups. Here's a brief synopsis.
First of all my existing headphone gear is Bottlehead Crack, Bottlehead SEX amp, and Fisher 500C which I sometimes use cans with.
In the last couple years i've taken a computer based approach to music and portability has become more important to me.
In the last couple weeks I have:
- Built three CMOYBB amps
- Purchased a Fiio E17 and then subsequently gotten the EO9K dock/amp for it.
- Purchasd a Schiit Magni / Modi (I'm going to call the Magni portable for the sake of discussion since i shuttle back and forth to work with it) and it's cost is in the same league as the portable stuff..
Which one is best? Wow there's a loaded question because i love them all.
Fiio has what feels like a bigger soundstage, Schiit has the clarity and clear bass and the surprise is the CMOYBB sounds like the perfect mix between both.
If I were given a budget and only allowed to buy one you might be surprised to think that I believe the biggest bang for the buck and sound comes from the CMOYBB. What an amazing little kit and you get the fun of building it yourself.
But the fact is I'm keeping them all. I just finished a couple hours on the Schiit Magni / Modi and thought "Wow, the Fioo doesn't sound better than this" only to swap to the Fiio and go "Wow".
I'm 51 years old and always thought the best audio gear came from the 60's / 70's and had tubes but I'm just not so sure anymore. Granted I'm not ready to throw away the Crack or SEX amp yet either. The joy of having multiple systems is being able to roll to another when you don't like what you're hearing.