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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › What is the point of a portable DAC/amp if you are gonna be using a slightly over-average IEM's or portable headhphones?
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What is the point of a portable DAC/amp if you are gonna be using a slightly over-average IEM's or portable headhphones?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I am very new to the world of audiophiles, so please excuse me from any obvious facts that many may already know.

 

I'm trying to buy a portable DAC/amp that would work well with my Sennheiser HD650 and for my smartphone Galaxy S3 LTE.

 

I'm wondering what is the point of a portable DAC/amp if you are gonna be using a slightly over-average IEM's or portable headhphones?

 

From what I've researched online, the portable DAC/amps make a little difference in the sound quality of most IEM's.

 

So wouldn't the portable DAC/amps have any value? Most likely I'm missing something here.

 

Putting that in mind, just what kind of earphones or headphones do I need in order to make full use of portable DAC/amps? I think many of us would agree that carrying a HD650 out to work or school wouldn't be too practical.

 

Thank you for reading and I will appreciate all the answers you give me.

post #2 of 3

Many more IEMs are now using multiple-balanced armature drivers which require a device with a low output impedance. For a long while many DAPs (iDevices and such) didn't have a low output impedance so an amp was necessary. Also there were situations such as when I owned TF10s I did find my old iPod had trouble driving them well enough to deliver deep bass on some tracks. 

 

With dynamic driver IEMs I've found an amp can do a better job than my iPhone 5 does. I tend to own expensive IEMs however! When I use my less expensive Sony XBA-3s I just use them with my iPhone by itself as it works fine with them.  I think most devices have caught up and will do a decent job with most IEMs, but I've seen posts from people who own some Android phones that have horrid sound quality (though I can't tell you about Samsung as I don't own one). They tend to either buy a separate DAP/iPod or some kind of portable DAC/amp to use in those cases.

 

Other than all that, choosing a pair of IEMs or headphones that suits your musical tastes is more important than the rest of the gear IMO. 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your answer. Thanks to your response, I have developed an understanding of the practicality of the portable DAC/amps. I will have a look at some IEM's on this website that would suit my needs.

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