Before I got this pair, I had a pair of Klipsch Image One's which were way too bass heavy, and after that, ATH-M50's, which I only had for a few weeks. I came to realize the Klipsch's were way too bass heavy and made music sound completely abnormal in the long run, but the M50's, while more balanced, were just too soft. The V-Moda's are definitely an improvement, but their max volume is nothing compared to what they sounded like on a demo pair at the mall. The guy who sold them to me told me that the reason why the volume isn't as loud is because my computer case, which is a Diablotek I think I payed over $50, is technically somewhat more "higher end", and they're designed where there's less power towards volume output and thus more designed for use with external amps. I can't say how valid that is, but I've tried so much volume calibration and balancing and absolutely nothing compares to what I've heard in public. It was a busy mall and it was able to drown out so much sound, but here at home, lots of little noises make it in and it's a much less enjoyable experience.
I'm really clueless when it comes to amps, though, but I guess I'd want a portable amp. I want things to sound much louder for the most part, while being able to keep proper balance. I guess I'd probably like to pay up to $200, but that's the absolute maximum.
EDIT: I've since changed my mind and am interested in a soundcard instead. Same issues and maximum price hold true, but particularly a soundcard that offers similar quality to the FiiO E12.
Edited by Mosstrekker192 - 6/24/14 at 10:30pm