I'm new to learning about audio, but enjoying the journey so far. I've switched out my cheap sony earbuds for two pairs (steel and gold) of xiaomi pistons that were massively reduced on sale on taobao. Best money I've ever spent, and it was because of the list of Chinese brand info on here. Thanks for that. They may work especially well for me because I use my xiaomi 2s phone for listening. I also got myself a pair of JVC HA-S500 that I like, but I'll like them more when the weather cools down below 35c. These purchases have actually changed the music I listen to, as classical music no longer sounds tinny and (frankly) boring, and acoustic stuff is much more lively.
I want to keep going, and am now looking at switching out my source to hear even more new detail in my music. The thing is that I don't know much and can't listen before I buy, so can only go on reviews and forum advice. The fiio x3 appears to be highly rated and is just within what I'm prepared to spend if I'm confident I'll hear a noticeable difference, otherwise I should stick with my phone or get a clip+ to free storage on my phone and spare the battery.The last thing I want is to keep gradually buying better stuff and burning money. Also, I'm limiting myself to about another 150-200USD spend for now. I got a headache wondering if I be better off spending the same money on one top notch pair of full sized headphones like the ATH-M50, and forgetting the x3. Maybe pair them up with a clip+ for less total cost than the fiio x3? I hope people can see why this is confusing. To complicate matters further, living in china means I can get chinese branded stuff off taobao for cheap (the x3 is cheaper, vsonic, etc) if I know what's better than my current stuff.
Where's the weak link: An android phone with quality processor, or well-received xiaomi pistons/ JVC cans? Advice would be very welcome!
Total budget: $200 Location: guangzhou, china. I can speak/read/type Chinese and use taobao way too much. Can also shop back in Britain. musical tastes: mostly guitar music, but I'm looking for detail and clarity (studio monitor?), not heavy bass and drums. Priorities: Just sound quality. I want to hear new things in the same music. Would like something supra-aural and neutral sounding next, if I buy headphones again soon. For players, I'm really not fussy as long as it sounds good enough to justify my expenditure.