$1K Budget for Mobile Hifi
Feb 11, 2018 at 12:12 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 3, 2018
Originaly was thinking of getting something like Senn HD800, but I think that would not leave me any room for a DAC/AMP combo to drive it well.

So given a $1000 budget for headphones AND a DAC/AMP, what would you suggest as a good gear?

Player sources would be either an iPhone X streaming Spotify or my collection of ALAC files stored on it, or a whole library of FLAC files on my home network storage via my MacBook Pro.

I listen to 95% hard rock, progressive rock, etc.

Again, I was going for a "blow me out of the water" sound with the HD800 but hoping to still get that with whatever you suggest in the budget.

My main cans the last 5 years have been ATH-M50
Feb 13, 2018 at 5:27 AM Post #4 of 24
Umm you might wanna try a full Sony combo, like the 1ADAC with a Walkman.
I'd personally go for the Oppo PM3 and HA2.
If you wanna go for broke, get the HD630VB and a Peachtree Audio Shift.
Feb 13, 2018 at 3:44 PM Post #5 of 24
I'd look into a used Chord Mojo (3-350.00) and Aeon Flow Closed(800.00 new/600.00 used)
Feb 13, 2018 at 4:09 PM Post #6 of 24
The Aeon Flow may not be the best mobile HP unless OP is willing to get a custom cable. The default one is long and relatively heavy. And from the posts in the AFC (or was it AFO) forum, the older cables were very stiff too. AFAIK Mr Speakers sells the connector parts, or a balanced cable, but no single ended portable cable.

And I agree a dac/amp is required... running directly from a phone doesn't reveal it's full potential.
Feb 13, 2018 at 4:24 PM Post #7 of 24
I admitedly do not own the AFC,so i have no long term,day-to-day experience with it,but have heard it several times at shows and meets.What youre saying regarding the cable might be an issue,IDK. What I can say about it is its got great tonality,very comfortable and its easy to be on your dome in public.

I dont think a stiff,long cable should sway a potential buyer away from an otherwise excellent headphone.If it is a problem for the OP he can,as you mentioned get a more user friendly cable if need be.

Off the top of my head I cannot think of a truly portable closed back headphone in the OPs price range I'd rather have.I have no need for a portable pair of headphones,but if I did I wouldve bought the AFC a long time ago.

EDIT: He could also look into the Meze 99 classic or Neo,but needs to be aware that theyre not as portable as the AFC and the classics are wooden cups which are prone to scratching if care is not taken.
Last edited:
Feb 13, 2018 at 4:29 PM Post #8 of 24
The Oppo PM3 is one of my Favorite portable closed backs! An I've not heard to many higher priced portable options just yet... oh wait I have! The Cascade [silly me] yea I'd grab something like a Campfire Cascade and a a Fiio Q1 MK II or maybe the Q5 if you can swing it,

Another good option is the Geek Out v2+ with the oppo PM3 and a balanced cable for the PM3

both the PM3 and Cascade have a nice bit of passive noise cancelling
Feb 13, 2018 at 4:56 PM Post #9 of 24
Would a chord mojo do the trick ?

It will drive your cans but I do not know if it is in your price range since you are also on the lookout for new cans aswell and all for $1000, Plus I dont use the dollar for currency, thus I would only be guessing in respect to pricing.

I dont know if this is allowed ?
Tehcnically I am not selling it at present but I will be soon.

I will soon be selling my barely used chord mojo, brand new poly module only two weeks old, small mojo only leather case, large mojo and poly leather case. The chord mojo cable kit, two apple cck connectors, one to be used on the usb module that comes with the cable connection kit, and one that would be a direct wire solution from iphone to cck to micro usb to mojo and also a brand new and unused 128Gb Sd card to stick in poly so it is its own transport.

All in excellent condition and barely used.

Mojo and poly will both come with a transferable guarantee, 11 months left on mojo and 23 months for poly.

I am not sure if posting that my entire mojo range will be up for sale very shortly is allowed on here as I am trading up.

If it is not allowed then please disregard this message, it is merely just me saying that shortly it will all be for sale.

However, if your $1000 is enough for both a chord mojo and the headphones that you seek, if it is in your range then I highly recommend the mojo for its sheer power and uber portability with enough inputs to keep most people happy especially for its small size, it also has two 3.5mm outputs.

I would recommend the mojo to anyone needing a portable dac/amp, either a new one or a pre owned one.

Good luck in making your decision regarding what to buy.

If me saying that my stuff is coming up for sale soon is not allowed, as mentioned above please disregard, I will make a proper FS thread in due course and I apologise for any confusion in advance.
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 13, 2018 at 5:16 PM Post #10 of 24
@onevstheworld When I needed a portable Mr Speaker cable I just made one. The first DUM cable was stiff but the one that came with the Ether-C was much more pliable and softer.

Agree with @monsterzero on the Meze 99 Classics they can be run by just about anything and don’t sound too bad at all.
Feb 13, 2018 at 10:23 PM Post #11 of 24
Do you know of any good resources about constructing audio cables? Not just soldering and construction, but also how to pick the correct the type of cable, sourcing parts, converting one connection type to another (e.g. RCA to 3.5mm), etc. Plus working with those cool braided cables. Thinking of making my own RCAs.
Feb 13, 2018 at 10:31 PM Post #12 of 24
The default cable is definitely too long. If I have my phone in my pants pocket and headphone on my head, the cable will dangle at ankle level. And it's a 0.8cm thick. Granted I have an AFO... but I assume the AFC cable is similar. Something like what buke9 linked would be much more manageable if OP was on a train or bus.

Other potential issue I can see is the Nitinol headband is flexible but doesn't feel like it would survive if you accidentally sat on it. I wouldn't be comfortable putting mine into a backpack without it's very bulky case.
Last edited:
Feb 13, 2018 at 10:37 PM Post #13 of 24
Feb 14, 2018 at 12:14 AM Post #15 of 24
Perhaps it's just me, but while I like the Chord Mojo, I didn't have the magical transcendent experience that other's had.
First, I'll ask, does the amp/DAC need to be mobile? If so, it's hard to reject a used Mojo. ifi micro BL would be a contender as well.
If not, the Magni 2/2U paired with your choice of budget amp (I've had good luck with the Vali and Lake People G103) would do just fine driving a TH-X00 or EMU Teak. They're closer to semi open but portable and a hell of a lot of fun. Just to be completely honest, I prefer open back, to hell with my environment. If I want isolation, I go to my iem's. Depending on your sonic preferences, Beyer Dynamic, Fostex, and even Sennheiser are in the closed back game. Of the ones I've tried, Fostex just tickles me, but the "best" of the Beyer's I've tried thus far are the T5p's, which were just too bright for me. DT770s were more my speed, but that's more of a tangent. I dig planar's open and closed, but they can get pricey, and are not the most efficient. Maybe a T50rp model from Fostex would sit well with you. I can't answer that.

Long story short, if you don't need a mobile setup, I'd get something other than Mojo, and the rest is seasoned to taste.

Users who are viewing this thread