A few basic questions
Apr 24, 2008 at 9:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9


New Head-Fier
Apr 24, 2008
Okay first of all I am not an audiophile by any means nor have I ever thought about using amps etc for portable music. I've always just had an MP3 player hooked up to crappy earbuds. I'm now thinking of trying to improve my sound quality on the move. I'm not too savvy with all the terms that are thrown around here, so please appreciate that when giving advice.

Now before I seriously start considering upgrading my equipment, a few questions..

Will simply adding an amp to my portable set-up increase my sound quality a lot? I've currently got a Sony NW-A3000 Walkman MP3 player with Sennheiser CX300 ear buds.

What will I actually need to buy? An amp, and then something to connect my MP3 player to the amp? (From looking around these forums I saw the term LOD mentioned a lot, is it that?) Or is there more to it than that?

Will I need to upgrade my MP3 player and headphones in order to get better sound quality?

I was looking at some of the amplifiers for sale from members of these forums and they seem very reasonable in price. Will I have to start spending extra cash on other cables/connectors etc though?

And lastly, a question about ear buds. I think I have pretty small ears, and I find that with in-ear phones, the buds are too big to fit comfortable in my ear. I've actually taken the rubbery cushion thing off my CX300s because they wouldn't sit in my ear properly. Is this common? Are there any ideal ear buds you can recommend, or shall I just go for can headphones?

I think basically I'm asking the typical newbie questions about setting up a portable rig with an amp etc.

Apr 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM Post #3 of 9

Originally Posted by Vinny /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well for a starter,amps are not that cheap so maybe getting a new player might be a better option.

Well looking at second hand amps on this site, they seem to be available for around $130, which works out to just over £60. At this sort of price I could be looking at getting a decent pair of can headphones or an MP3 player aswell.

Say for example I gave a budget of around £150 (~$300) to spend on upgrading from my current portable set-up, what would you recommend?
Apr 24, 2008 at 9:28 PM Post #4 of 9
Welcome Skinnyfists. Don't worry..the terminology is a bit daunting, but don't be afraid to ask questions...

In no particular order to your questions, some answers. The Sennheiser buds are a good choice, but if you don't like the fit, there are other in-ear options, including Shure, Etymotic (although these may hurt), Jay's, Sleek, etc. Check the links on the left. An amp will definitely help inprove the sound you're hearing. There's many affordable options here to fit your budget, from DIY kits to kick-ass ones with built in DACs and such. You are fine with the walkman mp3 player, but better sound quality can be had with Creative's ZEN line, Zunes, or iRiver products. For a good place to get info (besides here of course), check out the link for HeadRoom. They have some helpful headphone selection info, and can help narrow down your choices.
Apr 24, 2008 at 9:54 PM Post #5 of 9
Thanks for the reply.

So say for example I was looking at this AMB Mini 3 for sale on this forum. Or this Corda Move. What else would I need to buy?

Also would this MP3 player sound better than my current Sony Walkman? I've been unhappy with my NW-A3000 for quite some time now (In terms of usability and general features/GUI) and this looks like a suitable and cheap upgrade.
Apr 24, 2008 at 10:19 PM Post #6 of 9
For both amps, you'd need a nice mini-to-mini cable to connect your player to them. I'd check with the seller to see if it's included (but it doesn't appear so). If not, they can be had for cheap as well. The Corda's nice!
COuldn't find much on your player, but the 816 is pretty nice. THat's a good deal too.
Apr 24, 2008 at 10:52 PM Post #7 of 9
Before getting an amp, consider if the headphones you plan to buy/upgrade need to be amped. It's a good investment to have (an amp), but a useless one if the headphones you buy are perfectly fine being plugged right into your mp3 player.
Apr 25, 2008 at 9:47 AM Post #8 of 9
Hmm, so would it not be worth getting an amp set-up for my current Sennheiser CX300s?

What about some entry level can headphones such as Allesandro MS-1s etc?

I want improved sound on the move but I don't want to shed out over £200 if it's not going to be a really notable difference. I've been looking at getting some can headphones for a while, for home use aswell, but a lot of them seem to be very expensive.

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