A Good Portable amp Sub $200
Jul 15, 2008 at 5:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

benji129

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So I'm new to this Forum and have been wondering what to do?

So my situation is I have an Ipod video 5th gen and was introduced to Koss Portapros by my audiophile friend
Ive been using the portapros for about 3 months and
Ive acquired some money and wondering what to do
I was gonna buy a set of audio technica ath ad-700s
and a portable amp

So could you guys reccomend me a portable amp for under $200
or should i skip on the cans and get a better amp for around $300
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 7:02 AM Post #2 of 8

HeadphoneAddict

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I am only recommending amps I have actually heard or owned. You can click on my name to see my public profile, and there I have links to my amp reviews.

Under $200 I would say iBasso.com D2 Boa which also has a nice USB DAC built in and USB charging, or if you want to spend less the Headstage.com Lyrix Pro $119, or Caffeine Pro $59 at Penguinamp.com (the Lyrix and Caffeine are more powerful than the Boa, but the Boa can still drive 32 ohm Grado or 300 ohm Sennheiser HD600).

If you think you will need a lot of power to feed more difficult to drive cans later (K701, K240 600ohm, HD650 etc), PLUS you need a USB DAC I would get the Meier 2MOVE for $275 which has a high current mode meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/ (Obviously this is above your budget, but the less expensive Meier Headsix is nice but not as powerful or as good sounding).

I have all the amps listed above, and did borrow a 2MOVE to do a review on it. I haven't reviewed the D2 Boa yet because I am still breaking it in. The Headstage Lyrix Pro does come in a USB version, and while the USB is better than headphone out of my Macbook Core 2 Duo, it is not quite as detailed as the DAC Boa or 2MOVE. (USB DAC is basically an External USB soundcard for computer, but these amps can also connect to the iPod).

Welcome to head-fi, and sorry about your wallet!
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Jul 15, 2008 at 7:59 AM Post #4 of 8

trickywombat

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To get good sound, you need BOTH good cans and a good amp. There also the issue of synergy - some combinations of amps and cans don't live up to their respective individual potential.

Start by figuring out what you want from your can - is isolation from ambient noise important? Is portability important? What kind of music do you like? What kind of sound signature do you like your can to have? Once you've got an idea of the physical and sonic characteristics of the headphone you want it'll make it easier to choose a headphone.

Then find an amp that will serve your headphone and needs. I kind of prefer picking the headphone first as comfort and practicality is quite subjective. Does the amp need to have a DAC? Does it have a sound signature and drive to match your amp?

To make a long story short, I would not recommend skipping the can and getting a better amp, as you'll feel the urge to upgrade from your Portapros to better match the amp. Likewise, a less-than-stellar amp with a good headphone will make you want to upgrade your amp - which might be easier to do if you found great, comfortable headphones you don't want to part with.

HeadphoneAddict made some great amp recommendations above. Consider getting something used in the Used/For Sale forum to save some money.
 
Jul 15, 2008 at 8:10 AM Post #5 of 8

RAQemUP

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For the under $200 price, I'd get either a Ibasso D2 Boa or a go Vibe Petite. The Boa over the Petite simply since it would drive big cans which need the extra power.

It's always nice to have a DAC as an extra I say. Everyone uses a computer these days and the DACs in these portables trump over the vast majority of peoples PC's internal sound cards.
 
Jul 16, 2008 at 12:48 AM Post #6 of 8

benji129

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So according your suggestions i will probably getting audio technica ath ad700s or Senn hd555s with either the
ibasso d2 boa or a
penguin amp with the USB DAC Cable

so any final words before i decide to buy
 
Jul 17, 2008 at 4:25 AM Post #7 of 8

havec

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RAQemUP /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's always nice to have a DAC as an extra I say. Everyone uses a computer these days and the DACs in these portables trump over the vast majority of peoples PC's internal sound cards.


How do the DACs in the iBasso Boa stack up to the ones in MP3 players such as the Creative Zen M?
 
Jul 17, 2008 at 5:21 AM Post #8 of 8

aegid

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In general, with the exception of a few portable players, an external DAC will beat out the one built into the player.
 

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