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Amp or DAP Upgrade for JH 16 Pro?

  1. andyph666@gmail.com
    I just ordered the jh 16 pro. Should I update my source with the Hifiman HM-602 or get the RSA Protector and balanced twag cable and LOD? Right now I have an Ipod Nano 16 gb 5th gen and Nokia N900 which sounds pretty decent to me with the um3x. Not sure if I will carry an amp with me so I'd prefer to upgrade the source if it will give me better sound.
  2. fenom60
    Im not experienced with Hifiman hm602, but if you are using a JH16pro with Ipod, you definately need an upgrade. I have UM3X and use Cowon S9 for a year now (recently got a J3 beause of better screen, microsd slot), if you want a portable and long battery life source, the Cowon give you a lot more battery life than the Hifiman and the EQ on the Cowon is very good so you can switch around for your preference and also it plays many file formats including FLAC, you just drag and drop into the player, not like restrictive ipods, Cowon S9 and J3 can be customized with different themes, menues, browser style, you can custom them to look like Ipod theme. I am just giving an opinon because I have listened to the ipod with my UM3X, and theres no comparison between ipod and a cowon s9/J3, its like night and day. So with a top custom like Jh16pro, at least something like a cowon or hifiman 602 / 801 to make good use of your iem. Otherwise its a waste of money to get jh16pro and pair it will ipods
  3. MaxwellDemon
    I, on the other hand, think the Cowon is slightly overrated. iPods aren't that bad.
    If you are thinking of doing a source upgrade, I highly recommend you to thoroughly check if all your music files are at least 192kbps above. If it is, then I'd recommend going for HM-602.
    However, if I were you, I'd just spend money to get a nice LOD and a nice amp. Not sure if the RSA Protector is the amp I'd choose though... [​IMG]
  4. fenom60
    With a Jh16pro, I don't think even 192kbps is acceptable, cause with my UM3X 320kbps and 192kbps theres a really big difference in SQ. I have to say at least 320kbps or FLAC.  
  5. MaxwellDemon


    That'll really depend on the topic creator's ears, to be honest. Most can tell from 128kbps from 192 kbps... but I know a lot of people are happy from 192 kbps onward. Thus my safe suggestion would be 192 kbps... god knows how many people have 128 kbps music lurking in their music directory, while spending a good amount of money in nice headphones.
    Of course, if file size is not an issue at all and you can get all your music into FLAC... then go for it! [​IMG]
  6. LiteKirby
    With my old UM3X, I didn't hear very much difference between my Cowon S9 and my iPod Touch 3rd Gen.  I did, however, find improvement with a portable amp.
    Same thing with my JH5's, the source didn't affect the sound (to my ears) but amping did.
  7. andyph666@gmail.com
    Thanks for the reply guys. All my music is at least 192 mp3s. I'm just trying to justify getting an amp because then I'd have to drag another thing around and also get a bunch of other cables with it whereas upgrading the source I can just the the jh 16 pro and the hifiman. I already think an mp3 player is huge as it is :p Is it worth it if I go balanced?
  8. Hero Kid
    The big thing with the HiFiMan players is synergy. The HM-602 has hard hitting bass but when coupled with the JH16 it could be too much.
    I'm sure there are users out there running the combo. See what they think. Also I strongly recommend reading about the HM-x0x players.
    They aren't your conventional player by any means with a very musical sound and a lack of piercing highs due to the NOS DAC chip used.
    So do your research and you'll be able to decide for yourself if a HiFiMan player is right for you. If it is you'll be in for happy days. If not you'll mash your face in frustration.
  9. andyph666@gmail.com
    I thought that I read somewhere the 601 was more bassy compared to the 602. Is it not possible to just eq it to change the bass if its too much? Ahh the choices :xf_eek:
  10. Hero Kid
    The 601 is basically the same as the 602 without the ability to be used as an external DAC (and it has silver buttons). It uses different caps(or something? man I'm tired) and as a result should sound minimally worse than the 602. You don't really want to buy a player that depends on you EQing the bass down to get good synergy. Not only will it chew down the battery it wouldn't be the best for sound quality - generally you can forget the EQ on Chinese DAPs due to poor implementation.
  11. andyph666@gmail.com
    Well I actually think the sound that comes from my phone sounds better than my ipod nano but that doesn't say much. Do you suggest that I get an amp and cables or find a new source? oh and by the way thanks for the help. I keep reading mixed things from everyone. Some people say that all sources sound the same to them among the fuze, sflo2 and the hifiman. And then some people say the hifiman is amazing, so it's a little hard to do research :p.
  12. Hero Kid
    Personally I'd go source. You can do a lot better than an iPod (Battery, EQ, File Support, Syncing, Gappless, etc) and that's excluding sound quality.
    Sure a LOD and a good amp would be a sonic improvement but you are still left with a crap iPod Nano... if it was any other type of iPod (Touch, Classic, ???) or something like that maybe it'd be worth it but it isn't.
    Check out the HiFiMan HM-602, 601, Nationite s:flo2 aka Telecast T51, Cowon J3 and lastly the humble Sansa Clip+/Fuze (Rockboxed). That's a great starting place for researching which player to get.
  13. MaxwellDemon


    I can definitely sympathize with that. It is an utter pain to drag my Stepdance with me (still trying to think of a way to do it without carrying a bag)... but boy, does it improve the sound of my iPod by like miles...
    I am not a Cowon lover, so I am probably a bit bias against the Cowon players. If you don't want to upgrade via the LOD and amp... upgrading to a new player is probably a very good idea (Hero Kid got a good list of recommendations). I just don't think the Cowon outperforms the iPod enough to warrant it as an upgrade. [​IMG]

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