ATH-M50s revived my love of hi-fi audio. Now I want an affordable, portable amp for ALAC.
Dec 24, 2012 at 4:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

southpark2033

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I just listened to Radiohead's Kid A over these without even breaking them in using my Native Instruments sound card. Boy was that a pleasure.
 
I used to have a crappy headphone amp I'd route out of an iPod Classic (using the iPod's DAC) to some Denon AH-D2000s. This sounded pretty bad (shrill highs that hurt my ears) and I sold the whole setup.

I want to try again with the ATH-M50's. They really, really sound good with the sound card I mentioned, but I'm not going to drag a DJ sound card with me to school.

I saw the portable Fiio cards on Amazon, but saw some pretty horrific reviews, and no customer support.
 
How bad are those products, really? I can't afford anything over $150 for this, is there any other products I can get for such a tight budget?
 
I did some googling for about 20 min, couldn't find anything cheap other than Fiio.
 
Dec 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM Post #2 of 6

bowei006

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Quote:
I just listened to Radiohead's Kid A over these without even breaking them in using my Native Instruments sound card. Boy was that a pleasure.
 
I used to have a crappy headphone amp I'd route out of an iPod Classic (using the iPod's DAC) to some Denon AH-D2000s. This sounded pretty bad (shrill highs that hurt my ears) and I sold the whole setup.

I want to try again with the ATH-M50's. They really, really sound good with the sound card I mentioned, but I'm not going to drag a DJ sound card with me to school.

I saw the portable Fiio cards on Amazon, but saw some pretty horrific reviews, and no customer support.
 
How bad are those products, really? I can't afford anything over $150 for this, is there any other products I can get for such a tight budget?
 
I did some googling for about 20 min, couldn't find anything cheap other than Fiio.

While FiiO is universal, headphone amps and DAC's are still quite niche. And keep in mind that some are fake on Amazon. (Amazon doesn't guarantee real).
 
FiiO has some of the best support for their customers. James, their CEO is on head-fi with his staff every single day and has answered a plethora of questions/requests.
 
Obviously those aren't reviews. But feedback. There is a difference. 
 
The majority of sellers on Amazon except for Parts Direct and Micca Store(Micca Distro on Amazon) are authorized. FiiO does not provide support on Amazon. Amazon is not a site for these things. You either email them, call them, or come on Head-Fi where they are active.
 
Any product can be bad. It is up to what you use it for.
 
Some would aruge against an amp for the M50 and other headphones at that range but if you think you want one then here are your options:
E07K (DAC and amp)
E17 (DAC and amp)
E12 (Amp, about to be released, limited to no stock)
E11 (amp)
 
or
 
Cmoy BB
C421 by JDS Labs
iBasso Dzero
 
Leckerton's
 
Headamp 
 
Dec 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM Post #4 of 6

bowei006

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Thanks for that great info! I will check FiiO's site for legit resellers.

If you are in the U.S. I suggest Micca. Parts Express or was it Parts Direct is also a seller that should sell all FiiO parts but Micca has free U.S shipping.
 
I have also been tempted to check out some MUSE products but haven't had the time. There are many guides online for good portable amp's and maybe amp and DACs. Check them all out.
 
Dec 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM Post #5 of 6

southpark2033

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I know this sounds crazy but I am loving the sound over my Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ. The most important thing is that EVERY Apple product I ever used has shrill and painful highs on hi-fi headphones (not on buds, etc) so I will need a different DAC no matter what. The NI interface is so nice and warm, I can listen for hours. I am considering getting the much more portable Audio 2 DJ (about the size of a pack of cigarettes).
 
Dec 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM Post #6 of 6

bowei006

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I know this sounds crazy but I am loving the sound over my Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ. The most important thing is that EVERY Apple product I ever used has shrill and painful highs on hi-fi headphones (not on buds, etc) so I will need a different DAC no matter what. The NI interface is so nice and warm, I can listen for hours. I am considering getting the much more portable Audio 2 DJ (about the size of a pack of cigarettes).

Not to say anything discounting but it is probably your equipment used. With only some equipment used you may get a false positive.
 

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