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What headphones do you use? Or you are iem user mostly?
Sadly IEMs only as I find headphones too sweaty in tropical countries like the Philippines. I used to have the AKG K712 and Schiit Asgard 2 as amp but switched to Yahama HS7/HS8S speakers and Schiit Saga as preamp setup because speakers provide the bass physicality I wanted as well as untouchable soundstage and imaging capability that they provide. Also, I get way too sweaty with the K712 with the velour pads on my face. Well, you can't really compare the soundstage and imaging of speakers against headphones. Anyways, I got into IEM world after interest of maximizing my portable audio or more specific, reaching the fidelity I get with the speaker setup by getting the CA Vega blind-bought. While I liked its holographic imaging, it literally cannot come close to the HS7 speakers in mids and treble tonality and detail retrieval. Then I got lucky with the sale CA Andromeda CK Blue edition, and that's where I experimented with budget DAPs until I landed with the iPod Touch 6G as my preferred DAP due to it sounding pretty close to the Yahama HS7 speakers in tonality with Andromeda being slightly warmer and slightly recessed in mids in comparison. Though if talking about neutral flat sound, I always refer to Yamaha HS7 as my reference.
Regarding other IEMs I've demoed, I always felt that they really need the extra power to sound the way they're intended. For example, the U12T and U18T sounded slightly flat and lacking punch with the iPod Touch but when driven with Chord Hugo 2, they sound incredibly full, wide, open and showing excellent layering, and maybe superior to the Andromeda that is also plugged into Hugo 2. As for DAC quality (Hugo 2 vs iPod Touch), Hugo 2 is definitely much more "blacker" where you perceive the instruments popping out of nothingness in a darker way than the iPod Touch. This is more apparent with more complex passages BTW. At least that's how I heard the Andromeda coming out of Hugo 2 + HMS setup. Also, mids and treble resonance are much more "separated" (not by width but by transients or speed as some people call it) I think it has to do with the much more accurate taps that is unique to Chord sound. Though I can easily get a better DAP than iPod Touch, I cannot live without Apple Music and the iPod Touch is the only DAP that has that capability (aside from smartphones) AFAIK
You haven’t even come remotely close to the full potential of the andromeda using singe ended cable. Test the andromeda with a decent balanced cable and high quality dap and you’ll be hitting an incredible sweet spot!!!!
i got a hugo 2 for demo back then but no iems at that moment to test out. Tried with hd800 and not interested with its sounds. Possibly due to the thinness of HD800 that needs warm and thick source which I currently have.
My Matrix X Sabre has the signature of Gumby which a warm/darker dac.
My Heron 5 is warm and deep sound as like the legendary eddie current black widow.
With some more eq tweak, my hd800 is unbeatable for my liking. Tried HD800, Utopias, etc with Woo Audio, etc. Cant come close to my current setup.
Regarding DAP, im in the same boat. I cant live without spotify. That's my most use music library. With M11, it's almost there but What with the fiio that didnt connect to google. I cant install any paid app that i use with my S10plus. That triggers me to return it so badly. Plus, the Fiio Player that comes with is sooooo average. It comes with 10band equalizer not even parametric. And the equalizer response is average too.
I miss my premium UAPP app that i bought which only cost me $10 including parametric eq. Nothing can beat it and it support streaming player too except spotify. Tidal, Google music, etc are good enough. I asked the developer regarding Spotify and they said Spotify didnt reply their request to put it in their App which is nonsense.. Spotify should really do something!
I just found out how to showcase the difference in sound tuning between the Andromeda and the Andromeda S! I just watched part of the avengers movie with both and I had to say it was completely crappy with the Andro S! The voice is so much more forward that the sound effects that I may as well be listening to the actors' script soundtrack......
With the green Andromeda, everything was perfectlt balanced.
So I guess if one only listens to music or concerts, Andromeda S does wonders! But for general purpose listening, the green Andromeda is probably a better choice.....
I really doubt that. It doesn't take much to drive Andro.
It's not about power. Since andro is too sensitive anything with crosstalk and OI makes difference. Not to forgot the amp cant be warm.
Not about assuming there’s no difference........ Literally try it and report back.
The difference from single ended to balance was a significant jump in SQ , as long as you have an excellent balanced amp section on your portable DAP. Andromeda’s are almost there in SQ compared to a Solaris used in single ended. Separation, details and sound stage increase in quality while using balanced configuration.
As I mentioned earlier the AK Kaan cube elevates the andros to another level but double the price of my little Norma DAP. Amplification was a drastic change to SQ with my test with my Andromeda’s.
Everyone’s perception and preference is different. Warm amp can be great as long as a person likes it I suppose.
The OI if balanced is twice the single-ended and Andro is sensitive to OI. So, there you have it. With Andro, it's due to it's impedance reaponse. You can get a resiatance adapter, and it would do the samw thing on a near 0 output impedance amp or dap.
Yes, the paper said that. But i did AB test. Not the same at all on M11.
Iematch on 3.5mm and balance without iematch doesnt sound the same at all.
I think my andro sounds about right without bass bleed currently. Imaging is fantastic. Soundstage, i need more. Hope xcan 3D+ can space out a lil bit. The details are crazy good but most of them are on my face. Really fatiguing.
So far, i got why people said it's holographic. It really is. Just wanted a bit more space so that i can breathe
Do you use Apple Music with iCloud Music Library or do you load your files directly onto the iPod Touch and then use Apple Music solely for streaming?
How come you can’t just install the Spotify APK directly to the M11? Is that not allowed? Does APK Pure not work?
I’m debating whether to get an Andromeda again...
I’ve already owned one twice and return/sold b/c of isolation and fit issues (I like deep insertion IEMs).
But I really do miss the sound and it’s one of the best IEMs of all time...ugh.