DAC or portable amp for Etymotic ER-4S?
Jan 22, 2015 at 7:43 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Artist2

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Which DACs and portable headphone amps provide the strongest signal and clearest and cleanest sound for the Etymotic ER-4S? Would be nice for it to be compatible with iOS, Android, Windows8, and latest OS. :)
 
Jan 22, 2015 at 9:52 PM Post #2 of 13

cel4145

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The Ety's typically don't need an amp with most portable devices. Are you finding that your portable devices don't drive them loud enough? If not, you might not notice improvement from just an amp.

However, a DAC + amp could provide improvement in overall clarity and detail resolution. Not sure how easy it will be to find one to work with all of your devices. Maybe the Beyerdynamic A200P?
 
Jan 22, 2015 at 10:39 PM Post #3 of 13

FlatCactus

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I have the ER4p/t (27 ohm 'p' version that comes with the impedance adapter to convert to the 100 ohm 's' version) and I find the output fine straight out of an iPhone 5s, nano 7g and touch 5g when using it without the adapter.
With the adapter converting it to the S version I usually use a Fiio E12, however off memory I still got sufficient output without using the amp (Though I don't listen at high volumes, usually only 50% or so on my iPod without the adapter)

Every modern Apple device Ive tried already has a very clean and clear headphone output, if not a little sterile. Unless the output is not loud enough I see little point in adding to the bulk by using a seperate amp. If you feel you need an amp though the E12 does a wonderful job at amplifying the clean output from the i-whatever without colouring the sound.
 
Jan 23, 2015 at 1:14 AM Post #4 of 13

Artist2

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I hear a lot of detail nonamped, but being that the ER4-S is high impedance I'd like to get the most out of it if an amp would make a noticeable difference. Check out this possible amp that's looks pretty compatible, havent seen any reviews yet: http://www.cypherlabs.com/products/theorem-720-dac/
 
Jan 23, 2015 at 10:26 AM Post #5 of 13

cel4145

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I hear a lot of detail nonamped, but being that the ER4-S is high impedance I'd like to get the most out of it if an amp would make a noticeable difference. Check out this possible amp that's looks pretty compatible, havent seen any reviews yet: http://www.cypherlabs.com/products/theorem-720-dac/


Yep. You are right. My bad. For some reason, I thought you were talking about the ER4P.

I would personally avoid boutique amps/dacs for which there are few reviews and not well known on Head-Fi. Sometimes the boutique electronics perform no better than less expensive items. For instance, could be it works no better than the Beyerdynamic A200P, which has a lot of fans on Head-Fi.
 
Jan 23, 2015 at 6:43 PM Post #8 of 13

billybob_jcv

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I have a Meier Corda Headfive - I love it. Rock solid desktop amp that has been used nearly every day for a couple of years - and I bought it used in the head-fi buy/sell for very cheap.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 11:41 AM Post #9 of 13

Artist2

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:) After briefly borrowing an Etymotic ER4-S, I'm wondering how much more detail can be heard from an ER4-B. I have tried out my new FiiO E12A with my Etymotic HF5 and LG phone, and WOW the instrument separation and clean details are very noticeable [in comparison to my $16 earbuds direct to Android phone]. Listened to downloaded tracks: Malcolm McLaren "Madam Butterfly," Afrika Bambaattaa "Planet Rock," and Led Zeppelin "Immigrant Song." This is my first portable IEM amp kit, and being this clean and detailed I imagine how much more detail there may be when playing back a WAV lossless track with Etymotic ER4-B.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM Post #10 of 13

Artist2

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....I still like my $16 earbuds now with the amp, having more rounded treble and increased bass. I wonder how these two components with an amp would sound:
http://effectaudio.com/product/cc-piccolino-ultimate-iem-upgrade-cable-by-effect-audio/

http://www.westoneaudio.com/index.php/products/w-series/westone-w60.html
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 10:02 AM Post #13 of 13

Artist2

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After more usage I have found that a headphone amp is redundant when using low impedance earphones. My ipad volume level is more than enough. The FiiO E12A is nicely designed and sounds clean, but does not really add to the sound quality. I will soon be trying out the Beyerdynamic A200P DAC.
 

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