i think you need to be a little bit more specific in your question. What kind of headphones are you looking for? ear buds, iems, full sized cans?? do they need to be portable or provide isolation? the headphones you get will help you decide if the fiio is necessary.
It all depends on what you mean by "improve", and what headphones you get.
With sensitive headphones, the FiiO adds a hiss.
With boomy headphones, the FiiO's bass boost makes them boom more.
With lean-sounding phones, the FiiO makes bass-heavy music more fun but not so much for acoustic/instrumental music (YMMV)
With hard-to-drive-phones, you get better volume and maybe detail
Only way to tell is to plug in what you have and see for yourself.
for an ipod, i do not recommend the fiio amp no matter what headphones/earphones you use. you'll have to plug it into ipod's headphone jack, and i dont think you'll hear much improvement.
i recommend getting a cheap line-out dock and a cheap portable amp. that way, you'll get better/more clear/unamped sound from the line-out, and you can control the volume with the portable amplifier.
the fiio sounds great for the price but for the performance: you have to use headphone out on any portable as it will be likely too loud with portable phones from the line out.
head out is okay if you use the volume up high and change the gain on the amp low as you get high signal to noise ratio but if you use low volume, the hiss from the portable is louder and the amp then picks that up as it is listening hard for something to send.
why not try your source without the bloody amp firstly. if you enjoy it, then forget the thing. if you feel left our and want to join the party of people who waste (i mean spend) money on portable amps, then by all means join it.
you could also get an er4p to s adapter which adds 75ohm resistance to many phones that means better bass, no hiss and better separation. for some phones though like the altec lansing ones, it may be worse.
Originally Posted by Drag0n /img/forum/go_quote.gif Koss KSC75's first, because its cheap and sounds great and will hold you over until you research headphones and amps more and listen to them at some meets and determine what you want.
Oh gosh yes, get the Koss KSC75. For less than $20, they are invaluable with anything.
Originally Posted by Mr_Junesequa /img/forum/go_quote.gif ipods got enough power in the internal amp as it is. no need for another amp.
Cant be a real Head-Fi'er saying that
Amping the line out would be better than the internal amp though.
In order to be a real Head-Fi'er, you must buy up everything in site. You NEED that new FOTM amp!!! Dont let anyone fool you!!! You need to buy many amps, headphones, players, and hate Bose, Monster,etc.