IEM users: who's stopped using a portable amp after upgrading earphones?
Feb 14, 2007 at 3:39 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 46

blessingx

HeadFest '07 Graphic Designer
Supplier of fine logos! His visions of Head-Fi
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Posts
13,179
Likes
23
I'm putting this in the headphones forum since if you're not using an amp you may not be in the amp forum.
wink.gif


Today I received a pair of dual driver IEMs (module name still unknown as these have yet to really hit the market) and they're much more efficient than the ER4P/S which I also own. Hooking up the C&C, the impact/advantage of adding an amp drops significantly. I know there are other IEMs very efficient too. Have any of you stopped carrying an amp because of this?
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:04 AM Post #2 of 46

n_maher

Resistorous Conflagorous
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Posts
8,405
Likes
30
Yes, I've stopped using a portable amp w/ my IEMs. I'll freely admit that this is partially a function of how I use my IEMs which more and more is while I'm doing work of some kind. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that in an environment where I find isolation essential ultimate fidelity is not the goal. The other part of the equation is that I found myself not wanting to deal with the hassle of another set of batteries, keeping the Ipod charged is a battle in itself.

That's not to say that I didn't detect a noticable gain when using my ER4P's with an amp, I did, but I needed to be in a quiet environment to enjoy it. And when I'm in that type of situation I'd much rather put on my HF-1s or HD650s and fire up one of the big amps.
evil_smiley.gif
In my experience no portable amp can match the performance of a proper home amp.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:42 AM Post #5 of 46

DobsOnly

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Posts
425
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by blessingx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm putting this in the headphones forum since if you're not using an amp you may not be in the amp forum.
wink.gif


Today I received a pair of dual driver IEMs (module name still unknown as these have yet to really hit the market) and they're much more efficient than the ER4P/S which I also own. Hooking up the C&C, the impact/advantage of adding an amp drops significantly. I know there are other IEMs very efficient too. Have any of you stopped carrying an amp because of this?



Your question really made me think about how I use my amps. I carry a Cmoy in my laptop bag and have a Pimeta on my Computer desk at home. I rarely have the amp and DAP combination when I'm moving around regardless of the headphones I'm using. But I believe this is due to selecting DAPs that have decent to excellent output capabilities. I almost always use an amp when I'm stationary, at my desk at work etc. I use the amps for the real or could possibly be perceived
wink.gif
improvement in the sound characteristics. With some headphones that improvement is better than others but it's always an improvement. Like you said " the impact/advantage of adding an amp drops significantly". You didn't say the improvement was no longer there. I'll take that little bit extra everytime.

So I guess the answer is no, I haven't stopped carrying/using an amp because of the efficiency of my cans. However I have listened to DAPs that I felt like I had to have an amp in line all the time even for the most efficient headphones. Otherwise they were just totally lifeless.

Have a good one!
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:11 AM Post #6 of 46

Slaughter

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Posts
1,471
Likes
28
Not an IEM user, but a portable amp cant seem to touch the impact of my DAP with my KSC75's. Takes the life right out of them.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:20 AM Post #7 of 46

GreatDane

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Posts
12,472
Likes
34
Location
Virginia
Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yes, I've stopped using a portable amp w/ my IEMs. I'll freely admit that this is partially a function of how I use my IEMs which more and more is while I'm doing work of some kind. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that in an environment where I find isolation essential ultimate fidelity is not the goal. The other part of the equation is that I found myself not wanting to deal with the hassle of another set of batteries, keeping the Ipod charged is a battle in itself.

That's not to say that I didn't detect a noticable gain when using my ER4P's with an amp, I did, but I needed to be in a quiet environment to enjoy it. And when I'm in that type of situation I'd much rather put on my HF-1s or HD650s and fire up one of the big amps.
evil_smiley.gif
In my experience no portable amp can match the performance of a proper home amp.




-makes a lot of sense.

I've been using my ER4P with just an iPod that I bought 10 days ago. Today I got to use my Supermini IV with my new ALO LOD. While I did enjoy the iPod & ER4P alone, the amp makes a very noticable improvement.

The Xin & ety combo sounds so good that I've been known to sit next to my tube amp & HD 650 and resist them...I do agree, there is no match for full size goodness.
600smile.gif
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:22 AM Post #8 of 46

poonpower

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Posts
244
Likes
0
I used to use a pa2v2 with my e3c. I said used to because I seriuosly cannot hear a difference between amped and unamped. I might as well carry one less thing. Maybe this is different with a more higher end amp, like the Hornet or something, but I don't have enough money for a portable amp; saving up for a K701
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:44 PM Post #10 of 46

marvelusjd

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
Posts
295
Likes
0
I used to carry an amp with me on the bus, but found that my IEMs (Super.fi 5 Pros) are very efficient, and using a Rio Karma, you can't beat the sound right out of the headphone jack. At work, I have an amp on the desk, but it was a bit much to carry with me.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:51 PM Post #11 of 46

GlorytheWiz825

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Posts
1,801
Likes
11
I've also stopped using my BitHead as a portable amp. I was using my E4C going through my ZVM->BitHead. But then I switched the E4C directly to the ZVM output jack and realized the improvement was very minor. The slight improvement from the BitHead did not warrant carrying around something so bulky. So I ended up with ZVM->E4C directly.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:54 PM Post #12 of 46

schapman

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Posts
226
Likes
10
I tried my Westones with an amp and without, couldn't hear a difference so I didn't bother getting one for them.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 4:56 PM Post #13 of 46

Coltrane

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Posts
1,345
Likes
19
Another Bithead and E4 owner, but i never use the bithead with IEMs. Any difference is minor enough that Im not exactly sure i even notice it. And that it with intense critical listening. On the go there is absolutely no chance of noticeable improvement, so I just connect it directly to the ipod.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:00 PM Post #14 of 46

milkpowder

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Posts
8,496
Likes
17
Stopped using an amp since upgrading. The ACS T2 alone is far better than the E500 latched onto a Hornet "M" and a fancy ALO LOD. No amp will fully compensate for IEM deficiencies... IEMs first, source second, amp third, interconnect last. I do have some interest in venturing into portable amping again, but that is not high on my priorities.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top