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Iphone only, no amp, am I not giving my IEMS justice?

  1. kevms89
    I have had the RE0, R50, ETY, and now have the XBA-1 and 3, I am now wanting the MDREX1000 which would be the highest class iem I buy, am I not doing them justice using my iPhone 5, should I get an amp? I almost feel bad.

    I certainly like the sound my XBA3 produces and it blows away my previous phones I mentioned but I wonder if they would be amazing amped?
  2. lexus91
    I used to use TF10 , then upgraded to UE11 and now is using Fostex TH 600. Never amps all my headphones/iems at all. I even still use my TH 600 with my portable devices sometimes, although mainly use them with my laptop.
    I don't think there's any problem with using no amps. Although they will perform better with amps, Never heard of XBA3, but from my memory EX1000 is a good IEM.
  3. EveTan
    I'd recommend just going without an amp. At least in my experience, the satisfaction of getting an amp/separate audiophile player isn't much. And with other headaches like portability (extra bulk) or UI problems (DAPs), it really isn't worth the trouble. And in some cases, I actually prefer the iPhone DAC/Amp. I'd say don't worry about the physical source and worry about the phones :).
  4. kevms89
    Thanks for the advice, I'll stay with iphone alone, I have been satisfied with the sound so far I just wondering if an amp would be night and day, also I dont want extra bulk.
    Thankfully iphones are usually good with iems compared to most other phones.
  5. lin0003
    Maybe you should try an amp and see whether the bulk is worth it.
    I personally dislike stacks so I go for DAPs.
  6. EveTan
    Lin is right. You really should try one. Imo, they will not have a night and day difference. The night and day difference phenomenon might happen with hard to drive full sized, but with IEMs... nope!
  7. lin0003
    I have found this as well and I think that for IEMs, the DAC section is more important.
  8. kevms89
    What is a DAC?
  9. mc21
    For portable, I don't use amps. Kind of defeats the purpose of portable (at least to me).
  10. JohannLiebert
    Amps are overrated as hell. Don't buy the hype and save your money for more important things.
  11. TonyVier
    Well, I am pretty new to this game, read all the stuff about how people may fool themselves about "hearing" things, but I gave it a shot and bought a PHA-1 DAC/AMP for my iPods.

    While portability is a new challenge here, there is a definite improvement in sound quality.

    Could I be happy without a DAC/AMP, sure... But I like the bit of extra I have now, and I'll find a way to carry it.
  12. TheBoss
    Just get the best (easy to power and very low distortion) IEM you can afford... and enjoy the sound!

    Confirming what I hear with critical listening, the iPhone 5 is a wonderful high-fidelity audio source. While publications funded mostly by advertisements from makers of expensive cables, power conditioners and outboard DACs don't want you to know this, the iPhone 5 is a better audio source than most DACs will be when connected to a computer or CD transport. The only difference is that the iPhone has a level 6 dB lower than a proper CD player, but the iPhone still has more output at 1 V full-scale than some outboard audiophile DACs! (Stereophile wrote that "The iPod's measured behavior is better than many CD players" back when the iPod first came out and was only considered as a toy and not as a better player than most of the exotic fluff gear out today.)
    The iPhone lacks a fan or hard drive, so it runs silently as it plays from its buffered solid-state memory.
    The iPhone 5 has the additional benefits of being self-powered, so you have no ground loops as you will when using AC-powered gear or anything connected to a computer via a electrically conductive cable.
    Ignore those who confuse the iPhone with crappy MP3 players; the iPhone has wonderful audio quality for serious music listening either directly with good or great headphones or plugged into the rest of your high fidelity system.
    Enjoy your iPhone!
  13. Takeanidea
    Can you not at least try an amp for yourself ? Surely you could get one on approval. Sounds like the only way youll get to the truth of the matter. My personal opinion is that if I had £600 to spend on improving the sound of an iphone I would be spending the vast majority of the money on an iem (assuming you want an iem) and leave a little for an amp. And have it on approval and send it back if it's no better than unamped and spend the refund on itunes :)
  14. Mooses9
    Digital To Audio Controller
  15. kevms89
    Ok so what is a good beginner amp for my IP5?

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