Is there a hole in Headroom's line or is the Bithead all that?
Feb 12, 2008 at 7:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

tfarney

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I have enjoyed my basic Airhead for several years, mostly through an iRiver portable cd player Headroom was recommending at the time I bought the amp. But now I've bought an external hard drive and I'm ripping my cds to it. Better source, to be sure, but even though the sonics in my Mac laptop (iBook G4) are very good for a computer and very quiet, I feel compelled to go around them and through a nice dac on my way to my Senn HD580s.

So I'm hanging around here where there seem to be lots of dac/amp combos, with lots of fans, in the $500 range. Meanwhile, my old friends over at Headroom don't seem to have anything between the $140 Total Bithead and $800 worth of Micro Amp & dac stack. Have I got that right?

So here's the question, Headroom: Is that just a gap in your product line, or do you think the Total Bithead holds its own against all those $400/$500 dac/amp combos? I'm willing to pay the price ans seriously considering the Apogee Duet right now. But jeez, I love a bargain.

Tim
 
Feb 12, 2008 at 9:04 PM Post #2 of 19

velingara

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The portable micro amp now has an internal dac option, for a total of $600. Closer to your price... I havent heard the other amps to compare it to.
 
Feb 12, 2008 at 9:18 PM Post #3 of 19

tfarney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by velingara /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The portable micro amp now has an internal dac option, for a total of $600. Closer to your price... I havent heard the other amps to compare it to.


I haven't either. It seems that the whole endeavor is somewhat of a leap of faith.

Tim
 
Feb 12, 2008 at 10:10 PM Post #4 of 19

Joelc87

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I haven't personally heard the Micro Portable but the DAC is supposed to be at least on par with the 06 Micro DAC and the Amp section is somewhere between the 06 Micro with the Desktop module and the Home module. It's actually the same electronics as the home module but since it's battery powered it's not as high current as the Non-portable home module units. SQ wise the DAC and Amp circuitry average out to be about the same as an '06 micro stack. Which remarkably also retailed for $600. Although I haven't heard the portable I have heard/owned the 07 Ultra Micro and the 07 Micro Stack. Other opinions floating around are that aside from the mobile series. None of the HR amps are completely night and day differences as far as SQ goes. Everything increasing incrementally is a very incremental increase in SQ. I'm sure that if you got the Micro portable with the DAC you wouldn't be disappointed. Plus there's always the 30-day return policy.
 
Feb 13, 2008 at 2:03 AM Post #5 of 19

tfarney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joelc87 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I haven't personally heard the Micro Portable but the DAC is supposed to be at least on par with the 06 Micro DAC and the Amp section is somewhere between the 06 Micro with the Desktop module and the Home module. It's actually the same electronics as the home module but since it's battery powered it's not as high current as the Non-portable home module units. SQ wise the DAC and Amp circuitry average out to be about the same as an '06 micro stack. Which remarkably also retailed for $600. Although I haven't heard the portable I have heard/owned the 07 Ultra Micro and the 07 Micro Stack. Other opinions floating around are that aside from the mobile series. None of the HR amps are completely night and day differences as far as SQ goes. Everything increasing incrementally is a very incremental increase in SQ. I'm sure that if you got the Micro portable with the DAC you wouldn't be disappointed. Plus there's always the 30-day return policy.


What is the sonic impact of the high current AC vs. lower current battery power? I know that it's a lot easier to get really clean, quiet battery power for reasonable $. What else?

Tim
 
Feb 20, 2008 at 6:09 PM Post #6 of 19

Tyll Hertsens

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The more products one has, the more holes there are. I'd say there is a hole between the AirHead/BitHead and the Micro Portable, but I'd also say there's a hole that could be filled with Desktop DACS; a few holes for tube amps; a hole for Desktop speaker stands and power amps (about to be filled); and then a few wild but not crazy holes like a desktop cd player or hard drive file player.

[size=small]There's friggen holes everywhere!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!
eek.gif



wink.gif

[/size]
 
Feb 20, 2008 at 6:41 PM Post #8 of 19

elrod-tom

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The Total Bithead is IMHO a decent amp. I get a lot of use out of mine, though it's not the be all and end all of portable sonics, it's worth having especially if you have a need for the USB DAC.
 
Feb 22, 2008 at 3:44 AM Post #10 of 19

Cecala

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Quote:

Originally Posted by noseallinit /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Tyll, both sound great! q:O)

what about DVD if a future version of the Desktop Amp will have Dolby Headphone..



Dolby Headphone is a gimmick, I have listened to it at length and the end result is that the sound has been modified to the point of sounding artificial. The rear effects are not convincing in the least. If you want true super real front and back effects with immense soundstage you cannot beat Binaural recordings.
Implementing this will be next to impossible though as the soundtrack needs to be recorded using the Binaural 'Dummyhead' at the source. I cannot see movie makers doing this only for headphone users.
 
Feb 22, 2008 at 4:15 PM Post #11 of 19

Tyll Hertsens

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I agree that Dolby Headphone is somewhat artificial sounding, but it's better than any other alternative that I've heard barring the impossible binaural recording, and that head-tracker that I heard at CES that isn't a commercial product yet.
 
Feb 24, 2008 at 3:18 AM Post #12 of 19

noseallinit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cecala /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Dolby Headphone is a gimmick, I have listened to it at length and the end result is that the sound has been modified to the point of sounding artificial. The rear effects are not convincing in the least.


Cecala, do you not remember? you have been there..
Dolby Headphone sounds killer! I listen to the majority of the movies I watch using my headphone setup.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cecala /img/forum/go_quote.gif
X2
Yes pretty please.



I also like what little I have heard of Binaural but just like you say..
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cecala /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you want true super real front and back effects with immense soundstage you cannot beat Binaural recordings.
Implementing this will be next to impossible though as the soundtrack needs to be recorded using the Binaural 'Dummyhead' at the source. I cannot see movie makers doing this only for headphone users.



yet what we might possibly could have one day is.. Dolby Headphone with a HeadRoom..

Desktop flip years away, but what would you like to see when we do.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
someday we'll revisit the Desktop line and make quite a few significant changes.

we would like to get a grip on Digital Signal Processing and put one in the box to:
  1. Provide Dolby Headphone.
  2. Provide a HeadRoom digital crossfeed processor for two channel audio intended to improve audio imaging on headphones, but which doesn't mess with the fidelity of the music by adding extranous cues.
  3. Provide a parametric equaliser function.
  4. Provide prestored compensation curves for "correcting" the performance of a wide variety of headphone models.



 
Feb 24, 2008 at 4:04 AM Post #13 of 19

noseallinit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyll Hertsens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
and then a few wild but not crazy holes like a desktop cd player or hard drive file player.


Tyll, can you tell us more about the thoughts yawl have had with this hard drive file player?

would it be transportable in which you would not need to take along a PC to have to use it? just grab your headphone gear and the hard drive file player to take to use at wherever you have a power outlet. type of signal output..

I hate to say but I think it would be cool if Apple had just such a product to use along with an iPod that you could use as a remote interface for it.
 
Feb 24, 2008 at 8:46 AM Post #14 of 19

Cecala

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Quote:

Originally Posted by noseallinit /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Cecala, do you not remember? you have been there..



Yes true, although after extensive listening I have come to the conclusion that it is very fatiguing listening to such a setup and have come to disliking it.
 
Feb 24, 2008 at 1:33 PM Post #15 of 19

noseallinit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cecala /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yes true, although after extensive listening I have come to the conclusion that it is very fatiguing listening to such a setup and have come to disliking it.


is it that bad?

I'm into 2 channel and I never plan on having a home theater setup. yet, I find it difficult sometimes listening to these surround sound recordings through me headphones. I was hoping this is where Dolby Headphone would help by what little I have heard. I have had a couple of movies that allowed me to choose Dolby Headphone and a few more 2 channel. listening always seemed better with these two choices than when not having the choice at all.

what is it about these surround sound recordings listened through 2 channel that makes them sound like they are loosing out?

what is the answer to making these surround sound recordings sound best cominig out of me 2 channel headphones? sure was hopinig it was Dolby Headphone..
 

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