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Noob budget-fier with a couple of daft questions!

  1. sammyboy2701
    Hello all, I've just joined after lurking for a week or two. Found the forum after searching for headphone reviews when looking for a decent-quality set of portable over-ear cans. After reading quite a few reviews and a visit to my local Richer Sounds hifi store I got myself a lovely pair of Audio-Technica ATH-ES55s. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD201s and an old pair of Audio Technica ATH-T3s. Very impressed with the sound of the ES55s but have a couple of questions.
    I've read a few threads on headphone amplifiers, and reviews on the ES55s - would the 'phones benefit at all from being amped? From what I can gather it may only give a boost to the volume - I'm on a budget so would probably be something like the Fiio E6. Would it be worth my while getting one or not? The HD201s I've heard sound better with an amp but not sure it'd be worth spending at least the same amount as they're worth on a headphone amp!
    I do a lot of radio listening, having a decent-quality pair of cans really shows the shortcomings of DAB broadcasting in the UK and the rubbish bitrates they use! FM's pretty good though but would I benefit even more from listening to high-quality internet streams or would the benefit be negligable?  I do tend to listen quite a bit from portable devices when out walking the dog, lying in bed etc and sometimes use TuneIn with a higher bitrate stream when on wifi but not really viable when out and about due to data limits on my phone's plan.  Is there a source of HD radio streams I can access? Some stations on TuneIn i'm finding that the bitrates are still too low for more serious listening.
  2. warrenpchi Administrator
    If the Fiio E6 is the only amp under consideration, then I would say skip it for now.  I don't believe that it ever improved the sound quality of anything I paired it with, other than to raise overall levels.  On the radio stuff, I've no idea.  Sorry.  [​IMG]
    Also, welcome to Head-Fi.  Sorry about your wallet.
  3. sammyboy2701
    Thanks for your reply, the E6 isn't the only amp I'd consider, just not sure exactly what else is out there at that price point and if it's any good. Sounds like it might be a bad idea for my listening habits and current kit anyway! :) 
    And thanks for the welcome - and the apology for my wallet! :p Already wondering about getting a replacement for the HD201s! 
  4. warrenpchi Administrator
    Personally, I find that both my E5 and my E6 go largely unused these days... especially the E6 as I find the plasticky build to be kinda lame.  They're okay I guess.  And they're a respectable first step for someone just getting into this hobby - especially on a budget.  But as you upgrade over time, I think you'll realize very quickly that you probably should have waited and gotten something else.  Just trying to save you some regret. 
    If you're at all handy with a soldering iron, you might want to try building your own CMoy amp.  I think you'd be happy with something like that for a while... unless you jump into this hobby in a huge way and very suddenly.
    Of course!  It's just something we say here to all new Head-Fiers.  It will make perfect sense to you in a profound way soon enough.  LOL @ the HD 201 upgrade - see what I mean?  In the meantime, make yourself at home, and have fun.
  5. Achmedisdead
    The HD201s are an odd set. Strictly by the specs on paper, they shouldn't need an amp, and any player should power them easily, but that is not the case in real life, they're dull and lifeless unless you really put some power through them. I used an E5 with them and my old Sansa Fuze a few years back, and the combo sounded decent to me at the time, but at the time that was my best setup. With you having the ES55 also,  you'd be better off just finding something better than the HD201.  Maybe give them to that annoying little brother or cousin in the family.[​IMG]
    Your ES55 would not see any added benefit from an E5 or E6, I don't think. Like Warren, I haven't used my E6 in quite a while.   
    Very best, 
  6. warrenpchi Administrator
    Hmm, did not know that.  Now I feel better about having passed it over way back when.  [​IMG]

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