portable amp for Galaxy Note 2 and Grado SR80i heaphones?
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MartWilliams

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Hi all.

I've been plowing through these forums for the last few days and largely as a result of what I've read here and after testing a few headphones bought a pair of Grado SR80i's to play on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Now while I am very pleased with what I am hearing (being a non audiophile really - but moving in that direction) I know these headphones can sound a lot better, as they do even through my Onkyo AV amp.

So I'm looking at portable DACs/amps now in a hope to get nearer to the deeper more impressive sound that a home amp can make my Grado's produce

The music on my Note should be mostly FLACs plus some 320kb stuff and a pretty much run of the mill mixture of genres, you know, pop, rock, classical

I did buy the Fiio E7, but the unit was faulty and I couldn't test the DAC side of things and through the headphone out on the phone I didn't notice much difference - but the unit was faulty...

So do any of you guys have suggestions as to what I might buy to get thest best out of my Grado SR80i's from my Galaxy Note and is portable? Oh and I'm UK based so I'm looking at stuff I can get here.

Because I am sending the E7 back, I looked at the E07 but there are conflicting reports of people getting usb audio out using that and the galaxy note 2. Although I'm in the UK, my phone is probably grey market since I used panamoz and I'm sure they import stuff like this, probably from HK, don't know whether this effects the chances of USB out working with the E07?
 
Thanks in advance if any of you guys can help enlighten me.
 
Mart
 
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MartWilliams

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I'm beginning to think what I actually want most might be just the amp, the DAC in the Note 2 is supposed to be ok, on a par nearly with the iphone 4?

So am I right in thinking that if I'm after the more fuller and impressive sound, richer, more controlled, better bass, that what I want is an amp?

If that's correct, what are the best options, definitely below £200, preferably nearer to £100? Has to be portable.
 
Thanks again.
 
Mart
 
 
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Cakensaur

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Under £100:
Fiio E11 - £55 ---> top choice
Fiio E17 - £99 ---> top choice
DigiZoid Zo2 (basshead amp) £80 or so ----> my amp, i usually only listen to EDM on the move so the bass is lovely
Soundmagic A10 £60 
CmoyBB £50-60 ---> best looking (imo)
 
Under £200:
 
Graham slee voyager £190 ---> very sturdy, another top choice
 
Just Audio uHA-120 - £200
iBasso T3 -£110 ---> no personal experience, heard good things
iBasso D2+ boa £170
 
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H20Fidelity

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This seller has a good variety of portable amps.

http://myworld.ebay.com.au/pollychen0306/&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2754
 
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Nixon

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I'd advise a DAC/amp for the Note 2. Tried one out with an ELE EL D01 DACs, which are only £10 and it sounded much better than the on board DAC. I'd advise you to have a read through this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs
 
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MartWilliams

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Thanks guys, some food for thought there.

Nixon, I think I did read all the way through that thread, lol good read though. My problem is a bit that as a newbie and having read through a lot on this forum over the last few days I'm having to take in a lot of new information and terminology...

Shame there are any shops that I know of locally (Midlands, UK) that I could pop along to and try different amps/dacs and see which are worth spending money on for me. Will just have to take a punt at some point, lol.

Nixon, are you saying that you tried out the DAC you mentioned on the Note 2? I looks like in your sig you have the Grado SR60 and an E11 amp? How do you find the Grados with that amp on your portable player??

Thanks again.

 
 
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Nixon

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Really need to update my sig, got a pile of new stuff since then. Tested the ELE with the Sennheiser PX100-ii with the Note 2 and it sounded great. Only listened for a bit so can't really give much of a review but I know it works. The staff at the T-Mobile shop started giving me funny looks after I accidentally set off an alarm trying to test it out on a Galaxy S3.
 
Tried the ELE at home with my SR60s using my PC as a source and prefer the sound to my usual portable setup of 
 
iPod touch > Fiio LOD > Fiio E11 > Grado SR60. 
 
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MartWilliams

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LOL Nixon

Think I'm going to try and get my hands on a Graham Slee Voyager and see how that sounds....


Might take a punt on one of those little dac's at some point, they are cheap enough...
 
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MartWilliams

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Now have a Voyager ordered, nearly new off ebay, looking forward to hearing how it sounds with my Grados!

 
 
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Cakensaur

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Hope it all goes well :)
Its a shame it had to be a portable amp.
personally i would have gone for something like a LD MK I+ hybrid for home
and an E11 or something for out and about usage.
and you could save enough money to then buy flats!
This is all a bit late though i guess.
 
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MartWilliams

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Thanks Cakensaur, yes, I now have the Voyager. I'm pretty pleased with it so far, previous owner claimed it had only had about 10 hours use, so if that's correct I've got some way to go before it's burnt in.
The size of the E11 would have been great but I hope the voyager is a step up in terms of sound quality?
What are flats? Headphone pads? I did buy the pads from the next model up, the cups I think - less comfy but with no foam in the middle.
 
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Cakensaur

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those are flats :)
The enigma that are grado pads.
everyone calls them whatever they like.
The voyager is better in terms of SQ
and it is much better built imo.
However grado's are known to have a fairly good synergy with LD mK I+
 
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I am happy with my set below.
Note2+ODAC
Alo mini to mini ref8
RSA protector
Mini balance to female 3.5 oyaide DIY cardas hybrid oyaide 910 cable
Final audio design piano forte x
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartWilliams /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
the DAC in the Note 2 is supposed to be ok, on a par nearly with the iphone 4?
 
 
Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong but I have a feeling that the iPhone and the Note both have the same on board DAC (Wolfson) though I could be wrong so I expect they'd be at least similar in quality? And also, you may be surprised to hear that Samsung produce a good number of the chips Apple uses (considering all the law suits Apple takes out against them) if this counts for anything. 
 
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NZtechfreak

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Quote:
Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong but I have a feeling that the iPhone and the Note both have the same on board DAC (Wolfson) though I could be wrong so I expect they'd be at least similar in quality? And also, you may be surprised to hear that Samsung produce a good number of the chips Apple uses (considering all the law suits Apple takes out against them) if this counts for anything. 
 
iPhones use Cirrus Logic DACs, not Wolfsons. 
 
A friend and I did a blind and volume-matched test between Note 2 and iPhone 4 and in that setting we both had a very slight preference for the Note 2 actually, so from my point of view certainly they are at a similar level.
 
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