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Portable Nirvana

  1. audioops
    What phone/IEM do you think gets you the closest to portable nirvana?
    Focal Spirit Pro?
    NAD Viso HP50?
    Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors?
    If posting an opinion, please also list the contenders you haven't heard and so can't consider.
  2. Maxvla Contributor
    Only IEMs/CIEMs are truly portable IMO. IE listening while moving, either by your own power or in a vehicle. Full size cans can work in a transportable situation, though.

    I've heard the demo for JH13 and JH16 (non FP) and they had too much U shape for me. No idea how Roxanne sounds.

    The first Focal headphone was abysmal. I can only hope the newer ones are actually worth wearing at any price.

    I own the UERM, but am interested to try the UEPRM if I ever make it to a show they have their box available.

    I do like the T5P, they are in my top 5 sealed headphones, but again I don't consider them portable. They are more 'wife is trying to sleep next to me' headphones. Cavernous and somewhat boomy, some reflection problems (as all the Teslas do) but overall alright. I'd much rather drop the cash for CIEMs though.

    I tried the demo UM Miracle, UM Merlin, Westone ES5 and didn't like them much, the ES5 worst of the group.


    I think the biggest key for portable audio is being realistic about your situation. If you are only listening between movement, a transportable rig is fine (full size cans, laptop, DAC/amp). If you are mostly flying, noise cancelling is a good idea, but not required. If you are listening while on a train, bus, or car just a simple DAP/phone with IEMs/CIEMs to block out noise and provide quality music is all you really need. The extra noise that leaks through will ruin a lot of the benefit of using portable DACs or amps so don't bother.

    For me, if I'm not at my home my smartphone and UERM is enough. I don't fret about the last few % when road noise is present anyway.
  3. audioops
    Really great reply. Thank you.

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