Portable system help: new DAC or new earphones?
Dec 25, 2016 at 10:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Horacio

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Hello.
 
I'm a long-time audiophile doing most of my listening on speakers. I'd like to upgrade my portable system, which I use at the office and when I travel (airplanes, hotels), but I have been away from head-audio so long I am lost as to how significant the improvements I'm consideroing might be.
 
Right now my system consists of a Samsung S6 phone playing Tidal and/or USB Audio Player Pro, an iFi Nano, and Etymotic ER4. No DSD needed.
 
The S6 can't be changed (provided by the company I work for).
 
The iFi Nano is good and works well (other than some annyoing clicks when I turn the volume). I was considering a Dragonfly given the simmingly similar sound quality and smaller size, better suited for travel. But I have also seen some people are having trouble with Android, so maybe a risky path.
 
I'm also wondering if I should go larger on earphones. The ER4 are great, but also old. Not clear to me if current IEM at say around $300 are a lot better than ER4. But maybe closed back earphones would be a step up? Sennheiser HD640VB or Oppo PM3, for example?
 
Would very much appreciate your guidance!
 
Cheers
 
Dec 26, 2016 at 4:14 PM Post #2 of 6

Horacio

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Mmmm...no replies...maybe I forgot to say please?
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Dec 26, 2016 at 4:20 PM Post #3 of 6

Monsterzero

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To get the most dramatic change in sound quality at this level is getting new headphones.
As far as specifics Im neither a fan of IEMs nor closed back headphones,but to get you pointed in the right direction start looking at headphones before swapping out the DAC.
 
Dec 26, 2016 at 7:34 PM Post #4 of 6

Strauss95

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The Oppo PM3 is a very nice portable closed back headphone. Sounds like you've already done some current research. I'd say upgrade your headphones as well vs buying a new DAC.
 
Dec 26, 2016 at 7:34 PM Post #5 of 6

Strauss95

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The Oppo PM3 is a very nice portable closed back headphone. Sounds like you've already done some current research. I'd say upgrade your headphones as well vs buying a new DAC.
 
Dec 27, 2016 at 6:36 AM Post #6 of 6

Horacio

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Thank you. My research was limited to reading stuff that comes my way (mainly online audio magazines's e-mails) and I took note of what sounded interesting. I also noted HiFiMan HE-400 and 400i, but later figured out they were open back and hence not good for travelling. Thought I'd ask to check if I was missing something big. Seems not, although naturally there are different audio flavours at the same price/performance. Good.
 
And it seems the iFi Nano is good to drive the PM-3.
 
Nevertheless, if someone has another good alternative I can look up and compare to the PM-3, and is good driven by the iFi Nano, I'd be interested.
 
Thanks again!
 
PD: Mom was right! I'm better off asking with please
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