suggestions for budget gear
May 13, 2015 at 2:40 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

igorpadrao

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Hello Folks
 
First, I would like to congratulate for the awesome forum that you guys create, full of quality information.
 
However, that amomunt of information can be sometimes overwhealming to a newbie like me. I have visited the site for a while, reading informations and reviews, but never posted anything.
 
So, firstly I need to say something about me:
 
(My Personal Taste in Music)
I like to listen to music and podcasts everyday on my way to work. I also use my earphone to play on my Playstation Vita (so portability is essential to me).
My musical taste is very diverse, but essentialy, i listen a lot to pop-rock (ex. R.E.M., The Smiths, The Cure) and things more ambient and dream pop (Sigur Rós, Cocteau Twins) and sometimes something more relaxing as Enya.
 
(My Actual Gear)
My lasts eaphones were two JVC (HA-FX1X  & HA-FX3X) that pleases me good, but the second of them broke the plug with a couple of months. Now I have a Brainwavz Delta wich sound is very good (very clear and lucid sound, but with a lack of bass for my personal taste), but with a problem of loudness. This situation aggravate when I replace my old Phone (a LG C660) to my ASUS Zenfone I use now. Its Sound is disturbing low and combine with the lack of power of the Brainwavz Delta, it results in a lot of external noisy to concur with my music (even with the pretty good isolation of Delta).
 
(Problems for where I'm From)
Another thing that you guys need to know about me is that I live in Brazil and my access to decents earphones to reasonable prices is very limited (normaly stariten to chinese websites with free shipping like Aliexpress and Deal Extreme). I also don't have much money to put in expensive equipments.
 
 
So that is my question:
What should I do to have a little more quality and loudness when listen to my musics?
Should I buy a cheap portable amp like the FiiO E6 or replace my actual earphone to something better?
I have to remind that if the sugestion is for a new IEM, durability and isolating capability are priorities
 
 
Waiting for your help

Igor Padrão
Brazil
 
May 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM Post #2 of 13

cel4145

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IEMs are generally easy to drive in terms of sensitivity--which means that they don't usually need a more powerful amp. Low impedance IEMs may benefit from a headphone amp with lower output impedance than many portable devices due to the dampening factor.

Penon Audio is an excellent international vendor if you want a good place to order equipment from.
 
May 13, 2015 at 3:20 PM Post #4 of 13

cel4145

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Pistons are apparently very good for the price (I have not heard them). I really like the Soundmagic E10 for a bit more. The Donscorpio Bass Colours at Penon Audio are apparently the same as the first generation Velodyne vPulse if you would like some IEMs with heavy sub bass emphasis.

This list could probably help you a lot: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone-list/. Note that each make/model listing links to a review.
 
May 14, 2015 at 10:10 PM Post #5 of 13

igorpadrao

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Thanks very much cel4145 for the help.
 
 
I'm doing a little homework here, reading a lot of the reviews from the list you show me.
 
I was shearching something a little cheaper than the $30 area, but I think I will save some little money to buy the SoundMagic E10 and then buy others cheaper earphones to compare with.
 
But I have one doubt yet. If I have this volume problem with my Brainwavz Delta (wich by any means are not a crap earphone) on my Zenfone 5, I wouldn't have with others earphones too? There is any characteristc like Impendance that I have to be attentive to not suffer from the same problem again?
 
May 14, 2015 at 11:31 PM Post #6 of 13

cel4145

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Sensitivity, when expressed in milliwatts, is about how sensitive they are to power, and impedance help to determine how much power an IEM needs. An amp will typically provide more power at a lower impedance. So with two IEMs with the same sensitivity, but one with lower impedance, the lower one will typically be a bit louder.
 
May 15, 2015 at 12:33 AM Post #7 of 13

igorpadrao

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Sorry to insist, cel4145, but I'm a bit confused.
 
So Brainwavz Delta and SoundMagic E10 have the same nominated Impendance (16Ω) and Sensitivity (100dB at 1mW), so they will play at the same volume?
And the Xiaomi Piston 2 have a little lower Sensitivity, so it will be a little lower in volume?
 
May 15, 2015 at 12:38 AM Post #8 of 13

cel4145

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Theoretically, yes.

Practically, sometimes manufacturer specs are off a little. But you gotta go with the information you got. It's the best guess :)
 
May 15, 2015 at 1:04 PM Post #9 of 13

igorpadrao

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And now, I'm really worried to buy a new earphone and not achieve what I want, more volume. I say that because most of earphones in the price range I can pay have16Ω of inpendance and 93-100db of sensitivity (the same atributes of my actual IEM). So maybe my  problem is my sound source. I'm satisfied with the Sound Quality of my Delta, but I almost can't hear a thing when they are connected to my Zenfone. I really don't know what to do.
triportsad.gif
 
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:05 PM Post #10 of 13

cel4145

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Many (most) phones have castrated headphone amp output. If you want more volume, you have to either (a) look for IEMs with high sensitivity, (b) use a headphone amp, or (c) get a DAP like the FiiO X1.
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:45 PM Post #11 of 13

igorpadrao

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cel4145, Thanks Very Much for the attention so far
 
Quote:
Many (most) phones have castrated headphone amp output. If you want more volume, you have to either (a) look for IEMs with high sensitivity, (b) use a headphone amp, or (c) get a DAP like the FiiO X1.

 
I think I'll ty the headphone amp. And now I have two doubts:
 
1 - There is any way to bypass the castrated amp to usde only the portable amp (in an android device)?
 
2 - What cheap portable amp would be good to me?
 
May 15, 2015 at 6:23 PM Post #12 of 13

cel4145

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If you buy a DAC/amp, with Android phones that support USB audio out, you can do direct digital to the external DAC.

Otherwise, yes. You would have to connect the headphone amp to your phone headphone output.

For cheap, cheap. There is the FiiO E6 that can generally improve over phone amps.
http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-e6-headphone-amplifier

If you can step up to spending more, the E11K is undoubtedly better. The extra power of the E11K would make sense even if you don't need it now, assuming you plan on purchasing more headphones in the future. It just gives you more options to drive more difficult headphones.
 
May 17, 2015 at 4:16 PM Post #13 of 13

igorpadrao

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Thanks Once More, cel4145
 
I would like very much to buy the E11k amp, but I will probably pay taxes and double the price of the item. The E6 is lower than U$50, so I probably won't pay taxes.
 
I'm working to immigrate to Canada in a couple of years and then I'll upgrade my budget to my hobbys.
 

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