Thoughts on portable amp with SR80?
Mar 27, 2008 at 11:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


New Head-Fier
Sep 17, 2007
I'm relatively new to headphones in general, although not entirely so; I've had a pair of Shure E2s for a while and more recently V-Mode Vibes (bought so they had a microphone for the iPhone). Last year I decided I wanted to have "real" headphones without breaking the bank, and settled on Grado SR80s. On what I'll admit was more whim than a decided necessity, I also got a prebuilt CMoy-style amp (using an OPA2227).

Lately I've started using the headphones more, bringing them into the office and hooking them up to my computer, a MacBook Pro. This is where I've started noticing the difference the headphone amp makes; for want of a less subjective description, the sound with the amp is notably cleaner than the sound with the headphones plugged directly into the laptop. (The amp does, however, seem to reduce some of the bass.)

So what I'm considering doing, later in the year, is upgrading the amp and/or the headphones. I'm aware these are really subjective questions, but assuming I kept these headphones, would a better amp improve the sound? Could I get a better amp with an eye toward getting a more advanced set of headphones down the road? I haven't auditioned any Sennheisers in quite some time, FWIW. (I came across a thread a bit earlier which compared Grado's sound to Monitor Audio's, which is amusing in that I've been wanting to get Monitor Silver RS6's as my main stereo speakers for a while now.)

I suspect my "ideal" amp in terms of form factor is a portable one that can still take AC power, given that I presume my office is going to remain my main listening environment. I am willing to spend a few hundred. (For the office, I'd prefer to not have something whose appearance screams "steal me," however.
Apr 3, 2008 at 4:11 PM Post #2 of 5
Im thinking of getting a meier 2move amp. It has a dac for the pc, or use it portably with a mini to mini or LOD cable for ipods,zunes etc.

Kein Titel

Theres the website.

I think most people would tell you its one of the best buys for the money for a dac/amp combo, and it uses a user-replaceable battery.

Usually for home headphones youd want a home amp, but the SR80 isnt too hard to drive, and the 2move is a good portable amp, and i think youll be using the SR80 in a variety of places, so i tried to think of something that can be used everywhere.
Apr 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM Post #4 of 5
I agree that a good portable amp with DAC for listening out of your computer would be ideal. Should go well with the SR80s.

Several you can look at...the aforementioned Meier Corda 2move, the Ray Samuels Predator and the Pico. All should be good choices.
Apr 3, 2008 at 11:33 PM Post #5 of 5
Geez, no one here seems to want to recommend Headroom??? Odd. Their Micro portable (with or without the DAC) is superb in that its so very versatile that it will make those SR80s sound better now and be able to grow with you if you change headpones down the road. Oh, and it can run off AC power too.

HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears

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