What's The Best Portable Headphone Amp?????
Jul 8, 2011 at 6:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 47

Audiophilester

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I am new to the portable headphone amp stuff, and I just bought like my 30 pair which are the Denon Ah-d1100 and I would like to know what would be the best PORTABLE HEADPHONE AMP FOR IT????? My price range is under $125. I was looking into the Nuforce Icon Mobile. because I trust that Brand. but i saw its not worth it. so  I would like to know what would be the best PORTABLE HEADPHONE AMP FOR MY DENON AH-D1100??
 

 
Jul 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM Post #5 of 47

kmhaynes

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At your price, there are several amps you can read up on here on head-fi:  Fiio E11, SoundMagic A10, JDS Labs CMoy, iBasso T3 or T4, Electric City PA2V2, maybe 1 or 2 others.  The most portable (smallest) is the T3/4, then A10, then E11, then CMoy, and PA2V2 is fairly chunky for carrying around with a iPod.
 
Jul 14, 2011 at 10:25 PM Post #6 of 47

jorgie94

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Quote:
At your price, there are several amps you can read up on here on head-fi:  Fiio E11, SoundMagic A10, JDS Labs CMoy, iBasso T3 or T4, Electric City PA2V2, maybe 1 or 2 others.  The most portable (smallest) is the T3/4, then A10, then E11, then CMoy, and PA2V2 is fairly chunky for carrying around with a iPod.


hey could you help me 2 i have a minor problem as well. I just got my Ultrasone Pro 750's literally like 30 minutes ago and im already using them to burn them in a bit. Also from almost everyone i hear, you need an amp for these headphones to reach there full potential. Sooo my question is which portable amp would u recommend with an ipod touch for my headphones. Im fairly new to this, im 16 and these are my second pair of quality headphones my first were Senheisser HD555's, i liked them but i wanted more punch and bass so i got these... PLEASE help =)
 
 
Jul 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM Post #7 of 47

estreeter

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Quote:
hey could you help me 2 i have a minor problem as well. I just got my Ultrasone Pro 750's literally like 30 minutes ago and im already using them to burn them in a bit. Also from almost everyone i hear, you need an amp for these headphones to reach there full potential. Sooo my question is which portable amp would u recommend with an ipod touch for my headphones. Im fairly new to this, im 16 and these are my second pair of quality headphones my first were Senheisser HD555's, i liked them but i wanted more punch and bass so i got these... PLEASE help =)
 

 
gorgie, because you have refrained from bolding/caps/exclamation points, I feel compelled to help you.
 
1. Read this. At least twice. Particularly the part about portable amps.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/419349/before-you-buy-headphones-a-hopefully-helpful-guide-for-newbies
 
2. Accept that no amp is a 'cure all'. If you can plug your Ultrasones into a CD player, AV receiver or some other amplified source, do that before you dash out to buy a headphone amp. If you dont like the way your headphones sound after 50 or so hours, I seriously advise you to consider investing in a better source or different phones before you try to buy an amp as a 'band aid'.
 
3. If you *must* have a dedicated headphone amp, ask yourself if you are really going to use those headphones outside the house - if not, I urge you to take a look at the Fiio E9. Its cheap, relatively light and I enjoy mine immensely - most importantly, you wont get burned straight up.
 
The longer you can put off buying a 300-500 dollar portable amp, the better informed you will be. Its far more important to be upfront about what you want (e.g. 'I want gear that gives me serious bass slam, and to hell with the "audiophile" tag' ) than trying to fit in with any trends you see here.
 
Good luck,
 
estreeter
 

 
 
 
Jul 15, 2011 at 3:42 AM Post #8 of 47

crazyfrenchman27

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About the link...I really do not understand the position that portable amps can't compare to home amps...have you double-blind tested any of them?  I've listened to like a bazillion amps, portable and home...I would bet you money that the guy/s who post these remarks could not state "this SR-71 is inferior to this home amp" in a DBT.
 
If anything, the SS portable amps will outperform because you don't have tube amps in the equation.
 
My advice is to go to a head-fi mega meet to try stuff out...focus on the expensive, high-end custom IEM's (like UE) and some comfortable high-end headphones.  Buy the two you like the most.  Buy yourself a good amp (300-400 is more than enough) and source component.  Then leave this forum forever.  You will save yourself a lot of money.
 
Jul 15, 2011 at 5:29 AM Post #9 of 47

Armaegis

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[size=medium]
The power available in portable amps these days is *much* greater than it was a few years ago, and several of the more modern ones can rival desktop amps. 
[/size]

 
Jul 15, 2011 at 8:20 AM Post #10 of 47

curiousmurf

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Quote:
 
The power available in portable amps these days is *much* greater than it was a few years ago, and several of the more modern ones can rival desktop amps. 

 
Hi Armaegis (and everyone else).
 
Could you provide a couple of 'high power' models for me to look into. I'm looking for a 1.Portable amp+dac 2.mid to high end sound quality . 3. input for dac with usb and preferably also optical toslink.
 
Budget = up to $350 (but let me know of any models just beyond my reach in case i can find it in the pre-owned market).
 
Thanks.
 
 
 
Jul 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM Post #12 of 47

Armaegis

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The really high power options are amp only, like the RSA SR-71A and iBasso P4. There are also the balanced options like the SR-71B and PB2 but you probably don't need those.
 
The best I can think of for portable dac/amp with high power is the iBasso D6 and Practical Devices XM6 (the D6 is within your budget, the XM6 is above but has a ton of features). Neither of those have optical however. For optical inputs, you have the iBasso D10/D12 and Leckerton UHA-6, though both are lower in power compared to the other options. 
 
Jul 16, 2011 at 8:37 PM Post #13 of 47

estreeter

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As I stated elsewhere, *on paper* the D12 hooked up to the P4 would make for a very good single-ended combination that will easily fit in a camera case. So many options from the D12.
 
Getting back to the fullsize thing, I think what many are referring to is bang-for-buck : I find it very hard to nominate a portable amp that comes within cooee of the E9 for anything resembling the price. Happy to hear otherwise.
 
 
 

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