Portable Headphone Amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by Mr.P., Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Mr.P.

    Mr.P. Well Balanced

    Feb 2, 2011
    Hello, I am looking for a Portable Headphone Amplifier. I currently use a Nano and Jays in ear's but I want to buy some on ear's Portable Headphones.Any suggestions to start me on my way would be appreciated.
  2. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    At the budget end there is the FiiO headphone amp range. Excellent value for money, but not the last word in sound quality.

    At the high end you have the iBasso headphone amps and DACs. Very good sound quality, high quality construction and lots of good reviews. DACs are a great way to upgrade PC/MAC headphone outputs to Hi-Fi spec.

    And a new one that comes somewhere in between price wise is the SoundMAGIC A10. We've just received initial stock and it sounds and looks great.
  3. TheNameIsJambo

    TheNameIsJambo Dynamic Driver

    Dec 30, 2010
    Hey Mr.P.

    As ShaunG mentioned:

    The FiiO series is a budget line, although one of their latest iterations, the E7 is a good entry level amp.

    It literally boosts the volume (and bass) of any set of cans or IEMs, a good all rounder. The main bonus with the FiiO E7 is that it has a built in DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter), allowing you to use it as a USB soundcard.

    For being a 'budget' line they do use reliable manufacturers: Analog Devices - AD8692 as a pre-amp and Texas Instruments - TPA6130A as a power-amp. It also uses the same DAC as the iBasso D10/12: Wolfson WM8740.

    The closest thing you can get to a 'cheap' Amp+DAC is the iBasso D4 Which racks in at over £200. But my guess is that the sound quality of the D4 > E7.

    But hey, for £60, you can't go wrong. Especially if you're on the move and it's liable to damage!

    There are a lot of other options out there by, tried, tested and trusted manufacturers:

    Such as the expertly made iBasso T4. [The D4's cheaper little brother and the E7's direct competitor.]

    Or the award winning Graham Slee Voyager. Offering a high-end portable solution to your audio-fidelity requirements.

    I'm pretty sure after a bit of reading around and some research you'll be able to come to your own decision. Essentially, it's all down to your ears & how much you're willing to spend!

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

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