Amplifier for iPhone 4?

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 16, 2007
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Anyone using a small portable amp with the iPhone?

I have a nice set of headphones (Ultrasone HFI780) and would like to have a cleaner source.

I listen to music from my MBP and iPhone most of the time, so this would be great.
 

SS109

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2009
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I've been using a Fiio E1 for a few months now. I like the form factor with the LOD, amp and iPod controls all in one and the price, but dont expect it to perform like an $800 headphone amp. You get what you pay for.
 

SDAVE

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Jun 16, 2007
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What headphones do you have?

Do you hear a big difference between using the headphones directly and using the amp?
 

SS109

macrumors member
Sep 20, 2009
53
0
What headphones do you have?

Do you hear a big difference between using the headphones directly and using the amp?
I have a lot of cans. The Fiio E1 is enough to drive my Grado SR80s. I usually use them with my PortaPros though. They amp is pretty neutral. Doesn't add any warmth or anything.
 

SDAVE

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So what's the next step up that's good from the Fiio? I wouldn't mind spending max of $60 right now.

I know audio stuff gets really expensive and addicting lol
 

ItsJustafnPhone

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2010
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So what's the next step up that's good from the Fiio? I wouldn't mind spending max of $60 right now.

I know audio stuff gets really expensive and addicting lol
haha $60... I think you gave away your age kid, Good audio quality is not cheap.


I use to carry an amp with me when I used my big over the head headphones

but whats the point. You're carrying around all this extra equipment, wires, and batteries. I think i did it just because I thought it was cool being and audiophile.

Get yourself some quality in ear headphones that block out the noise. Don't cheap out and you'll have very good audio qualities

Leave the amps and receivers for home use
 

TSchiewe

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2008
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I'd recommend getting a good Cmoy amp. You can get a decent one for <$60 on eBay and it'll be pretty good for your needs. Not great but that just comes with the fact that it's portable. If your feeling ambitious, you can also buy a kit and make it yourself. My Cmoy can drive my Dt880's fairly well - my iPhone can barely do it only so it does make a significant difference.

Off the top of my head for other options, there's the Meier Corda XXS but that might be out of your price range. Little Dot makes a nice little portable amp too; I forget what its called and again it'll probably be too much.

If you haven't already, check out Head-fi.org's forum. There's a TON of info on there and they have a great FS section too. Lot's of audiophiles selling their stuff at reasonable prices.

Oh and like the guy above said, a great pair of in-ear headphones will do wonders. I use my Shure e4c's (I think they're called the SCL4 now) way more than my cans with my iPhone.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,178
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Atlanta
So what's the next step up that's good from the Fiio? I wouldn't mind spending max of $60 right now.

I know audio stuff gets really expensive and addicting lol
I use a FiiO E5 with L3 connector (use UE 10 Pro's). This is a step up from the *E1. Also they make a E7 which is another step up.;)

* I had a E1 but didn't like how easy it was to accidentally change tracks.
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 16, 2007
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I'd recommend getting a good Cmoy amp. You can get a decent one for <$60 on eBay and it'll be pretty good for your needs. Not great but that just comes with the fact that it's portable. If your feeling ambitious, you can also buy a kit and make it yourself. My Cmoy can drive my Dt880's fairly well - my iPhone can barely do it only so it does make a significant difference.

Off the top of my head for other options, there's the Meier Corda XXS but that might be out of your price range. Little Dot makes a nice little portable amp too; I forget what its called and again it'll probably be too much.

If you haven't already, check out Head-fi.org's forum. There's a TON of info on there and they have a great FS section too. Lot's of audiophiles selling their stuff at reasonable prices.

Oh and like the guy above said, a great pair of in-ear headphones will do wonders. I use my Shure e4c's (I think they're called the SCL4 now) way more than my cans with my iPhone.
Thanks a lot!

I'm now torn between the one you recommended and this one. Are they similar?

I heard good things about this custom made amp.
 

MOOCH5

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2010
8
0
I own a pair of Shure e530 in ear phones and enjoy high quality sound. I have always wondered, how much better sound will I get using one of these external portable amps? Wouldn't you idealy want an amp that connects using the dock connected from the iPhone seeing as the audio from there is un-amplified? Will one of these $50 amps mentioned in this thread really give me noticeably better sound?
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 16, 2007
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You can always get a cheap line out adapter. I use a line out from the dock to my car amp, sounds really clean.

When I run my iPhone through my Klipsch home theater amp, it sounds so crisp.
 

noekozz

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2010
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I've been thinking about doing the same thing. The general rule is that, the more expensive the headphones/earbuds are, the more they could possibly benefit from a portable amp.

cMoy and Fiio amps are pretty standard. I too had plans on getting me a cMoy, but unfortunately my Shure e4c's crapped out on me a few weeks ago so I'm putting off on getting an amp until I find something to replace them.

And as others have said, head-fi.org is a great site if you're an audiophile.
 

Badfoot

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2009
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London, UK
I have a lot of cans. The Fiio E1 is enough to drive my Grado SR80s. I usually use them with my PortaPros though. They amp is pretty neutral. Doesn't add any warmth or anything.
I have Grado SR80's too (Great ain't they) and a Fiio E5 (bought for my Archos) but find the sound is better without using the amp.
 

gnychis

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2009
399
0
I own a pair of Shure e530 in ear phones and enjoy high quality sound. I have always wondered, how much better sound will I get using one of these external portable amps? Wouldn't you idealy want an amp that connects using the dock connected from the iPhone seeing as the audio from there is un-amplified? Will one of these $50 amps mentioned in this thread really give me noticeably better sound?
The Shure e530's are pretty well known for not increasing in SQ from amplification. I own a pair also, and I spent plenty of time trying out various portable amps and lots of time on head-fi forums. IMO, amping the e530 is not worth the cost, the additional hardware you have to carry, for negligible sound quality increase. Various other's at head-fi also agree that amplification does not improve SQ on the Shure IEMs. Hopefully that helps ;)