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Old 30-07-2014, 11:04 PM   #1
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Portable Amp choice

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a portable amplifier to pair with Shure SE215. My budget is around $100. My style of listening is R&B, Pop and Rock. I want to get deep bass with clarity in sound.

Currently I'm eyeing on Fiio E07K and E17 but couldn't decide which one to go or is there any other better alternative?

Thanks in advance for your value input....
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Old 31-07-2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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Hi guys,

I'm looking for a portable amplifier to pair with Shure SE215. My budget is around $100. My style of listening is R&B, Pop and Rock. I want to get deep bass with clarity in sound.

Currently I'm eyeing on Fiio E07K and E17 but couldn't decide which one to go or is there any other better alternative?

Thanks in advance for your value input....
E17 is retailing for 199 if you are getting brand new. If you are looking for more bass impact, why not consider the Fiio E12? It has pretty good bass. Brand new is going for 179.
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Old 31-07-2014, 12:49 AM   #3
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What source are you using?

Why not save the $$ and upgrade your IEM first?
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Old 31-07-2014, 07:30 AM   #4
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E17 is retailing for 199 if you are getting brand new. If you are looking for more bass impact, why not consider the Fiio E12? It has pretty good bass. Brand new is going for 179.
E17 is about $160 and E12 is about $145 in ConnectIT now. When I do audition, seems like E12 and E07K bass is almost the same but yes, E12 slightly better.
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Old 31-07-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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What source are you using?

Why not save the $$ and upgrade your IEM first?
I'm going to use with iPod nano.

I'm not a really audiophile and don't want to spend much. And I'm happy with current Shure SE215 performance, no intention to upgrade soon.

My use is mainly on the way to office and back home everyday and during long hour flight while I'm flying.

So long as I get a decent sound quality within my budget, I'm happy already. I'm looking for the best portable Amp that can buy with my budget only.
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Old 31-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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One more question, if I compare Fiio E17 with Creative Sound Blaster E3, which one is given better performance, value to money?
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Old 31-07-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
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E17 is about $160 and E12 is about $145 in ConnectIT now. When I do audition, seems like E12 and E07K bass is almost the same but yes, E12 slightly better.
Wow prices are good! I got the E12 at AV One for 179......Yes i think E12 would be better.

One more question, if I compare Fiio E17 with Creative Sound Blaster E3, which one is given better performance, value to money?
Im not sure on creative, never used before.
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Old 31-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
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i do agree with some that saving your money and upgrading your iem in the future may be better than getting a portable amp for your SE215. It's like using a better fuel for toyota vs a lambo, you may not get that big of an upgrade. In addition, I never like to get cheap amp as I feel that they do not give that much of an improvement. $200 iem > $100 amp + $100 iem.

However, FiiO amps do have great reputation for value for money so if you think you can achieve a noticeable upgrade with one of their amps, go for it.

Alternatively, you may want to upgrade your source instead? You didn't mention your source so I'm not sure if there is any potential there but a better source is easier to carry around than a source+amp stack.

So.... many options for you to consider.
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Old 31-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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I'm going to use with iPod nano.

I'm not a really audiophile and don't want to spend much. And I'm happy with current Shure SE215 performance, no intention to upgrade soon.

My use is mainly on the way to office and back home everyday and during long hour flight while I'm flying.

So long as I get a decent sound quality within my budget, I'm happy already. I'm looking for the best portable Amp that can buy with my budget only.
I see... Do remember to get a Line Out Dock (LOD) Cable to bypass the internal amplifier of your iPod Nano, else you will end up double amping it.

There isn't really any "best" portable amp. What's good or not really depends on yourself. As all of us have different musical preferences and taste, ultimately you still have to trust your ears and decide. Would recommend that you spend some time to audition the various amplifiers to decide what's best for you.

Maybe this 2 links can help you get started:
Sub $200 Portable Amps Shootout
Sub $100 Portable Amps Shootout
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Old 31-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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I see... Do remember to get a Line Out Dock (LOD) Cable to bypass the internal amplifier of your iPod Nano, else you will end up double amping it.

There isn't really any "best" portable amp. What's good or not really depends on yourself. As all of us have different musical preferences and taste, ultimately you still have to trust your ears and decide. Would recommend that you spend some time to audition the various amplifiers to decide what's best for you.

Maybe this 2 links can help you get started:
Sub $200 Portable Amps Shootout
Sub $100 Portable Amps Shootout
Just want to clarify: Using a LOD WILL NOT bypass the internal amplifier in your iPod, it will force the internal amplifier to operate at the highest volume, thus creating a VIRTUAL lineout, not a TRUE lineout where the internal amplifier is bypassed. As a result, you will experience shorter battery life if you use a LOD.

If you want to learn more about pairing of amp with earphones, I will also recommend reading Nwavguy's blog although it's very controversial.
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Old 31-07-2014, 12:06 PM   #11
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Just want to clarify: Using a LOD WILL NOT bypass the internal amplifier in your iPod, it will force the internal amplifier to operate at the highest volume, thus creating a VIRTUAL lineout, not a TRUE lineout where the internal amplifier is bypassed. As a result, you will experience shorter battery life if you use a LOD.

If you want to learn more about pairing of amp with earphones, I will also recommend reading Nwavguy's blog although it's very controversial.
That's something new.
Do you have any links about true line out? Can't seem to find any resources on it.

I remember reading somewhere that the some lighting connector LODs contain a DAC chip inside them. Won't that be a TRUE line out?
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Old 31-07-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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That's something new.
Do you have any links about true line out? Can't seem to find any resources on it.

I remember reading somewhere that the some lighting connector LODs contain a DAC chip inside them. Won't that be a TRUE line out?
This is a good place to start: How to Connect Android, iPad, or iPhone to a DAC | JDS Labs Blog

iDevices with iOS 7 will have true lineout, but not older devices.

In addition, if you try connecting a 30-pin male/3.5mm female lod adapter to your old ipod, then plug your earphones into the adapter, you'll find that music is being blasted out of your earphones (virtual lineout achieved via max volume).
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Old 31-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #13
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I agree, for travelling overseas, I too use a Shure 215. and also on the plane with an airline adapter and most important of all, an attenuator. or else you get a 'jump' when the make any announcements!!!

as an amp for my Nano, I am using a RSA Shadow. 3.5mm to 3.5mm plug.

hahha
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:05 AM   #14
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I would actually recommend that you get a better DAP rather than an amp for your iPod nano unless for some reason, you need to use an apple DAP.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:15 AM   #15
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Also looking for an amp to go w im03-dx50/combo..
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