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Old 02-05-2008, 07:08 PM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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Default Portable Headphone Amps

I'm thinking about buying a portable headphone amp, but I guess I'm not sure why. My current headphones are Marshmallows with UE tips. I mainly listen to a Sansa Clip, but also a Zen Stone, and a Samsung YP-Z5. The Z5 is currently attached to my stereo system, and quite happy there.

Using this equipment as I wander around or ride a plane hasn't been a problem for me. However, it seems like the volume is low when the MP3 players is used in the car (cassette adapter or FM transmitter) or through some old powered speakers bought for a cassette Walkman.

I'm assuming that a headphone amp will help in the car or through the speakers, but I'm not sure about walking around. Except one more item to carry and charge (or carry extra battery).

I was thinking about the PA2V2 (made in Canada, and I live in Canada), but also read about the Headsix (European, triple the price). Presumably the Headsix is much better.

Does anybody have any comments that might be helpful to Me?

BTW, I saw a couple of amp comparison threads at Head-Fi but sorta got lost reading them and ended up more confused than I started.

Thanks for reading my little saga, and for any helpful comments, Steve
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2008, 07:57 PM
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The Clip doesn't need a headphone amp. It works fine with IEMs and low impedance phones. The other players could probably benefit from an amp, but you gotta ask yourself if it's really worth the hassle with stuff like the Zen Stone and the JVC FX33. The price/value ratio just doesn't match with those, justifying an amp.

On good sounding players (like the Clip) the PA2V2 makes everything sound worse, no kidding. It is of no benefit whatsoever. Forget it. There are probaby some CMOYs out there that sound better. Even my very hard to drive Sennheiser HD650 (300 Ohm) sound better directly out of the Clip or D2 than over the PA2V2.

The Headsix is way better than the PA2V2, there's absolutely no comparison between the two. All my players (except the Clip) benefit from the Headsix. It improves bass response with low impedance phones, removes the background hiss, gives better stereo separation, and softens the treble harshness on some players, like the D2.

Here's some tests for you, to see what a good amp can do to most players:
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...1,%20Vibez.htm
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...%20Headsix.htm
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...00%20Loads.htm
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...2048%20Ohm.htm
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:56 AM
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DFKT:

Thanks for your quick (as usual) response. I'm not going to pretend to understand the graphs. I'm supposed to be retired, so I've shut my brain off.

I guess you've just saved me some cash & some hassle.

Thanks, Steve
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