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Forgive my ignorance but can these be driven ok with just an iPhone? Was debating between this and EDC3. These seem like a nice step up from the EDCs but should I stick with something lower impedance? The T2s are tempting but not wild about the looks. Just getting into sound equipment and looking for my first pair of IEMs. Want something for traveling that I can enjoy without amp. I prefer neutral sound.
Hi, t2s are very nice and don't need an amp. They don't cut out outside noise that we, but are confortable to wear and well made.
Since you say you're new to the audio world, I'll just say that when you are looking at audio equipment (especially on an audiophile site like this) you will see a lot of discussions about amps, and will be tempted to think that you need one. I'll give you a couple of quick general guidelines to help you get started.
1. There aren't very many IEMs that truly need an amp. There are a (very) few that may benefit but for the most part you don't have to worry about it with IEMs.
2. I'm going to oversimplify to make it easy (the fine points can get really confusing, and despite the arguments you'll see, there is a lot of gray area). Here are the two main measurements you need to look at to tell whether you need an amp: impedance, which you correctly identified, and sensitivity - how loud they get with a given amount of power. Anything roughly 50 ohms and below could be considered low impedance, i.e., it's easy to power the drivers. Anything above, say, 106 dB sensitivity could be considered high sensitivity, i.e., they get loud easily. With 38 Ohm impedance and 118dB sensitivity, these are very easy to drive on pretty much any phone or other audio device, and don't need an amp to enjoy.
Again, there are a lot of details to get lost in as you dive deeper, but just wanted to give you a starting point to help understand what the heck people are talking about.
Thank you. Very helpful info.