[Ongoing] Portable Audio Discussion

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On Massdrop, there are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
PORTABLE AUDIO You can’t always bring your best gear with you, so you need to be prepared for different situations when it comes to your audio setup. There are many options to consider when portability is your main priority. It’s all about finding what works for you while still achieving high-quality sound and comfort.
ASK QUESTIONS Want to know what the best IEMs or headphones are for a long bus, plane, or train trip? For jogging or exercising? Maybe you want to improve the quality of the gear you take with you on the go in general? The best way to find the answers to your questions is to ask the community. There are members who are experts in pretty much every area you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your question/s by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the Audiophile Community know a lot about portable gear that’s great for traveling and have great information to share. We encourage you to help out anyone who has questions.

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Christoff
0
Jun 24, 2018
Looking for upgrades on audio quality that I can take on the go while listening to my galaxy s7 and google play music. Currently I have my audio running through the Dragonfly black 1.5 and listening to vmoda's crossfade LPs. However, the sound I am getting from this combo sounds around the same to what I get from my Sony h.ear on wireless cans. Any closed back headphone suggestions in the 150-200 range?
LavKiv
1
Jun 25, 2018
Sennheiser has some nice wireless headphones like BT 4.50 BTNC. They cost $180 according to Sennheiser's site.
arlyn
0
Jun 17, 2018
I recently got the HD6XX's and although i have an amp for my PC/laptop, i am looking at portable models to use with my phone on the go. any recommendations?
arlyn
0
Feb 17, 2019
Oh I forgot about the nano I was looking at that too. I was worried it wouldn't be enough power. When these are properly amplified hearing bass in them is like standing next to a speaker at a concert. It's not just hearing, you can physically feel the waves in your ears. Once I realized my desktop amp could do that, but my NX-5 could not, that's when I knew I had to get a new portable amp. I was pretty worried with the possibility of buying the lower power nano and finding out it has the same problem as the NX-5. I figured I would save $200 in the long run by putting the extra $200 in now and getting the xDSD. I'm also interested in the native MQA renderer in the xDSD and the higher quality DSD 512 format supported. I wanted to give myself options in the future to get into super hi-res audio now that I have good headphones and a good amp, and I felt like the Nano would end up limiting me on that front in the future and I would just have to end up getting an xDSD anyway. The 3D and X-Bass settings sound amazing. There is no audible distortion even at loud levels, and it fixed all of the issues I had with the NX-5's bass, which had very little but some distortion when the volume was maxed out, and like you said just was missing something; it just didn't kick. also the overall volume on the NX-5 was just not loud enough. even if you have to wait an extra month or two, the xDSD is worth it in my opinion. I haven't tried the Nano though, so your mileage may vary, it may be perfectly adequate.
Mushnamukk
0
Feb 18, 2019
Thanks a bunch for your input—I really appreciate it. Glad to hear that the 3D and XBass settings work great; definitely keeping the xDSD on my wish list. I would jump at the xDSD (and almost pulled the trigger on it last night; ) but I came across an eBay listing for a new Nano and, after making a few offers, got the price down from $200 to $145. At that price, I don't think I can go wrong. I could probably even resell it for as much as I bought it for in a few months. Besides that, my LG V20 has an awesome built-in DAC that I could pair with it (plus I use I use PowerAmp on Android) and have so many software settings to play around with that I should be able to compensate for any lack of bass. Thanks again for the reply (:
GettingOLD
0
May 29, 2018
How much difference between HD 6xx and Massdrop Plus IEM? Given that they will be powered by the same DAC/AMP, I am considering get a earplug for summer since the headphone is a bit hot. And I want get a DAC/AMP for HD650. I want to use it to play games as well as music, so latency is very important. Could anyone please recommend one? Currently thinking about get a Dragonfly Red.
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
Please see my response to arlyn above. I discuss DAC/amps and my DAP and phones (feeling old). These seem to me to be best bang for the buck entering this hobby of ours...
XxENIGMATICxX
21
May 3, 2018
Impressions on the X3iii or Q1 balanced out? worth it at the price?
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
I stuck my toe in the water with the Q1mk2 by Fiio because of size/price/triple the wattage on balanced. Unfortunately my upgraded wires came before my 4-driver phones. I plan to stack it with the Cayin N3 with high hopes.
Dr.McCoy
345
May 2, 2018
So, I really love my Sony MDR7506 but the cable has a short right by the jack and they don't work consistently. What's the best course of action to repair this? Also - any recommendations for replacement ear pads are welcome.
Dr.McCoy
345
Jun 29, 2018
Somehow I totally missed this when you actually posted it.
Unfortunately, I think that the break is actually on the right lead and also near the jack - necessitating a total replacement of the cable essentially. I've not had time to look into tutorials since I posted this but I'm very interested in trying to replace the cable with a 3.5mm detachable.
Dr.McCoy
345
Jun 29, 2018
And those fit the Sony MDR7506 as well?
mayorblurps
492
May 2, 2018
Has anyone come across any USB c headphones or IEMs that haven't already been reviewed (not that great from what I can find- Q adapt, AliExpress stuff). Maybe even a USB C dac/amp. I feel like there's a lot of potential with USB C for audio but it's taking a long time to get to market?
Wondering if it's worth $99 to pick up Shure's new mmcx to USB c cable. I could use at least 3 of my current IEMs that way, without going wireless.
mayorblurps
492
May 2, 2018
I picked up MEE's new BT to mmcx cable for when I want to go wireless w IEMs...and its worth it!
But as far as I can tell the Shure cable released this year is the only 1 that terminates in USB C. And it has amp/DAC built in, as well as microphone. http://www.shure.com/americas/products/accessories/earphones/earphone-headphone-cables/usb-c-earphone-communication-cable-rmce-usb
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
You sound farther down the road that I am in this hobby. I agree wired is better. Shure route might be best now... Was that apple yelling, "cannonball"? Finally hearing good things about LDAC and BT4.2 though... A usb-c seems intriguing for sound delivery but so does 4.4mm, depends on ones place in the hobby... The Cayin N3, of which mine has just arrived, is well reviewed, has multifaceted usb-c and bluetooth 4.0 with 130mW SE and looks very gym-friendly. 'Should butt-up (ha-ha) with your Shure...
cypls
0
Apr 21, 2018
Used to buy Audio Technica and Sennheiser stuff solely because of recommendations, and they were really good. But, now I'm starting to think that I was missing out on some really good stuff that aren't from these two. What other brands are good quality but mid/budget priced?
Also, any specific recommendations for an on-ear pair? Preferably without foam covers, since they tear really easily for me and I've lost more of them than I can count haha
Dr.McCoy
345
May 2, 2018
If your hair is grown past your ears on all sides, you can probably use PortaPros. This being said, yeah, they are a pinchy experience if you have medium-length hair.
I really like my Sony MDR-7506, but that may be out of your price bracket. What's your definition of "mid range" price?
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
Z Reviews on Youtube is one of my sources for audio input. He's more of a can-man than I am and he has the wall to prove it! Z usually puts links to his reviewed items on Amazon. That should get you headed in the right direction.
Cookpai
0
Apr 20, 2018
Any good iems or headphones for portable use like in a car, train, or plane? Also any amps/dacs for it too? I kinda want to keep my budget under 300$
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
Ok, here's my rig (great reviews before purchased), other options on my list below $99 Fiio: dac/amp with gain, bass switches and balanced h-phone option @ 75mW SE, 220 balanced @ 32 ohms and comes with many accessories https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0757MH46M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $65 BGVP phones mmcx type (v-u shaped sounding) Dual Knowels 30042 BA + Dual Graphene coaxial composite dynamic driver https://penonaudio.com/earphones/in-ear-earphones/iems/bgvp-dm5.html $45 Upgraded balanced wires by Yinyoo https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D4G4XBK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Total: $209 shipped, works GREAT on chromebook with paid spotify (now $0.99 for 3 months).
Other items on my list to strongly consider: $149 Cayin N3 DAP (just arrived today, charging, loading chip tonight!) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XPP332V/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $37 128Gb Chip https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XWZWYVP/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 $45-179 Headphones RBH-EP3. These are Great Benchmark Phones, neutral with surprising Highs and Lows ability and great mids, much better price on sale (and permanently wired) https://rbhsound.com/ep3.php $50 Tin Audio phones mmcx type (neutral sounding, got these for Mom) Duel dynamic https://penonaudio.com/tin-audio-t2.html?search=tin%20audio&category_id=59 $50 MEE audio Bluetooth mmcx wire upgrade https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B1SWQ63/?coliid=I14O7VDD9VX029&colid=1SAJBR58E6RMI&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it Let me know what you think Best regards, happy shopping propdrc
Rackinov
0
Jun 20, 2018
I have used the sennheiser momentum wireless over ear forr about a year now and it's a great portable option. You can pick them up for about £200 now and they don't really need a dac or amp when used out cause of the wireless option. They also have a really nice balance of noise cancelling, it's enough for a journey out the house or a train but it's not completely silent so you won't get spooked by any passing cars and people won't have to shout to get your attention. As for sound quality I really enjoy sennheisers sound as I'm sure lots of people do
MarcusK
25
Apr 16, 2018
Newbie here, I picked up a pair of Primo-8s and am waiting for it to arrive. Was wondering what kind of DAC/Amp combos people use with these iems. Preferably ones with batteries as I'm often on the go. Also, the 6XX is so tempting, but they're open backed ): Does it really make a big deal, if i'm the type to listen to rock and loves to crank it up?
rongon
47
Jun 17, 2018
> A closed back within $200 range with really good sounds
Sounds like Audio Technica ATH-M50X to me. About $150, sometimes less.
propdrc
12
Jun 17, 2018
I'm really enjoying my recently purchased Fiio Q1mk2, base and gain switches, balanced h-phone out. It's smaller than it looks online, labels hard to read but you'll memorize the features and enjoy quickly. PLENTY of power for IEMs and very portable. I use it with my Chromebook and paid Spotify. You can easily stack with Cayin N3, just about the same size, looks gym-friendly that way too. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0757MH46M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
drstock56
14
Apr 14, 2018
Another question from a newbie. Shiit has two types of DAC, a standard and a multibit. Can anyone explain what multibit adds? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
Without any personal experience with it I would be reticent to speculate. R2R was once a lot more common (it has gained another resurgence recently). The reasons I cited have a lot to do with why it fell out of favor, the D/S was easier and less costly to implement. For my money I wouldn't go any cheaper than the Gungnir on the MB side but that is really my own personal take on it. I've actually settled on the Benchmark DAC3 for my next upgrade but that has more to do with feature set and less to do with DAC topology.
drstock56
14
May 1, 2018
Thank you.
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