Richer Sounds? [tangent] I'm not slandering integrated amplifiers here, but you have to watch, sometimes they have a 'large' output-Z on the headphone jacks, meaning that it could struggle to drive headphones that are inefficient. For instance if you try to drive 16-32Ohm IEMs or portables from an integrated amp which, say, hosts a 50 Ohm output on the jack, you're gonna be struggling for volume and the sound will probably be skewed (to a degree). You'd have to aim for headphones above 50 Ohms - Which you have anyway (600 Ohms), so it's not your problem. The output resistance (by rule of thumb) has to be 1/8th of the impedance of the headphones. So your 600Ohm headphones, would ideally be 600/8 = 75 Ohms, or less - Boom, perfect match. Although, you could get away with anything above 50 Ohms and still hit that 'peak' volume. You can tell that the bloke over at NJC Audio is an actual electrical engineer, because he posts the Output-Z on his site: Output Impedance: 1.3 Ohms (Ref: 600ohm @ 1kHz) 1.3 Ohms @ 600 Ohms = Excellent. Perfectly tight bass, and very, very little (literally no) THD will be there. Although, these output impedance's are usually in place on such devices to serve as short circuit protection, but nonetheless, higher output-Z results in loose-bass (Lower resistance means better bass damping) and also it will result in frequency response errors (distortion - THD) Don't get me wrong, I love listening to headphones via a Hi-Fi, you get full control over Treble - Mid- Bass. Allowing you to tailor the music, however you please!! [/tangent] I've been looking at getting a new dedicated 2 channel integrated amp anyhow! I'm not big on 5.1 systems, mainly because the girlfriend doesn't like 'Mess', and I can see all those speakers bugging her. But hey, I <3 good old stereo. What Hi-Fi do you have? I've been looking at the Marantz PM6003 or Yamaha AS500. The Marantz is made for music, plain and simple, but the AS500 has extra functionality. The AS500 is a bit more appealing due to the fact it has built-in iPod functionality, which also utilises its own built in software from the amp to control the iPhone/Pod, whereas I'd have to use the Marantz CD6003 for that and I don't think it comes with the funky Yamaha style iPod controls! Its the classic case of Features vs Sound! (Functionality vs Practicality?) I've also been looking at old-school amplifiers, such as the NAD 3020i, which was a beast in its time, and still shines today. The Pioneer A400 is another classic example of a giant-killer though. It was an 'entry level' amplifier which stood up to the £1000 big boys of the 90s.. Actually, it still stands out today. You'll still find people praising it compared to modern equipment... Or regretting selling them. Hey Dave, Ah-ha! Apologies for that error. I never realised he had a Monitor I before Monitor I DAC! Silly me. I thought the Monitor I DAC was his first venture - to kill two birds with one stone. Well, if that's the case, I'm still in for the Monitor I DAC. Indeed, more features + lower price = lower (sound) quality. Which is why the FiiO E5 is so successful. No features + low price = Not bad. The FiiO E7 has extra junk in there, which delivers a similar sound to the E5 with more 'hiss' - Lower sound quality + more features. Saying that, the E7 is a more refined machine, since it utilises a DAC and has an LCD screen. So, the E7 is the overall winner here. The same applies to the like of 5.1 AV Receivers. Some stereo amps are the same price as a decent 5.1 receiver, so it begs the question - Why should I buy a shoddy system that only works with 2 channels, when I can have one that upscales audio and video and can host ALL of my appliances?! Even the kitchen sink!! When you think about it, the Integrated Amplifier was/is PURPOSE built for that task, and they're always built to stand the test of time... Stereo channels aren't going anywhere fast, since they're pre-defined and set in time, but blue-ray, HDMI - Audio/Visual overall, past stereo, are all evolving at an alarming rate. All of those extra A/D->D/A components, extra connections, several outputs, DSP effects, blah-blah-blah, all add extra interference into the fray, meaning that your headphone/audio signal will never be as clean as a stereo amp. And when you compare both side by side, you'll always find that the stereo amp will still deliver a far more breathtaking sound than the 5.1 AVR.