Turbo charging mobile audio

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Afternoon all, not been here for a while so hello again.

This time my thoughts turn, mainly, to mobile audio. I find myself with more time sat waiting for the other half to return from one thing or another and frankly the car stereo is awful. I’d like to give this listening time a huge kick and hope you’ll have some thoughts and recommendations. Please bear in mind that in my location there aren’t any dealers of use within about 3 hours travel, which I can’t do so auditioning (other than by returns) isn’t possible.
I’m anticipating either using an iPhone (separate to my normal phone so doesn’t need to be recent) with a DAC/Amp or a DAP. Either with excellent over ear phones. To be slightly disgusting my ears ruin IEM’s and generally I find on ear phones uncomfy. Phones should be useable with my hifi too though will probably need a separate amp later to that, probably not looking for wireless phones.

If the suggested items will work in sections I can increase the budget by buying phones first and source in a month or two. Initial budget is up to £1000. If I can buy phones and source later that could increase to £1500.

I switch music services a little between Amazon and Apple Music but if I do this I expect to stick with Apple Music. If I can still use BBC Sounds all the better. I don’t have a collection of files but may rip my cd’s but not very excited by that idea.

Look forward to suggestions, I have some thoughts but don’t want to direct the discussion too early.

Oh I'm open to used, prefer it usually.

Thanks, Simon
 
Last edited:

Steven

Senior Moderator
Have you ruled out Apple's own range of wireless headphones? Slots into Apple ecosystem and have spatial audio digital effects


Bluetooth headphones have their own built in DAC so no need for an external DAC/amp purchase

If a wired headphone is desired then can buy a portable USB C DAC/amp. Personally these days am of the view a Bluetooth DAC/amp like the iFi Go Blu is more useable as there is no cable connection to think about. A cabled DAC/amp could be more useable in a stationary setting though, which you mention 😎
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Thanks Steven. Unfortunately I think the AirPod Mac look silly even before we talk about the case. Also they don’t seem to always play nicely with a conventional stereo. Plus they won’t think about lossless files.
Usb c won’t connect to an iPhone? Didn’t someone recently convert an iPhone X to usb c then sell it for a fortune? Anyway one thought is pretty much that. An iPhone with either something like a Dragonfly or a Mojo. Pity about needing the camera adapter it makes it rather inelegant. An A&K SR25 would be similar cost but they don’t seem to be a very helpful company.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Usb c won’t connect to an iPhone?

Oops ha. Lightning to USB C adapters exist. See DD Hifi for example - not a personal rec mind, just a pointer on research

Incidentally I believe DD Hifi also sell a lightning to 3.5mm DAC/amp

The iFi audio range give a good balance of power and additional features like bass boost

For an even more portable dongle form factor but with driving power (relative to size) look at Lotoo Paw S2 and Luxury & Precision W1 / W2. All getting online hype
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Cheers I’ll look at those. There’s so much boutique hifi it’s hard to find!

The hip-DAC, gryphon (probably too many features) and black label are on the radar.

Any thoughts on phones? I’m drawn to the Denon 9200, which are too much but you never know round Christmas. Also the Beyer T1 or Amiron if have to go cheaper as I know from previous experience I’m not looking for studio voiced phones.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I’m drawn to the Denon 9200

Not heard unfortunately. Am familiar with the Fostex TH600 (replaced by TH610), Fostex TH900 (same as TH900 MK2) and Fostex TH-X00 (see TR-X00) all being wood finished ear cups. Recommend a demo as the Fostex and Denon family share traits of v shape mid range dip, bass warmth and treble emphasis. Perception as ever is individual, one person's deal breaker is another person's guilty pleasure. Reports vary from tolerable to the treble sharpness is too much

P.S are we sure upgrading the car speakers and stereo is not an option ☺️
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Not heard unfortunately. Am familiar with the Fostex TH600 (replaced by TH610), Fostex TH900 (same as TH900 MK2) and Fostex TH-X00 (see TR-X00) all being wood finished ear cups. Recommend a demo as the Fostex and Denon family share traits of v shape mid range dip, bass warmth and treble emphasis. Perception as ever is individual, one person's deal breaker is another person's guilty pleasure. Reports vary from tolerable to the treble sharpness is too much

P.S are we sure upgrading the car speakers and stereo is not an option ☺️

Some parts of the internet seem to think the wooden Denon's & the Fostex are very closely related but I don't know if there's any truth. Part of the 9200's appeal is in the build quality as it seems too many ££££ phones aren't that special.

Hah I wish, I think Motability would disagree with that rabbit hole!
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
IMO if your only option is to blind buy without the benefit of demo then stick to lower budget like Meze 99 classics or Hifiman Sundara and have a gander at online reviews 😎 The Denon flagship is a lot of money
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
IMO if your only option is to blind buy without the benefit of demo then stick to lower budget like Meze 99 classics or Hifiman Sundara and have a gander at online reviews 😎 The Denon flagship is a lot of money

Reading the usual VERY long Head-fi thread on them and getting less enamoured for the price. Maybe Lawton modified 7200 might be nice.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Made the first step:

IMG_1349.JPG
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

OfficialChill

Standard Member
I hadn’t. They look like knock off Denon/Fostex?

They use Fostex drivers, I'm unsure how they compare to the Denons and Fostex offerings, but it's another headphone for your consideration

Also I assume you're aware, but Creative Aurvana Live also use Fostex drivers and are ~£50. Although they have recessed mids.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Thank you, appreciated. Now I’ve got the IEM’s I’ve pretty much ruled out any closed backs. Trying to decide whether to try a DAP and that will determine headphone budget.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES '22 TV Announcement Round-up, Plus, Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 and More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom