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Weird how this little thing costs $21 to ship to NZ, and the heavy and much larger (like 20 x larger!) Little Dot tube amp costs $18?
I took the drop and used it for the past two weeks. This is not a DAC, just an amplifier. It has enough battery for couple of days. I am primarily using this with my phone. I have tried using HiFiman Headphone (400i), Beyerdynamic IEM, and a cheap $20 earbuds. It seems that the staging of the music has increased by 25-30%, and the sound seems to improve with the use. Use of bass gain has improved the cheap earbuds and IEM, which makes them sound more expansive. There is some improvement to the HiFiman headphone's staging and gain in bass sound, but usually I like the neutral sounding of the headphone. So overall, I am happy with the drop.
too expensive with shipping outside of US ($57), cheaper from Aliexpress, $39 plus free shipping
Great little amp for the $$. Very clean and 100% quiet. Low gain doesn't offer huge improvement over my Note8. High gain is where the juice is. Sub bass is a little rolled off but for most music genres, you won't notice it much.
I bought mine from Amazon for $39.99 with Prime 2 day free shipping. Faster and easier to deal with in case of needed return/exchange.
Regardless where you get it from, highly recommended...
Ehhhh shipping an additional 21. No can do.
Would there be any advantage to using this to drive a headphone from the audio output jack of an iMac?
jonro
Hmmm if you're using iMac you're better off spending a tiny bit more and get an usb dac/amp.

That way you don't have to worry about battery also you're bypassing the iMac dac and letting the aftermarket dac/amp do its job.
Hyde
The iMac already has a pretty good dac/amp so it's doubtful this would add anything.
Question: My DAP has a 3.5mm output that can be switched from headphone out to line out. Is line out what I need for the input here?
DrBob
Yes. You are quite correct, it should work perfectly. Line out provides a stronger signal, but there’d be no harm (except to the sound quality, maybe) in going from a headphone only jack to the amp aswell.
DrBob
Like this.
This thing is good, really. Is better than the amp of Fiio E10K, if anyone heard that, which is well rated for the price. So, for the price, is really good, probably not bette than let's say an aune B1, which worths 5x more, but it does the job of better defining your sound on the go.

Though, as a hint....replace the provided cable with a better one as it's bottleneck. Get something better, not just another, there are worse. It really makes a big difference, as I did some tests with different cables. I use it now with some hama 10-15$ cable, plated and everything, so get something at least like that.... don't jump over $20 with it as that turns stupid fast from there on.
The better cable improved the signal from phone to it and everything got better, more hifi, the level of details increased.

Also, use it with a proper phone, probably that's a good thing to do, ever if you're a freak of this sort. I play it with a LGV20, so it looks like a good match. Get a decent phone with a proper DAC in it and a good cable... forget dongles or other junk :)..like bluetooth, beats, so on. I tried it with some Meze 11 Neo and 12, DT770 250 and 32ohm, 990, K240, yamaha hph200's and 4xx. It makes them all clearer. I didn't thought it will have any impact on the Mezes but it made them sound even clearer too plus more sound stage, though they are 16 ohm iem's.

So, in short, I recommend this, not that I'm some authority but it worth the investment :). Don't forget to get a better cable.
I didn't buy my NX1s from Massdrop as lets be honest, you can get it at lower price with cheaper shipping if you look around.

Anyways, personal impression after using it for a few months, it's a beast. It doesn't sound really good when paired with a pair of hybrid IEMs like the Fender FXA7 or the Aurisonics ASG 2.0. Things will sound a bit lack lusting without the bass boost turned on and the soundstage seemed to be more compressed than without the NX1s (just a bit). However the improvement with the NX1s with IEMs and without is very noticeable still and it's not bad. And same goes with Dynamic Drivers only IEMs like the SE215 SE (blue) and the Audio Technica IM-50.

Interestingly, when paired with a pair of pure Amateur Divers IEMs like my friend's UM Pro 30, the difference is very significant. The NX1s is capable of bringing out more bass from the Pro 30, making it more balance sounding. And believe it or not, though it does not bring out the full potential, the NX1s is capable of powering and bring out more details from the monstrous SE846 without turning on high gain - at least much, much better than direct output from an iPhone in comparison.

As a whole, considering the low price and it coming in such small form factor, the NX1s is nice deal for me as I was looking for a portable amp to go with my iPhone. Battery life is also nice as I can go on for at least three to four days before plugging it into charge. (I typically listen to music for at least 3-4 hours per day and often forget to turn it off and kept it on without playing any music for an hour or two.)

Just some personal opinion to try and help out anyone considering this. Hope this helps! :)
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Yes I think so, for instance the SE846 I tried the past weekend gave me the exact feeling that low-gain is underpowering it still despite of the fact that it was already much better than a smartphone direct output. The high-gain setting will distort and lead to a loss in quality of audio though, so I never really turned on high-gain in any cases. I'll see if I can try the SE846 some time later with high-gain and give you a more certain answer!
Cheers. :)
ansonchc
Awesome, thanks! I agree that the high-gain setting can lead so some distortion in the highs, but it really depends on the IEM/Headphone. My Ultrasone Pro 2400's handle it fine, but on some IEMs it ruins the sound profile.
This or the Fiio a3?
I'm one of the rare individuals who can only pay through PayPal for reasons I'll keep to myself. So sites like Amazon are a no-go.
TheTaggerung
Use gift cards
Dose of reality, $39.99 Amazon with free shipping (US) and they take returns without a whisper https://www.amazon.com/TOPPING-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier-Smaller/dp/B073SSPCSY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1515343906&sr=8-4&keywords=Topping+NX1s+Portable+Headphone+Amp
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ScroogeMcDuck
that's exactly what I did. Received it today and am way more impressed than I thought I would be. 3 day shipping and if I don't like anything Amazon is very cool with returning items. Totally new soundstage on my Shure SRH 840 s . Noticeable and not just a litle when it comes to tightening the bass,at least that is my experience. For $40 it's a no-brainer.
ScroogeMcDuck
Already ordered mine . Free 1 day shipping. It will arrive tmr.