May 5, 2017

In-home portable headphone setup?

I would like to spend more time listening to my headphone systems at home, but I don't really have a comfortable place to keep a headphone amp set up. I see lots of pics of home desk-based listening setups, but I don't want to sit at a desk at home. I want to sit on the couch in my living room or the built-in seating in my kitchen/dining area. However, I don't want to leave an amp setup in those places. I don't mind bringing a laptop or smartphone to use as a source, but I'd like to make it easier to setup my amp+dac, and I'm looking for tips.
I have a few tiny amp+dacs, like an HRT microStreamer and a powerful LH Labs Geek Out V2A, but I'd also like to be able to use larger equipment like Woo WA7, Schiit Jotunheim, Modi MB, O2 amp, ODAC, Geek Pulse, etc.
A co-worker once posted a picture of his "portable" setup, and he had a milk crate with a few amps+dacs held in place with Velcro straps. One variation even had a Woo Audio WA6 tube amp strapped to the top of the crate. :-) I like the practicality of this approach, but it's pretty bulky, and gets low marks for aesthetics.
Do you have the same problem -- no comfortable place to keep a listening station set up? (I'm curious how many other folks are in a similar situation.)
Do you have an "in-home portable" headphone setup? What is it and how do you like it?
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So I've had some time to test out my "caddie", and I think it still needs more refinement. I've got the Woo WA7 and power supply on the platform now, and the cables are sloppy. However, it is pretty nice to be able to store all the stuff together, and just grab the handle to bring it all out. So I think I'll keep working on my design to see if I can tame the cable beast.

Here's another option that looks like a good deal (and design) -- an "audio caddie" that is intended for the education market:
https://www.schoolsin.com/JON-6748JC.html?gdffi=87d5bc24708249afbdd04431b8f2509f&gdfms=5D22991A652E414BABD0AE7B790B277A&gclid=CjwKCAjwjozPBRAqEiwA6xTOYNIcGzgaZceFaSazRE4XU_3dasIUuxbIhxz9OgIausj9sz4jrzhqIxoCRBAQAvD_BwE

I also think I'm going to build or buy a small wheeled cart to hold headphones + gear, with enough space to put a laptop on top, for use in my multi-purpose room that contains a pull-out couch. The couch would work for listening-and-lounging, but there's no coffee table to put a laptop or headphone caddie.
Get a Chord Mojo.
I made a prototype to try out my idea. I'll report back after I get some time with it. It's made from garage scraps, so this one isn't pretty, but it will let me test the idea. The base of this one is 12x8" and it's about 2 feet tall.

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Thanks. I was thinking of using a bicycle grip for the handle -- thanks for the idea of using tape. This one has rubber feet so it doesn't scratch my table. I'll iterate on the design a bit and then make a nice-looking version. :-)
HappyMax
dude.
you ever decide you want to sell one of your "Junker Rigs", let me know. I would even supply my own handlebar tape.
:-)
I've been thinking about this, and I had an idea today. It's a little platform with a handle. You put your amp/dac on the platform, and you can hang your headphones on a hook that protrudes from the handle. It's easy to carry, holds amp/dac/headphones, wide open so you can access your gear, and has bumpers on the bottom so it won't scratch your table. You can store it on a shelf, floor, or table when you aren't using it, and then bring it out when you're ready to listen.

Sketch:

The sketch also includes a shelf for the Woo WA7 power supply, but in most cases you don't need that, so it would just be a platform. I can imagine that different sizes would be useful to accommodate various gear. It might benefit from some cable management do-dads. And we could add Velcro straps to keep the gear in place, depending on need.

I think I'll make one and see how it works out.

What do you think? Would this be useful to anyone else? Got any ideas for features/tweaks?
try Hifime Sabre 9018. It's highly portable USB/DAC dongle.
bravomail
I've already got an LH Labs Geek Out V2A, which is similar in form factor. However, I want to be able to use my larger amps and DACs.
I don't mind sitting at my desk to use my full size stuff.
My smsl icon dac with my iPhone and nice iem's sounds plenty lush for me elsewhere.
I'm lucky enough to have a full rig next to my chaise in the living room but if you're looking for portable home system the Woo WA8 hits this niche squarely on the head.
ElectronicVices
The WA8 looks very nice. However, I already have a bunch of amps and DACs, and I like to be able to swap them depending on my mood.

I'm really looking for ideas for how to make a full-sized amp+dac setup easier to set up and put away, and not looking for recommendations for amps/dacs themselves.
HappyMax
I use a 20 ft. extension cable for my headphones. It's made from good quality microphone cable: Canare Star Quad  L-4E6S.  Most of my music is played through J-River on a laptop that is plugged into a DAC via USB and then into my headphone amp that is setup next to my main rig.  I use the J-River app on my phone that is remotely linked to the laptop to control playback from wherever I am seated.
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