Dec 5, 201858 views

Three great gear pieces for audio-enthusiasts on the go

So recently I got three pieces of gear for those of us who enjoy hi-fi on the go but are also aware of 1) ambient noise will always work against you 2) never going to be as good as your home stack and 3) aren't flush with cash. With these in mind, after much research, I purchased the following items: RadStone EarStudio ES100 this thing is quite frankly incredible. Dual KMA DACs/Amps, fully balanced and unbalanced output. Bluetooth and USB inputs. And top-notch phone companion app (with tons of options and useful DSP settings). Easily worth twice its price, IMO. iBasso IT01 IEMs: I'm only about a dozen hours in the burn in, but they are blowing my mind. The bass clarity and impact is figuratively speaking out of this world. Rendition across the frequency range is top notch. Have not yet found anything to complain about these. Yinyoo 2.5mm tssr balanced cable: really well made, no self-noise or microphonics. For under $40, can't complain :) Anywhoo, figured out I'd drop this info here in case anyone needed ideas or in the same use case.
Gabrielcccc, rastus, and 1 other

THanks for the hint. I will try the Radsone unit which sounds (ah ah) from the specs a very tiny but incredible unit: double DAC, balanced input for that price. I am not sure whether this little piece can also feed not efficient headphone with higher impedance as the ones meant for mobile use, we will see
Vmoda crossfade 2 are good looking headphones and has interchangeable ear pads
Any idea what sample rates the ES100 can support? All I can see is 24-bit called out in any of the specs.
via USB capped to 48KHz, and via BT who the eff knows. There are like 4 protocols going at once and each have their sampling rates limits :(
The chip used is capable (AK 4375a) of up to 192kHz/24 bit decoding. I don't use mine as a desktop DAC so I can't exactly speak to real world experience. I use it exclusively in BT mode with files ranging from 256kbps mp3 to 96kHz/24 Bit FLAC with no issues. Power amp sometimes struggles to convert 88.2 and 176.4 sample rates but I chalk that up to Android being native 48khz processing and lacking a dedicated 44.1khz clock. LDAC is the codec that I utilize in BT mode, aptXHD before my phone upgraded to Android O Edit: Radsone's Website confirms usb 1.0 audio, that will limit it to 48khz/16 bit in desktop use.
That iBasso unit is solid in its price bracket. I had one ages ago and enjoyed it. My only gripes with it were concerning the quality of bass (boomy and some bleed) and the highs are softer than I would prefer. Still, for how much you can get them for nowadays, they're pretty solid.
Setting the DAC to sharp rolloff helps a lot with this. Takes the brunt off the boominess. Obvs not expecting $500 worth of quality for $100, but they punch way above their weight.
Thanks for the pointers - very helpful and thoughtful!!