Mar 1, 20189510 views

[Ongoing] Portable Audio Discussion

On Massdrop, there are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
PORTABLE AUDIO You can’t always bring your best gear with you, so you need to be prepared for different situations when it comes to your audio setup. There are many options to consider when portability is your main priority. It’s all about finding what works for you while still achieving high-quality sound and comfort.
ASK QUESTIONS Want to know what the best IEMs or headphones are for a long bus, plane, or train trip? For jogging or exercising? Maybe you want to improve the quality of the gear you take with you on the go in general? The best way to find the answers to your questions is to ask the community. There are members who are experts in pretty much every area you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your question/s by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the Audiophile Community know a lot about portable gear that’s great for traveling and have great information to share. We encourage you to help out anyone who has questions.

Want to start your own discussion? Click here:
kk0529, lcaplette, and 11 others

Add a comment...
Looking for upgrades on audio quality that I can take on the go while listening to my galaxy s7 and google play music. Currently I have my audio running through the Dragonfly black 1.5 and listening to vmoda's crossfade LPs. However, the sound I am getting from this combo sounds around the same to what I get from my Sony h.ear on wireless cans. Any closed back headphone suggestions in the 150-200 range?
Sennheiser has some nice wireless headphones like BT 4.50 BTNC. They cost $180 according to Sennheiser's site.
I recently got the HD6XX's and although i have an amp for my PC/laptop, i am looking at portable models to use with my phone on the go. any recommendations?
Load 1 more comment
I understand there are some situations where portable use would not be optimal with an open-back headphones, but it is also not optimal to be tethered to a chair. so maybe just listening to music at home, but being able to move around, be in bed, go to the bathroom. while camping... there's a lot of middle ground in terms of too loud and not.
I am relatively new to the portable crowd and just recently graduated from a Monoprice/Monolith DAC/amp (slightly better guts than Dragonfly Red) to the Fiio Q1mk2 (surprisingly small yet feature rich and PLENTY of power). I enjoy the features (gain, bass boost, balanced headphone-in on the Fiio more (as other phones are enroute and custom wire Ironically both DACs are the same price: $99 US. They both work very well with my Chromebook and (paid) Spotify. The flash-drive-styled Monolith DAC required extensive research/purchases for many adapters and wires (as it came with none) from E-Bay/Amazon and never seemed gym-friendly on my Motorola/Android as a "stack." Both are significantly smaller than my cell phone so stacking seems impractical. My earphones are these: at SALE price (I'm not rich...) I'm getting a Cayin N3 to stack with the Fiio (which just arrived). The Fiio comes with a fine cable assortment but I've ordered at Cayin cable which originally bothered me because it wasn't included but looks cool the more I look at it. More as it develops.
How much difference between HD 6xx and Massdrop Plus IEM? Given that they will be powered by the same DAC/AMP, I am considering get a earplug for summer since the headphone is a bit hot.
And I want get a DAC/AMP for HD650. I want to use it to play games as well as music, so latency is very important. Could anyone please recommend one? Currently thinking about get a Dragonfly Red.
Please see my response to arlyn above. I discuss DAC/amps and my DAP and phones (feeling old). These seem to me to be best bang for the buck entering this hobby of ours...
Impressions on the X3iii or Q1 balanced out?
worth it at the price?
I stuck my toe in the water with the Q1mk2 by Fiio because of size/price/triple the wattage on balanced. Unfortunately my upgraded wires came before my 4-driver phones. I plan to stack it with the Cayin N3 with high hopes.
So, I really love my Sony MDR7506 but the cable has a short right by the jack and they don't work consistently. What's the best course of action to repair this? Also - any recommendations for replacement ear pads are welcome.
Load 3 more comments
Somehow I totally missed this when you actually posted it.

Unfortunately, I think that the break is actually on the right lead and also near the jack - necessitating a total replacement of the cable essentially. I've not had time to look into tutorials since I posted this but I'm very interested in trying to replace the cable with a 3.5mm detachable.
And those fit the Sony MDR7506 as well?
Has anyone come across any USB c headphones or IEMs that haven't already been reviewed (not that great from what I can find- Q adapt, AliExpress stuff). Maybe even a USB C dac/amp. I feel like there's a lot of potential with USB C for audio but it's taking a long time to get to market?

Wondering if it's worth $99 to pick up Shure's new mmcx to USB c cable. I could use at least 3 of my current IEMs that way, without going wireless.
Load 1 more comment
I picked up MEE's new BT to mmcx cable for when I want to go wireless w IEMs...and its worth it!

But as far as I can tell the Shure cable released this year is the only 1 that terminates in USB C. And it has amp/DAC built in, as well as microphone.
You sound farther down the road that I am in this hobby. I agree wired is better. Shure route might be best now... Was that apple yelling, "cannonball"? Finally hearing good things about LDAC and BT4.2 though...
A usb-c seems intriguing for sound delivery but so does 4.4mm, depends on ones place in the hobby... The Cayin N3, of which mine has just arrived, is well reviewed, has multifaceted usb-c and bluetooth 4.0 with 130mW SE and looks very gym-friendly. 'Should butt-up (ha-ha) with your Shure...

Used to buy Audio Technica and Sennheiser stuff solely because of recommendations, and they were really good. But, now I'm starting to think that I was missing out on some really good stuff that aren't from these two. What other brands are good quality but mid/budget priced?

Also, any specific recommendations for an on-ear pair? Preferably without foam covers, since they tear really easily for me and I've lost more of them than I can count haha
Load 5 more comments
If your hair is grown past your ears on all sides, you can probably use PortaPros. This being said, yeah, they are a pinchy experience if you have medium-length hair.

I really like my Sony MDR-7506, but that may be out of your price bracket. What's your definition of "mid range" price?
Z Reviews on Youtube is one of my sources for audio input. He's more of a can-man than I am and he has the wall to prove it! Z usually puts links to his reviewed items on Amazon. That should get you headed in the right direction.
Any good iems or headphones for portable use like in a car, train, or plane? Also any amps/dacs for it too? I kinda want to keep my budget under 300$
Load 4 more comments
Ok, here's my rig (great reviews before purchased), other options on my list below
$99 Fiio: dac/amp with gain, bass switches and balanced h-phone option @ 75mW SE, 220 balanced @ 32 ohms and comes with many accessories
$65 BGVP phones mmcx type (v-u shaped sounding) Dual Knowels 30042 BA + Dual Graphene coaxial composite dynamic driver
$45 Upgraded balanced wires by Yinyoo
Total: $209 shipped, works GREAT on chromebook with paid spotify (now $0.99 for 3 months).

Other items on my list to strongly consider:
$149 Cayin N3 DAP (just arrived today, charging, loading chip tonight!)
$37 128Gb Chip
$45-179 Headphones RBH-EP3. These are Great Benchmark Phones, neutral with surprising Highs and Lows ability and great mids, much better price on sale (and permanently wired)
$50 Tin Audio phones mmcx type (neutral sounding, got these for Mom) Duel dynamic
$50 MEE audio Bluetooth mmcx wire upgrade
Let me know what you think
Best regards, happy shopping
I have used the sennheiser momentum wireless
over ear forr about a year now and it's a great portable option. You can pick them up for about £200 now and they don't really need a dac or amp when used out cause of the wireless option. They also have a really nice balance of noise cancelling, it's enough for a journey out the house or a train but it's not completely silent so you won't get spooked by any passing cars and people won't have to shout to get your attention.
As for sound quality I really enjoy sennheisers sound as I'm sure lots of people do