May 21, 2018

Need a lil help

Hello everyone, I am not extremely knowledgable in this area but here is my question. I listened to Tidal thru my iPhone X. Is there anything I can do to make it louder and maybe a lil clearer when using my earbuds or cans? Thanks
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Yeah, get better headphones and also a Chord Mojo or Hugo 2.
Get an external dac/amp combo. If not, get a new phone. If not, swap the cables. If not, change your earbuds/cans :)
I am extremely pleased with my iPhone 7+ using the Apple Lightening USB adapter,
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F7KJDIM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1,

into which I have the AudioQuest DragonFly RED USB DAC
https://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Red-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B01DFMV4NQ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1527446714&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=dragonfly+red&psc=1&smid=AKR88PAWTQVN2

The adapter lets you power your phone and this DAC is powerful enough to run most cans. I've used it with MrSpeaker Alpha Prime, which pretty much require full volume output and HifiMan HE-560, which require less power.

For anyone who does not yet have any DAC, the Dragonfly RED will not disappoint. It's versatile in that you can also use it with your laptop, small enough to fit into your jeans coin pocket.

One could argue that you can buy a better sounding DAC, but this is probably the best value out there because of the versatility
The solution I can think off would be to buy an external amp/dac. I take it you're listening to music on the go, in which case a portable amp/dac would be good. One other possibility is buying another pair of cans.
I dunno which one you are using, but if the sound is like that because it's not being driven properly the amp should do the tricj. I dunno how good iPhone's dacs are, but maybe a better dac could give you the clearness you desire. You could also buy lower impedance headphones, which would be easier to drive.
Lastly, your headphones could've become the bottleneck of your listening experience. What they offer might not be enough to quench your craving for a better experience. In which case I welcome you, friend ! You have lost your listening innocence, which will never ever be regained, and have stepped into the boundaries of audio enthusiasm ! Your wallet might become a little anemic, but those are just side-effects, don't worry too much about it.
First--what the last song you listened to on Tidal?
RayF
I can't tell you the last song I listened to but the majority of what I listen to is early to mid 80s R&B, Metallica and Goo Goo Dolls
Asking questions is the first step towards knowledge!

Firstly: Know safe limits. No amount of exercise or force of will can make your ears stronger, and loud music over different periods of time can perminently damage your hearing (you can‘t fix them, and hearing aids suck) each time you overdrive them. If you love music loud, listen for less time...

Knowledge: http://dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/noise-induced-hearing-loss/
More Knowledge: http://dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/

Secondly: Clearer. Sometimes, we turn up the volume to hear quiet details or to compete with the environmental noise around us.

I’m literally in a rainstorm right now, and I‘m tempted to turn up my music a bit to compete with the fat raindrops (though I don’t dare compete with the thunder). Instead, I switched to a closed headphone, lowering how much environmental noise interferes with what I want to hear. IEMs should provide good noise isolation though, some more than others.

That said, a better DAC (Digital to Audio Converter, all headphones operate with Analog signals and so our digital music needs to be converted somehow). Cheap DACs produce the same notes as expensive ones, but an upgraded DAC helps make each note more distinct and more accurately match your brain’s reference of what natural sound is. Transducers (headphones and speakers) need amplification to make sound at all, but Amps all fuzzy up the sound to some extent, but better and better amps cause less and less distortion, plus you need the volume control. An upgrade to these components might make the sounds so clear and crisp that you can enjoy it more even without turning up the volume.

Lastly, there are some apps that playback audio cleaner than just straight from TIDAL or the Apple Music app. I’m looking to Amarra Play, which has a free mode to play music stored in your phone and added to the iTunes library, and a paid mode that lets you stream from your computer or TIDAL. I haven’t tried it yet, but friends I trust rave about Amarra‘s sound quality: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amarra-play/id1061144320?mt=8
Also heard rave things about this: Neutron Music Player by Neutron Code Limited https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/neutron-music-player/id766858884?mt=8
Sennheiser‘s CapTune app plays TIDAL and local iTunes content, has a nice EQ tool that uses A/B comparisons to help you find your taste and can save EQ profiles for each headphone (especially nice with Bluetooth): CapTune by Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/captune/id967958634?mt=8
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Evshrug
Thanks for posting this. I was thinking based on my conversation with OP that this would be necessary educational material for this post.
Heefty
Yeah, lots of people don’t realize rock concerts are so loud they’ll cause hearing damage in 15 minutes to just 2 minutes in some cases, unless they are part of the audience way out in the cheap seats. That’s why they blast so loud from the speakers though, to reach far out. And then, people get home and think Music is supposed to be that loud, so they really crank it up at home too.

Ears try to protect themselves to reach those times, by tensing up and producing excess ear wax, which also makes the music sound less clear.
There are always external amps that you can drive with your phone. Some of them are fairly inexpensive.

What are you trying to drive with it?
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Ha-2 has been on my list of maybe-I'll-get-it-someday items for a while. I'm guessing that day will never come now.

Spend most of my time on full sized cans near a desk, so no need really. Every now and again I find myself on a trip somewhere that it would be nice to have for though. So far I've enjoyed my CEntrance DACPort Slim driven by my absurdly huge battery pack phone case for the same purposes though.
Heefty
Truthfully, I'm pretty much in the same boat--I like the thing, but I have too many other ways to listen to music when I'm not at home. All of them are more convenient than a fist full of electronics connected to a long wire leading to my ears. I have lots of wireless ways to hear my music, I have a decent music system in my primary vehicle, and my desk system is good with our without cans (I like my speakers a lot).

So, not sure where the Oppo really fits in to my sitch--guess I'll have to keep trying to find some way?
Impedance.
IEMs are going to work pretty well through your iphone.
Senheiser hd600s are not.

If you need to use high impedance headphones, consider a portable amplifier. Fiio makes some decent cheap ones.
fhood
I've seen Fiio products and ones similar but I just don't know how to match the right one to my Klipsch X6i in ears to get the desired affect
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