The FiiO amps have really made it easy to get into headphone amps and we’re seeing more and more rigs have this awesome, cheap little piece of technology as part of the setup. Forum member don527 has one such rig which paired with a Cowon S9 and a pair of Phonak Audeo PFE really provides a nice quality rig.
- Rig includes
- Player: Cowon S9 [$170-270]
- Headphone Amp: FiiO E5 [$18]
- Headphones: Phonak Audeo PFE [$140]
When my Ipod died, I was looking for a new DAP. After some searching I found out, the successor of the P2, the P3 would be a good replacement. I couldn’t get it in the Netherlands so that was a problem. Until I saw the review of the S9. It was almost similar to the P3; it has a bigger screen, AMOLED and good sound quality. I tested it at a local store and I was convinced to buy it. Now I’m really wondering why I bought an Ipod 6 years ago. The sound quality of the S9 is fantastic and watching movies couldn’t be better. As a student I have to travel on long distances and with the S9 I don’t have any problems with battery life. The combination of tactile and touchscreen controls is awesome. A complete menu with the touchscreen interface and on-the-go volume and track selection with tactile controls.
A few days later, I bought a FiiO E5. I was wondering if it could add some extras to a DAP. It couldn’t hurt my budget so I went for it. With 16 Ohm IEMs it hisses quite a lot and I wasn’t happy about it. However, it added some bass and I could control the volume without reaching in my pocket. After an upgrade to 32 Ohm IEMs, the hiss was completely gone. I never regret the E5. Someday I might upgrade to a better and more expensive headphone amplifier. Currently, I’m working on my DIY Cmoy headphone amplifier.
It could be pretty noisy in trains: people talking, other students thinking they’re cool with their ipods and listening at high volumes, etc. I used Sennheiser MX-450 earbuds, a little “upgrade” of my standard ipod earbuds. Those earbuds weren’t a good solution to block out the noises. When I upgraded to the S9, I tried some IEMs. My first IEMs I used with the S9 were the Creative EP-830. After a few hours of listening to them, I realized the bass was to much and the treble and mids were too vague. I needed something with more clarity and balanced trebles, mids and bass.
After reading DFKT’s review about the Phonak Audeo Perfect Fit Earphones, I was pretty convinced the PFEs were the best for me in my student’s budget. The PFEs are a perfect fit, I can wear them for hours. I’m more fond of the gray filters. The gray filters give more clarity in my opinion. The black filters give more bass, but it doesn’t feel right to me. The balance between the treble, mid and bass is almost perfect, though, they could add a little bit more bass. I solved this issue by using the E5 and different EQ settings.I really love the sound of the PFEs. In combination with the S9 and BBE+, it all sounds incredible. The E5 just adds some more bass. It’s just what I’m looking for. For me, this gear is golden.
Want to share your portable rig? Drop by the show off your gear forum and post to the long running thread or if you think its extra special or unique, start a thread just for your setup. Remember, we are not just looking for the most high end setups, we are looking for personal ways you use your player. Adding some text discussing the photos and/or the setup and also having more than one pic will increase your chances of it being featured on the front page. Show us your gear!