Friday, 23 October 2015

Travel? Still Great Music

After hearing some decent headphone systems as the recent National Audio Show at Whittlebury, I revisited the idea of using them more for music in hotels - as a step up from in-ear buds (I use BeyerDynamic 101 with the iPod and occasionally the FiiO player).

Having a good source (FiiO X3 which plays FLAC files up to 24bit/96kHz) and a reasonable mid-range pair of Sennheiser Momentum headphones, the biggest improvement I could make would be to insert a dedicated headphone amp into the mix.

At Whittlebury, I really enjoyed the sounds being played by the Trilogy 931 amp but its price puts it out of range for experimenting with deciding if this was a sensible solution for the longer term - ie will I enjoy headphones enough to cart the kit around with me?

So ebay to the rescue and I picked up a Mk1 version of the very well regarded Schiit Magni - a product of the USA and very good value for money, even when new.  The used one I have is in mint condition and functions very well.  First foray with the kit away from home this week proved a sonic success - still not sure about the comfort of wearing headphones in bed just before going off to sleep.  The iPod into a small portable speaker is still better for this part of the day - no headphones and set it to 30 minute sleep setting and I hardly ever hear the end of the music.  With phones you have to take them off and switch off the kit which means not exactly nodding off to sleep.  Still, it does sound much better than the portable speaker.

FiiO X3 FLAC player, Linn Silver interconnect, Schiit Magni (v1) and Sennheiser Momentum

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