General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

Another option is you could use any iem (with good noise isolation) and a small battery powered dac/amp like Qudelix 5K which has a microphone for taking calls.

The tricky part of your use case is being able to answer calls since many portable dacs and higher-end headphones do not have mics.

1 Like

Hey! Welcome!

There are a few mobile friendly bass centric headphones I would recommend. Note: I’m not an IEM guy, so I’ll let others cover that if they interest you.

Fostex TH-600 (and the numerous Foster variants like Emu Teak, Denon D5200, TH-X00, etc). The stock earpads can feel a little cramped, and I personally use the ZMF Suede Universe pads on my Emu Teak. Those pads even out the sound without killing the fun. These can be put into a travel case for easy transport

Meze 99 classic. These are just fun and easy to drive. They look good too. Meant to be portable.

One I personally am not too keen for, but others seem to enjoy are the Mr. Speakers Aeon 2 Open or Closed. These definitely need some kind of amplification. Also, one is a bass cannon and the other not so much. You can read about them here

You could pair all of those with an Asgard 3 or Jotunheim 2 w/ internal AKM dac card for a very respectable desktop setup. The JDS Element II is also good.

For on-the-go direct from your phone use, check out something like the iFi Hip DAC or AQ Dragonfly Cobalt.

For “on the road” use, please don’t use these while driving.


I am going to say something ridiculous: Airpods Max. They are pretty wild in the bass and flat out the most convenient experience for what you are describing.

I too was looking for a mobile solution with bass and settled on IEMs and could not be happier. Phone calls work on my BTR5. Qudelix above should work too.

There are lots of bass capable iems. I want bass presence but also balance in everything else. I only tried two before I was happy. You would have to try some iems to see what you like.


When you mentioned driving, I thought open back would still let you be aware of your surroundings. Thus, a positive.

The leakage to others is not loud, but definitely there. It doesn’t bother my wife at all, but I could see someone studying in a library might be distracted. Given noise in a car or on a bus, I doubt anyone not sitting in your personal space would hear it.

Other options will entail much more stuff. Unless you look toward wireless options, not my strength. The tough part of your request is being able to maintain phone functionality.

I just read your email, along with video from Andrew@resolve who really likes the audeze LCD you mentioned looks more interesting the more I see post and messages. So this maybe the best idea thank you

The rules of driving with things in your ears vary between jurisdictions, at least in the Canada.

Same here, with a general emphasis on don’t do it. In my state, it’s illegal to have something IN both ears, but one is fine. (Think hands-free calling devices.) Over or on ear headphones (closed or not) is a ticket, oddly.

Of course, then you have civil court, were the plaintiff’s attorney can argue you were driving distracted and caused the accident thereby owing them a lot of money, even if you’re the only one who gets injured.

^^^ The fun things you learn in motorcycle school.


Any distracted driving carries a fine. There was a really recent case were a guy was fined for having earbuds or something in even though it was demonstrably true that his source gear was out of power. He took it to a judge and lost.

The main issue is either variable or just plain lack of enforcement.


I think the SONY MDR Z7’s are a terrific buy for the $$.
Less than a 1000$ and you have room to buy a decent portable amp to get the most out of them.

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: The Off Topic

I have another question.
If I use Pc like source
Denafrips Pontus dac
Shit magni amp
Zmf vérité close
And I buy some better amp.

My question is should I buy alsou preamp for better sound or it is not so important?

Thanks for answering Michal p

A preamp will work on the signal path.
It will probably result in a better sound perceived.
If you feel limitations in your chain IMO is worth checking a better head amp than adding a preamp.

A pre-amp mostly provides selection of multiple input sources and volume control for amps that don’t have one.

If your amp already has a volume control there isn’t really a need for a pre-amp.


A preamp is redundant for producing sound in the signal chain, so it could distort or degrade the signal. However, any change will probably be very small.

If the preamp has an equalizer or tone controls then it could change or ‘improve’ the sound, but that’s a separate function.

1 Like

Looks like you already have a “preamp” in your chain. :point_up:

1 Like

I had asked earlier about an inexpensive ($100-$200) DAC/Amp combo to hook up to my tv to see if I could get some improvement in the sound to my Focal Elegias. The TV sound is actually not bad through the headphone jack, but wanted to see if I could get some improvement. I just received the Fiio K5 Pro and tried connecting my Sony C950H TV to it via a toslink optical cable and I am not getting any sound out to my Elegias…tried all 3 gain settings, toggled through all the inputs on the selector, reconnected the cables, etc., nada. Could the optical from my tv be sending out a signal (Dolby Atmos, etc.) via the optical out that the Fiio can’t decode (it doesn’t decode anything)?

Sometimes you have to enable a setting for optical out. You might want to check all the audio options and see if anything looks like it might control the optical out.

1 Like

I quickly looked around in the Settings and Audio menus on the TV and nothing jumped out - did not even see anything that talked about the outputs, optical or other wise. The online manual is not very good. I bet it is just a setting, just probably need to dig into the menus further. Thanks.

Have you considered IEMs at all? You have a pretyy healthy budget here. Something like a paw 6000 + UM MEST would be an extremely good setup that uoy can use anywhere for ~2300 usd (from musicteck). Use the dap as a USB dac at home and take it with you when yoy leave. With LDAC RX added today it makes it even more viable as yoy can stream from your phone when you dont have local files.

This is one I’ve always found wierd tbh. Headphones are a no, but you can drive even if you are completely deaf? Like no desire to use headphones while I drive anyways, but still seems wierd