Top-end travel rig

I’m a huge Qobuz user/fan. So that might be a consideration, although I don’t generally use streaming when mobile. Also I have so much music stored in a file format that I don’t think I’d get bored (not to mentioned all the CD-Rs I could rip and transfer if I wanted to).


The issues I had with the Qobuz app were from accessing Qobuz content offline (stored on an SD card). If you mean that you use song files rather than an offline streaming service, you should have no issues, but if you’re thinking of downloading content for offline listening, you may have issues with the Qobuz app.

But it would be possible to stream with ease using a Qobuz app while online with the device, I take it?

on wifi, yes. That said, AK really just doesnt have the best wifi reception. I find it annoyingly hit and miss tbh. I had much better wifi useage with more modern andoid daps. I head the SP2k and 2kT both are much better than the other AK daps but I havent tried them myself yet

Good to know. The 2kT looks like the Holy Grail of this quest.

Online I had no issues streaming the 180 via WiFi.

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Actually might do this … The SP2KT at least, and get the headphones when I can

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Woo has an open box Sp2kT for 2k flat on their site under specials at the bottom of the page if you are seriously considering it

Gone! But thanks. ,…

After a lot of scouting around, I ordered a DX240 from our hosts here at Headphones com. The return policy makes it easy to take for a spin, and honestly as much as I love the idea of a flagship model the 2-3k range is a stretch right now. This may be more than enough to make me happy, considering that I find my Pixel 6 piping Qobuz downloads out to some original Aeon Closed sounds pretty decent. Might even try some IEMs again. We’ll see. My trade in plans for the Lirics fell apart through anyway. One step at a time! Thanks for all the input, it was all helpful.


Is the consensus that a quality IEM like a 12UT is better than a closed back like the Liric, in portable/travel usage with a DAP? I’d be game to give the former a try, certainly takes up less space …

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I personally think so, and my explanation is as follows.

When on-the-go, the noise levels of your surroundings are much higher than if you were sitting quietly in your home; so, for me, the extra noise negates the potential increase in sound quality provided by a quality pair of closed-backs. Plus, you’re likely not fully focused on the music if you’re traveling (too much noise and distraction), so does it make sense to go over-ear (and potentially need a dedicated amp as well)? IEM’s are also more portable - with most being easy enough to drive from a phone - so that’s another bonus.


Noise isolation depends on the specific IEM. The Etymotic series “penetrate deeply” and block loads of noise. However, the sound quality isn’t great. Some IEMs are vented and let in a lot of environmental noise.


I take exception to this statement! In my opinion, it is ambiguous. We must not lump the word Etymotic in with those other unspecified IEMs whose “sound quality isn’t great.”

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I had the ER4XR – sibilant! Nothing but sibilant!

I said that only because @Steve_Dollar mentioned the 12UT…they are gonna be disappointing in comparison…

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Doubling down I see!


I think the er4xr sounds quite good, for the $100 I paid for them, and haven’t heard any sibilance at all. And their isolation is sufficient to substantially attenuate wind noise on a m/c at 90mph (with a helmet, though helmets don’t help much with wind noise, sometimes they actually make it worse) which is rare. A couple caveats though:

  1. I’m old, and can’t hear much above 12k;
  2. I’ve not tried any iems over $500, as I don’t go out of my way to try things I know I can’t afford to buy, so I have a limited basis for comparison;
  3. Comfort is pretty much a love it or hate it proposition.

The OP mentions IEMs in the $1,500 to $2,000 price bracket in this thread. The Etymotic family is admirable for what it offers, and I thought about keeping mine as a dedicated travel unit. But no bluetooth limits mobile scenarios, and then COVID hit which limited all travel. They do not feel odd or different than other IEMs with the optional memory foam tips. The flanged silicone cone tips felt weird to me.


Sorry, I meant U12T … Really just curious in regards to IEM vs. Over ear … I have preferred over ear for comfort and because I feel like they isolate better, but I’m thinking I would try an IEM again, particularly as it’s probably better matched to a DAP (I got the DX240). My only IEM experience was with the original Solaris, which sounded great but wasn’t a comfortable fit.

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