Audiophiles? Planar Magnetic Headphones

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Balls

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
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Iowa
I’ve wanted a pair of high end headphones and recently Monoprice had the Monolith planar magnetic M1060 headphones on sale so ordered. I’m now trying to figure out the right DAC/Amplifier that will power the headphones adequately while also working with an iPhone. Portability isn’t a major concern especially if it compromises sound quality. Looking to spend $300 or less so not on the higher end of course, but not wanting to go too cheap and thus needing to start over again. Anyone an audiophile with experience have suggestions?
 

herbicide

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
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Ankeny, IA
I picked these up a few weeks ago. They are my first foray into this world, so by no means an expert. But I can tell you two things:

  1. You’ll hear sublities in music you never knew existed before.
  2. You’ll still want an amp. The iPhone can drive them but not very loud. Even at the same volume levels with the amp the sound is clearer and more complete.
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-hifiman-he4xx-planar-magnetic-headphones

This is the amp I went with.

FiiO Q1 Mark II Native DSD DAC &... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0757MH46M?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

With the headphones priced at $169.99 and the amp at $99.99, you’re under your set budget.

There are tons of reviews out there for those headphones.

Edit:

I didn’t fully read your post, but check out that Massdrop site for the amps they have.
 

Skyh13

Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2006
5,635
1,385
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I’ve wanted a pair of high end headphones and recently Monoprice had the Monolith planar magnetic M1060 headphones on sale so ordered. I’m now trying to figure out the right DAC/Amplifier that will power the headphones adequately while also working with an iPhone. Portability isn’t a major concern especially if it compromises sound quality. Looking to spend $300 or less so not on the higher end of course, but not wanting to go too cheap and thus needing to start over again. Anyone an audiophile with experience have suggestions?
Something to keep in mind -- the ideal situation, sound-wise, is to use some sort of DAC which has a digital connection (meaning lightning cable) to your iPhone. That way you are leveraging the DAC on your expensive equipment, rather than simply passing the already converted signal from the iPhone into an Amp. In other words, not going straight from either your iPhone headphone jack, nor using the Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle from Apple. (Apologies if you already knew all this)

In doing a little research, it seems like you'll end up with a DAC that has USB input (for digitial audio), and then it's a matter of having the right adapter to go from the Lightning port on your iPhone to the USB on the DAC.

A few options listed here: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-portable-headphone-amp-with-built-in-dac/
 

Balls

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
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Thanks for everyone’s input. This give me more leads to follow. Again, thank you!
 

Balls

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2006
1,461
51
48
45
Iowa
Placed order for FiiO Q5. DAC/Amp with Bluetooth and specifically calls out compatibility with iPhone and iSO products.

Excited.