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Audio Technica - ATH-M50x + FiiO - A3
excellent AUDIO TECHNICA - ATH-M50X + FIIO - E11K (A3) AMPLIFIER headphone and amplifire thanks headphonezone
My music taste spans a number of genres- smooth jazz, country, classical rock, blues and easy listening. To accomodate these varied genres, I was looking for a headphone and amp combo which played out the music as it was meant, without emphasising any frequency. I got exactly what I was looking for, in this combo of M50X and A3. The M50X has been the gold standard in the affordable headphone category. After listening to music through these headphones, I realised why it keep getting the top rating, across experts and users. It plays out the music with amazing clarity, not emphasising any particular frequency. The soundstage and separation is exquisite. Isolation is very good. Feels comfortable for long sessions of music. The music sounds airy and each instrument is crystal clear. What the A3 does, is to not just amplify the sound but also gives it more presence. You feel the music, as you would in a live concert. Independently, both the M50X and A3 get 5 star ratings from almost all the reviewers. What better than combine the two?
The only regret, if I may say, was that I could not play the A3 through the lightning port of my iPhone , as the Fiio L19 cable is not compatible with it. I did buy it, based on recommendation by Headphone Zone, but had to return it eventually. Having brought the combo, I could not exchange the A3 for any other compatible model. I know for sure, that the output via the lightning port is far superior to that from the 3.5mm port, because I use that in my car. So, if you are interested in a more evolved sound, go in for a compatible model, other than A3.
However, take my word, this combo really blasts the music. Its just that, it could have been better.....
The amp is exceptional, paired with M50X which doesn't need any further review, the quality of audio experience is surreal for what you pay. The amp provides the necessary but not overdone tight bass lift making any genre an extra dimension. There is also no sound fatigue with hours of listening, just some possible sweat around the can ear interface. The M50X does have a slight V profile which is a fit for modern music and MP3 audio from smart phones. Sound isolation is fairly good. The headphone can be used without an amp as well and the sound is still very good.
This is a great cross over setup to move up from the tinkle tinkle boom boom sound of say 'Bose headphones' that are notoriously successful(I've got a pair).