Por­ta­ble Tips

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Headphones Continued -

Use a head­phone amp

The head­phone am­pli­fi­ca­tion cir­cuitry in­cluded in a typ­i­cal source or am­pli­fier tends to be ba­sic, and rarely of­fers the sonic trans­parency of the other out­puts. Ded­i­cated head­phone amps take greater care, and have the elec­tri­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics re­quired to get the best sound.


An MP3 file will save stor­age space on your por­ta­ble player, but a com­pressed mu­sic track is a blight on a sound qual­ity. If you have the space, opt for FLAC or a hi-res down­load (for ex­am­ple Tech­nics Tracks). You’ll be let­ting your mu­sic col­lec­tion of its leash.

Shut down back­ground apps

Hav­ing other apps run­ning in the back­ground can af­fect per­for­mance if you’re us­ing an An­droid or Ap­ple smart­phone as a source. Close ev­ery­thing down (and shut those pesky no­ti­fi­ca­tions off) so your mu­sic can run un­in­ter­rupted.

Ditch those head­phones

Con­sider get­ting an­other pair in­stead of opt­ing for free head­phones as they may not bring the best out of your mu­sic. AKG’S Y50s are a good choice, of­fer­ing a clear, dy­namic and punchy per­for­mance for £50 (or less).

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