Re: Big boxen big bucks
Just to clarify, Class D doesn't mean 'digital'.
The Tripath Amps have enjoyed good reviews, especially given their price. There seems to be people who buy the inexpensive ones, and then upgrade the capcitors themselves.
For more on Smartphone Audio, Anadtech have one of these http://www.ap.com/products/apx585 and have produced graphs and everything:
For each set of tests we can add a load, simulated or real, to see how the device handles more demanding headphones. For this article I am sticking with only a set of the updated Apple Earbuds. They are probably the most common headphone out there and easy to acquire to duplicate testing. For future tests the other loads will be AKG K701 headphones and Grado SR60 headphones. Both models are popular, and I happen to own them.
There are a few main tests we are going to use for all these reviews. Those key tests are maximum output level, Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N), Frequency Response, Dynamic Range (as defined by AES17), and Crosstalk.