in a word, phone is a poor pre-amp. It can only drive very high efficient earphones, usually cheap. Because cheap ear bugs don’t have good control, sounds are usually heavily distored. With strong bass does not mean accurate bass.
you need a good preamp. But your phone may not have a good impedance matching wih high-end preamps via analog signals anyway. That’s why people need to buy good sources, like hi-end cd transport or digital network player to get a high quality sound.
But if you would still want to use phone and hope to get a good sound for your stereo system., you can try using a good headphone amp as pre-amp, then connect to your stereo. Or you can go “digital” transaction method. i.e. using a portable DAC/headphone amp. like Audioquest dragon fly or Fiio’s DAC/headphone amp. Also make sure your stereo system can deliver a good bass slam first.
The portable DAC/headphone amp can also be used for car stereo purpose. Good luck.
What speakers in your stereo system?
i think you have never heard a good stereo system if you think bass performance from a earbud is impressive. Yes the earbud can go low and loud but it is nothing like true bass from an actual woofer of substantial size in an appropriately tuned cabinet and volume
Headphones can have bass slam, but it doesn't compare to the sound quality or sensory impact of sound waves interacting with your entire body.
My high end headphones and headphone amp don't come close to producing the slam and impact of my Legacy Audio Focus 20/20 speakers (or any of the smaller systems I have set up in my house).
There's no comparison between a driver that would fit in an earbud and a large woofer(s) and/or subwoofers.
Dear d2girls, you are not logically wrong. However, I would be very glad if you can provide some good doable suggestions on how to improve the sound from a phone output. Happy Friday every one!
The slam you get from the ear buds is because being in the ear canal they only need to move a very tiny volume of air. Much less than 1 cc I would think. The speakers you're using have to fill a volume millions of times greater.
Those ear buds by the way are crap. You're right, they boost the bass response. Ear buds that sit in the ear without making a tight seal around the ear canal are losing bass out the cracks, so to speak. Plus being free they are pure crap. So they boost the bass to warm up the sound hiding the fact they are awful in pleasing warm exaggerated bass.
What you want are some good IECs, Inner Ear Canal phones. The Shure SE-535 is a good solid bet and will blow away any ear bud with much deeper, flatter and more accurate bass, beautiful midrange, excellent grain free extension and incredibly more lifelike dynamics.
My front L/R speakers are Legacy Audio Signature II from the 1990s.
I would say that millercarbon's post summarizes it.
However, there are earbuds and then there are earbuds. You may be surprised how some of them sound. Some have quite a legitimate bass, too. Maybe not bass of an expensive voluminous speaker in a good room, but better than one may expect. They do not come as cheap as they look. Cypherus, Blox, etc. In case you do not like earphones stuck inside the ear canal, or find over-the-ear kind uncomfortable, there is a whole world of decent-sounding earphones out there.
I'm not looking for ear buds or ear phones. Looking for speakers with that nice bassy sound and impact I get with the ear buds. I only use the ear buds when I'm working out.
Your speakers aren't the problem. What are you using for amplification? Have you considered adding a subwoofer (or better yet two)?
I'm using a PS Audio Stellar Gain Pre/DAC into a Krell FPB 400cx power amp. With regard to subs, I've heard smaller speakers than mine produce more of the impact that I'm looking for. Perhaps it's just that my speakers are so old. Actually, the amp is old too! My equipment is like me!
That amp is a beast and your speakers should be able to dig pretty deep. I'm surprised you're not getting the bass response you'd like.
Oh, they go deep. It's just the initial "hit" or attack of a kick drum, and the like, that I am questioning. The Signature IIs are sealed, not ported, and I wonder if that has anything to do with it. They also have the old poly mid drivers and bass woofers, which I assume are not as fast as modern drivers.
So, afterall, you want to let the phone to drive a series of state of the art preamp, amp and speakers and get a nice slam effect like the phone drivig a free earbud. Thank you very much for your experiment. It showed to all of us that it does not work. :)
By the way, I saw that you did purchase Krell FPB400 around Sep, 2014. You used to drive your Legacy speakers using a Nak receiver long long time ago. It seems that you have a steady audio growth path with you. You even started a “slam” topic before. You should have more knowlege than many (if not most) of us to answer your own question.
I added a bit about earphones because you seem to like yours and millercarbon nicely explained what could be causing the difference you notice.
You seem to have decent home equipment but have you considered a possibility that you overall actually prefer the sound coming from phone through the earphones? These days, many people do. Many chase "perfect sound" while they could be enjoying more by accepting the fact that they like "imperfections". At the same time, some people simply prefer the sound through headphones. Chasing speakers to sound like headphones may not be that successful. They are inherently different.
You seem to assume that I am an idiot. Yes, I played the phone to the AVR that is in the system just to check that out, but I also played the actual CD in the Oppo, which is connected via digital coaxial cable to the PS Audio, which is connected via XLR cables to the Krell, with the same overall sound resulting.
And I don't appreciate the snide remarks either. Just because I started a few threads doesn't make me any sort of expert, hence my question. I hope other people who ask honest questions here don't get the same treatment.
Thanks for the thoughts on speakers vs ear phones. Yes, they are obviously quite different animals. But I have heard some speakers that to some extent replicate the sort of bass attack that I am talking about. Hence my request for suggestions for such speakers.
I had some Soliloquy 5.3 speakers being driven by a bryston 4 bst and thought it might have had too much slam, even at low volumes.
You may want to try a pair if you ever see some. I’ve hadquite a few speakers and they had quite a bit of punch; could’ve been in part to that bryston 4bst though too.
"I have heard some speakers that to some extent replicate the sort of bass attack that I am talking about."
Wouldn’t those speakers be a good starting point to the answer you are looking for? Many manufacturers have their "house sound" so maybe a bigger model would be just what you are searching for.
You are the only one who actually knows what sort of bass attack you are talking about. Rest of us are just trying to imagine and may be completely misunderstanding and giving you wrong answers/suggestions.
Do ear buds/ headphones get measured ? If they do it should be possible to get what your after by looking at speakers with similar measurements
If you want slam you need multiple ported subs. It's not hard to pressurize your ear canal, but pressurizing a large room requires logarithmically larger amount of power and excursion.
That makes perfect sense. Except for the fact that I have heard some speakers that are not all that big which do give a lot of slam without subs. Maybe those are not flat speakers, but rather, boosted in the lower mid bass. Maybe the dealer surreptitiously applied some bass boost to the signal. Who knows? I'll keep listening.
@mtrot very easy to test this. Add a cheapo EQ like the one from Schiit and emphasize the bass and see if that works for you. I’d guess the speaker system is more neutral and giving you a flatter sound, but you prefer the bass emphasis of the ear buds. I’d just add an EQ, nothing wrong with that.
I read it as yylc giving you his time, offering suggestions and options. Besides, you-
"have heard some speakers that to some extent replicate the sort of bass attack that I am talking about. Hence my request for suggestions for such speakers."
So what were they?
Try reversing the polarity of the speaker wires at your speakers and re-listen to the kick drum attack. All to often the recording polarity can change from track to track. Yet another reason to use a sub. Most have a simple polarity switch.
Speaker placement and room treatment.
Thanks. Well, that's the problem, i.e., my recollection of having heard such speakers goes back over a long time period, even decades, so I'm not actually sure which speakers they were! Hence my request for speaker suggestions.
Thanks for the tip. The problem is that this is in my family room and the speakers can really only sit just about where they now are, due to furniture and door opening constraints. As to room treatments, not much of that sort of thing is going to fly on the domestic front. So, I have to look at the sound that various speakers make in this room, and possibly room correction software. I just want that attack and bit of slam on the kick drum and other bass transients.
At this point, I'm thinking that speakers with at least 8" woofers may be the place to focus my research and listening on.
I'd try something like the Fiio A3 portable headphone amp to see if you like that presentation. It's only $60 so it's low risk and a reasonable match for what you're trying to do. You could use it in the house or the car.
- Suitable for headphones ranging from 16 to 150 Ohms. Gain switch for matching output to headphone power needs.
Superior sound quality through expertly selected components and design, utilizing OPA1642 preamp and AD8397 amp section.
Fully discrete bass boost circuit increases output by 3.5dB at 60Hz, with bypass when off.
Handsome all aluminum body and chassis is sturdy and shielding against EM interference.
1400mAh internal battery powers for up to 16 hours of use.
Thank you for your understanding.
Obviously I got same feeling as you did.
- By the way, I tried to connect an iphone 6s to my preamp (using Spotify) and then played a CD via my OPPO, sent to the same preamp. I can hardly think they have overall same sound resulting. It is similar to comparing FM radio with CDs.
One comment is, if you live in a high cubic volume rectangular room with the correct dimensions for the "slam frequency range" you want, all you need is great speakers driven with enough power.
BUT... most of us don't... so just buy some $1,000 earphones and enjoy REAL bass with separation only dreamed of by those with speakers.