Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
E5 to E11 Upgrade (Updated)
on 13 October 2012
(Update) - The battery on the E11 is giving me about 4 hours of use before it needs recharging, this is less than half the life of a charge on the E5. I am going to replace the battery to see if it makes any difference.....Well I bought a new battery and this is just the same. This is much heavier on battery use than I expected.
(Further Update) The sound quality of the E11 is definitely better than the E5. I have had time to do some comparative testing over a number of CD's and on my iPod and there is a noticeable difference and on reflection, makes the E11 worth purchasing. The continuing disappointment is the battery life both with the original and replacement battery. One point to note is that when the E11 is put in-line with my earphones directly from the CD source then the quality is degraded from having my headphones plugged directly into the CD player. I suppose this is the trade off for getting the extra volume.
I have been using an E5 for a little while but as pleased as I was with it, I felt there was some substance missing from the sound. After reading the various reviews here on Amazon I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to the E11.
I am using it with Grado SR80i phones and an iPod Classic 160gb with all the files in Apple lossless format.
The first question I asked myself was 'Is the difference in price justified by the difference in sound quality?' and the answer is no, probably not. I would like to clarify this by saying that if I was starting out again I would jump straight in with the E11 but an upgrade from an E5 to an E11 is a luxury and not a necessity. I will however be keeping the E11 for use at home and the E5 for when I am out and about. The sound from the E11 is more open providing a larger sound stage than the E5, volume levels can also be set higher so if you are particularly deaf or wish to be so, then you can certainly crank up the db's with this unit. Like the E5 you can hear any hiss on the recording. I listen to many recordings made in the 50's and 60's and so am used to hiss, however more modern recordings have no real difference in hiss levels with and without the amp. You just have to accept that the louder the volume the louder the hiss - obvious really.
The gain switch works and you can hear a difference as the headphones are being driven differently but my Grado's work fine with either setting. The EQ switch also makes a difference and you can hear a definite increase in boost as you go from neutral to 1 then 2. However I prefer it set to neutral and hear the music back as it was recorded. The main advantage of this unit for me is the ability to easily change batteries. Replacements are available on Amazon and ebay for around £6.50.
Build quality is very good, better than the E5 and it is shipped in a smart metal tin making it a great gift to give. The black elastic bands to attach the unit to your iPhone/iPod/MP3 player maybe useful but not for me as I cannot find a way to use it without blocking either controls or screen on my classic iPod.
These little amplifiers are very good and if like me you want a louder volume than the EU will allow us to have, then they are the way to go. If you are on the go all the time and need portability then the quality of the E5 is such that I would choose it. However if you are using the unit at home or in the office or want to squeeze extra audio quality out of your music then I would go for the E11, the compromise is that it is about 3 times the size and not as portable. I use the L3 cable, this is a definite worthwhile upgrade if you have an iPod, don't waste your money on the cheaper L1 cable as the 3.5mm jack cable that ships with the unit is just as good.