When I left my beat-up, loyal, and long-suffering Boostaroos on a plane, I seized the opportunity to see if I could match the force-multiplying role they played so well for this long-suffering long-haul traveler and his beloved Sennheiser PXC 450s at a smaller size and weight.
The tiny, Chinese-made FiiO E5 headphone amplifier measurably improves the quality of sound I hear when I play tunes on my iPod or iPhone through the Sennheisers. That’s news enough. What truly astonishes is the minute size and weight of the E5, even when you factor in the handy little clip that sturdies the whole deal by latching it onto a shirt pocket while the airplane meals come and go. Spaghetti sauce never did the old Boostaroos much good whenever they did their slow roll into the pasta end of the pasta-or-fish? conundrum.
The small and long-lasting internal battery is charged via a USB connection, so you can also can the trips to Costco for AAA batteries.
Next up in the Pleasant Surprise Category is another little thing: the price. Twenty clams get this gizmo from Amazon to your door.
I note the opinion voiced my some reviewers that you can do better elsewhere. I suspect they’re right. But for $20 it’s hard to imagine going wrong with the E5.