Portable Audiophile

This may be somewhere in the posts but I am not able to find.
What is the best portable, high end, headphone solution, even if it's carried in a back pack? CD based.

What about portable on a larger scale for weekend travel and set up in a hotel or motel?

Any ideas?


Mine's not high-end - it's designed for air travel. Three-year old metal-bodied Panasonic with line out (anti-shock turned off, bass boost turned off), Total AirHead amp, Bose noise cancelling 'phones (series II), Duracell Ultra batteries, soft carrying case. I will not fly without it.

When I get where I'm going, the CDs go into the rental car. I tend to go out for drinks and dinner to kill a few hours. Most hotels now have high-speed Internet so I usually hook up to hit the hifi forums. Maybe watch telly for an hour.

I've thought of the portable thing for the hotel room, but ruled it out for a number of reasons (weight, lack of luggage space, sound quality).

A good portable system has many uses and I've tried a couple of setups. The most convenient was my PowerBook with a pair of battery-powered extension speakers but the sound was... not good enough to make it worth while. Then I lugged a NAD L40 and a pair of PSB Alpha Minis around. That was easier to listen to. If I had a bit more to spend on it all, I'd use a Linn Classik instead of the L40.

Awhile back a gentleman here was advertising a little Nak with a pair of ADS self-powered speakers that all fit in a suitcase. Looked like a good thing, if you could use cassettes.
Etymotics ER-4P or ER-4S. The ER-4S need an external amp. These are ear buds that offer the absolute best in noise cancellation during air travel, much better than any noise cancellation headphones. They rival the best headphone period regardless of price or type. The best thing about these are that they take up absolutely no space fitting in the palm of your hand. Check them out and ready about them at headphone.com
Probably an Ipod/Airport express or IHP-140 thru optical out with one of those Grace 901 headphone amp/dac combos and a pair of Sennheiser HD600s.
Been on the road for 6 years as a medical contractor living in different parts of the country and gone through several variations of portable systems (L-40, Classik). Settled on an Onkyo one piece Executive system for $250, C.Crane Reflect antenna, NHT SuperZeros (modified) with Chord speaker cable. For flying it's the iRiver IMP 400 with Beyer ST 250 or Koss Porta-Pros. No headphone amplifier yet. Hope this helps.