Thanks Meter 467
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Oh, lol! I was at work and didn't even notice who the OP was. We've been through most of my recommendations, then.
You need to examine your entire audio system from start to finish and figure out what the biggest thing holding it back is.
At work, this week a colleague was interested in the bizarre rig I carry with me. I explained it, and he (who is a pretty decent guitarist, having heard him today myself) questioned whether his 128kbps files playing from his iPhone through his Skull Candy earphones would sound as good as 320kbps/flac from my rig. I let him plug his earphones into my rig on the same song he was just playing from his iPhone. He then had me compare. I could hear nothing but grainy hiss from either, because his headphones are crap. No DAP/DAC/Amp/highest of the high end audio rig playing flac will sound much better, thanks to the earphones be uses which I believe are shot from being played way too loud.
I then put my Shures back in my rig, and then the difference was much clearer (though it really takes extended listening to notice the full benefit).
Your shures aren't the bottleneck in your setup. Your device almost certainly is not the biggest either. Installing a free audio hack and paying $5 for Neutron will help, but it's your files that are almost certainly limiting the sound quality. Investing in a bigger sd card, downloading 320kbps mp3's of songs you already know very well and own, IMO needs to be the first step. Then, you can either add in something like the Fiio E18, or get a dedicated DAP (or follow my example and go very cheap with a Sansa Clip Zip and Fiio E11).
Excreted from my Nexus 5
[Guide] Headphone/Earphone Buying