Raquelle on Stairs

Listening to Music on the GO

Despite wanting to stay inside as much as possible under your cozy blanket, right in the sanctuary called your room, there are times when you must go outside the the real world and enjoy your portable music.

Many of you had a very good reason to go outside more often than usual: Pokemon GO just came out! Collecting all the Pokemon by catching them sort of in the real world, and surprisingly, also a great way to get some exercise!

Or maybe not, but hey there is a new excuse to walk and get some exercise (but it does not have to be boring where the only music being played is background noise).

Portable Music While You Wander

(or while catching Pokemon)

Now as you go and chase that rare catch, maybe you want to listen to your music to get pumped or relaxed as you chase for a Pikachu*. Or maybe you don’t care for the game, but maybe had another reason to go outside. Maybe the weather was just right, or there was a book signing you wanted to go to, or maybe just need to see the ocean.

I have my own reasons when I need my headphones when outside, and here are some:

  • when waiting for and on the bus
  • taking a plane trip
  • while at the library or coffee shop
  • walking and jogging

You might have more situations when you pull out the headphones than what I listed (like when visiting a relative you don’t like). But whatever the reason you are outside, you would want to have a handy setup so you can enjoy your music to the fullest. Like you, I want to be in my own world filled with my music I curated and enjoy on my own.

Setup for Your Mobile Sound Enjoyment

I will cover three different kinds of setups for listening music while on-the-go. Based on what you will be doing (and possibly your budget), you might employ a variation of one of these sets:


Mobile Setup 1

Here we have the simplest setup: your smartphone and headphones. Handy when you just need something, and especially if you only have your pockets to store headphones. Not the best output for listening, but gets the job done. Recommended using earphones for maximum portability (I mainly use this option since I prefer listening at home with my stereo speakers).

Bare-Minimum Variation B:

Mobile Setup 1-B

Using a dedicated portable player with over-the ear headphones. The player is smaller than a typical smartphone, and over the ear headphones if you like that style better (personally I find these discomforting for long-periods). Mix and match with the previous choice.

Music Enthusiast:

Mobile Setup 2

Over-the-ear headphones, small portable amplifier, and source unit (smartphone/portable player). Better sound at the cost of less convenience. Mid-range option if you want the best of both mobile and quality sound.

Best Sound Possible:

Mobile Setup 3

Headphones that cost at least $100.00 + Dedicated Amplifier (can have more than one) + possible noise filters + special audio cables + source unit. You take no joke in your portable listening. You want the best money can buy. You do not care about having a thousand-dollar brick to drag around, as long as you enjoy it! While my setup is rather modest, there are people who have more dedicated portable headphone stacks.

Or A Unique Combination

Also this is just a rough overview, there are tons of choices to have the right combination of items. I would recommend browsing Head-Fi for selecting your stuff, or on my article on Hi-Res Starter Equipment.

Have fun putting your ultimate combination, whether you focus on mobility and convenience, or on optimal sound, or both!

For these setups, I used Poweramp for my Android Sony Xperia Z3, and would recommend if you are an Android user (it is $3.99 for the full version). There is a Poweramp app for iOS, but it is unrelated.

Your Portable Setup?

Whatever your combination you have, remember to keep your stuff safe. Please do not blast the phones to annoy others and kill your ears. You love your music, and you put effort to having the best combination, so keep your setup safe. And if you are also playing Pokemon Go while listening, please pay attention to your surroundings!

How does your setup look like?

(*If you plan to play music while hunting in Pokemon GO, make sure to turn on your music player AFTER you start the Pokemon GO app)