The Rhines Stage 5 is pretty easy to drive and all the DAPs I tried it with had more than ample power. An external amp will of course improve its performance and I would recommend an amplifier with a good sound stage and a lighter sound signature where there’s no extra focus on bass.
The Rhines Stage 5 isn’t cheap but you get a real quality product in return. The monitor is very easy to listen to and makes enjoying your music really easy. It’s not the most detailed or analytical monitor but with its perfect fit and its focus on bass and mids you get a top level sound that will make you want to sing along all day long. A good source and quality files surely are recommended to get the best out of it.
If you’re willing to pay a premium, Rhines can deliver you the most gorgeous looking pair of earphones you can think of. The pictures prove just that. The Stage 5 is the CIEM I use at home when I just want to enjoy my music, and it does that perfectly.
I would certainly recommend listening to the Rhines demo setup if you have that possibility, that way you can choose the perfect monitor for your personal taste. The monitors can be ordered directly from the Rhines Website. The Stage 5 is my favorite one, it makes me enjoy my music and isn’t that what its all about in the end?