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headphone amps

#1
ez guys.
just spotted this wee headphone amp on amazon for a bargain £17 Icon_eek

Is it likely to be dog shit for plugging in HD600's?
Does anyone have any experience of the Fio E5?

I cant afford or justify an amp of >hundereds of pounds...
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts..or any alternatives <£100
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#2
They're actually really good, with (I believe) Wolfson converters in them. But not quite sure what you're trying to achieve? Are you after more volume, more clarity etc? That one is mainly for beefing up walkman style headphones. Wouldn't really work on HD600s in my opinion.

Buy cheap, buy twice!
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#3
Wilshy Wrote:That one is mainly for beefing up walkman style headphones.

Yes They're meant to be pretty good.
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#4
I'm looking at it from a standpoint of extra drive for the cans as my soundcard on max output only drives the HD600's at moderate levels.
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#5
You may have some luck with it, but it's probably more suited to the much lower ohms of walkman headphones. I maybe wrong though! Do a little google search. Sure someone somewhere has done it!
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#6
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/5374...7-e9-combo

looks like the e7 is worth a look..
http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-USB-DAC-Hea...d_sim_ce_1

or e7+e9 but thats pushing my budget..
http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-Desktop-Hea...d_sim_ce_3


e9+e7 combo review:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/5216...-e9-review -funnily enough he mentions the hd600's! Grin

e7 solo review:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/5046...ew-fiio-e7
think I might have to start saving for the cans and this amp... *waits for Macc to swoop in and shoot the plans down in flames
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#7
Have been curious after i read another thread on here about headphone amps after your post the other day on headphones. Was wondering if someone could clarify for me;
If you have a audio box like inputs outputs for your laptop( audio box might not be the word im looking for but i hope you guys know what im talking about) -do you still need the headphone amp for quality/preciseness of output sound? Or does it just pick up the volume? If you had a headphone amp would you need an audio box still?

Sorry to deter your thread Impact but just am needing clarification as im trying to figure out what would be best and most cost effective investment. Grin



Ps. Impact did the company say theyd replace your phones for $50?
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#8
A dedicated headphone amp can improve the quality of the signal/sound being sent to your headphones.
You might for example hear the sound open up more, tighter bottom end,an improvement in the dynamics etc over just jacking your phones straight into the output of your ipod/mp3 - soundcard or whatever. It can also boost the signal/volume, some phones need to be driven hard to get the best out of them (hd600/hd650 for example) as a lot of soundcards are not up to the job so the addition of a headphone amp will do this.
Smile
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#9
impact_ Wrote:I'm looking at it from a standpoint of extra drive for the cans as my soundcard on max output only drives the HD600's at moderate levels.

I think a few guys on here were using the Meier Corda Arietta amp. Depends how much you want to spend really doesn't it?
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#10
Not much! Lol
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#11
If you are looking at the E7 may be worth considering the NuForce Icon uDAC2-HP
which is about the same price.. Havent heard either.. but I really like the NuForce Icon HDP (The biggest differences for me are the clarity, tighter bass and instrument separation)
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#12
ok- thanks- will look into it Cool
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#13
markgabba Wrote:A dedicated headphone amp can improve the quality of the signal/sound being sent to your headphones.
You might for example hear the sound open up more, tighter bottom end,an improvement in the dynamics etc over just jacking your phones straight into the output of your ipod/mp3 - soundcard or whatever. It can also boost the signal/volume, some phones need to be driven hard to get the best out of them (hd600/hd650 for example) as a lot of soundcards are not up to the job so the addition of a headphone amp will do this.
Smile


I have a mac book but no external device for sound inputs/outputs yet, could I technically just get a headphone amp with out an external input out put device, guessing it would still compromise the signal without one?

ps cheers for the response... Just saw this! Smile
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#14
Yes you could.. you would just need a 3.5mm stereo male plug (from the macbook) to probably 2 RCA male plugs (for the headphone amp) you can get a cable for about the price of a cup of tea or a lot more if you want Smile
http://www.amazon.com/3-5mm-Stereo-Male-...B0002KR1OG

I have an headphone amp with 2 RCA inputs but I havent tested it using the headphone socket in the macbook so not sure what it would sound like.
I imagine it is pretty good, I will try it out tonight when I get minute.
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#15
Just tested this now using Modus Operandi with fairly low volume. (this was a pretty quick and dirty test)

I have HD650s and a Nuforce Icon HDP

Its actually really hard to do the test, as the mismatch in volumes when you are changing configuration can be misleading.. I tried to adjust for the same perceived vol

The difference between connecting the headphones directly and using the amp was subtle, the biggest difference was in "timing" ie. punch of the drums and less mud in the lower frequency stuff < 500hz.. hi frequency was a little brighter sounding with slight improvement in clarity on transients..

not sure wether I would drop the money on it though just for this improvement... If you need it to be louder then the amp will do it x100000

To be honest the biggest difference I got was going from analogue out to digital (using external DAC) mainly with the clarity and soundstage.. really able to listen to the reverbs being used almost as if you can walk through the sound picking out different bits you want to look at..

I may be talking bollocks though who knows? see if you can borrow one or try one out in a shop it is quite a personal thing really. I had a Benchmark DAC 1 a while back which I borrowed and decided it wasn't worth it for me.
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#16
Ashtonron Wrote:To be honest the biggest difference I got was going from analogue out to digital (using external DAC) mainly with the clarity and soundstage.. really able to listen to the reverbs being used almost as if you can walk through the sound picking out different bits you want to look at..

Uh bit of memory problems atm whats a DAC again? I like that there was less muddiness.... Hmmm... Dont care about volume really as that has never been an issue. I mean I had the hd280. But i plan on getting better headphones.

Just the idea of having headphones set up so that you can produce with them is very tempting, considering Im not rich enough to say no matter where I live ill be able to use my monitors ( living in apartments and all that you never know what the sound situation is)

I just know once I start working on music again. I wont ever go back and forth from using headphones to monitors while writing a song until the point of mix down and that would only be for refrence.... It gets too confusing while working with the sounds and what you want for frequencies... I either do it all with my monitors or all with headphones but didn't know Its possible to really hear whats 'really there' with headphones and if a headphone amp increased that Im all about it.

You know I have My monitors in a cable from my mac book to the headphone jack and there is a total compromise on the sound. Maybe I need better adapter, or maybe i need a audio box input out put tingy? Def should i have one for recording vocals?


PS thanks for checking it out. And apolgies for my lack of proper terminology with talking about this stuff.
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#17
I wouldn't recommend dropping extra cash on headphones before getting a nicer soundcard, especially if the headphones need a decent amp to work.. Personally I noticed that I messed up the bass on a lot of my mixes using the 650s without the amp (probably because i am shit) but with the amp the mixes translate much better.. (this could also be because I have gained experience making the mistakes before)...

A dac is what converts the digital signal in to the analogue signal which is then amplified by the amp. So in your case your Mac does the conversion, in my case I have a separate unit which does the conversion (and also includes a nice headphone amp)

cheers


a Soundcard is probably your first step. there are a million options (have a search around here) and plenty available second hand for not too much...
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