Best Amp for Monitor Headphones

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Finlaycairns67, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Finlaycairns67

    Finlaycairns67 New Member

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    Hi there,

    I am looking to get some headphones for monitoring (looking at the Beyerdynamic dt880 pro 250 ohms). What is the best amp that I should get for these? Would a tube amp be good for monitoring? Would I need a dac aswell?

    Also I am going to be recording with a usb microphone, so usually when I record I would plug my headphones straight into my mic and then record from there. But with the set up I am after with amp and dac would I be able to plug these into my microphone. I am not sure how it would work for recording. Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Your mic has a headphone jack in it? Could you explain this with more detail - what other devices are involved?
     
  3. Finlaycairns67

    Finlaycairns67 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply

    Yes, the microphone is a Rode Nt Usb and it has a headphone jack in it. As I am living in a flat I am unable to get monitor speakers so going to invest in good monitor headphones (beyerdynamic dt880) but want the appropriate amp to go with these. I am recording onto my laptop, so don't know whether it would be good to get a DAC as the soundcard on my laptop isn't great. The only equiptment I have at the moment is the usb microphone and my laptop so just wondering what I would need to be able to get good monitoring sound. I want to get the dt880's because they are semi-open which would be good for recording (mainly guitar and vocals) and also a good soundstage when mastering.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    You don't want to connect an amp to a laptop from the headphone jack since that would lower the quality of the sound that's already low quality (relative to best quality). The only other option for most laptops is a USB DAC, for example Dragonfly, Meridian Explorer etc., but since the amps in those have USB power alone, you'd need more power to drive the 250 ohm headphone, unless you accept some clipping of transients. There are many amps listed on this site, and you could start with a FiiO E17k on the low end of the price scale, then go up according to budget.
     
  5. Finlaycairns67

    Finlaycairns67 New Member

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    Ok, thanks for clearing a few things up. I am just wondering if it be ok to use just one dac/amp combo? I have seen various promising looking ones such as the aune t1 Mk2. Would this be able to give enough power to the headphones?

    Or is it better to have a separate dac such as a meridian with a separate amp?
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Mostly you can look at the power specifications at (in your example) 250 ohms, and see if it's good enough. The Aune might be a good bet if it has enough power. If someone tells you "Oh, it's plenty good enough" etc., then I wouldn't put much stock in that, but if someone has actually tested the headphone with amp X, Y, and Z, then that's worth more. I have a few of the USB mini-DACs like the Microstreamer, and while some of them have only a headphone out that allegedly doubles as a real Line Out, the Microstreamer has a real Line Out with a separate jack. So I've connected that Line Out to various amps such as the Portaphile Micro etc.
     
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