Do I need an amp?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by krismusic, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    I was switching my HD 600's between the headphone out of my phone and a line out through a portable amp. I can hear no difference.
    Would I hear a difference with a high quality, expensive desktop amp?
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Could you explain about that line out? From what source and output jack into what amp and what input jacks on that amp?

    To make a good comparison, so you can hear the big difference even a $70 amp can make with an iPhone, listen with the amp to music you have played many many times, then in the middle of something switch to the phone only. You'll pick up on it eventually. One caveat - driving an amp from a headphone jack isn't a good idea since the signal out of the headphone jack has already been fully processed and compromised.
     
  3. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    Hello again Dalethorn. I was plugging the HD 600's directly into the HO of my iPhone 5S then from the lightning connector at the bottom of the iPhone, through an Apple adaptor (which I understand contains a DAC) into my Headstage Arrow which is a £250 portable amp.
    No difference that I can discern.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    According to Apple there should be no difference, since the only actual difference that anyone knows of is that the dock connector (Lightning) bypasses the volume control that's available on the headphone jack. But, most headphone amps, even the lowly FiiO E07k or PA2V2 do make a rather spectacular difference from the Lightning port of my iPhone5 using the Apple adapter to 30-pin, and the FiiO LOD cable from the Apple adapter to the amp.

    You didn't say how you connected the Apple adapter with the DAC chip to the Arrow amp.

    From what I see of the Arrow amp in a google search, it has even less features than the £50 or so price of the E07k. What do you know that makes the Arrow a £250 amplifier?
     
  5. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    I didn't mean to sound like I was boasting with my £250 amp!
    Anyway. I bought it for the cross feed feature which in fact makes no difference that I can hear.
    Another reason is that it is designed to drive phones up to 600ohms so I did hope that it would power the HD 600's.
    I kept it for its lovely compact form factor and the very clean clear sound.
    It is actually a clever little unit. It automatically selects impedance and turns off when not receiving a signal.
    It uses an iPod battery which lasts ages and is user replaceable if ever necessary.
    A major benefit is that it helps with the mid bass pluminess that the IE8's suffer from.
    With the IE8's there is definitely a benefit using from amp rather than straight from the phone.
    I am using the lighting out to the Apple adaptor into a 30pin to 3.5mm jack into the input on the amp
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I will tell you two things, although I know that you'll find it hard to believe me. 1) The FiiO E07k will undoubtedly sound better, when using the FiiO LOD cable from iPhone to the E07k 'Aux' input. 2) Use the Audioforge EQ App, and the issues that the "cross feed" was supposed to help with will just go away. Really.

    FiiO E07K Andes Portable Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC

    FiiO L1 Line Out Dock Connector Cable for iPod, iPhone & iPad
     
  7. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    You are right. I do find that hard to believe! :) I am intending to visit Hifiheadphones to demo some amps so I will give the Fiio a listen. I don't suppose it will compete with the Lehman though. Unfortunately I cannot use any EQ programs while running Spotify.
    I already use the Fiio cable. Very good quality no nonsense cable and connectors.
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Lehmann should be a good match to the HD600.
     
  9. Danahifi

    Danahifi New Member

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    I think you need a desktop amp

    I think you can hear the difference if you use more time to hear and to tell. But I am sure if you use a desktop amp, the sound would be much better. I use Auralic Gemini2000 and Taurus MKii both, many people heard the sound, all thought the sound would be much better than portable amp.
     
  10. HowardLanders

    HowardLanders New Member

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    This was exactly my concern two months ago as I was not at all satisfied with the way my headphones were working. It was then that my friend suggested me to buy an amplifier to enhance my experience. After careful consideration, I got myself a Lehmann Audio Rhinelander amplifier( https://baybloorradio.com/headphones/headphone-amps?product_id=1844 ) from Toronto and must say, that is the best choice I have made in years. The clarity is astonishing although the price is on the higher side but it's worth it. I would say go for it.
     
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