Showing 1 of 5039 conversations about:
View Full Discussion
Can I run these directly out of an iPad Pro?
they will not sound very good. I don't believe an iPad will be enough to power these headphones.
I've found that anything will at least power these things if cranked to max volume. It won't sound bad, but you'll be missing out on the extra umph from a good DAC/Amp.
Are there anything better umamped at the same comfort level and price point? The most attractive part is the comfort of the K712 when I tried them in store. I have the Fidelio X2 but they feel too heavy.
Rated impedance: 62 Ohms
That's too high for the average mobile device.
Depends on your listening volume. For me, iPhones are more than enough. Every device's outputs differ, and everyone's ears differ too. Unless you buy an amp that is designed to alter the sound, at the exact same volume, there shouldn't be much if a difference considering the hardware they put in recent apple devices.
They're hard to drive for a 62ohm headphones. even some 150ohms are easier than this, they say
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Full volume is loud enough for me. On some tracks I might prefer it a bit louder than the phone can do but perfectly acceptable.
Gigabyte Z170X-UHD motherboard: Loud enough to cause hearing damage with extended use.
Kindle Fire HD: Louder than the phone, not as loud as my motherboard. Just right for most of my listening.
Yamaha RX-V665 Home Theater Receiver: Plenty of volume. Comfortable at +0 DB.
Audio-gd NFB-11 DAC/AMP: On "low" power, comfortable up to around 50% volume. "High" power is over kill. But the analog knob on my desktop is nice :D
Volume isn't the only concern. Many amps, especially cheap ones, add clipping and distortion when pushed too hard.
That's true, in theory anyways. Any amp, even damn expensive ones, will clip when asked to drive something beyond it's capabilities. But you really have to go looking to find a truly garbage amp these days. Most $600 smart phones and $100+ tablets and motherboards use about as good as you can get.
That's actually quite good results. Better than the S5 I can attest to having personal experience with. The point is that "need" in this case is subjective.
Meaning you don't notice the flaws, or they don't bother you enough to use a better performing amp?
I DO use a more powerful amp. But if I didn't have one I still wouldn't hesitate to purchase these headphones. If later I was to then go shopping for an an amp, it would be for the convenience and the extra volume, not because these headphones somehow sound horrible without one (they don't).
I've tried these headphones (and others) with all the digital devices I can get my hands on, out of sheer curiosity. It makes me wonder how many of these people claiming that these headphones "NEED" an amp have actually ever tried listening to them without one? Have you? Be honest.
Need an amp to show their full potential, not simply create sound. I've tried my headphones on digital devices. They're OK in a pinch, but they have too many weaknesses for serious listening. It's not imaginary, it's measurable. Science!
I would say the Sennheiser HD6XX's, also from massdrop (which are based on the HD650's) are at the same price point, are just as comfortable (or maybe more) and many say that without an amp, they dont sound bad. Now, that doesn't mean they will sound amazing. If you are really set on using these on your phone I would pick up portable amp at some point. You should notice a big difference, even with a low budget amp for around $75-$100.
Science says if you can drive the headphones loud enough without distortion, then it's good enough.
Reasons why people want an amp so badly is usually because they don't like the sound of the headphone but doesn't acknowledge that, so they buy expensive amps that intentionally distort the sound to try and fix what they don't like.
Distortion is not directly related to volume in that way. By using the wrong equipment for the job it is possible to produce a weak (low volume), but distorted sound.
You're oversimplifying the many facets of audio, and there's no amp that creates a distortion-free signal. 'Good enough' is way too vague and subjective, it's more helpful to share detailed impressions of what you've heard yourself.
Exactly! That's why I say you need an amp that can get you the listening volume you want, without distortion. :)
Science is science! I've never said no one needed an amp. I've said that these are excellent headphones (the best open backed cans you can buy for $199 IMO) and they sound great on pretty much anything you might plug them into. I've also said that AFTER trying them on the *amps* you already have available (if it has a headphone jack, it has an amp, because you know... science!) and you still find it's not loud enough for your ears to enjoy, then consider buying a more powerful amp.
I own a very good amp. I love having an analog volume knob in front of me, not worrying about cable being long enough, and the extra volume is enjoyed on some tracks as well ;)
The closest you can ever get to perfect is 100 percent. Even an amp costing thousands of dollars can only approach that number. How much worse is one that only cost one hundred? Do the math.
Sound quality doesn't exist on a linear scale from 1 - 100% perfection. As any engineer will tell you, in the real world, each product's design decisions can have a wide range of influences on the results.
If it's well designed, not much worse really. Most people agree that diminishing return hits hard after a hundred to two hundred dollars, where you pay hundreds to thousands for just a few percent if the initial product was good to begin with. For some others, though, the small difference is the key. Personally I've compared small, one hundred dollar amps to multi thousands dollar amps. Same with headphones. A few percent here and there. That's the beauty of good headphones and amps. They are not designed to impress. They are refined so they have no large flaws, so you can listen to them all day for years. The key to judging audio devices isn't if it wows you on first listen, as that may change depending on your mood. The key is that there isn't anything you hate, so you won't ever need to go searching for something else to fix what you don't like. If you find such a headphone, then it's your end game. It's different for every one, and many spend thousands just for that small bit if refinement.
Of course not. In reality, we aren't talking about a linear scale of 1-100%. No one intentionally sets out to design horrible sounding electronics and a truly awful product rarely even makes it to market. We've been building electronic devices for sound reproduction for well over a century now and those that design transducers, amps and other signal processing hardware are building on a mountain of R&R done in the most part by those who came before them. These days no one but an idiot sets out to redesign the wheel. The scale we are really talking about, in terms of sound reproduction accuracy, is perhaps something like 96% - 99.9%.
"These days no one but an idiot sets out to redesign the wheel." - so wrong. Case in point the latest headphone drivers from Focal, or the Schiit Yggdrasil.
What you're not recognizing is that sound reproduction accuracy isn't the end goal here. The goal is listener enjoyment. This is why tube amps are so prevalent in the high end of audio.
That starts to go into the territory of audiophile products vs hi-fi products. ^_^
High end audio products targeted towards audiophiles for listener enjoyment can focus on high fidelity, but most of the most welcomed ones do not, and focus on distorting sound to please their own respective audiences/attract other audiences.
Products that truly focus on high fidelity are welcomed at times. They are also well recognized in the audiophile community, whether they are dacs, amps, headphones, or anything else, often under the glowing terms such as "boring," "lifeless," "lacks musicality," "bright," "harsh," "analytical," "cold," "needs a $20k cable and maybe some kind of $60k tube amp to wake them up and sing the real sound that they were meant to produce."
(Or you can become an idiot like me and use DSP. I'm broke so I prefer getting music quality that far surpasses what getting multi-thousand dollar setups will give you, for free. Laugh at me all you want. I'm all good. ^_^ )
Seems that you're not looking for perfectly accurate sound reproduction either if you're using DSP.
I'm curious, what kind of DSP process are you using?
So right! What you aren't admitting is that while headphones (and other speakers) are designed with specific parameters that will shape the frequency response in *measurable ways*, and that listening pleasure is a subjective thing, not an objective measurement of accurate sound reproduction (in the loud speaker game the rule of testing speakers is to remember you aren't listening to a speaker, you are listening to a specific room with a given speaker in it) that very few amps are designed with similar variance in tuning.
Case in point, you supplied the only real exception to this rule yourself. Tube rollers are a different breed and tube amps and buffers are intentionally designed to cater to that niche.
Meanwhile, the majority of mainstream amplification manufacturers have strived for over a century to produce amplification that is true to the source signal and have been more or less successful in doing so. With digital technology and the advent of DSP, there is no production cost benefit to producing hardware components that intentionally inject coloration (distortion) into the listening experience. This is true of the amps in your cell phone, laptop, tablet, ipod, PC motherboard, or outboard amp/dac components. The "more or less" variance is actually quite small, between successful hardware manufacturers and I stand by my claim.
What DSP software are you using to shape the sound of these inexpensive devices? I'd like to try it!
Typically, I don't. ;) But nearly every software on the planet has at the very least "bass boost" or an EQ, if not full DSP.
What is "full DSP" ? Are you just making this up? :-)
In my opinion, very few do (unless you need to, say you work in pro audio and need to monitor sound accurately). Every headphone sounds different anyways, and there is no reference on what is "natural/neutral sounding." Just find what you like, and enjoy your music and be happy. ^_^
Don't impose your preferences on other people, and respect other people's preferences as well.
The main driver for my DSP setup is this one:
It's mainly to simulate speakers without altering the sound signature too much.
I use it along side Equalizer APO and Viper4Android, so I can get it running on all my systems and so that it's not just limited to a music player. Your mileage may vary on how much it improves/ruins your audio experience, but I do recommend everyone to give these things a try, as they are free after all.
It's so easy to get transparent sound these days. Many agree that DSP is the future as we get closer to providing fully transparent audio to the average consumer. Everyone hears differently, and everybody likes different things, so there is no real reference.
Today, your best guess is usually to look at objective measurements, read impressions and guess how something will sound (unless you have access to a product physically to try it out). Sadly, almost all companies try to hide most, if not all the stuff that matters (Frequency response? Distortion at only 1khz? SPL 95? Impedance of xyz? What does this stuff do if the manufacturer does not specify more info?), so trying to chase objective info is near impossible. One then has to rely on subjective impressions (and their respective biases). Good DSP however can fix inherent issues with stereo sound played through headphones, and can be customized by the consumer themselves if they take the time to learn it (instead of just bumping up the bass past clipping, and then complain that digital stuff sounds terrible). We are seeing amazing DSP being thrown out, especially those integrating things such as headtracking to mimic being in a real audio space (well, this is more of a response to the untapped market of VR).
For now, I prefer to just find something that is completely transparent, has audible no noise or distortion, and EQ the **** out of it until I'm happy. :D
LOL! Are you going to try and nitpick me to death? By "full DSP" I meant "user has full or elaborate control over DSP via software and/or programming interfaces". But of course you already knew that ;)
How do you think a software EQ and bass boost works? Are there microscopic switches and electrical filter networks in the device that are working in the analog domain?
Let me rephrase: Where's the DSP setup that lets me tweak a common DAC/amp on a chip to emulate different hardware? Does it actually exist?
Do any of these include tube emulation?
Probably not out of the box. A lot will depend on what manufacturer you source that chip from and the software they include. Some of the more "pro audio" sound cards will include some...
U-3C already wrote a comprehensive description of a very popular plugin for Foobar and I'm sure a little googling will find you other DSP emulation layers that act in the digital domain *before* it reaches the dac/amp. Try "tube amplifier emulation for windows" as a search term. Linux is so much easier to insert modular plugins like that inline. As I said, I don't really mess with any sort of sound customization to the music I listen to, at least not in Windows.
Well, Viper4Android had a tube emulator that I sometimes use. I also have a little tube amp. However, I only use them to change the flavour of the sound once in a while. Never really liked to use them as a permanent solution as the change in sound makes me lose some stuff that I don't want to lose. I prefer to tweak it manually with EQ. In terms of tube distortion though, that's quite hard to emulated with EQ. Maybe you can find some stuff online, but for me, tubes just change the sound a bit, and not always in perfect ways, so I don't use them as reference to find the sound I like. I mainly like tubes when I want to kill some sibilance, but once I find the frequency that is causing issues, I'd rather not use them out of inconvenience.