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How good are they without AMP/DAC, how do they compare to senheiser 6xx and other open-backs at the similar price range and which one dt880 or dt990 are objectively better( if it is) ?
I've listened to HD650 and DT 990, and the 650's are SO MUCH better!! They just sound.. right. They let you listen to your music and enjoy it without thinking that your gear doesn't reproduce the sound properly. So, subjectively, I'd choose 650 without any doubt. The 990 are much more bright, and even though I enjoy headphones with good amount of treble (DT770, Fiio EX1, Mee Audio PX), the 990's are a bit too bright, and after listening to the 650's, it feels rather annoying. Hope it helps.
I totally agree. If I could only own one good set of headphones they definitely be the Sennheiser HD-650. You can get a small tube amp to maximize the sound.
DT880 (especially the 600Ω version, if powered with the right amp) are reported to be less bright than their DT990 counterpart. They have more flat & steadily rising frequency response than DT990 which is more V-shaped. So they have less but still good & clear bass, and less treble & aren't piercing as often, but are still very clear, and their mids are well placed.
Do not hope to use DT880 600Ω without proper AMP, eg. you can't use them with mobile devices or just pc at all, because you won't get enough loudness.
If the AMP doesn't have about 100-120Ω of output impedance (and most have about 0-10) they will sound bad even though you manage to get them loud. In that case it's better to use appropriate connector plug that will increase it to these levels for both channels. DiyAudioHeaven has a blueprint for such connector on their DT880's review page. Using it, more single ended amps become available, as you don't need the power levels that are only usually supplied by the balanced outputs.
According to Zeos, without such plug they require an AMP able to deliver around 500mW per channel at 600Ω (in the amp specs pay attention it applies to the type of output you will be using, ie. single ended vs balanced!), but you likely won't be listening to them at this maximum level since that could damage them or your ears, lol.
Since these headphones have non detachable single ended cable, the choice of a proper AMP is rather limited: Beyerdynamic A20 and A2 should drive these out of the box, since both have 100Ω of output impedance (the latter has a switch between 0 and 100) andEmotiva BasX A-100 supposedly works very well too (but it's actually a speaker amp that needs the headphone power limit removed to work with these).
If you decide to DIY mod them for balanced, more amps will be able to power them as these outputs are usually more powerful than single ended. But with such power you will probably exceed their 100mW specification and can damage them if not careful or with long term listening like that.
In other words, a necessary amp is likely to be at least a bit more expensive than the headphones themselves, so if you want to take advantage of them you need to consider their price as well, but such setup is said to blow away with detail & energy it can provide.
Or you can use the plug & see what can power them this way.
Edit: included info about output impedance increasing plug and A20 & A2 amps that can drive them without it.
I have the JDS Atom and was wondering if I should get the 600 or 250 ohm version paired with that amp?
This amp will not handle the 600 Ohm version because "Max Output @ 600Ω = 125mW" is written in the specs.
I can't comment on what 250 Ohm version needs, since the amp's specs say only that "Max Output @ 150Ω = 502 mW" but not for 250. 250 Ohm version should be driven better than 600 by this for sure, maybe even sufficently.
I would suggest to look for reviews where your amp with DT880 250Ω were used, if you haven't yet made your decision.
If you used a special plug to increase output impedance of the amp to about 100-120 Ohm, JDS Atom should be able to work with the 600 Ohm version, probably.
Maybe these can be bought, but you would probably need to make them yourself.