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Hey guys! I have the Fiio Q1 which I bought in anticipation for the HD6xx (and also for my HD 598). Do you think that it will be worth to expend 150$ having the Q1 already? Will it be a considerable improvement? Thanks a lot!!!
I just want an amp capable of driving both headphones. I'm not quite sure if the Q1 will drive the HD6XX properly (I investigated and the specifications say that it should drive 150 ohms headphones without issues, but I also read that the HD6XX do pick to 300 ohms when listening to some classic music pieces). I mainly listen to pop, electronic music and soundtracks...
I have used the Q1 in the store for some time. Can't tell you anything about quality and all that, but volume-wise, it was so-so. Still listenable, but on multiple occasions I involuntarily was reaching for the volume know, only to find that it's already maxed out. So yeah, it was listenable, but me, personally - I needed more. And to me, it wasn't worth $150, the volume was almost, if not not the same as my iPhone. And again this is only volume-wise.
Thanks a lot, Besey. I do appreciate your input! I have the Q1 and for my HD 598 the volume is OK, but I don't know if it will be the same with the HD 6xx... Do you mean you tried with the HD 650 and the volume was so-so? Maybe then I should consider jumping in and joining this drop for the O2...
I don't think the Q1 can even be capable to drive the HD6XX , but i'm sure you'll unlock its full potential with this
I can tell you for certain that this little DAC/amp will not unlock the full potential of the HD6XX/650. But it will provide a noticeable improvement compared to your FiiO Q1.
brought my Q1 to audition HD600, and the answer as far as i know, is no, Q1 cant push HD600 or HD650 to their potential.
budget amp that i think can power it are:
DAC-X6 (dac/amp combo)
O2+ODAC (dac/amp combo)
Schiit Magni 2/3 (amp)
all these amps can at least output 88 mW for 600 ohms, and HD600 and 650 are 300 ohms.
Also they draw power from wall instead of battery, so they can draw more to power high impedance headphones.
can you recommend a dac/amp that can unlock the full potential of HD6xx?
The HD6XX/650 scales well - meaning that the headphones will sound increasingly better used in conjunction with higher quality DACs and more powerful amplifiers. But I can't tell you which high-end (expensive) DAC/amps that pair best with the HD6XX; others will have to chime in.
Since the HD6XX has a somewhat warm and dark sound, pairing it with a DAC/amp that has a lean, detailed sound would be wise. I personally recommend the high-regarded, full-featured, iFi Micro iDSD Black Label portable (internal battery-powered) DAC/amp... that feels just at home on a desk (USB-powered) - with its rubber nub feet installed, of course. Some may consider it expensive (~$450), but it's worth every penny for those that can appreciate its revealing sound and extensive feature set.
Though, if you want to use a balanced connection with your HD6XX, you will have to select another DAC/amp. That being said, I don't think another similarly-priced, balanced DAC/amp would sound much better (if at all) compared to the iDSD since the little iFi unit it can output gobs of power and has superb channel separation.
I find the HD6XX certainly benefit from a good warm sounding DAC/Amp. Personally I don't find them warm, I find them neutral and dark. Adding some warmth to these gives it more character, and it gives you more eargasms :)
There are tons of options and some of them are really expensive. If you don't want to break the bank check out Garage1217 amps and the Bottlehead Crack.
I'd be wary of using a warm amp with the HD6XX, as it could result in over-emphasizing the upper bass and lower mids, possibly muddying the sound.
I would classify the iFi Micro iDSD BL as having a neutral sound... and a very tastefully-implemented bass boost switch, which adds just the right amount to give you those eargasms.
A warm amp doesn't have to sound muddy. I've got amps that are neutral-muddy and amps that are warm-transparent. That said, psychoacoustics does teach us that when an amp is brighter sounding, it does give the illusion of having more transparency and resolving ability.
Perhaps it's just personal preference though. I always do like a good warm source with my HD600 (being the same driver as a 650, they sound closer than people assume), sure sometimes I need a fresh air and I switch to my neutral source but I always gravitate back to my warmer one. My preferred sound on these is a warm, transparent sound with a large soundstage.
Here's where a nice tube amp really shines.
I listen to all of my Senns via tube amp, especially when we are talking 600 and up.
You will find a warmth and liquidity in a full-on tube amp that you can never TRULY experience in SS, although the many nice hybrids out there certainly bring you very very close.
If you have a bit of cash, and want something that does it all, DAC/Amp, look for the Woo WA7 Fireflies.
You might take a look for it over on ebay, there's one listed now for 700USD.
My sense of the HD 600 is that it is more neutral than the 650, just a listen has my ears hearing a more bassy and dark quality with the 650. I definitely prefer tubes that "lighten" the quality when listening to the 650's.
I completely agree, and I already do run tubes with all my main setups. I've got a Woo WA6SE for my main headphone rig and a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium for my main speaker rig. To disagree on one point, while I feel the WA7 is a good DAC+Amp combo, I don't think the WA7 is actually that good a buy, there are some stiff competition at that price point. Woo's higher end stuff like the WA6SE and WA2 certainly punch above their weight class.
The 650 and 600 do not share a driver.
The HD 580 and the HD 600 share a driver (with the latter using better materials for the grill and frame, and better matched pairs of drivers), and the HD 580 absolutely do benefit from a warmer amp, in my experience, consistent with what I'd expect from your HD 600.
The HD 650 has a re-tuned driver with increased warmth and reduced midrange/lower treble. They do not sound the same as the 580/600. You can see how much less treble the 650 has compared to a 600:
Hmm I must've swore years ago I read 580/600/650 all head the same driver, just different housing. It made sense since you could mod the 600 driver housing to let more high frequency waves pass through, which made it sound almost identical to a 650. But now I just found a post in HeadFi from Sennheiser stating the 580/600/650 are all different drivers!
And I disagree once again, whether you like a neutral sound or a warm sound is a matter of preference. I much prefer my 600 in a warm setup, the warmer the better. I used to like it neutral, but that was 5 years ago. I find my 600 is just as boring as my 800 if I don't give it any warmth.
oh, I do suppose that Sennheiser has tweeked things a bit over the years. I also understood that the 600, 580, 650 all had essentially the same driver, with 650 tweeked to roll more bass, with a drop-back of the mids and low trebs, which is why I went with the 600. Most of the diffs were described as being in the shell.
I agree that you can do BETTER with other gear, but as a single unit, I find the WA7 to be choice. If you roll tubes on it, you can do amazing things with the Fireflies!
Right now, I have a bit of a stack going, using my WA7 for its DAC,(tubes off), WA2 pre-amping a Hafler DH200 amp out to a pair of Celestions SL6's which are mid-sized speakers that I am pretending are desktop speakers LOL!
Sounds like we have the same taste in rigs, brother!
OMG sorry man, haven's seen this. Yeah exactly, I've tried the 650s and even though I listen to stuff at a pretty high volume, the volume with the q1 left quite a bit to be desired.
Haha, no worries, thanks for answering! I ended up getting the O2 + SDAC so I hope it will be enough with that (at least in the short term :D)
Oh riiiiiiight! i think i heard a lot of good stuff about it. At least if it's what I think it is. Is it a redesign of the Mayflower and JDLabs ones? Either way hope you enjoy it. Btw what's the diff b/w SDAC and ODAC?
Both of them got odac from the same guy who design it in 2011. So yes, they are the same, assuming they use the same material as well. Jdslabs since then came out with something better call El DAC and ol dac this year, as DAC technology has improved a lot past 6 years.