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Newbie here. MUST GET AMP WITH THESE! I have the SHP9500, HD 280 Pro, DT 770 Pro 32 Ohm, Shure SRH840 and none of them even come close.
I do not agree With your verb « must ». I use the HD58X all the time with my iPad Pro or iPhone X (with the lightning to headphone out dongle) and no need for any headphone amp. The 1V output provided by the iPad or iPhone is of very high quality and powerful enough for the Highly sensitive 150 ohm headphone (104db/V). is it preferable to use a DAC/amp ? Maybe in theory, but I assure you that the verb « must » is irrelevant here. I have a couple of O2 amps (with and without DACs) and I have a 2V output Dragonfly Red (which I use frequently with my HD6XX), but I happen to never use these amps with my HD58X, because for portable use with my iPad or iPhone I don’t really need it, the sound is still excellent without the amp and for portable usage it’s far less a hassle: no need to carry the Apple USB adapter, the DAC/amp... That is one the two main advantages of the HD58X over the HD6XX (the other advantage being the firmer and more extended sub bass response). But with a good DAC/amp the HD6XX still has the edge over the HD58X in my opinion. The mids are just not comparable... Just my 2 cents ....
I'm just comparing my setup which is an iPhone 7 Plus vs an SMSL sAp-8. the SMSL separates the instruments, gives a fuller bass, and has a larger soundstage with better imaging compared to just the iPhone. I’m also using a preamp so I guess mileage may vary.
Hello. I do not agree with your assertion that "must" is a verb. It's an auxiliary verb. Alternatively, the Brits call it a modal verb. That is all. Carry on... lol
You may be right, it may be preferable to use a good DAC/amp even with the HD58X, but I emphasize that the word « must » is in my opinion a bit too strong. I would suggest using words like « suggested » or « would enhance the sound quality ». I talk from experience with both the HD6XX and HD58X. One « needs » the Dragonfly Red or O2 to reach its expected level of performance, the other may do without while still generate impressing sound quality and quantity. Just my 2cents...
PeteMtl im trying to decide between the HD58X and the HD6XX and I see you have both. I'll be powering it from my phone only (LG V30) and listening to mainly acoustic/folk/rock music. Would I be better off with the lower impedance 58X or would the 6XX still have the edge even when being driven by just my smartphone?
With a phone I would not hesitate and go with the HD58X, even if it's the LG V30. The only exception is if you value exact timbre and accurate romatic mids over everything else. Then I would suggest the HD6xx but only if you are ready to purchase a DAC/amp such as the Dragonfly RED, in order to get 2v of output to your HD6xx with your phone. For my own usage, I prefer the HD6xx in the living room with my external DAC/amp amd I prefer the HD58x for portable usage with my iPhone, to be used without any bulky headphone amp and adapters. True with my iPhone X I have to use the Apple lightning to headphone jack adapter, but its just a seemless wire adapter... Before having the HD58x I was using the HD6xx in portable mode with my iPhone and iPad, but I had to use the Dragonfly RED DAC/amp all the time with the Apple USB to lightning adapter. It’s a good solution, but using just the HD58x alone with my iPad or iPhone is a simpler solution and the sound is very good. Less convincing mids that the HD6xx, but more dynamic, better extended bass and good highs instead. It’s a good tradeoff. It’s all a question of taste. Remember though that both headphones are open back headphones, so it may or may not suit your usage In portable mode. I would not use any of these on an airplane or bus, but for walking in the neihborhood, it’s a good choice because I hear cars coming when I cross streets... But if you don’t want to hassle people around you in public areas or if you need good isolation like in planes, trains or buses, then I would suggest closed back headphones. I own quite a few of them (Sennheisers: HD25, Amperior and Momentum 1 over ear, Momentum 2 Over ear Wireless and Audio Technica: ATH-M50x) and if this is what you need there are many others to look for on Massdrop, like the Fostex and the recent Meze Black that seems promising.
PeteMtl thanks for your reply. I was about to make my order today but then i found out there is a Sennheiser dealer not to far from me so I went there today and tried the HD650 and HD660S to give me some idea of what the HD6XX and HD58X might sound like. First the 650, and I was very surprised with how loud they got using just my LG phone. I couldn't go beyond around 55 out of 75 before it got to loud. I was also surprised by the bass too, which was powerful with more presence than I had been lead to believe would be the case based on some reviews i read of the 6XX (assuming they are similar). However for me there was something 'wrong' with how they sounded, something that i couldn't quite put my finger on. There just seemed to be a lack of clarity and fidelity in the highs, very noticeable with stringed instruments. Even my B&O H3 earbuds are noticeably more clear to me . Could this have been down to my lack of an amp or is it just how they are supposed to sound? I had thought that the need for an amp would have shown itself in having to low volume through the headphones and sub par bass but this wasn't the case at all.
Secondly the 660S, and I realise these are not the same as the 58X but they were in the shop so i thought why not. These were equally loud using the phone despite the lower impedance. They did sound a lot more clear to me than the 650, perhaps not quite as clear as i had thought they might have been but pretty good. Definitely more detail in the highs. However the bass was really lacking which surprised me. Is this also the case with the 58X? I had read that the 58X has better bass extension than the 6XX but to me, at least through my phone, the 650 had much more pronounced bass than the 660S.
Both clearly offered a much more powerful listening experience than from my current earbuds but I was surprised today, first by the volume and power i got through my phone with the 650's but also with weird muted highs i got with them too, and secondly with the lack of bass in the 660S. I'll probably still order the 58X tomorrow once i've slept on it, they are only $150 after all and if i don't like them i can always sell them.
The main difference between the HD660s and the HD58x is the sub bass extension. If you find graphs on Head-Fi or Massdrop or other sites comparing them you will clearly see that the HD58x has clearly more sub bass extension than the HD660s, and even a bit more than the HD6xx. Also the HD58x feels a bit brighter in the top end than the HD6xx (in the 6-10 khz region), but it has slightly less energy in that region than the HD660S, which I find a good balance in between the HD6xx and HD660s. For the rest the HD58x and HD660S are almost identical, with the slight recessed upper mids (2-4 khz region) compared the the HD6xx and mostly compared to the HD600.
You cannot go wrong with either the HD6xx or the HD58x, its A question of preference, and for the HD6xx a question of sufficient voltage amplification. Your V30 may play them loud enough, but a good external amp which provides higher voltage will be beneficial. When I use my cheap O2 amp, I never find my HD6xx lacking clarity or energy or fidelity in the highs. It’s a budget amp, but it is capable of drawing over 6v of voltage to the HD6xx under 300 ohms, and that makes all the difference at higher level listening, in both bass/sub bass and treble regions. Don’t worry, both headphones are great, with small pluses and minuses for each, but over time you will appreciate either one of them you choose with correct amplification.