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Ilikedifferentthings
42
Jan 9, 2018
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I have a Asus xonar DGX with can go up to around 150 ohms I believe. Do I go for the k7xx which i easiest to run, this 58x with 150, and k6xx with 300 ohms. I'm gonna play games like cs, pubg, and RS6. I also listen to music and I would rather not get another amp. Current driver is the G4ME ZERO(Closed-Back).
Jan 9, 2018
Eli35
585
Jan 9, 2018
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AKG K7XX aren't easy to drive, lower impedance doesn't means that. They're way harder to drive than the HD58X, since they require almost twice the power to sound equally loud. You can check it out here: http://www.digizoid.com/headphones-power.html.
Apart from that, for competitive FPS/action gaming (like CS, PUBG and R6) the K7XX should be better, since they have better soundstage and imaging than the HD58X. The 58X are not bad, maybe for gaming they won't have that huge soundstage you'd like to have. Maybe you should try the super-cheap Superlux HD668b, you can find them for under $30 and they have great soundstage & imaging. I have the 668b and also the HD6XX, and I can tell you the Superlux are way easier to drive and might be even better just for gaming (they're somewhat analytical, you'll be able to hear and locate every footstep or shot easily). For the rest, the HD6XX are way better in every single aspect, but they cost almost 10 times more and are harder to drive.
Jan 9, 2018
Eli35
585
Jan 9, 2018
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There's also another important factor, which is the output voltage & current capabilites of your source (namely, your Asus Xonar DGX) depending on the headphones' impedance: maybe it can output 300mW when using 32ohm headphones, but only 20mW under 100ohm). And no, higher impedance doesn't always mean less output power: for instance, the Little Dot MKII outputs "300 mW into 300 ohms, 200 mW into 120 ohms, 100 mW into 32 ohms"; as you can see, it delivers MORE power under a HIGHER impedance (yes, this is right).
Jan 9, 2018
Horten
27
Jan 9, 2018
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Irrelevant. His source isn't trash and the "more impedance, less power" principle will apply.
Jan 9, 2018
Eli35
585
Jan 10, 2018
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Yeah, his source is not horrible and probably the "optimal" impedance load will be low (maybe around 16ohm, IDK), so the higher the impedance the lower de output power he will get. But not every source scales equally when load impedance rises: some decrease almost-lineally (twice the impedance, half the power), some others quadratically (2*impedance, 1/4 power), and some even expontentially. So I think it's not completely irrelevant. I spent a few minutes trying to find out the output power of the Asus Xonar DGX, but could't find any reliable info.
Jan 10, 2018
ElectronicVices
1997
Jan 19, 2018
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If you think the voltage and current capabilities of the amplifier are irrelevant you're unfamiliar with the physics involved in sound reproduction. To determine if an amplifier has sufficient "power" for your headphones you must take all of the following into account: 1) nominal impedance of your headphone 2) impedance curve (range) for your headphone 3)sensitivity/efficiency of your headphone 4) current availability of the chosen amp 5) voltage swing capability of the chosen amp 6) listening habits/music library
Here's why: 1) This will help give you a baseline figure for wattage available from the amp later in the analysis 2) A 300 ohm headphone can have peak at over 1000 ohms at certain frequencies (typically in the bass arena), if the amp doesnt produce enough juice at 1000 ohms you will notice a lack of impact in that region 3) This determines how loud your headphone will get from the supplied wattage/voltage 4) Large amounts of current are needed by low impedance, low sensitivity headphones (planars, AKG) 5) Large voltage swings are needed by high impedance headphones (Sennheiser, 600 Beyers) 6) If you listen loud you will need a beefier amp, if you listen at low levels this is less of a concern. Also take into account your musical genres. Pop, EDM, Modern Rock, Rap will typically have very compressed dynamic ranges (difference between soft an loud sounds) so amplifier headroom is less of a concern. Classical, Jazz, Acoustic, Opera and some Rock groups will have a much wider range and require more headroom.
A General note on amplifier designs (exceptions exist!) OTL Tube - typically have some of the best voltage capability compare to others, lacking in current SS - typically have great current delivery, voltage can be a toss up depending on design Transformer Coupled Tube - also runs the gammut but certain designs can have a ton of current AND voltage swing.
My personal mantra on amps: Assuming all else equal, I like to have power to spare. The reason behind this is headroom, highly dynamic source material can draw absurd amounts of power from your amplifier. You might cruise along at 20 mw for most of the listening but an explosion or massive bass tone could spike that 10x, 50x, 100x. If your amp can't deliver the necessary wattage that note will lack the impact of the original recording or reach highly noticeable levels of distortion. Worst case scenario you do significant damage to your drivers. I also value a very low output impedance as my headphones range from 12 ohm sensitive IEMs to double magnet planars with a peak current handling of 5W. I also feel a well designed amp will not aim for coloration but minimizing distortion and crosstalk. If I want coloration I will roll some tubes or buy a colored/"fun" headphone. On the speaker side, I am a big fan of monoblock designs as they have greatly enhanced my low level listening. It also doesn't hurt that they have 400W in reserve for times that I "unleash the beast".
Jan 19, 2018
Eli35
585
Jan 19, 2018
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Very accurate, totally agree. Some people still moan about the lack of bass impact in their HD6XX, driving them from a low power SS amp that clearly hasn't enought voltage considering this headphones have a huge impedance spike in the mid-bass region (more than 500 ohm @ 80-90 Hz). Then, magically, you drive them from a decently powered OTL amp and BOOOM there's the bass. Magic? Nope, science.
Jan 19, 2018
Horten
27
Jan 19, 2018
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I am aware of the basic functionality of amplifiers. It is pointless to talk about special cases where the tube amplifier has an output impedance so high it can barely power low impedance headphones. The OP talked about his SS amp and thats it. Good solid state amps are also capable of delivering enough voltage for any dynamic headphone and are on a technical level superior to tube experiments.
Also, having 400 Watts to spare to power headphones seems slightly excessive.
Jan 19, 2018
ElectronicVices
1997
Jan 19, 2018
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Your attention to detail is lacking good sir or madam... "On the speaker side" is how that piece about 400 watts begins.. my towers have a 3 way 5 driver sealed design with power handling capability in excess of 500 watts... fairly inefficient to boot...and an OTL struggling to power current hungry headphones is not a special case... it's pretty much the norm see Transformer Coupled designs if you want current. OH... and learn how to use the word facetious in proper context.
Jan 19, 2018
Horten
27
Jan 20, 2018
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My point was that OP has an SS amplifier and people opened the can of OTL even though it's unnecessary in this context.
Jan 20, 2018
ElectronicVices
1997
Jan 20, 2018
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What Eli35 and I have latched onto is the fact that OP obviously has a minimal understanding of the role of impedance in the signal chain. You too have also over-simplified the situation which results in masking the factors at play. I can't speak for Eli35 but I am going to go ahead and apologize for trying to spread some knowledge... forgot folks on the internet just want reinforcement of their own opinion!
Jan 20, 2018
Eli35
585
Jan 22, 2018
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An OTL is way different from a SS amp, and this whole discussion it's not about "necessary" or "unnecessary", it's about the best amp for high impedance headphones, and how the output power varies with different load impedances in SS and OTL amps. And while "good solid state amps" will deliver way more than enought power on high impedance dynamic headphones, they output less power under high impedance loads, which makes them worse suited than OTL amps for headphones that have a huge impedance spike (like the HD6XX from the OP, with 500+ ohms in the bass region between 80 and 100 Hz). On the other hand, SS amps will be a much better match for low-impedance, high-current demanding headhones, like the AKG K701. It's not "tube amps are better" pseudoscience, it's electronics knowledge. Read @ElectronicVices post carefully and make some internet research if you're interested; if not, it's ok for me, no problem!
And just to point it out, I don't even own an OTL amp, I'm not trying to defend my choices or acting like a 15yo fanboy. I own some high impedance cans (HD6XX), and I can tell there's a HUGE difference when driving them from a very-low-power source like a smartphone (S7), a low-power SS DAC/amp combo (Hifime Sabre 9018), and a mid-power SS/tube hybrid amp (LD I+). I would say the biggest difference was when I turned up the switch gain on the LD, the HD6XX gained a lot of bass presence and soundstage, even at similar volumes. I know it sounds crazy, but it's 100% legit: a more powerful amp won't just give you more volume, it can improve the sound of your headphones A LOT.
Jan 22, 2018
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