Stereo receiver that will drive Headphones effectively
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I am a rookie in the audiophile game and just bought a pair of HD6XX headphones. My question is there a stereo receiver out there that will drive these to there full potential. If not can you suggest headphone amp that will? I'd rather buy a receiver however. Thank you
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MLaff
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ElectronicVices
2005
Mar 27, 2019
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Agree with the caveat that @GunsOfBrixton mentioned. The HD650 (same as 6xx) has continued to scale with better gear, more so than many of my 31 pairs. I've used it out of 4 different stereo/surround receivers, three portable amps, and 4 desktop amps. They sound their best out of my most expensive chain but they certainly make acceptable music out of a headphone out. Typically low impedance headphones struggle the most from built in HP outs as a lot of them have a pretty high output impedance. If you really need an "all in one" then I would like at some of the integrated amps from Cambridge Audio, Marantz and others. Those tend to put a little more effort into their HP outs.
Mar 27, 2019
MLaff
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Mar 31, 2019
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Thanks for your help...
Mar 31, 2019
ElectronicVices
2005
Apr 1, 2019
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You are most welcome, glad I could help.
Apr 1, 2019
DenonFanboy
691
Mar 25, 2019
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buy a JDS Atom, its only 99$ and quite a steal.
Mar 25, 2019
GunsOfBrixton
842
Mar 25, 2019
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The gray zone here is "full potential." A modern stereo receiver from a major brand (Yamaha, Denon, or similar) that targets home consumers will be able to drive them quite nicely. I occasionally drive mine from a Yamaha RS-201 and they sound very nice. An argument can be made that a dedicated headphone amp will be better because it is dedicated to the task, and/or is not stepping down the speakers' watt level amp power to get down to milliwatt headphone levels. Do I like my Valhalla 2 headphone amp with them better than the Yamaha? Yes. Is it the quality difference between, say, Jimmy Buffett singing the national anthem vs. a choir of angels? No. However, assuming that you have a specific reason for wanting a receiver (for example, you want to run speakers and headphones from one device) , then the value added by those capabilities will far outweigh any audible difference to a new audiophile. I'd say go with the receiver and enjoy its full capabilities. There's plenty of time to upgrade and play with headphone amps later, when they fit your budget/space/design/"I just want one" requirements. Your main challenge will be that you won't be able to look at a lot of reviews about how they sound with headphones, since receiver reviews usually focus on speaker performance. Just be sure to test it right away, and return it if you hear anything bad that stands out (I had a vintage amp for a short time that had a clearly audible hiss from the headphone out).
Mar 25, 2019