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What dac amp should go with the Drop x Sennheiser hd6xx?

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I've been looking into buying the hd6xx for a while now, and have been trying to understand the audiophile world recently. I was looking up amps and dacs and I just can't understand them. Can someone explain them to me, or recommend one for the hd6xx?
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dcha12
445
Mar 9, 2021
  • Amps: Literally what it says on the tin. Its job is to amplify the incoming signal.
  • DACs: Digital-to-analog converter (and yes, an analog-to-digital converter also exists for recording purposes). Turns those digital files into analog signals, which your amps and transducers need.
As far as recommendation goes, it's absolutely impossible for me to recommend one to you without knowing your budget. However, if you just need something to get you started, I recommend a cheap Schiit stack. That being said, keep in mind a few things:
  1. Yes, different DACs sound different. Measurements nowadays are almost every DAC to the point where there is zero correlation between how a DAC sounds and its measurements.
  2. Yes, amps sounds different even if they measure similarly. The Schiit Magnius and the Geshelli Labs Erish both measure spectacularly and sound very different (for reference I despise the Magnius). Yes, amps absolutely matter.
  3. Keeping the above two points in mind, system synergy absolutely reigns supreme. Although this matters much more when you're getting more serious into audio and when you have an idea of what you like.
Especially as a beginner, I wouldn't pay too much attention to measurements*. See here: A Rethink of THD/THD+N (or why both tell us almost nothing) | Super Best Audio Friends. Seriously, buy something cheap in the beginning and see if you like it. *please note that in no way am I implying that measurements are worthless. They're actually pretty interesting and can be used to help someone extrapolate whether or not they'd like something. The key point that I'm trying to make is that being a hardcore "objectivist" is just as damaging as being a hardcore "subjectivist." Measurements keep us honest, but don't tell the whole story. Listening impressions are valuable, but is subject to preference and the listener.
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Vault006
6
Mar 9, 2021
Thank you so much this really helps a lot.
dcha12
445
Mar 10, 2021
Feel free to read this: System Synergy - Special Sound | Page 34 | Super Best Audio Friends This thread is filled with a lot of posts about systems and what the SBAF community has found to work really well together.
danny87
390
Mar 9, 2021
Im no expert but I want to try to help. The HD6XX has a high impedance of 300 ohm, which usually means your phone/laptop/PC might not have enough power to... well, power the headphones. This is where an amp comes in. An amplifier will amplify (no surprise there) the audio signal to power up the HD6XX properly. Without an amplifier, you might need to crank the volume on your pc/phone all the way up just to get decent volume on the HD6XX. A DAC on the other hand, converts the digital files on your device into the actual audio that will be played on the headphones. A soundcard itself is a DAC, but the general consensus among the audiophile community is that soundcards just aren't good enough. A standalone DAC may have more functions compared to the PC soundcard, and usually will be able to handle more audio formats/quality. So the order of connection will be pc/phone > DAC > amp > hd6xx If your PC already has a decent soundcard, then the HD6XX might sound just fine plugged into it. I would suggest that you get the HD6XX first, try it out, and get the dac/amp later if you feel it's necessary. If it's not loud enough, you may need an amp. If the sound is bad, you may need a DAC. Some DAC has built-in amp, so it's more convenient. But a separate DAC and amp will offer more flexibility for future upgrade.
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Vault006
6
Mar 9, 2021
Thank you, you explained this really well.
raansire7
1236
Mar 9, 2021
What don't you understand about DACs and amps? Is it their individual functions or why you would need them?
Vault006
6
Mar 9, 2021
Alright, thank you so much. I will most definitely check that out later after school.
raansire7
1236
Mar 9, 2021
You're welcome, friend. Yeah, please do so. It's easy to understand, because the concepts are relatable to everyday stuff. They just have those obvious names, but they represent the behavior of daily life things, just that they sound too techy, he-he!
If you are looking for one on the go, one that comes very highly recommended is the Helm DB12 Portable Amp. It’s about the size of a thumb drive and it’s powered with technology from THX. There are a ton of reviews on Youtube about it. One of my closest friends is a very popular Youtube Tech Reviewer and he tested it for me on a pair of Drop Headphones and loved it. He is also one of the many reviews on YouTube. I highly suggest that you look on YouTube both for Amps and the headphones you are looking at. All you have to do is search best headphone Amos under (whatever you want to spend) and the same for headphones. Best set of audiophile headphones under ?.? Or just search reviews for the name of the headphone you are looking at. Usually you’ll see other videos of headphones people are comparing them with which might let you see other pairs you’ve not seen or considered. . I am also looking at buying a second pair of headphones and under consideration are the 58xJubilee . . The 6XX . . . then last night I heard about the Meze 99 Noir. I currently own the worlds best pair of Wireless headphones . . The Drop+THX Panda Headphones. They do not require an amp or a DAC as they have built in Amplifiers in each ear-cup. AMAZING pair of Audiophile headphones. Hope this helps . . Stay Safe and Happy Listening. Boomer 🐼 🎧
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Vault006
6
Mar 8, 2021
Thanks lol, you also replied on my other discussion as well. Im also looking for a more stationery dac/amp for my computer, but i will most definitely look into it