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Budget "HiFi" with headphones

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I asked this question in the Hi-Fi choice forum, and was told that the best place to ask about these things was at Head-Fi. So, here I am, and to save some time I will just repost... Hope you don't mind!

________________POST FROM HI-FI CHOICE________________

I have decided to get a budget HiFi system without speakers. Instead I will use pretty good headphones (Philips HP-890), because my room (and my neighbours) makes "loudspeaker-HiFi" impossible. Furthermore it's cheaper, which is important to me...

Anyway. Here's some questions on the issue:

Is it possible to get good sound...
...directly from a budget CD-players headphone jack (eg. Sony CDP-XE570)?
2. ...directly from a budget DVD-players headphone jack (eg. Samsung DVD-324)?
3. ...by combining any of the above with a budget stereo amp (eg. Sony TA-FE570) and using its headphone jack?
4. ...directly from a good CD-receivers headphone jack (eg. Denon UD-M30)?
5. ...from another budget solution? (<£250)

My definition of good sound is rather "maximum sound for the money", than "best quality money can buy", but off course quality is important... Otherwise I'd stick with my current Philips mini-combo...

All comments appreciated!
Thanks alot.
post #2 of 7
Hi Magnus, Welcome to Head-Fi

My own personal choice, if you're going headphones only and with a strict budget of £250, would be to look at the Richer Sounds website, and there, the Sony CD player you mentioned is under £100... so you could even go up a level or two for your source, and then pick up a good semi-portable DIY amp (META42, CHA47, CMOY etc) for around about £100 from several of the members here, and there you have it... A pretty kick arse first system

...Then, the fun begins... the first thing you'll want to do is upgrade the headphones.......................

Have Fun!!
post #3 of 7
Hello magnus, welcome to head-fi!

I have a Denon D-M3 (the predecessor to the UD-M30), and I would not recommend using its headphone out. My unit's amplification sections (both headphone and speaker) are very hissy. However, it does work very well as a source. In anycase, I would definitely recommend not spending all your funds on the source without any amp at all. Go with what Duncan suggested.

As for the other sources, I'll let others comment because I've never heard them.
post #4 of 7
You can find lots of information on phones, headhone amps etc at

www.headwize.com , at there information pages
www.headphone.com , Headroom (manufacturer / reseller)
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies!

I have realised that a CD-player and a headphone amp is the best combination for my needs, but where I live (Sweden) headphone amps seems to be a really rare and expensive thing. New ones are expensive and used ones are hard to find. That's why I kind of hoped that one of the other solutions would give decent quality...

The cheapest (new) headphone amp I've found is "Rega New Ear" for £140. For that price I get the 2x110W, 6-input Sony amplifier I mentioned in my previous post. Just doesn't feel right to pay as much for a little headphone amp...with no remote! (well...ok...maybe difference in quality and so on...but still!)

Are you sure option 1-4 from my list are really that bad?
If you have to chose (and use) one of them, which one would it be?

Thanks again...
post #6 of 7
You cannot compare a decent headphone amp with a cheap amp. In terms of sound quality you should rather think at amps for 3 or 5 times the price of the headphone amp.
With a sensivite headphone you could start with the output on the CDP. It's said that there are some with relatively good quality headphone jacks, but don't remember the models. And later add a headphone amp if you want.
The idea of using the headphone output on a cheap amp is most probably a dead end, if you don't have any other use of the amp. That headphone output is basically the same as you get on a CDP, maybe worse because you first feed the signal through an interconnect to the amp.
Sorry, good sound is not cheap but a good headphone rig as much cheaper than a speaker system.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, I think I've made up my mind.
I will begin my HiFi adventure in the following steps.

1. Sony CDP-XE570 with Philips HP-890 connected to the headphone jack.
2. Look around for a cheap used headphone amp.
3. If I happen to run in to great amplifier/loudspeaker deals on the 2nd hand market, I'll eventually upgrade to a loudspeaker system.

Thanks for your help!
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