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Best headphone without amp

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
If price is not an issue, in your mind what is the best headphone (open or closed) which is easy enough to be driven without a dedicated amp?

Sorry if this has been discussed before, I tried to search for it, but I couldn't find it.
post #2 of 19
What type of sound you are looking for? The Sony, V-6, Koss KSC-35 or KSC-50, or the Koss porta pros are good headphones that don't require an amp. You might also want to look into the sony ex-70. These headphones/ear buds are relatively inexpensive.

The lower end Grados are suppose to be efficient too (SR-60 and SR-80). My friends who own the Grados SR-80's play them from their labtops or MD players.

Sennheiser might have some solutions too, but I am not too familiar with their line of lower-end headphones.
post #3 of 19
Grado rs-1s? iirc, they don't need an amp, but improve with one.
post #4 of 19
Etymotic ER4P. No doubt about it.
post #5 of 19
Best headphone without an amp? Sony MDR-R10. Or for something cheaper, go for an Etymotic ER-4P, which is a highly regarded headphone as was mentioned in the post above mine.

Have fun.
post #6 of 19
Most Grado's or the Ety 4P's. I was quite surprised how good the RS-2's sounded straight out of a PCDP. I would opt for the SR-60 ($70) for a PCPD.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's interesting, I actually thought about if R10 made the list while I was typing the question. HD-5000, did you actually listened to R10 without an amp? How did it sound?

Other headphones came to my mind too. ER-4P was an obvious choice, though I don't like ear-bud. HD-590 was another potential candidate I guessed. Any Beyer good without amp? Any other suggestions?
post #8 of 19

Koss PortaPros (budget), Ety 4Ps ($$)

If you're on a budget, I really like the Koss PortaPros ($50 list). Some may find that they're a little heavy on the bass side, but I like that for some music. Great sensitivity. Most who try mine want a pair.

If you've got more to spend, my 4Ps are amazing. I like them better than my Grado 325's. Clear, detailed and very sensitive (= volume without amp). Not as much low end as the Koss's, but much much more clarity.

This is after trying several models of sony's, grados, akgs, and sennheisers.

But remember that earphones, like speakers are very personal perceptions. Don't take our word for it, just build a short list from the recommendations here and spend some time listenening yourself.

Good luck!
post #9 of 19
Um... MDR-R10?

Or what else....

Grado HP-1000
Grado RS-1
Alessandro MS-1
post #10 of 19
Originally posted by Gluegun
Um... MDR-R10?
He thinks he's kidding. He's not. I saw the thread title and had to try it. As I type, the R10 is being played directly out of a Sony D-303...and it sounds damn good. The R10 has lots of volume...and I can even use Mega-Bass to deal with the R10's lean low end. Hmmm....

Further analysis...high end is capped somewhere in the upper audible range, and bass extension is poor. R10 bass is usually lean, but still goes deep. Not out of this PCDP. Mega-Bass only pushes out the upper bass, but doesn't help with extension. Still the best sound I've heard without a dedicated external amp.
post #11 of 19

Porta Pros Sale

If you are interested in the Koss Porta Pros, note that Koss continues to sell them at 50% off with the right discount code. After shipping, around $30. Quite a buy. Seehere for discount info.
post #12 of 19
ATH W100

Sounded great directly from my Sony DJ50.....

Though it sure sounds better with an amp
post #13 of 19
Sennheiser HD25's, Koss Porta Pro, Koss KSC-35. All sound fantastic without an amp and are perfect for portable use (I use an iPod).
post #14 of 19
Any low impedance decent phones should sound OK but if we are talking about phones not in the outrageous price range, the Sony MDR-CD1700 (Thanks Duncan) I'm listening to sounds pretty good out of a PC. The Audio-Technica ATH-A900 also is very good without an amplifier, I've been using it out of a Minidisc and it sounds very good. So do the ATH-A100Ti and the ATH-W100. I've got used to the MDR-V700 sound when I'm travelling (don't skewer me OK?) so I like the MDR-7509 that I bought from Sovkiller. I wouldn't pay retail for it but the 7509 is very comfy. I dropped so many names in this post I feel like a regular
post #15 of 19
Don't forget the HD 497s... great value there, too.
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