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Benefits from amplifier?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

What are, concrete, the benefits from using an amplifier compared to listening directly from the source/intergrated amp? I've read many posts that says that, e.g. the Hd600 needs an amp to sound its best- but what will sound better? It would be great to hear your experience.
post #2 of 6
Don't mean to be rude but have you tried the Search feature. This is one of those questions that has been asked several times already.

Its not a simple one liner answer as well, its such a general question that its close to impossible to get a universal answer. You should be able to find several views and opinions on various combo's with the HD600's and then make up your mind if you think its worth it.

Better still demo an amp in a meet or a store to get a better idea.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spadix View Post
Hi all,

What are, concrete, the benefits from using an amplifier compared to listening directly from the source/intergrated amp? I've read many posts that says that, e.g. the Hd600 needs an amp to sound its best- but what will sound better? It would be great to hear your experience.
In my opinion the best understanding comes from thinking about how the two reactive circuits interact, the amp and the headphone. With a highly reactive headphone such as the HD600 (meaning impedance varies over the audio frequency range) the amp can control the headphone driver more or less better depending on the design of the amplifier. You can search on the concept of stuff power supplies for one issue related to the amps ability to control reactive loads. The control of the driver by the amp's circuitry is one of the most important issues related to the move toward having "balanced" equipment for your listening experience.

Without an amp and using only say an iPod's internal circuitry it may be adequate with the earbuds supplied for active (exercise related) listening. But move to a higher end sound using the HD600 and the iPod's circuitry may not even be able to squeak those drivers! An exaggeration I am sure but you may be able to get the picture.
post #4 of 6
Depends on the amp and the phones/source etc. used

but generally amps make things go louder without distortion, also make it possible to use hard to drive phones where it would otherwise be inadequate

again, it varies but better sound quality in the form of tighter, deeper bass, warmer mids and cleaner highs but without sibilance. also improved dynamics and soundstage etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

questions too hard lol
post #5 of 6
In plain english: as its name suggests it amplifies the sound, in a way that no ammout of inboard EQ would be able to do though, without distortion.
post #6 of 6
Note the concept of "gain" means how much louder a sound will get. Some headphone amps have very little gain but provide for much better sound. Some amps, usually power amps for speakers have very high gain. Gain is measured in dB usually. 3dB will mean twice the sound pressure but maybe not perceived loudness. You may have to get to 8 to 10 dB before noticing any significant loudness effect.

A gain over the audio range of 3 dB may not result in doubling the sound pressure at all frequencies since the impedance (reactive nature) of the headphone at certain frequencies may require more gain for the same increase in sound pressure level. Therefore, if the amp can't handle the reactive load of the headphone adequately you may find that your resulting sound has a booming bass or extended highs where there should be none.
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