Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Does a good stereo receiver count as a "headphone amp"?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does a good stereo receiver count as a "headphone amp"? - Page 2

post #16 of 88

Maybe

I used to use my old Marantz 1060 years back for phones. When I did a dedicated amp it was a HUGE differnce.

K
post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Sorry, but I think the above is for the most part crap...er, misleading. It might sound plausible, but bears no relation to reality, where most good brand integrateds and receivers (stereo, not HT) sound just fine with headphones, thank you, and a handful sound better than even quite expensive dedicated amps. I urge you to search out previous threads on this subject, where all that you've said has been covered (and discounted) ad infinitum.
I must admit, i was someone, who wanted to believe a good integrated amps headphone out socket would suffice, i have a Nad 372 integrated.

After reading how much better the sound could be on a dedicated headphone amp, bit the bullet and bought one just through curiosity, a heed canamp to drive my AKG 702's, the sound is far superior to my main amp.

These pages are full of people that have invested lots of money on equipment and sometimes it's easy to be a little bit blind to get good sounds from something unorthodox, there's loads of older equipment from decades ago that would knock the socks off some of the cutting edge gear today, think you need to be lucky to find such equipment.

Mid price and up headphone amps make your cans sound much better, however, the money you would save on not buying a headphone amp, you could put to getting headphones twice the price, however, a good headphone amp will make the better headphones sound better, where does it all end? well it depends how much money you have to spend and how seriously you take this hobby!
post #18 of 88
True, but a decent stereo amplifier does count as a headphone amp in that it is more than sufficient to get things going. Sure a dedicated headphone amp should sound better, but I would not advice against something like an HD650 if a decent stereo amplifier is used. Get the good headphones, and think about the amp later.
post #19 of 88
Some are better than others. Your receiver manual may have the HP out specs.
post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
It depends on the receiver but in most cases, the answer is no.

The purpose of a headphone amp is to properly power headphones, not simply provide an output that fits the jack. Many receiver headphone-outs are designed to provide a miniature version of the speaker output, one that will enable headphone use. These headphone-outs are usually meant to facilitate headphone use, not to optimize headphone sound. There's no secondary circuit that comes close to the fit of a proper headphone amp. It's more of a means to play headphones without setting them on fire. The impedence may not match. What's more, the attempt to write the sound smaller is less scalpel and a whole lot more butcher knife. The primary concern of the receiver manufacturer is to shrink 100 or more watts per channel to something less than 1 milliwatt per channel. Victory is declared when you have a safe miniature wattage, but accuracy and clarity, in drawing down, is less of a consideration. On many receivers, the headphone-output will produce anemic amplification, with significantly more distortion. Your headphones will not sound optimized, not unless the manufacturer cares enough to do it right. Most don't. Most off-the-shelf receivers are made to compete with other off-the-shelf receivers in a worldwide race to the bottom. It's about cost competitiveness in a Best Buy market.
The speaker stage and headphone stage in an AV receiver are two independent circuits. The only thing in common is the output from the signal processor. Nobody is trying to squeeze 100W+ into 100mw. In fact, I'm willing to bet that all receivers with headphone connectivity use discrete circuitry with an opamp dedicated for headphone output. So technically, the output is 'optimized' for headphones, but put in as a secondary feature; thus quality pales in comparison to niche market, purpose-made amplification for headphones.
post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
Sorry, but I think the above is for the most part crap...er, misleading. It might sound plausible, but bears no relation to reality, where most good brand integrateds and receivers (stereo, not HT) sound just fine with headphones, thank you, and a handful sound better than even quite expensive dedicated amps. I urge you to search out previous threads on this subject, where all that you've said has been covered (and discounted) ad infinitum.
Ah yes, the "crap" refutation. Thanks. I stand corrected.
post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsyleung View Post
So technically, the output is 'optimized' for headphones, but put in as a secondary feature; thus quality pales in comparison to niche market, purpose-made amplification for headphones.
This is what you should take out of this thread.

As far as headphone suggestions, if you have the coin to spend on HD650 strictly for movies than more power to you, but there are very capable comfortable movie phones that can be had at a fraction of that price. The AD700/AD900 come to mind.
post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
It depends on the receiver but in most cases, the answer is no.

The purpose of a headphone amp is to properly power headphones, not simply provide an output that fits the jack. Many receiver headphone-outs are designed to provide a miniature version of the speaker output, one that will enable headphone use. These headphone-outs are usually meant to facilitate headphone use, not to optimize headphone sound. There's no secondary circuit that comes close to the fit of a proper headphone amp. It's more of a means to play headphones without setting them on fire. The impedence may not match. What's more, the attempt to write the sound smaller is less scalpel and a whole lot more butcher knife. The primary concern of the receiver manufacturer is to shrink 100 or more watts per channel to something less than 1 milliwatt per channel. Victory is declared when you have a safe miniature wattage, but accuracy and clarity, in drawing down, is less of a consideration. On many receivers, the headphone-output will produce anemic amplification, with significantly more distortion. Your headphones will not sound optimized, not unless the manufacturer cares enough to do it right. Most don't. Most off-the-shelf receivers are made to compete with other off-the-shelf receivers in a worldwide race to the bottom. It's about cost competitiveness in a Best Buy market.
My Marantz SR8500's HP out stomps my Musiland Monitor 02 in every regard... Please explain.

Thanks.
post #24 of 88
In general a dedicated amplifier will sound better than a receiver's headphone out - partially because of the design (dedicated design vs. afterthought) - this holds true for most things in audio (eg integrated dac in a CD player vs. dedicated dac, etc.)

different folks have different opinions there are always exceptions that prove the rule but the gap tends to be more obvious with better source cans and even amp

personally i've spent some time trying to get away with a receiver's jack in a simple system but it's very tough to pull off when compared to even a modest dedicated amp provided the cans and source are descent

if you're going to try it look for a vintage unit (some old tube receivers are worthwhile) or for more modern gear NAD
post #25 of 88
From my experience, my xm4 portable headphone amp sound louder, cleaner, and overall better than three different receivers (yamaha, sony, denon) I tried.
post #26 of 88
I am new to quality headphones. I bought a Beryer DT880 in December so that I could crank up movies without disturbing my family. This Beryer is a very good, high impedance headphone that worked very well with a budget home theater. I patted myself on the back for not wasting money on a dedicated headphone amp. The Beyer was not quite as clear as I wanted when I played music, so I bought a Grado RS2i which is know for clarity and suppose to work well with Rock and Pop. The Grado sound was disapponiting with the home theater. I thought that Grado must be overrated until I hooked it to my ipod. Surprise! Great sound from a cheap ipod. Apparently my home theater is high impedance and drives the high impedence Beryer very well, but not as well with the low impedance Grados.

I was very happy with my setup but I kept reading about "soundstage", "depth" and "width". Frankly, I thought people were imagining it or making it up. Finally, I decided to buy a fairly inexpensive, used headphone amp, a Travagans Red, just to see. Wow! It took my music to a whole different level. I discover soundstage. The music opened up as if I was in the same room as the singer. Plus I heard improved highs and lows.

Will a home theater or integrated amp drive a quality headphone and sound good, even great? Absolutely. Will a headphone amp specifically designed to optimize headphones sound even better? IMO absolutely.

REVISION: Let me add, I don't want to oversell dedicated amps. Moving to a dedicated amp made a noticeable difference, maybe 10-15% improvement, particularly improvements in soundstage. Moving to better headphones made a HUGE improvement by comparison.
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR1 View Post
Will a home theater or integrated amp drive a quality headphone and sound good, even great? Absolutely. Will a headphone amp specifically designed to optimize headphones sound even better? IMO absolutely.
You just happened to answered that..
From my experience, Home theater receiver like sony ES and Denon was good.. I'll rated it "C" .. Yamaha stereo receiver was not too good.. maybe "D" My portable amp XM4, I'll rated it "B"..
post #28 of 88
i rate this thread "very entertaining" and "mildly contentious."
i'd give it a B+.

i'd rate the headphone out on my yamaha receiver a D+ or C-.

even my portable headphone amp is louder, cleaner, provides better separation, etc. etc. etc.

now... if i paid 2 or 3 grand for a home theatre receiver, you bet your sweet arse it had better have a pretty decent headphone out.

but, i paid nothing near that. so it's not surprising it won't power my k702s.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Is the headphone jack in my receiver is powerful enough to be considered an "amp"? I have a Marantz SR7002 receiver with a Dolby headphone jack.

I may be moving from my house to an apartment later this year and want to get some good cans to use at home so that I can still enjoy movies at proper volume levels but without disturbing the neighbors! A lot of headphones listed in the sticky thread in this forum seem to need (or benefit greatly from) an amp, but I wasn't sure if my receiver qualified as an amp or not. If not, I'll shoot for a lower impedance pair I guess.

Thanks!
Nothing wrong with using an avr as a phone amp,many sound quite good and will drive most phones with no problems at all.
The purists might turn up there noses but who cares.
post #30 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsyleung View Post
The speaker stage and headphone stage in an AV receiver are two independent circuits. The only thing in common is the output from the signal processor. Nobody is trying to squeeze 100W+ into 100mw. In fact, I'm willing to bet that all receivers with headphone connectivity use discrete circuitry with an opamp dedicated for headphone output. So technically, the output is 'optimized' for headphones, but put in as a secondary feature; thus quality pales in comparison to niche market, purpose-made amplification for headphones.
Absolutely, definitely, once-and-for-all NOT!!!! This has come up so many times that in one thread a poster went to the trouble of emailing many of the major manufacturers to find out if they used dedicated circuits for the headphone out or just took a signal from the main amp through resistors. The answer was invariably the latter. Plus, I have personally examined dozens of popular amps and I can tell you that virtually none of them uses dedicated circuits, whether discrete or op amp based; almost without exception (the very few exceptions being in the higher priced bracket) they take a signal from the speaker outs.

Sorry to be over-emphatic but every so often someone posts something like this without the slightest proof as if it were a fact and confuses the whole issue. I wish I could make this a sticky.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Does a good stereo receiver count as a "headphone amp"?