Well said Frank.
FWIW the HD800 cannot be well driven from a laptop either, they also need due care taken with regards to the chain.
I don't look at the HE-6 drive requirements as a fault as such, it's more like the headphone was designed from the perspective of being the best possible headphone without regard for amping difficulty, rather than a design outlook with constraints or a ceiling determined by headphone amps.
OK let's not start that here but you are totally wrong on that point. A half decent laptop jack has more than enough wattage to drive the HD800. Same goes for the Aude'ze. The Audeze even sounded good with a mere 4 bars (about 15% volume) on my mobile phone! (The HD800 doesn't sound as good on my mobile phone as it does on my computer however; not sure if it's the lack of amplification or the DAC).
Now, based on the evidence, Hifiman's own statements and the innerfidelity measurements, the HE-6 is a very unusually power hungry headphone (I might still buy it but not likely) that actually needs an amp, but the HD800 does not (unless your headphone jack is underpowered). My laptop's headphone jack puts out the same power as an O2 amp.
Edited by ag8908 - 2/28/14 at 5:50am