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Sennheiser HD650 or HD600 - Do they really need an amp? - Page 3

post #31 of 51

HD580 do not.  I used several amps with them and they sounded identical coming out of my PC or ipod.  I venture to guess the 600/650 are not much different.  Most of head-fi is bogus, don't believe all the reviews. Alot of it is not about good sound, its about subjective infinitesimal differences that these guys use as an excuse for an expensive hobby.  Sources are so good these days, spend your money on headphones.  Maybe the 650 does benefit a little, but i remain skeptical with all the bs i have read on these forums. The hd580/600/650 is one of the best headphone platforms around.  Infinity comfortable with neutral clear sound.

 

If you dont believe me, ask yourself about the cable crowd.  200 dollar headphone cable... lol wow


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 9/21/11 at 2:24pm
post #32 of 51

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Have you considered a used pair? You'll find the HD-600 used for around $200-$225. Used pairs turn up regularly at Audiogon, as well. And X2 on the Gilmore Lite/Dynalo. Excellent, clean and natural amp.


x2

 

post #33 of 51

Glite or HDP. Team HD 6xx.

 

No they don't need an amp. Yes, you'll tahnk me I told you to get one..

 

p.s. You're clueless Crazy-Carl.


Edited by Hennyo - 9/21/11 at 2:26pm
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post

HD580 do not.  I used several amps with them and they sounded identical coming out of my PC or ipod.  I venture to guess the 600/650 are not much different.  Most of head-fi is bogus, don't believe all the reviews. Alot of it is not about good sound, its about subjective infinitesimal differences that these guys use as an excuse for an expensive hobby.  Sources are so good these days, spend your money on headphones.  Maybe the 650 does benefit a little, but i remain skeptical with all the bs i have read on these forums. The hd580/600/650 is one of the best headphone platforms around.  Infinity comfortable with neutral clear sound.

 

I happened to have HD580 also (HD650), and I totally disagree with you. I bought HD580 used from a local guy. He had HD555 and HD580 at hands. And he sold HD-580 to me for $40, since he used the headphone to play game. He likes HD555 better. We met at a station and he bring almost mint HD580 to me and I tried on my Sony X-1050. Holy crap, I did understand why he liked HD-555 more. HD580 sounds no sound-stage and my Sony can only drives it in a boomy, no detail and texture way. And I need to crank volume to 25, I normally only listen at 11.

 

After I got home, I plugged it into my Pioneer Sx-1250 receiver. Wow, Wow, huge difference, the sound-stage opened up, which's almost as good as my modded HD555. But the the rich detail and texture really put HD580 in the high -end league. So it needs amp, and needs a good amp. My tube headphone amp is not good enough to drive HD580 although it can drive my AKG q-701 and K240 sextett well. So I have to pair HD580 with my vintage receivers or my type-A hybrid tube headphone amp. I got the damn good ( I like it more than HD-650) headphone for $40!!

 

You can normally tell that HD-580 are properly driven by the open sound-stage and the decreasing (diminishing) of the "Sennheiser Veil". Huge difference!!

   


Edited by Meewoo - 9/22/11 at 1:20pm
post #35 of 51

You will need a portable amp at the very least. My Headroom Total Bithead does an acceptable job of driving my HD580s (very similar to the HD600), but they will shine with a powerful amp. I just ordered a Hifiman EF2A ($169 USD), I'll post my impressions when it arrives.

post #36 of 51

There is alot of people who say a total bithead sounds just like an ipod.  I have heard several headphone amps with the HD580 and they all sounded identical to an ipod/computer.  Including audio gd stuff which people claim enhance the hd600.  Lies.  How many of you do double blind tests? I have done them with every amp I have owned (then sold because they are total scams)


Edited by Crazy*Carl - 9/22/11 at 3:11pm
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl View Post

There is alot of people who say a total bithead sounds just like an ipod.  I have heard several headphone amps with the HD580 and they all sounded identical to an ipod/computer.  Including audio gd stuff which people claim enhance the hd600.  Lies.  How many of you do double blind tests? I have done them with every amp I have owned (then sold because they are total scams)


I guess this is a very subjective matter then. I recently picked up a Denon integrated receiver on Craigslist for $20, and it does a much better job of driving my HD580s than the Total Bithead (which sounds better to my ears than my iPod). In addition to higher volume (which I'm not very concerned about since I listen in a quiet room at lower volumes), I definitely noticed more clarity at lower volumes. They just sounded so much more alive to my ears.

 

So yes, while the HD580/HD600/HD650 can sound good without amping, many people including myself notice an improvement when a powerful amp is brought into play. If you don't need a portable amp, try looking around on Craigslist for a stereo receiver.

 

post #38 of 51

No they don't. My iphone drives my hd600 to not just acceptable but loud volume. The amp may change the sound a little tiny bit. In fact the only way you'd be able to tell is by listening very closely with and without the amp successively for like 20 times, only then would the difference be audible. It is all BS and hype. People just want some excitement in their lives so they make it up. 

post #39 of 51

I stuck my 650 into my Nintendo 3DS and it sounded pretty good lol.

post #40 of 51

Bought a set of used HD600 and they sound absolutely fantastic, I can precisely hear all the different instruments and all kinds of music is a pure joy to listen to, as long as the source file is either lossless or compressed only once with a decent codec and a high enough bitrate (of course the mixing quality of the recording should be also high).

 

The headphones are connected straight to the headphone jack in the back of a motherboard from 2007 (using ALC889), there's no electronic noise and there's enough amplification:

set the volume slider in Windows above 45 out of 100 and it's already too loud for long listening.

 

If I want to make slight tone changes, I can just use the equalizer APO.

 

What more could an external amp or DAC possible bring to the table for these high-impendance, high-sensitivity set of cans?

 

Unless their benefit is scientifically proven using both measurements and double blind tests, I remain sceptical.


Edited by Onma - 8/16/16 at 12:30pm
post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onma View Post
 

Bought a set of used HD600 and they sound absolutely fantastic, I can precisely hear all the different instruments and all kinds of music is a pure joy to listen to, as long as the source file is either lossless or compressed only once with a decent codec and a high enough bitrate (of course the mixing quality of the recording should be also high).

 

The headphones are connected straight to the headphone jack in the back of a motherboard from 2007 (using ALC885), there's no electronic noise and there's enough amplification:

set the volume slider in Windows above 45 out of 100 and it's already too loud for long listening.

 

If I want to make slight tone changes, I can just use the equalizer APO.

 

What more could an external amp or DAC possible bring to the table for these high-impendance, high-sensitivity set of cans?

 

Unless their benefit is scientifically proven using both measurements and double blind tests, I remain sceptical.

The difference is not subtle. These headphones apparently change a lot depending on the source and amplification. I have been running tests with my hd600 connected from my iphone 5c, kindle fire hdx tablet, laptop, yamaha rx-v675 receiver and now the modi2u + magni2u and valhalla 2 and all combos sound different, with the two headphone amps providing by far the most pleasing experience. 

 

There are a lot of people who cant seem to notice a difference. That iis great for them and their finances. But the differences are there. At this point I think that most of the people claiming they hear no difference with these HD6x0 when amped and connected to something like an ipod, it's mostly because of their source files: it doesnt matter what kind of amp you use, the principle of garbage in, garbage out applies, because the amp is only taking a signal and applying more voltage and current. It cant do magic. They are probably listening to a lot of not well recorded pop and/or lossy, low quality mp3s. 

 

My opinion. take it as such. I strongly recommend that you get one amp. Back in 2007 when I decided to take the plunge to hi-end headphones it was really expensive. Now you have the O2 and the magni for 100 or 150. Go for it. And get something like the Crack of the Valhalla and try to see if you notice a difference. I am willing to bet you will. 

post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alitomr View Post

 

My opinion. take it as such. I strongly recommend that you get one amp. Back in 2007 when I decided to take the plunge to hi-end headphones it was really expensive. Now you have the O2 and the magni for 100 or 150. Go for it. And get something like the Crack of the Valhalla and try to see if you notice a difference. I am willing to bet you will. 

Thank you for your input. I guess the DAC of my mobo (A-weighted dynamic range is 108dB) is good enough to not bottleneck e.g. the O2 amp?

 

Also, it is hard to know how big the difference will be. Let's say with my current setup I get audio quality of 98%, upgrading to O2 would get me to 98,4%, upgrading a better DAC would get me to 98,45%, and upgrading to Valhalla the audio quality would be 98,6%. Unless the differences are much bigger, for most people the upgrades are not worth the money.

 

This article also supports my thoughts: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-19.html


Edited by Onma - 8/16/16 at 3:25pm
post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onma View Post
 

Thank you for your input. I guess the DAC of my mobo (A-weighted dynamic range is 108dB) is good enough to not bottleneck e.g. the O2 amp?

 

Also, it is hard to know big the difference will be. Let's say with my current setup I get audio quality of 98%, upgrading to O2 would get me to 98,4%, upgrading a better DAC would get me to 98,45%, and upgrading to Valhalla the audio quality would be 98,6%. Unless the differences are much bigger, for most people the upgrades are not worth the money.

 

This article also supports my thoughts: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-19.html

 

You are welcome. He is comparing DACs in that article, and even though I have not tried a lot of them yet, I agree with him, it's my hypothesis: I dont think DACs make a big difference in the audio chain. I wont invest a lot of money to test that assumption. I am more into amplification and speakers. 

 

With all that said, I just went back to my receiver's headphone output and then the my Behringer mixer output, which is much better than the receiver's. No, the improvement with a good amp, at least with the HD600, is not as subtle as going from 98% to 98.5%. I dont how how to express it quantitatively, but it is not a 0.5% improvement. Maybe we can define a scale, but it is not as few as 0.5%, regardless of how you weight different attributes/features. 

 

As I said, try them. Or dont if you are very happy with what you have. Enjoy your music/games/movies. If you feel the itch, get a couple amps and try for yourself. If you cant hear a difference you can simply send it back. 

 

I will start testing my modi 2 uber against the DAC in my yamaha rx-v675 receiver. If it doesnt offer a considerable benefit, better audio quality that I can actually hear, it is going back. 

 

Good luck.

post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alitomr View Post
 

 

You are welcome. He is comparing DACs in that article, and even though I have not tried a lot of them yet, I agree with him, it's my hypothesis: I dont think DACs make a big difference in the audio chain. I wont invest a lot of money to test that assumption. I am more into amplification and speakers. 

 

As I said, try them. Or dont if you are very happy with what you have. Enjoy your music/games/movies. If you feel the itch, get a couple amps and try for yourself. If you cant hear a difference you can simply send it back. 

 

 

Every piece of hardware compared in the article also includes headphone amp.

 

If I'm going to test out headphone amps in my home, I will need a friend (or a special tool) to switch the source so I don't know which one I'm listening at any given time. Then I will need some time to decide which one I prefer for my listening habits. When I've made my choice and the blind is removed, will the "winner" amp be one of the more expensive ones?

 

You see, expectation bias is just one of the "bugs" evolution has brought about in our brain to facilitate survival, but they also often prevent us from making rational choices. For a surprising blind test result, see e.g. http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-orpheus-he-90/reviews/8951

 

Even when you are able to discern between 2 amps, can you say the other is better or "of higher quality", or just simply different from the other? Is the difference not reproducible with a simple software equalizer?

 

Answers to these important questions are needed, before spending money on external amps (over the integrated amps on concurrent motherboards) becomes justified.


Edited by Onma - 8/16/16 at 4:07pm
post #45 of 51

I really want to do the blind test but currently I haven't got the time to run the test with somebody doing the switching. So far The difference between the Magni 2 uber and the Valhalla has been consistently so big that I thought it wasn't necessary, but if you want an specific test I can run it for you this weekend. I can commit to do it and post results.

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