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best headphone without the amplifier?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I'm wondering what would be the best headphone (preferably sennheiser) that would be used without driving with a portable amplifier?

I am a newbie in this field but I know that higher ohm values, like 320Ω, would cause problems and user won't be getting the most out of it from the headphone. 




post #2 of 31

there isn't really one best headphone w/o amp, you probable will find a better match by stating what you are hoping to get out of the headphone you want.  If you don't know start reading around this forum a lot of good info.  By asking this you will get a lot of opinion concerning with what the recommending person preferences is versus your preference.

post #3 of 31

Going to need some more info, like what kind of music do you like? how do you like your sound signiture? A lot of factors go into a headphones. ;)

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm not a deep bass guy and I like the "casual" bass, I like vocals and want to discriminate all the sounds of the instruments while I'm hearing them. I'm mostly using macbookpro and iphone as the source so my real concern was this: those guys don't have a built-in amplifier so I think this could lead a problem. I listened to AKG K271 lately and the sound was lacking of bass in my opinion. 



post #5 of 31

again it would be helpgul , if you give us a budget.

the denon d2000 is a sensitive HP and can work without an amp but soundquality sure improves when you have a good dac/amp.other than that the lower grados viz. SR80 and SR125 are good HPs that dont require much amping .  


Finallly  it comes down to your preference , the denon are bass Heavy While the Grados are treble Heavy ..righ in treble detail






post #6 of 31

If you listen to classical, jazz, acoustic or vocals the 555's is a good choice. 

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks I will check out HD 555, denon d2000 and SR80, SR125.


my budget is around 300 euros at most.


so I should focus on the lowest Ω that one of these cats have.

post #8 of 31


Originally Posted by mulderbaba View Post

so I should focus on the lowest Ω that one of these cats have.

Not necessarily. The impedance is only a part of how difficult a headphone is to drive. Despite their low impedance, IME the Denons only did okay without an amp so I'd highly advise getting one if you were to go this route. With an amp, the soundstage seemed to get a little bigger, the bass was definitely better controlled though still not quite as punchy as I would've liked. There were more benefits but it's been awhile since I've heard them. A partial MarkL mod helps them out a bit as does adding wood cups (like the D7000 cups) though they probably won't fit the bill for what you need.


I haven't heard the Senns you're considering but the Grados are definitely easy to drive. However, the Grados leak a ton of sound due to their open design. For that matter the Senns and D2000s will also leak some. Do you need open or closed cans?


I'd probably suggest something like the Sennheiser HD25-1 II (have heard), Audio Technica ESW9a (haven't heard), or the AiAiAi TMA-1(haven't heard it and haven't read too much on it) which seems to be getting popular around here. Definitely read up on your options for a while before you decide. This place has a lot of good information but sometimes you have to dig for it.

Edited by NapalmK - 12/15/10 at 8:58am
post #9 of 31
Open headphone; Grado sr60, 80, 225;
Closed: denons d2000, ath-esw9
post #10 of 31

Try the new Sennheiser HD518, HD558 or HD598; these are easier to drive from ipod or computer.

post #11 of 31

get a DAC/AMP like Fiio E7 with low impedence headphones...they are cheap and great as they provide amplification alongwith DAC..so better sound..i have ordered SONY MDR XB700 which are 24 ohm and will use Fiio E7....i myself gotto know about them today..lol

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks all guys, really glad to getting some heads up from guys knowing these stuff inside out.




I need closed ones, passive noise cancellation should be A+. 



I'll check out the close ones thanks



the HD 5*8 series are also providing isolation? and why are they easy to drive? now I wondered what's the rule behind this if Ω is not that important in that.

post #13 of 31

That takes out the HD555, D2000, and Grados off your list then. I'm not too familiar with cans in your price range so I can't be of too much help here. The Sennheiser HD25-1 II would probably be my recommendation though. If you can track down some of the cans mentioned here and have a listen yourself that would be best. After all everyone hears differently and it's your ears and your money not mine.


The HD5*8 won't provide much isolation as they are an open design as well. They do look pretty slick though.

Edited by NapalmK - 12/15/10 at 9:48am
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 


can you provide me some info with the closed cans that you like and would be usable without an amp? and what would be the price range of them?

post #15 of 31

go for SONY MDR XB700 , AUDIO TECHNICA ATH M50 as they are low impedence....they pretty much dont require amps...at least the SONY doesnot at 24ohm...amp just opensthe soundstage a bit more on these..price less than 130$ both..

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