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HD650 - Did I make a mistake? :(  

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 

  After months of lurking around in this forum to read as much as I can on headphones/DAC/Amps, I finally made a full investment on an HD650 and hope that it will serve me well further along the road (versus the original choice of HD595). I received the headphones today. And to be honest, I was not very satisfied. I played a 320kps mp3 from my desktop and the sound quality is nothing close to significant. It is just slightly better than my $80 Bose earphones, and has a lot to be desired when compared to my Logitech 2.1 speakers. May be it's the bass punch that I was looking for, perhaps? Another thing I notice is that I had to turn the volume to almost 98% to get it to my comfortable hearing level. Is this because of my Asus P5k Deluxe on-board soundcard? I know everybody would tell me that I need a good source and right equipment, that's why I also bought the Essence STX along with this headphones, but it hasn't arrived yet. I'm not an expert or who you would considered "audiophiles"  (that's why I joined this community to learn), but from my first impression this isn't very satisfying....Do you think the soundcard will boost this headphone up a little or at least increase the max volume margin by a bit?


Edited by PhiQuanTu - 1/4/11 at 4:29pm
post #2 of 62

From what I have read, the HD650s really do need an amp to sound their best. Wait until you get your sound card and see what you think. Onboard audio can't compete with a dedicated heaphone dac/amp solution.

post #3 of 62

I would also suggest trying an amp. I've read alot about audio gd, specifically the FUN and it seems to work great with the hd650's. Just what I've read though.

post #4 of 62

I'm pretty certain it's because you're using them out of a soundcard.

post #5 of 62

In any situation where you have to turn the volume to 98%, something is badly wrong. You do need an amp or way better soundcard, but even after sorting that out there's no guarantee you'll like the 650, especially if you're used to a crap sound (and your remark about the Logitech speakers leads me to that conclusion). What may be needed more than anything is for your ears to acclimatize to better sound, and that's a process of aural education that could take some time (in fact, for some people it never happens).

 

Q: What sort of music are you listening to? 

post #6 of 62
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I'm waiting to see the difference a dedicated soundcard can make after this Thursday. I know a desktop amp and DAC would probably be much better than Essence STX, but since budget is limited and I would like to use it for both gaming (virtual surround) and music, so it is my best option at the current situation and need :). The music genre I listen to is trance, hip hop, and soft rock.

 

At the moment, I have also considered a portable amp. I was eyeing for the Fiio E7, but there are comments on Amazon saying that 3.5mm connection to Ipod or MP3 player has a distortion problem. It only works well on dedicated output or USB. What are some of your thoughts on this?

post #7 of 62

Yes the E7 will serve you best as a DAC or when being fed an LOD cable from your ipod. I wouldn't recommend it for the HD650 though, unless you're happy to drive that Ferrari around in first gear.

post #8 of 62

For troughly he same price as the E7, you can try to get a mini^3 made, which should power the HD650 much better. Try asking around for people who can make them for you.

post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 

Ok....so how about a D12 Anaconda? If my next dividend goes toward a D12....do you think it'll make my Droid and HD650 mate? biggrin.gif

post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhiQuanTu View Post

Ok....so how about a D12 Anaconda? If my next dividend goes toward a D12....do you think it'll make my Droid and HD650 mate? biggrin.gif



Sorry, not going to cut it. You bought a premium sports car and forgot to add an engine (the amp). A full sized desktop amp is needed. The Matrix M, Schiit Asgard, are both good and sub $300 SS desktop amps that should do an adequate job. The HD650s scale very well with even better gear.

 

After the amp, then I'd look at your source/dac next. And welcome to Head-fi, and our apologies to your wallet. evil_smiley.gif

post #11 of 62

You spent months of lurking around to come to the decision of getting the HD 650, but never heard that they need an amp? Onboard is definitely a huge problem here, they simply cannot use onboard and sound right at all.

 

You don't have to go TOO crazy with your amp. Look into the Audio-gd NFB-12/Sparrow/FUN DAC+Amp units, and the FiiO E7/E9 combo. These are all very powerful units in the $150-250 pricerange that will cover the bulk of what's needed to make the HD650 sound their best. If you want the best bang for the buck, buy a Sparrow "B" USB version with the WM8741 in place, it will be $175 before shipping. NFB-12 and FUN are more of you need the extra inputs/outputs, if you only want to power the HD650 properly from your computer the Sparrow will do the job.


Edited by Elanzer - 1/4/11 at 6:26pm
post #12 of 62

If your having trouble comming up with funds for a more expensive DAC/AMP Combo, i highly suggest the E7/E9 Combo. This can be had for $200 and will power even the most difficult to drive headphones adequeately, it has received nothing but positive praise on this forum, and you wont have to consider upgrading for a long time. For the price its really a steal. This combo will definately be my next purchase! 

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html?osCsid=206b8c7a13d2f92969bb0d211b6f1349

post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by darren700 View Post

If your having trouble comming up with funds for a more expensive DAC/AMP Combo, i highly suggest the E7/E9 Combo. This can be had for $200 and will power even the most difficult to drive headphones adequeately, it has received nothing but positive praise on this forum, and you wont have to consider upgrading for a long time. For the price its really a steal. This combo will definately be my next purchase! 

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html?osCsid=206b8c7a13d2f92969bb0d211b6f1349


Honestly, the Schiit Asgard would be a much better choice than the E7/E9 and it's only $250.

 

http://schiit.com/products/asgard/

 

So would the Audio gd Fun or Sparrow.

post #14 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanzer View Post

You spent months of lurking around to come to the decision of getting the HD 650, but never heard that they need an amp? Onboard is definitely a huge problem here, they simply cannot use onboard and sound right at all.

 

You don't have to go TOO crazy with your amp. Look into the Audio-gd NFB-12/Sparrow/FUN DAC+Amp units, and the FiiO E7/E9 combo. These are all very powerful units in the $150-250 pricerange that will cover the bulk of what's needed to make the HD650 sound their best. If you want the best bang for the buck, buy a Sparrow "B" USB version with the WM8741 in place, it will be $175 before shipping. NFB-12 and FUN are more of you need the extra inputs/outputs, if you only want to power the HD650 properly from your computer the Sparrow will do the job.



I know about the Amp, that's why I want to buy something that can serve my gaming & music need. At the moment, may be the Essence STX is the best option? I think the decission factor is the "virtual surround" software with the soundcard that I cannot find in a lower-end desktop DAC/Amp. That's the main reason I went for a soundcard instead. And Yes, I heard a lot about how demanding the HD650 is....just like how unlimited the spending on audio. Now I know why many people in other forums suggested me NOT to come to this forum...."because I will never walk out of head-fi.org with my wallet alive" biggrin.gif

 

Matrix M, Schiit Asgard  <--- recommended by a lot of experts. Even the name is cool, but the pronounciation scared me and make me think that it's very high cost. hehehe. I'll research more on affordable Amp for HD650 in the Full Amp section through searches.

post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by darren700 View Post

If your having trouble comming up with funds for a more expensive DAC/AMP Combo, i highly suggest the E7/E9 Combo. This can be had for $200 and will power even the most difficult to drive headphones adequeately, it has received nothing but positive praise on this forum, and you wont have to consider upgrading for a long time. For the price its really a steal. This combo will definately be my next purchase! 

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html?osCsid=206b8c7a13d2f92969bb0d211b6f1349


Honestly, the Schiit Asgard would be a much better choice than the E7/E9 and it's only $250.

 

http://schiit.com/products/asgard/

 

So would the Audio gd Fun or Sparrow.


Have you heard the E9? Please say you have before making such assumptions.

 

Much better... just.... the hyperbole here is getting ridiculous.

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