I had an interesting moment. Very interesting to me. I have listened extensively to my HD 600s over the past few weeks with mostly great enjoyment. Listening to instrumental jazz, esp. straight from the headphone jack of my cd player, I find most involving. I am occasionally still slightly put off by a sibilant peak, which I attribute in very large part to source. (It is apparent with other headphones, but not prominent.)
Yesterday, while I listened to streaming jazz, headphones plugged straight into my computer (no external conversion or amplification), I was taken aback, to say the least. The sound was amazing. I noticed the air around instruments and voices; tons of sustain and decay; voices without glare and nonmetallic - yet detailed and real, whispery real as opposed to lispy; pianos authentic, tinkly on top and deep and sonorous in the lower registers; cymbals, no hash; bass, articulate, weighty, and in harmony with the rest of the picture…in fact, all coming out even and smooth, nothing prominent, yet all clear and within an expanded soundstage. THAT is what I remember 580s sounding like, and exactly what I seek, though with the 600s I am a few rows closer to the performance. Pure bliss.
So, I ask two questions:
What gives? Straight from an inexpensive laptop?
What external amp and / or DAC would give me the best shot at replicating this taking the signal from my stand-alone cd player?
I'm not too surprised by your experience. My HD600 sounds pretty good even just out of my iPod Touch 5G. Yes it sounds better when hooked up to my usual desktop setup, but it really doesn't sound bad out of your average mobile device.