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Best headphones that don't need an amp?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I would like to plug the headphones directly into the 3.5mm output of my DAC, because there is no space to place an amp behind my computer screen. I want the same high resolution performance as from Stax headphones but without any amp. Which high-end headphones can be driven without an amp?

post #2 of 14

No headphones can be driven without an amp. If your dac has a headphone out, it has an amp inside it, unless the 3.5mm is lineout instead, in which case you can't use headphones with it. Well you can but it won't be a very thrilling experience...

post #3 of 14

What DAC are you using?

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am using EMU0404 USB DAC. Does the 3.5mm output include an amp?

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamillaLove View Post

I want the same high resolution performance as from Stax headphones but without any amp.



And I want a hundred million bucks and a date with Scarlett Johansson.  I wonder which of us will get there first?

post #6 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamillaLove View Post

I am using EMU0404 USB DAC. Does the 3.5mm output include an amp?


Hmm, plug your headphones here, I guess?

EMUheadphones.jpg

 

Yes it does have a headphone amp. tongue.gif

post #7 of 14

As far as I know, please correct me someone if I'm wrong, but every DAC has an amp. From reading the specs it looks like it has an "NJM2068" amp. I couldn't find much information on it though.

post #8 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post

As far as I know, please correct me someone if I'm wrong, but every DAC has an amp.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think not necessarily. On computers soundcards and such we usually see a "line-out/headphone jack", but actually that's bad nomenclature. A real line-out signal wouldn't even drive headphones.

But in practice, I think every single USB DAC out there has a headphone amp built-in.

post #9 of 14

When I think about Stax 4070 without amp, the first think that come in my mind is the Sony CD-3000. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

When I think about Stax 4070 without amp, the first think that come in my mind is the Sony CD-3000. 

 

Good to know.  

Are they that good? 

post #11 of 14

The EMU 0404 does have a headphone amp built it.  It isn't particularly good, but it is OK.  The Sennheiser HD 598 and the previous model HD 595 which is still available although discontinued and priced much lower now are both quite decent without a dedicated headphone amp and quite acceptable from the jack of the EMU 0404.  Just about any headphone, like the ATH M50, which people refer to running out of their ipod without a dedicated headphone amp will do fine.  I use the headphone jack out of the EMU 0404 fairly frequently.  It's better than the output from my ipod and worse than the output from a Little Dot Mark III. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by earerror View Post



 

Good to know.  

Are they that good? 


They both are more into studio sounds, on the K-701/2 side. The question is if the OP will be satisfied with other studio cans like the K-702, K-240MKll, K271MKll, GMP 8.35, M-50.

The Sony CD-3000's are very expensive for second hand hps, around 450-$500. in this price range you can get the K-702 and a good hps amp like the, Matrix m-stage, Meier, Arietta/Headfive, or even the Heed Canamp (used from F/S forum).

post #13 of 14

Alessandro MS-Pro would be my choice for high end without an amp. If you want to spend less then the Audio Technica AD900 is good without an amp as well.

post #14 of 14

grados

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