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Portable Amp/DAC Recommendation for HD650's

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

Diving headfirst into the world of hi-fi. Was looking for a new pair of headphones and after listening to 20 something pairs in 2 different stores I ended up buying a set of Sennheiser HD650's. They just sounded "right". Got them for a steal too, $365 brand new at J&R.

 

My ipod or laptop isn't doing these headphones justice. I am still burning them in (about 30 hours so far) and they are sounding a lot better, but I know they sounded considerably better in the store because they were driven by an amp. The little E5 (an old impulse purchase) is garbage, the headphones sound better without it than with it.

 

I've ordered a LOD for the iPod, began to re-download my music library in FLAC and ALAC, and am now looking for an Amp/DAC combo that is portable and will do these awesome headphones justice.

 

I've been looking at iBasso, NuForce, and RSA products. My budget atm is $300. I'd like to get the best for the money. Any help is really appreciated. Thanks so much in advance for anyone willing to spend some time on what is likely a question that has been covered. Using the search function yielded me a lot of amp recommendations, but not many for an amp/dac.

 

Again thanks a ton!

post #2 of 23

ibasso PB2, or if you wanna save some money, P4

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply! neither the pb2 or the p4 seem to offer DAC capabilities. I was sunder the impression that a DAC is a must if i am going to play anything from my laptop?

 

what about the D4?

post #4 of 23

Couple of quick questions so I can offer better advice.  Are you planning on using this setup portable outside or inside?  What are you planning on using as your source (you mention iPod;  will that be your only source at the moment? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgurvits View Post

Hello everyone,

 

Diving headfirst into the world of hi-fi. Was looking for a new pair of headphones and after listening to 20 something pairs in 2 different stores I ended up buying a set of Sennheiser HD650's. They just sounded "right". Got them for a steal too, $365 brand new at J&R.

 

My ipod or laptop isn't doing these headphones justice. I am still burning them in (about 30 hours so far) and they are sounding a lot better, but I know they sounded considerably better in the store because they were driven by an amp. The little E5 (an old impulse purchase) is garbage, the headphones sound better without it than with it.

 

I've ordered a LOD for the iPod, began to re-download my music library in FLAC and ALAC, and am now looking for an Amp/DAC combo that is portable and will do these awesome headphones justice.

 

I've been looking at iBasso, NuForce, and RSA products. My budget atm is $300. I'd like to get the best for the money. Any help is really appreciated. Thanks so much in advance for anyone willing to spend some time on what is likely a question that has been covered. Using the search function yielded me a lot of amp recommendations, but not many for an amp/dac.

 

Again thanks a ton!



 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I will be using my iPod Touch 2G, a Toshiba Laptop w/ Conexant CX20671 Smart Audio HD soundcard (I'm assuming this is a no thrills generic soundcard since it came default with the laptop), as well as my desktop PC w/ some other sort of integrated sound card. So far the best sound seems to come from the laptop, that's why I'd like the DAC capability, but I'd still like to be able to enjoy some tunes in the park or on the go. 

 

EDIT: Thanks in advance for your time :)


Edited by mgurvits - 3/21/11 at 3:14pm
post #6 of 23

I suggest you look for a CEentrance DACport in the for sale section you may be able to find one for around $300-320


Edited by jackmccabe - 3/22/11 at 9:31am
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

i don't think the dacport will work with an ipod, as there is no input aside from USB.

post #8 of 23

I would go with the E7 + E9 combo. I own the HD 650's and the E9 definitely has enough power to handle them. It sounds great. Also the E7 is a USB DAC.

 

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey spoony thanks for your reply,

 

My experience with the E5 makes me very suspicious of any FiiO product. It sounds absolutely terrible. How does the E7 + E9 compare to products from ibasso or rsa? What made you choose that combo over the other brands?

post #10 of 23

While the E5 may not have been up for the task of driving your HD650, the E9 most cetainly will be.  It is a deceptively powerful and inexpensive desktop amplifier with the finesse and refinement to match other more expensive options.  Unlike the E5, the E9 has almost unversal endorsement here.  For your case, I suggest taking a close look at the iBasso D6 which is a portable amp/DAC.  The D6 has the power to drive almost any full size headphone well and doubles as a portable amp and usb DAC.


Edited by Digital-Pride - 3/22/11 at 7:04am
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks a ton for the recommendation! How about the D4? How do I know myself (just by reading the specs) that the amp will at least in theory drive the HD650s? Is there a number I should be looking for?

post #12 of 23
Im running my HD650's with the Ibasso D6 and it drives them nicely the D6 is an awesome little amp.
post #13 of 23

The D6 is more powerful than the P4 and has better DAC's and I just upgraded from a Ibasso D3 to D6. Ibasso themselves recommended the D6 for the 650's, in their words "the 650 has a synergy with the D6"


Edited by MrScary - 3/22/11 at 4:26pm
post #14 of 23

Quote:

Originally Posted by mgurvits View Post

Hey spoony thanks for your reply,

 

My experience with the E5 makes me very suspicious of any FiiO product. It sounds absolutely terrible. How does the E7 + E9 compare to products from ibasso or rsa? What made you choose that combo over the other brands?

 

What i like about the E9 is that its a really neutral/clear amp. It really powers up your headphones without changing the tone of the original song and it makes your headphones sound like theyre supposed to. From what i read, the ibasso seems to add some bass to the tone, but it seems like theres many people that like it here. Can't say much about the rsa. I was on a $200 budget wo i went with the E7/E9, however the ibasso looks like it might be the best choice for you.


 

 

post #15 of 23
Mgurvits, from what you've shared with us, I would look towards a mid level amp/dac unit. While I haven't heard the D6, I have owned the D1 and the D10. They are great choices. Probably best bang for buck. I cannot comment on Fiio products as I haven't heard anything from them. You can find iBasso units in the FS section often. Whatever you decide, remember, enjoy the music. smily_headphones1.gif
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