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Can the HiFiMAN HE-Adapter be used on e.g. HE.500 headphones?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

On the home page it is stated that: HE-Adapter is not for HE-500 or any high efficiency headphones.

 

http://www.head-direct.com/product_detail.php?p=104#

 

Why is that?

 

I´ve tried the HE-500 with a monster headamp in balanced mode, and they played the best.

 

Is there any technical reason why it is not advisable to use the HE-Adapter on thr HE-500.

 

My amps are:

 

- 70W / 140W (8/4 ohms, 1500VA, microF 95.000

 

or

 

- Output Power: 2x 120W at 8Ω 2x 230W at 4Ω (aka class D design)

 

Am I doing something stupid here? Please warn me...

 

 

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

Tried the HE-6 and the quite more efficient HE-300. Both works quite nicely. Bottom-line: There should not be any problems using the HE-500 as well. 

 

So, there should not be any technical problem, except "use the volume control with caution".


Edited by Loevhagen - 9/29/11 at 10:15am
post #3 of 17
I used the 500s on the 6 speaker amp rig and thought they sound better than the headphone amp. They may be more sensitive but they are still a planar. They didn't need the same amount of volume but do use the power the same way.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I bought the adapter partly based on your input in other threads about the HE-500. Thanks. 

post #5 of 17
Can it be used on the HD-800 or T1?
Reply
post #6 of 17

You can do this, but those headphones really don't need that type of juice at all. For reference, the HE-6 requires more than 4 times as much power to reach the same volume as the HD800. This is why Hifiman has that.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanjiWatsuki View Post

You can do this, but those headphones really don't need that type of juice at all. For reference, the HE-6 requires more than 4 times as much power to reach the same volume as the HD800. This is why Hifiman has that.

 

Thank you!

Reply
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Can it be used on the HD-800 or T1?

 

The amount of noise you would get on sensitive dynamic headphones would make that a very poor configuration, and you have picked two of the most sensitive in terms of their ability to render minute details, Listen hard enough and I'm sure you will hear your amp whispering 'Intruder alert'. 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Can it be used on the HD-800 or T1?

The HiFiMan box is the same idea as the headphone driver circuit in many receivers and amplifiers with headphone jacks. It's just a resistive network to prevent the amplifier from doing something naughty to the headphones or itself. You can build one yourself if you're so inclined:

http://sound.westhost.com/project100.htm

You can vary the size of the resistors to change the output abilities relative to the amplifier. And of course the quality of the resistors. If you have a table-top receiver or integrated amplifier with a headphone jack, it likely has a similar circuit to this. It probably restricts more power than the HE-Adapter does though.

In terms of the sound quality through other headphones, it's probably a non-issue, assuming the amplifier itself is relatively clean and quiet. Although for something like the HD 800, I'd just the front panel jack (or build a more suitable box).
post #10 of 17

I have a Pioneer VSX-455 and the specs state 110 Watts into each channel.  I've been using my E9 with the HE-500 but decided to try the headphone jack on the Pioneer and it sounds better than the E9.  Everything seems a more dynamic, I made sure to level match both so they were at the same volume.  It's not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.  It feels like it powers the HE-500 better but I thought receivers weren't good with headphones?  So is this basically the same thing as using the HE-Adapter or would I have better results with the adapter?

post #11 of 17

The adapter has 10 Ohm parallel resistors for impedance matching with the 8 Ohm output from your speaker amp (for the 50 Ohm HE-6) and a 25 Ohm resistor in series, I believe 1/4 watt, for over-current protection, the connectors and the plastic box.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenthumb View Post

I have a Pioneer VSX-455 and the specs state 110 Watts into each channel.  I've been using my E9 with the HE-500 but decided to try the headphone jack on the Pioneer and it sounds better than the E9.  Everything seems a more dynamic, I made sure to level match both so they were at the same volume.  It's not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.  It feels like it powers the HE-500 better but I thought receivers weren't good with headphones?  So is this basically the same thing as using the HE-Adapter or would I have better results with the adapter?

There's nothing wrong with receivers and headphones, I think the stigma comes from some very poorly designed entry level components that have grounding or noise issues (like a lot of cheap computer audio cards) and a few amp manufacturers claiming that anything but a dedicated headphone amp is inferior. Sure, at the extreme top end a dedicated anything is likely going to be the best, but in that big ocean of gray in the middle, receivers can do a fine job.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenthumb View Post

I have a Pioneer VSX-455 and the specs state 110 Watts into each channel.  I've been using my E9 with the HE-500 but decided to try the headphone jack on the Pioneer and it sounds better than the E9.  Everything seems a more dynamic, I made sure to level match both so they were at the same volume.  It's not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.  It feels like it powers the HE-500 better but I thought receivers weren't good with headphones?  So is this basically the same thing as using the HE-Adapter or would I have better results with the adapter?

Please go straight to the Vintage Receivers thread and ask Skylab why he owns more vintage receivers than dedicated headphone amps. despite having owned/heard more of the latter than almost anyone on Head-Fi. Apologies to those who have heard more amps than Rob, but I think you'll agree that he has paid his dues as far as reviewing headphone amps ...

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


There's nothing wrong with receivers and headphones, I think the stigma comes from some very poorly designed entry level components that have grounding or noise issues (like a lot of cheap computer audio cards) and a few amp manufacturers claiming that anything but a dedicated headphone amp is inferior. Sure, at the extreme top end a dedicated anything is likely going to be the best, but in that big ocean of gray in the middle, receivers can do a fine job.

 

Yea, I don't hear any noise at the volume I listen at.  It does a pretty good job to my ears.  Those vintage Marantz receivers do look sleek also.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Please go straight to the Vintage Receivers thread and ask Skylab why he owns more vintage receivers than dedicated headphone amps. despite having owned/heard more of the latter than almost anyone on Head-Fi. Apologies to those who have heard more amps than Rob, but I think you'll agree that he has paid his dues as far as reviewing headphone amps ...

 

Thanks, I'll ask over in that thread.

post #15 of 17

I received a pair of HIFIMAN's HE-6 headphones yesterday and they play beautifully through my NAD 375BEE DAC Stereo Integrated Amplifier. Should get better with burn-in. I also have the HD 800s.  With volume mute, at the 6:30AM position low but listenable voulume at around 8AM, pleasent volume at 9AM and robust volume at around 10AM.  Very loud at levels above 11AM.  My HD-800s are at the same volume but 45 minutes to an hour earlier.  I haven't tried my HE-6 on my Yamaha R-700 receiver yet but based on i'ts headphone jack at 470 ohms I am not expecting to much from it.  My HD-800s do ok on the R-700 but the sound is veiled with somewhat mushy bass.  I spoke to a customer service rep at Yamaha about the insane impedance # but he said it was because the headphone jack is taken off of the power-amp and it needs to be drastically stepped-down.  That's crazy.  The spec sheet goes on to say that this ohm measurement is taken with power reading at 410 mV and was confirmed by the customer service rep.  At Yamaha you can't talk to a technician.  

 

It think the R-S700 is a candidate for using the HIFIMAN'S HE-Adapter hooking it directly to loudspeaker outlets and by-pass the use of the headphome jack altogether. I believe it's ohm impedance is about 35. While this receiver is claimed to have 100 RMS watts per channel I have read that it's probably more like 85 watts.  I also know that power flow is far more restricted with this receiver vs the NAD.  Electrical flow in that unit is like a tsunami.  By the way it's headphone output impedance is 86 ohms.  Based on the volume settings on the R-S700 when using the HD-800s the settings are about the same as when I use my Audio_Technica M-50 headphones.  I will most likely see some volume gain but the performance should substantially improve since the Audio Section specs are clean i.e. 8 ohms 20Hz to 20khz 0.01% THD 100W+100W.  After all, we are talking headphones here.  Any thoughts?

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