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Need portable amp with Sennheiser HD650. Need Advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Recently, I bought an Audio Technica ATH-M50 and I didn't like the sound quality of it.  The trebles were too piercing for my tastes, the recessed mids bothered me, and the bass was a bit over kill.  They were also not comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.  I eventually returned these.


I'm looking for a pair of headphones that are good for pop, classical (lots of piano), etc. and not so much heavy metal / rock.  Basically, the Audio Technica ATH-M50 was not good enough.


The Sennheiser HD650 seem pretty good for what I need, but I can't seem to figure out which amp to get with it.  I looked at several forum posts and I'm thinking about getting a FiiO E7 + E9.  Is that powerful enough to drive the HD650's?  Do I need the E9 if I'm getting the E7?


I plan to use these for iPhone 4 (music in lossless format) + computer w/o good sound card (onboard)



post #2 of 10



So you plan on walking around with open-air headphones and actually think you're going to hear music in public? I'm not trying to be facetious, but really, that's a problem if you think you're going to enjoy it. The leak is as if there were no headphones there. All environment sounds will be in your ears, with whatever you're playing. And like wise in reverse as you share whatever you're listening to with everyone around you.


For a portable amp, the basic entry stuff like FiiO E11, Vivid V1 Tech, uDac2, etc, will play a headphone like that rather well, not to it's full potential, but still very well. So if you're hell bent on using an open air headphone as a portable, they will at least power them. What you hear during traffic, well, that's your problem. There's a massive portable amp thread with a lot of examples used for the HD650. Search it out. Portable amp shoot out should give you hits on the search.


When you say you want classical and pop, I really didn't think HD650 right away. I thought of other headphones. Headphones that are less bassy and dark. What seemed pretty good for what you need, per your words? What kind of sound are you seeking?


Very best,

post #3 of 10

I'd choose another headphone if you want more portability. 

post #4 of 10

I'm not opposed to the idea of open phones as portables, so long as you know that your best bet will be to find a quiet spot in a field/park to listen. If you plan on walking around with them in a busy area, or in transit, consider finding another closed can, as the Mal and Fabio suggested.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Oh, I'm looking for a pair to carry around from place to place, not necessarily for listening in public.  Open-air shouldn't be a problem if I'm using it in a fairly quiet environment.

I want a good pair of headphones that I can use at home and at school, but I also don't want to carry a huge amp everywhere I go.


I'm a bit worried that I'll spend $300-400 on a nice pair of headphones and a $10-20 amp, just to have the same sound as a $100 pair of headphones.


I guess the better question to ask is... which headphone + portable amp combination would be better for ~$300-400?  I really didn't like the sound of the Audio Technica ATH-M50.  Now I'm wondering if upgrading to the Denon AHD-2000 would be better, or should I look into Sennheiser HD650 / Beyerdynamics / AKG's.  I don't really have a preference b/w closed vs open design.


Edited by andylifestyle - 8/28/11 at 3:48pm
post #6 of 10

Ibasso PB1 or PB2, just make sure you get the balanced cable. No need for anything fancy, just get the $40 re-cable from Ibasso that way you can use it for SE amps, too. The PB1's charge lasts me about 18hours+ single-ended, around 12hours running balanced.


Meier Stepdance/Stepdance 2 is also worth a look, or the Triad Lisa III.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

@ProtegeManiac: Oh I see.  Where would you buy these amps?  I've always been wondering why Amazon only offers FiiO, but nothing else

post #8 of 10


Go to the Ibasso website, they only sell direct online. Some are available in eBay but the selections are very limited, and might be more expensive compared to paying for shipping from China yourself. Then check the accessories page, you'll see the balanced cable there.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

sweet, thanks!  PB2 would be a pretty solid choice for the HD650's?  It should cost around $325, which is 3x the price of the FiiO E7.

Does it sound much better than the FiiO E7?  I'm really not familiar with amps

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

By the way, how does pb1 / pb2 compare w/ headroom micro amp : http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers/headroom-micro-amp.php



OH i see.  the pb2 is portable w/ a battery source


Now I'm wondering if I should pair the pb1/pb2 with hd598 instead

Edited by andylifestyle - 8/28/11 at 11:08pm
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