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Best headphone amp for HD-598

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Hey all,

 

I'm new to the world of "audiophilia" and I was wondering what you guys thought would be a good portable amp to use with my HD-598s? I don't really know anything in terms of power and the science/physics behind the generation of sound that I am looking for so I was wondering if you guys could help me out. Right now, I plug these headphones into my HP laptop and my Zune HD, but mostly use the laptop. I was looking at the PA2V2 and was wondering about that, but I honestly don't even know where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

I have been looking around at many different reviews and many say that the e7/e9 combo is a great way to go. Should I go with this if I mainly listen to music on my HP laptop? 

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobswim13 View Post

I have been looking around at many different reviews and many say that the e7/e9 combo is a great way to go. Should I go with this if I mainly listen to music on my HP laptop? 


I've got a separate DAC (HRT Streamer II) running out of a USB port from my laptop and it's connected to my PA2V2. All I can say is that the improvement in sound quality is stunning and it will certainly make your Senns sound like you've never heard them before. The addition of the PA2V2 by itself won't necessarily make that sort of difference so I'd recommend a budget DAC/Amp combination. You can get the iBasso D Zero, uDAC2 or Fiio E7 all for around the $100 mark. It looks like the iBasso is the FOTM at the moment. Other members will no doubt have other suggestions.

 

If you do go down this path can I suggest that you look at configuring your media player to directly stream the digital signal to your DAC (avoiding your laptop's soundcard) to get the best possible sound. It's not hard to do, especially in W7

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I decided to bite on the e7/e9 combo. A lot of people said that it worked extremely well with the 598s so I think I should be in good shape.

 

I assume that the way to skip the laptop soundcard (I have Vista) would be to go into the playback devices and choose the dac/amp option when I do get it. Is that the right way to go?

post #5 of 14

Yes. Disable all other devices except your E7/E9 combination which comes up as "USB Audio DAC" in my PC. I've gone a couple of steps further and disabled the onboard sound card in the BIOS but you don't have to do that. I've also confgured my Media Player (J.River) to use Kernel Streaming as the audio output thereby bypassing all other windows mixers etc. WMP 11 and 12 do not appear to have this facility. So you could use Foobar 2000 (free) and do it via that player. You will need to download and install the plug in. WASAPI and ASIO are also options for direct digital streaming.

 

I have the E7/E9 combo and love it!

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

So, instead of using iTunes lossless audio files in my iTunes player, I should download foobar2000 and do this Kernel Streaming? What kind of advantage do I get from doing that and I'm guessing I will not be able to use Apple lossless audio files so what should I use to rip my cds? By the way, thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.

post #7 of 14

I guess there is a way to do this with iTunes but as I don't use the program I couldn't tell you but you can be sure that there is one. So just go with using the DAC as the output.

 

EDIT: Apparently Foobar will play Apple lossless files so what I suggested is still a possibility.


Edited by holden4th - 9/11/11 at 2:15am
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well I should get the e7/e9 tomorrow so I will tell you how it works with iTunes. I was reading up on it and there seems to be a way to bypass  all the computer mixers and just use the one from the dac. We shall see.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just got 'em. What is this beauty that is coming from my headphones?!?!? Everything has opened up completely and sounds insane. "Bohemian Rhapsody" from Queen's remastered A Night at the Opera blew me away. I use iTunes and it sounds fantastic. The Kernel streaming for foobar2000 doesn't want to work so I'm not sure what is up with that. It says it can't open it for some reason. You know a reason for this??

post #10 of 14

is it really necessary to get both the E7 and E9 for the HD598s?  Wouldn't just one be sufficient (ideally the E7 as its a bit cheaper..!)  Given that the HD598 is $180 it would seem a bit overkill to spend more than that again for E7 & E9?

 

Tips from those who have both and whether the quality is really a whole lot better with both than with just one??  If budget is for just one which is better to get?

 

Thanks!

post #11 of 14

Just get the fiio e10 for $81 shipped if you're only playing out of your computer

post #12 of 14


Not necessary.  The HD 598 is really only $180 if on sale.  Its MSRP price is still $249.  Plus, price point doesn't matter.  The HD 598s really open up with proper amplification.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueking View Post

is it really necessary to get both the E7 and E9 for the HD598s?  Wouldn't just one be sufficient (ideally the E7 as its a bit cheaper..!)  Given that the HD598 is $180 it would seem a bit overkill to spend more than that again for E7 & E9?

 

Tips from those who have both and whether the quality is really a whole lot better with both than with just one??  If budget is for just one which is better to get?

 

Thanks!



 

 

post #13 of 14

don't buy it yet!!?? The E17 is comming out next month!!!!!!

post #14 of 14

not essentially.

HD598 came as a portable can, which means it's easy to drive, and no need for any amps. 

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