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How would the HD800 sound without an amp? - Page 2

post #16 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguru View Post

The hd800 will sound much better than most other headphones even without an amp. However... 1) your volume will likely be very limited 2) they will improve GREATLY with an amp. 

 

Mp3 is a big no no with the hd800, it'll sound unlistenable. 

 

A cheap amp that will drive the hd800 is the lovely cube or m-stage matrix. Don't forget you'll also need a good DAC, I'd recommend the dacport lx if your looking for something affordable.

 

 

I mostly agree with this information. A decent amp with work just fine with the HD800 - though I've had solid results playing 320kbs mp3s on a iMac. I imagine it would be even better with a good DAC.

post #17 of 52

 

 

 What still boggles the mind is that whilst the Fiio E9 and Matrix M-Stage continue to offer some decent value 

 for an entry level HD800 solution (read: temporary) - why would you bother when Audio-gd offer this?

 

 $399 - Yes, no typo - $399USD + shipping. To say this NFB-6 Class A Amp  is outrageous value is

 simply the biggest understatement of the year. It is peerless value. Period.

 

 Balanced 4-pin support? don't mind if I do :-)

 

 NFB65.JPG

 

Yep, I believe that's a lot of connectivity for the money.

 

NFB65-Back.JPG

 

Power? Try 1.2 watts into 300ohms for the HD800. Still not enough for your $399? Oh it has a pre-amp too.


Edited by Gwarmi - 4/21/12 at 4:43pm
post #18 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poikkeus View Post

 

 

I mostly agree with this information. A decent amp with work just fine with the HD800 - though I've had solid results playing 320kbs mp3s on a iMac. I imagine it would be even better with a good DAC.

 

I think the HD800 deserves a great amp.  I've never heard it, but I've heard the obvious difference a great amp can make in an audio chain.  People who think amps don't make a difference aren't driving their headphones to their full potential.  

 

In my experience, mid-level amps and basic amps don't seem to do much, but when you really hear a great amp its pretty impressive what it does to improve sound.  

 

Also, yeah a DAC would be a good idea.  They can really help resolves high details a lot, and maybe get some more punchy clarity way down low when a built in DAC would kind of roll off or get muddy.

 

Funny side story, I actually had a pretty vivid dream last night that someone gave a pair of HD-800's to a friend of my fiancé's, and I got to play with them and compare them unmapped and amped.  True story.


Edited by wdahm519 - 4/21/12 at 4:46pm
post #19 of 52

320kB Lame ripped MP3s sound damn good. You can hear a little 'swish' in the cymbals, but it won't be 'unlistenable' in the least.

post #20 of 52

I feel that the HD 800 is still better than any mid-fi headphone I've owned (DT990, HD 580, Q701, SRH 940) even when being run out of a cheap setup. Due to repairs, I've only got a VRM Box for the next couple of weeks, so I decided to run the HD 800 and DT 990 and see the results.

 

The HD 800 had lost some pacing and bass impact vs being run balanced, but it still beat out the DT 990. While the Beyer has very good bass/treble extension, I could hear grain in the highs and lows that were not present in the HD 800. If you think the HD 800 is sibilant, then the DT 990 must sound like an icepick to the head. The Senn also wins handily in mids (more forward and detailed) and soundstaging (larger and better instrument separation). 

 

With a better setup, the HD 800 has more space to stretch it's legs and opens the gap between it and the mid-fi cans. However, I'd bet that most people would still take the HD 800 over the old flagships even if subjected to a blind test on a $100 portable setup with 128 kbps mp3s. The advantage in technicalities is still there, but you may prefer how another headphone is voiced.

post #21 of 52

 

 The same 3 x dilemmas remain for any prospective or current HD800 owner :-

 

 1) Buy the thing and match it with the source and amp that you can afford, accept that you are not hearing it at it's absolute best

     - work at getting some gear in the future that may get you close to that.

 

 2) Live in denial - tell yourself that there is not much difference between your USB equipped Matrix M-stage and a Ref 7.1 DAC balanced

     out to a Ray Samuels Dark Star.

 

 3) Accept point 2 is reality and that for various reasons, you cannot or will not spend that sort of cash - enjoy the HD800 with the gear that

     you have, embrace the fact that it could sound better with reference recordings but that you're not able or willing to go there with more

     expensive gear. 

 

post #22 of 52
Thread Starter 

Unless I somehow got like 2000$ (probably more) then I'd gladly buy the HD800 and the best amp for it.

But realistically the money I'm using to buy the HD800 (If I even buy it which I'm sorta changing my mind about) is adding up and probably won't be completed till next year the earlier and then I wouldn't have ANY money for anything else.

So it's pretty much just the HD800, or a cheaper headphone with a good amp.

 

Like I said, before I was looking at the 

HD598

DT800 (600 OHM)

or SRH-840/940.

post #23 of 52
Thread Starter 

I was also thinking of getting the Grado sr225i's but I'm worried that the highs will be too piercing.

post #24 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddisonTaras View Post

I was also thinking of getting the Grado sr225i's but I'm worried that the highs will be too piercing.

 

 I would discount the SRH940 if you don't like piercing highs.

post #25 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddisonTaras View Post

I was also thinking of getting the Grado sr225i's but I'm worried that the highs will be too piercing.

 


I think people over-exaggerate the sound characteristics of Grado headphones. Before I got my hands on the SR-80i, then, later, the SR-225i, I was under the impression they had no sound stage, the highs were incredibly peaky, and there was no bass.

 

While the highs ARE a little peaky on the SR-80i's, I don't think that's the case [as much] with the 225i. In my case, I found they are unnaturally extended but didn't have sibilance that I had thought was the case with Grado headphones. And what I meant by "as much": there are some songs, I can't remember which, that were sibilant. I would say, out of my personal music library 92% of it sounds fantastic out of the SR-225i. They provide just the right amount of bass for almost every genre (if you have mostly hip-hop you should look elsewhere), smooth mids, and very nice highs (a bit extended if you like more neutral sounding cans).

 

They are a bargain at what they're going for in the FS thread. :)

 

post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastershake2393 View Post

 

 


I think people over-exaggerate the sound characteristics of Grado headphones. Before I got my hands on the SR-80i, then, later, the SR-225i, I was under the impression they had no sound stage, the highs were incredibly peaky, and there was no bass.

 

While the highs ARE a little peaky on the SR-80i's, I don't think that's the case [as much] with the 225i. In my case, I found they are unnaturally extended but didn't have sibilance that I had thought was the case with Grado headphones. And what I meant by "as much": there are some songs, I can't remember which, that were sibilant. I would say, out of my personal music library 92% of it sounds fantastic out of the SR-225i. They provide just the right amount of bass for almost every genre (if you have mostly hip-hop you should look elsewhere), smooth mids, and very nice highs (a bit extended if you like more neutral sounding cans).

 

They are a bargain at what they're going for in the FS thread. :)

 

 

Awesome, maybe I'll put them back on the list of headphones to get. :)

The only problem is like you said they aren't too good with Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop is one of my main music tastes.

I have a very mixed music taste

Ranging from 

David Bowie, to Rammstein, to Nas, Kanye West, Childish Gambino to Coldplay, Marilyn Manson, Drake, to Pantera.

You get it, haha.

post #27 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddisonTaras View Post

 

 

Awesome, maybe I'll put them back on the list of headphones to get. :)

The only problem is like you said they aren't too good with Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop is one of my main music tastes.

I have a very mixed music taste

Ranging from 

David Bowie, to Rammstein, to Nas, Kanye West, Childish Gambino to Coldplay, Marilyn Manson, Drake, to Pantera.

You get it, haha.

 

The only reason I mentioned that it wasn't good with hip-hop if maybe you want more bass... but you're looking into the HD800 so... haha

 

Have you considered the D7000 if your main genre is hip-hop? I would think those fair better than the HD800 for hip-hop...

post #28 of 52
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastershake2393 View Post

 

 

The only reason I mentioned that it wasn't good with hip-hop if maybe you want more bass... but you're looking into the HD800 so... haha

 

Have you considered the D7000 if your main genre is hip-hop? I would think those fair better than the HD800 for hip-hop...

 

I haven't heard much about the D7000, honestly I think I'm gonna forget about the HD800 overall for now and any headphone that's over 400/500$.

Thank you though.

Another problem is I'm very bad with decision making, I've been looking for a good headphone upgrade for quite a while now and every time I think I've found the perfect one I find something else and so on, haha.

post #29 of 52

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddisonTaras View Post

 

 

I haven't heard much about the D7000, honestly I think I'm gonna forget about the HD800 overall for now and any headphone that's over 400/500$.

Thank you though.

Another problem is I'm very bad with decision making, I've been looking for a good headphone upgrade for quite a while now and every time I think I've found the perfect one I find something else and so on, haha.

 

I just about to say never use HD800 for hip-hop and then I see you gonna give it up. If you are not good at making decision, the easiest way is to bring whatever you gonna use for your digital sources(laptop/ipod/mp3 pleyers) to the store and try all the headphones you are interested in, and then pick the one you like the most. We can't actually tell you how sound is like, but your ears can.

post #30 of 52

I didn't read the entire thread, but you may want to consider the HD600. Not that it sounds similar to the HD800 (more veiled and bassy), but I think it's an insanely good headphone for the price and FWIR most people (myself included) even prefer it to the HD650. I also think that there's not very many cans between the price of the 600s and 800s that are worth the upgrade. Also that way, you'll have plenty left over for a DAC/amp

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