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Best Sound for my new akg k550's

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Greetings all. I have spent countless hours and more money than id like to admit on my stereo setup over the years, but i have never really had the need to get to deep into headphones. im hoping to change this :) I recently purchased a set of AKG k550s I chose the closed back ones as they will be used while on my PC, Laptop, and while traveling. Next on the list is an Amp/DAC. As I will be needing a portable one i was thinking of the Fiio e17, the part that bothered me was how I am going to get a digital signal from my iphone to feed the DAC. I have seen adaptors that fit the dock connection and have a USB out port. Will this fix my problem? appologies if this has been covered elsewhere.

 

Thanks for you time,

post #2 of 23

You don't need a dac for the iPhone, and not many work with it either.

The headphone is low impedance, same as stock earbuds, so I won't say it matters that much using an amp.

Still if you want to get an amp, use a line out from the iPhone into an amp.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Interesting, i have an iphone 4s, So the inbuilt DAC is of reasonable quality? again forgive my ignorance, i have paid over 2k for DACs for my HiFi in the past...

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchy View Post

Interesting, i have an iphone 4s, So the inbuilt DAC is of reasonable quality? again forgive my ignorance, i have paid over 2k for DACs for my HiFi in the past...

 

Yep, pretty good.

Similar to ones used in iPod (Cirrus Logic).


Edited by proton007 - 5/10/12 at 2:08am
post #5 of 23

But there are a couple of DACs that work with iPhone/iPod, the Fostex HP1 is one such DAC, but pretty costly (~$600), the difference not worth the price IMO.

post #6 of 23
AKG K550 has high sensitivity and low impedance. It was designed for portable use. It doesn't need an amp.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks, i wasn't too worried about the Amp, more the DAC. i have an iphone, ipod touch, and older model ipod "photo" which one would be recomended for use, and how would it be best to connect it?

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchy View Post

Thanks, i wasn't too worried about the Amp, more the DAC. i have an iphone, ipod touch, and older model ipod "photo" which one would be recomended for use, and how would it be best to connect it?

 

Typical DACs won't work with the iPhone/iPod/iPad, as I said, only a couple do.

http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/HP-P1.shtml

post #9 of 23

About the best you could do with your portable apple products is the Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier and a Fiio L cable, which connects the E11 to the apple products LOD port.

But as other have said, your kind of stuck using the DAC that comes in portable apple products.

Apple products come with decent headphone amplification

and the AKG K550 is an easy headphone to drive.

The one thing that the portable amplifier might do is free the apple protect from having to power headphones, which might(?) extend the apple products battery charge.

post #10 of 23

I dont think : "headphone is low impedance, same as stock earbuds, so I won't say it matters that much using an amp" is right

 

JH13..MG6PRO...ie8  also low impedance.But you cant get them perform well if you dont have an amp.

SR71.SR71B.alo v2.  also ok

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamChinese View Post

I dont think : "headphone is low impedance, same as stock earbuds, so I won't say it matters that much using an amp" is right


JH13..
MG6PRO...ie8  also 
low impedance.But you cant get them perform well if you dont have an amp.

SR71.SR71B.alo v2.  also ok

I suggest you read how headphones work. Impedance and sensitivity pretty much determine how much "power" headphones need.

If you buy an amp for headphones that don't need it and notice a difference in sound. It is because the amp is coloring it (like EQ). Also it could be because you are expecting to hear a difference, so you will. It's called a placebo effect.

And I would like to hear from you, why would JH13 need an amp? What is your reasoning behind this argument. Because they are 116dB/mW and 28ohms. This means they are extremely easy to drive. Basic ipod can do this..
Edited by Papander - 5/12/12 at 1:21am
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the input,. As I have stated before I am a headphone novice and I am greatful for all this input. My concern was, ( coming from a hifi background and having purchased and enjoyed many different dacs over the years ) that the onboard ones in apple products would not be sufficient. But seeing that unless I buy an iPad with a camera connection I am stuck using the apple dac I don't have a lot of choice. So, I will buy a e17 for desktop/laptop use and see how the headphones perform on my iPhone/pod etc without aplification.

Thank you for the patient responses.
post #13 of 23

Bumping this thread, hoping more out there have tried the K550 amped.

 

I currently don't have an amp but its pretty hard to drive for my ipod classic. For the first time being in headfi, I may need to take off the safety lock I put on years ago on the volume; not a problem really, but while the ipod has plenty to power genres influenced by the loudness wars, well recorded classical stuff is kind of tough to get enough juice for.

 

Has anyone noticed any improvements amping the K550? I know AKGs can be tough to amp... Any matching up that you like?

post #14 of 23

The headfonia guys make a brief mention of amplifier pairings at the top of page 2:  http://www.headfonia.com/akgs-new-reference-the-k550/2/  You might also want to try combing through the comments section since I bet a lot of people will have asked about various amps.
 

post #15 of 23

AKG K550 is indeed get benefit from amping. 

 

Actually, what we get from amping isn't only the quantity of power, but also the quality of sound.

 

For now my favourite for them is ALO RX MK III-B, meaty and dynamic sound, bass boost fitur also suit for K550 if you prefer some "kick" to draw the fun musical effect.

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