Originally Posted by Happy Camper
How were headphones played before the advent of "headphone amps"?
About a couple dollars worth of resistors to drop the attenuation off the main speaker amp to a TRRS 1/4" connector.
Then guys started DIYing amps with just enough juice to run IEMs. Then came the full sized "headphone amp".
Speaker amps have and will continue to be used for headphones as a value to the hobbyist. Today's headphone amp industry are moving their power back into speaker amp range with pretty cabinets and leds and selling them for $thousands of dollars. Reality is they are just speaker amps packaged for the new suckers customers. Head Fi supports this as they are making a living off it. But as long as this is a hobbyist forum, they have to deal with the truth.
You are absolutely correct. I made this comment on Amazon regarding the HE-6.
Don't fight this exquisite "beast" with one hand tied behind your back. Think stereo integrated amplifiers and receivers. There are lots on the market such as Yamaha, Marantz, NAD, Cambridge Audio, etc with WATTS galore and fantastic specs for about the same prices as headphone amps. Plus when you get tired of listening through headphones hook up a pair of B&W 685's to that speaker amp with a powered sub and hear soundstage that will drive you soundly crazy.