wow. urm, alright. considering all you have written, including the spoiler, i would consider an upgrade like this: noticeably audibly "more transparent" than the objective set and still being able to drive 95% of all headphones just like the O2. excluding build quality, looks, features, exotic\prestigious components. just soundwise, presenting a flat, linear response and having enough power to drive allmost all headphones, but doing so better than the O2.
in all honesty, i wasnt really considering getting any other amp anyway. but could it be that getting another amp (for the same purpose as the O2, i.e - not more portable or whatever) would simply be redundant? looks like i made the right choice of amps... somehow i still dont buy it though. maybe im too brainwashed
Personally, and it is just my opinion based on my reading of what's out there, I would stockpile different headphones rather than different amps, if I wanted something new (though some amps make no attempt at transparency and so on, definitely sound different, etc.).
Also, a very important point to make is that many many amps and DACs, not just the O2 and ODAC—and for many situations and headphones, plenty of options cheaper than the two as well—have pretty excellent measurements in the areas that people test and ostensibly care about, that matter. O2 and ODAC aren't particularly special, just two more specimens that do a pretty decent job. Take that as you will.
[...saving space]long, so I'll put the quote in spoiler (Click to show)
I'd like to buy a new pair of preferably open back headphones: $190 - $299 and use them (only) with the ODAC and O2.
As I mentioned in this thread (and in the ODAC thread) I am using my DT 880 (250 Ohm; 2005 Edition) or sometimes my Sennheiser HD 595 with the JDS Labs ODAC and O2 as two standalone units.
I am super happy. No complaints. .....but I would like to explore more.
I thought about buying the UHA-6S MKII, or iBasso D12, or the Dragonfly, or the latest Merridian Explorer, or the DacPort LX, etc.
but after reading all those discussions in this thread and in the relevant threads about the ODAC, UHA-6S MKII, ,... DacPort LX, etc
I came to the conclusion that I do not need another dac or amp since the ODAC and O2 are excellent.
Furthermore since headphones have the biggest impact on the sound therefore I should focus on buying a better than the DT 880 pair of headphones instead of buying another DAC and headpnone amp. (At least for now.)
I'd like to buy something like AKG K701/702 or Q701, AT ATH-AD900X, Sony MA-900, also closed back AKG K 550, etc.
My music: rock/hard rock, mainstream metal and obviously some pop.
I do not listen to rap/hip-hop, electronic, extreme metal, etc.
(For classical music I can use my Sennhesier HD 595.)
I am not aiming at headphones that, say, reproduce female vocals better than my DT 880s and I don't care about this at all.
Also, I do not need bass-heavy headphones. Obviously some bass is needed for rock/metal.
I know that at least three factors are important in matching a headphone amp with a pair of headphones:
- max input power
I would prefer higher impedance headphones because of the channel imbalance at low volume levels of the O2. (I haven't tested my O2 for the channel imbalance yet.)
Recently, I read on this site that the sensitivity factor is more important for
higher-impedance-headphones than the impedance itself.
Since this is the thread about ODAC & O2 - although there many philosophical discussions going on here - this is the best place to ask for an advice regarding matching the O2 with very good headphones (under $300) with the proper impedance, max input power and above all sensitivity.
Thanx in advance.
Based on the output power, the noise, distortion, and so on... Almost everything should be okay. O2 should handle most headphones in a similar manner. Electrostatics: no. K1000: no. HE-6 and maybe some vintage K240 and some others: no if you listen loudly.
Many people will tell you otherwise, or say they don't like certain pairings (as for the reasons, they vary). That's fine. They're just talking about what they perceive when listening for themselves, for what that's worth. Is there some phenomenon that people haven't discovered yet, that the O2 lacks or does differently than something else? Or a different way to test things? I think not; other people think it's out there.
Rather than have channel imbalance, you can turn down the volume in software if you're looking at really sensitive IEMs. For fullsize headphones, O2 channel balance should mostly be in the "okay" or better range (yes, you can do better). Typical 1 dB off at -55 dB, increasingly better at the higher rotations. Many headphones are matched worse than that. Anyway, it doesn't look like you're looking at sensitive IEMs.
This is more a question about headphones than amps or anything else, so maybe a different forum is more appropriate.
Edited by mikeaj - 5/5/13 at 7:07pm