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Looking to upgrade to new Headphones / Should I just get an amp

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hello all, new here.  

 

I listen to quite a bit of electronic (dubstep, trance, house) and will occasionally listen to just about everything else (Metal, country, hip hop, pop, etc.).

 

For about 3 years I've had the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 ohm headphones. I love how they sound but they sometimes seem a bit quiet and the bass isn't exactly what i'd like, maybe something with a bit more of a full bass feeling w/ keeping good mids/highs. I generally listen from my iPod or Laptop w/o an amp.

 

Should I:

 

1) Get an Amp (I mostly listen to these when near a laptop or what not)

 

2) Get higher quality headphones (Up to $500 but would like to spend around $300)

 

Thanks all!

post #2 of 30

You should at first get an amp/DAC unit as it will help you to achieve desired volume and as it will lower the output impedance, your bass will become more tight. DAC will help you to achieve more detailed and clear sound, you are going to get much better results than with your laptop's soundcard.

 

As they are of input impedance of 80 ohm, you should get an amp/DAC with 10 ohm maximum output impedance.

 

It is possible to find suitable portable or desktop amp/DAC very easily, you have a lot of options :-)


Edited by MHOE - 10/1/12 at 12:03pm
post #3 of 30

I think going with a different set of headphones that can handle fast paced music is a good idea. Probably Ultrasone Pro900. 

post #4 of 30
Get an amp for sure.

The Fiio E11 will run the 80 ohm beyers real nice and has a bass boost that does not distort. I would make that 50 dollar investment before you go buying new cans. Anyone describing the DT770 with no bass my first thought is not enough power to run them. Make sure you use an LOD cable and not a Fiio one with the ipod.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by formula1 View Post

I think going with a different set of headphones that can handle fast paced music is a good idea. Probably Ultrasone Pro900. 

 

Yes, he can try different cans... But without amp and DAC, it is going to be pretty much redundant!

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post

Get an amp for sure.
The Fiio E11 will run the 80 ohm beyers real nice and has a bass boost that does not distort. I would make that 50 dollar investment before you go buying new cans. Anyone describing the DT770 with no bass my first thought is not enough power to run them. Make sure you use an LOD cable and not a Fiio one with the ipod.

 

I do own E11 and agree it will drive DT770 without any problems... However, bclark8923, please specify your demands - do you want to use your headphones at home exclusively, or do you want something more portable?

 

Anyway, E17 is a great amp + DAC for very good money... E11 is only an amp, still better amp than E17.


Edited by MHOE - 10/1/12 at 12:08pm
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

 

I do own E11 and agree it will drive DT770 without any problems... However, bclark8923, please specify your demands - do you want to use your headphones at home exclusively, or do you want something more portable?

 

Anyway, E17 is a great amp + DAC for very good money... E11 is only an amp, still better amp than E17.

 

I 99% use my headphones at home/work when it's time to grind out some work (closed headphones are a must).  But from the amp's point of view I'll need to move between home/work so  something i can throw in my laptop bag. Would the E11's be good for that?

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

 

Yes, he can try different cans... But without amp and DAC, it is going to be pretty much redundant!

 

Are you suggesting that every headphone should be connected to an amp/dac? there are benefits, but they can also run fine unamped. 

 

Also, i dont think the DT770 pro80 is a good headphone for genres such as Metal or rock. Bass is too much and the details are lost because of this. 

 

Do you guys also notice that op wants something with more midrange, you can try Eq but its not the same as getting a different set of headphones. 

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by formula1 View Post

 

Are you suggesting that every headphone should be connected to an amp/dac? there are benefits, but they can also run fine unamped. 

 

Also, i dont think the DT770 pro80 is a good headphone for genres such as Metal or rock. Bass is too much and the details are lost because of this. 

 

Do you guys also notice that op wants something with more midrange, you can try Eq but its not the same as getting a different set of headphones. 

 

Yes, every headphone should be connected to an amp at best, to lower impedance that is high if you plug your headphones to your source directly... Also dedicated DAC is much better digital to analog converter than some generic onboard soundcard or ipod.

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclark8923 View Post

 

I 99% use my headphones at home/work when it's time to grind out some work (closed headphones are a must).  But from the amp's point of view I'll need to move between home/work so  something i can throw in my laptop bag. Would the E11's be good for that?

 

If you only have a laptop and ipod, get not only an amp, but amp+DAC unit! The improvement will be very clear... Get E17! :-)

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclark8923 View Post

I 99% use my headphones at home/work when it's time to grind out some work (closed headphones are a must).  But from the amp's point of view I'll need to move between home/work so  something i can throw in my laptop bag. Would the E11's be good for that?

Yes the E11 works good for that. It comes with fancy rubberband to attach the amp to your ipod. Get it from Miccastore and get the extra battery and charger for those days when you accidently forget to turn it off at night (doh!). Miccastore is an authorized dealer and you won't get a fake.

I think your request was very clear. You are saying you like your phones you have and have no problems with them other than the bass and they are quiet. I can tell you 100 percent that you are not running them to their potential and the E11 with the amp will do wonders.

The only other possible weakness is if your laptop has a cheap DAC chip or bad implementation internally but you will find out after you have tried the E11. If that is the case there are some really, really nice DAC+Amps that can plug straight into your USB. But I would go with the E11 first and go from there it will for sure handle the ipod problem. It more than likely will also handle the laptop problem as well.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclark8923 View Post 

 

I listen to quite a bit of electronic (dubstep, trance, house) and will occasionally listen to just about everything else (Metal, country, hip hop, pop, etc.).

For about 3 years I've had the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 ohm headphones. I love how they sound but they sometimes seem a bit quiet and the bass isn't exactly what I'd like, maybe something with a bit more of a full bass feeling w/ keeping good mids/highs. I generally listen from my iPod or Laptop w/o an amp.

Should I:

1) Get an Amp (I mostly listen to these when near a laptop or what not)

2) Get higher quality headphones (Up to $500 but would like to spend around $300)

Does your laptop come with S/PDIF optical & coaxial outputs? (I know it has USB).

Chances are the laptop comes with a very low cost DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and the line-out/headphone jack comes with a high impedance (resistance, measured in Ohms), which is a negative for low Ohm headphones.

I would guess your iPod comes with a better DAC and quality headphone amplifier then your laptop.

With your iPod get the Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier and a Fiio L cable, the L cable bypasses your iPods headphone amplifier and feeds a slightly better analog audio signal to the E11.

Get the E11 with an extra battery and simple AC battery charger ($65-$70)

That is about as much as you can do for on the move with the iPod (as it's not practical to add an external DAC).

 

For your laptop. adding an external DAC and headphone amplifier should improve the sound quality of any headphone being used with the laptop.

The Fiio E10 portable USB-DAC-headphone amplifier ($70) would be about the cheapest for using with the laptop.

 

The Fiio E17 portable DAC & headphone amplifier (with L cable) could work with both the iPod and the laptop.

You can try the E17 with your current DT770 Pro 80-Ohms, then decide if you still want to replace the DT770s

 

The headphone amplifiers used on portable Fiio products are very low impedance (a Plus).

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post


Yes the E11 works good for that. It comes with fancy rubberband to attach the amp to your ipod. Get it from Miccastore and get the extra battery and charger for those days when you accidently forget to turn it off at night (doh!). Miccastore is an authorized dealer and you won't get a fake.
I think your request was very clear. You are saying you like your phones you have and have no problems with them other than the bass and they are quiet. I can tell you 100 percent that you are not running them to their potential and the E11 with the amp will do wonders.
The only other possible weakness is if your laptop has a cheap DAC chip or bad implementation internally but you will find out after you have tried the E11. If that is the case there are some really, really nice DAC+Amps that can plug straight into your USB. But I would go with the E11 first and go from there it will for sure handle the ipod problem. It more than likely will also handle the laptop problem as well.

So a DAC+Amp like the E17 would be laptop as a must w/ it? or can I just it w/ my ipod w/o a laptop around. And are there any other cords I should get with it?


Edited by bclark8923 - 10/1/12 at 12:50pm
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by formula1 View Post

 

Are you suggesting that every headphone should be connected to an amp/dac? there are benefits, but they can also run fine unamped. 

 

Also, i dont think the DT770 pro80 is a good headphone for genres such as Metal or rock. Bass is too much and the details are lost because of this. 

 

Do you guys also notice that op wants something with more midrange, you can try Eq but its not the same as getting a different set of headphones. 

 

DT770 is for sure not ideal... But as I said before, without proper DAC and amplification, every other headphones are just a waste of money.

 

You can EQ in a good and in a bad way... I use Lunatique's EQ curve for my D7000 and it does wonders without destroying the clarity and detail like you can observe when you just try to EQ without a concept. Honestly, I would not be able to do it myself as it involves some serious knowledge and testing. But it works and makes D7000 sound greatly with every genre. Trying to get headphones absolutely neutral and so EQing too much is a bad thing but a few adjustments can really do wonders and are always needed if you want to enjoy music as it is supposed to be.


Edited by MHOE - 10/1/12 at 12:53pm
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclark8923 View Post

So a DAC+Amp like the E17 would be laptop as a must w/ it? or can I just it w/ my ipod w/o a laptop around

You can connect the iPod to the E17 using an LOD cable (LOD to 3.5mm), connect the iPod to the line-in on the E17 (Fiio call theirs the L cable).

The line-in on the E17 bypasses the E17's internal DAC (your still using the iPod's DAC), but as you can not use the E17's DAC feature with portable Apple products anyway, it does not matter.

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