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Headphones for Hi-Fi/AV use

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Posted this on another forum but didn't get too much of a response.. I'm looking for some help on adding a decent pair of headphones to my system, mainly for late night TV use as I've been getting some complaints about keeping others up! 


Probably best to list my current set up I guess - For music purposes I have the following -


QNAP NAS/Marantz CD63 Mk2 Ki Sig both going in to a Musical Fidelity M1CliC (acting as a preamp/dac), which then goes in to a Musical Fidelity M3i, front speakers, not that it matters I guess are as shown in my sig, PMC DB1i's.


I then have a AV system which uses the M3i as a power amp for the front two consisting of - PS3/Xbox360/HTPC/Sky+HD all going into a Yamaha RX-V3900. The M3i doesn't have a headphone socket, but the Yammy does have the silent cinema connection.


So as far as I can tell if it was just for general tv/movie watching I could just go and get a decent pair of headphones, plug them in and away I go? However, once I start considering using them for music, things get more complicated, at least I think. I'm assuming I would need a headphone amp connected into either the CliC or M3i and use that alongside the headphones... If my thinking is correct and the headphone amp connects to the M3i, I'm then rather confused as to how the speakers connected to the M3i will then act as surely I will have sound from both speakers and headphones at the same time, something I want to avoid? From looking around, Musical Fidelity do do headphone amps, the VCan range or also the M1HPA (though this seems somewhat expensive? Guess it depends on the headphones they are driving), but are there better options, and if so, what? Total blank page for me as this is a new area I'm looking into, my local hifi shop does stock Grado's and Sennheisers, but I really don't know what I need.


I've had a little look around and it seems that AKG headphones work well with MF gear, and I've been looking at the K701/Q701s but I have no idea how they would work straight into the Yammy. I'm also assuming that going for either closed or open backed headphones wont make much difference in this scenario, as sound leakage isn't going to be enough to be waking people up in other rooms!


Hoping someone can clear up my thoughts and explain to me exactly what I need to do and what sort of performance I could expect. For example the M1HPA is around £500 new, and the AKG's seem to be around the £250 mark, which I guess is the max total I'd really want to spend on these.

post #2 of 4

For AV use, I've had great fun with the Sennheiser HD650 which you should definitely try to listen to. The Q701 I now use does very well provided you use good source material (700MB rips sound horrible...). The HD650 is clearly more forgiving but there is something to be said for the great detail, soundstage and imaging that AKG has. Works just fine out of my Naim amp too and I'd think the Yamaha (being a fairly expensive receiver) will be good enough to get started with either of them.

Edited by paaj - 10/4/12 at 4:48am
post #3 of 4



Your Yamaha is sufficient for virtually any headphone except a few exceptionally hard to drive ones.


I would put you on:


MrSpeakers Mad Dog (modded T50RP) closed back, dark

HIfiman HE-400; open back, slightly dark

Denon D5000; closed back, brightish

Beyer DT880 250ohm; semi-open back, bright


Very best,

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, seems the Yamaha will do a pretty capable job then?


The only issue is the music sources aren't connected to the yamaha (although I can get round this if needed, the yamaha can stream and it would just be an additional set of cables between the cd player and receiver). I am assuming a headphone amp would be connected to one of the pre-outs on my M1CliC (it has a pre out and a fixed out, can't remember off the top of my head which is connected to the M3i), and away I go? This isn't an urgent need, I just want to get it clear in my head what would be needed to be able to play everything through the headphones.

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