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Migrating from RS 170 to HD 650

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone. I love listening to my indie FLACs whenever I get the chance and, for the past year, I've been using the RS 170. The hiss has been a problem all this time. Recently I had the opportunity to test several headphones all playing the same audio and I was stunned by the HD 650. Before I upgrade, I would like to ask HD 650 users for their suggestions: what amp/dac must I put between my Asus Xonar Essence STX and the HD 650? Also, what amp/dac do I need between my Galaxy S2 and the HD 650? I will NOT be using the samsung outside, so no need for the gear to be portable. Thank you in advance.

post #2 of 14

You may want to consider the AKG Q701 headphone instead because those of us who have had the HD-650 and sold it realized that the sound signature is much too laid back.  It always sounds, no matter what you do, like you are listening to your music through a thick pillow.  At first you may be able to justify it, but in the long run you will most likely prefer a more up-front sounding headphones like the AKG Q701, AKG K701, beyer DT990 ( 32 Ohm ), or even the AKG K550.  That was certainly my experience.


Edited by NA Blur - 10/18/12 at 9:59am
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

NA Blur, would I need anything between the Q701/HD650 and the STX, or can the sound card do a good job by itself?
 

post #4 of 14

I think the STX should have enough power and the DAC should have low enough noise to sound pretty good.  Of course if you get hiss or other artifacts that are not in your music then the DAC may need to be replaced / upgraded.  I think with the HD-650 in particular you may end up wanting something with a little more volume especially listening to classical, but I would say this probably will not be the case.

post #5 of 14

I do not not recommend hd650 with stx. It has the power to make them loud enough, but the sound is kind of empty. After I got the hd650 I bought myself another amp immedeatly.


Edited by Chulta - 10/18/12 at 10:07am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

You may want to consider the AKG Q701 headphone instead because those of us who have had the HD-650 and sold it realized that the sound signature is much too laid back.  It always sounds, no matter what you do, like you are listening to your music through a thick pillow.  At first you may be able to justify it, but in the long run you will most likely prefer a more up-front sounding headphones like the AKG Q701, AKG K701, beyer DT990 ( 32 Ohm ), or even the AKG K550.  That was certainly my experience.

 

Really? I have to admit this advice annoys me...greatly. It was exactly this advice that kept me off these hp's years. I wish now that I had those years back so that I could have bought the hd650 back then. The real issue with the hd650 is amp requirements. It will not sound very good from most portable amps. It will start to sound decent with some mid range desktop amps. Then it will truly take off and give you a beautiful sound with something like the Schitt lyr. The hd650+lyr is one of the best setups that I've ever heard. 

 

There is nothings veiled about the signature whatsoever. Feel free to read my review in my sig below.

 

gL!!

post #7 of 14

650 is definitely not more laid back than the DT990, either, not in the mids anyways.  

post #8 of 14

i have a xonar st and i use fiioe9 with its speaker output and they power it fine... i never tried the 650s with the headphone output's amp but i am sure it would do an okay job... but many reviews say that the xonar is slightly under powered for these HPs to bring the best out of them although it makes them loud enough....

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your suggestions. In terms of desktop amps I now have several contenders to read on and decide.

post #10 of 14

Yes you better go with a desktop amp for HD650 rather than STX's HO

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by punks15 View Post

Yes you better go with a desktop amp for HD650 rather than STX's HO

 

+1!!!

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanwil View Post

Before I upgrade, I would like to ask HD 650 users for their suggestions: what amp/dac must I put between my Asus Xonar Essence STX and the HD 650?

 

You should not need anything if you do not get any audible computer interference problems. I would take the posts above that say that the built-in amplifier is "underpowered" (probably without knowing how much power it can actually output, or that it has a gain setting that needs to be increased for headphones that need higher than average voltage) with a grain of salt, as many people here are strongly biased against sound cards, and that is reflected in their subjective opinions. But if you get a good desktop amplifier for the Galaxy S2, you might just as well use it with the Xonar STX too (unless it causes ground loop issues), for peace of mind.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

i have a xonar st and i use fiioe9 with its speaker output and they power it fine... i never tried the 650s with the headphone output's amp but i am sure it would do an okay job... but many reviews say that the xonar is slightly under powered for these HPs to bring the best out of them although it makes them loud enough....

 

The FiiO E9 does not have a speaker output. Do you mean you amplify the Xonar ST with the FiiO E9, and connect the HD650 to the 1/4" jack on the latter ? If yes, then note that both devices use basically the same (TPA6120A2) headphone amplifier, and both have about the same maximum power output into the HD650 with only minimal difference. By the way, the Xonar Essence One and the O2 would be comparable, too. Using the E9 may even cause a slight (but practically insignificant) loss of quality - edit: the input of the E9 in fact cannot handle the full scale ~2.15 Vrms line output of these sound cards without clipping, so if the volume on the PC is set to the maximum, the E9 will clip peaks.


Edited by stv014 - 10/20/12 at 12:33pm
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

@stv014: I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Will go for the 650 + a good amp once I manage to sell my RS170s. Cheers!

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Based on what I've been reading lately, it has come down to choosing between the Fiio E9 and Little Dot MKii. Again, this is an amp that I will use with the HD650. I would appreciate any feedback related to my choices.
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