Originally Posted by jexby
1. I concur about seeing the 1.4W (typical 1W?) specs for the M8.
assuming (uh oh) that those numbers apply to a 38ohm headphone like the HE-500.
yet the Concero HP at 32 ohms shows 270 mW. 4x less than M8 eh? (hence my original post)
1a. if HE-500 only needs 20.4mW of power to achieve those volumes "well" (very subjective), I have no clue why Head-fiers (and Fang) are constantly recommending 1W or hooking up to more powerful amps like a Lyr, etc.
and indeed the Concero HP would have 10x the mW to drive HE-500 volumes.
1b. that 20.4mW value means almost every cheap, portable amp on the market could power them sufficiently. allbeit, maybe not well/clear/concise. maybe that's the difference we are trying to discern here: power to be able to hear audio vs. power to be able to hear clear/precise/full audio?
2. not suggesting that myself (nor anyone) would listen to those 90-120dB volumes for long periods at all. believe it's more about the ability to achieve quality sound with dynamic swings, even for shorter durations.
Not claiming moar power is everything, but having it certainly seems to open up HE-500s to better quality as reported in other threads.
have to bow out as I'm neither an Concero HP expert nor HE-500 apparently.
It's all about how loud you're willing to get these headphones up to. Technically, we're getting a little OT in that it's not really about the Concero HP (or any other Concero model) or even the HiFi-M8 anymore, but I want to make clear that I'm not trying to "defend" the HP against its power shortcomings. It is designed to deliver power within the amount of power it can draw from USB (yes, that's 2.5 W, but that's just insane to expect sustained power draw like that) and transform that power into sound that's as clean and coherent as possible. If that means power delivery is short of peoples' expectations, then so be it.
For the sound pressure levels that I listen at, it's sufficient (as I mentioned, I try to keep within 100 dB maximum), but there are people who do want loud, undistorted transient dynamics, and in the name of hi-fi, that's what it's all about: to power your headphones/earphones/speakers as loud as you want without any trouble at any SPL (even ones that quickly induce hearing loss).
Also, in the spirit of Fletcher and Munson, humans naturally prefer things louder, so being able to drive things louder without distorting is an appealing aspect of amplifiers. (That's not to say that your ears will actually care --- the cochlea will introduce lots of its own distorting effects into our hearing system at loud SPLs >100 dB, but this is not a matter that we should get into, lest it turn into a massively controversial discussion)
Back to our original discussion, my personal, subjective feeling is that the HP sounds nicer than the HiFi-M8 at the volumes I listen at, on my own earphones (mostly sensitive IEM/CIEMs) and on a HD600 and HD800 tested. That's not to say that if I crank up the volume beyond what I like, the HiFi-M8 won't outperform the Concero HP in terms of power delivery (actually that's a given, it will outperform it), but subjectively, at my relatively "quiet" listening levels, I find the Concero HP to be my pick of the two.