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Do I need an Amp for the AKG K550?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Planning to buy the AKG K550 very soon, and I'm wondering if it is needed to drive the headphone. I am planning to use the headphone on my desktop computer. If so, what amp do you guys suggest on buying?

 

Thanks Guys,

~Newbie

post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 

Bump.

post #3 of 26

I have a Burson HA160 and it doesn't do much to the K550. I guess that's because K550 was designed for portable players (although it seems a bit too big for portable usesmily_headphones1.gif)

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the Reply!! Is there any other suggestions on what should I do?

post #5 of 26
AKG K550s don't need an amp to be driven but it helps. On their site they said these where home and on the go headphones.
post #6 of 26

Fiio E10 ($66) USB-DAC Headphone amplifier.

Should have a better DAC then your laptop's

The E10 headphone amplifier have very low headphone output impedance, like 1-Ohm :)

Which is a benefit for 32-Ohm headphones like the K550.

Chance are the laptop's headphone output is high impedance.

(Impedance is resistance, measured in Ohms)

post #7 of 26
Yes purple angel is right. You should for sure get the E10 not because you need more power but to bypass the dac/amp circuit of the laptop which is prone to all kinds of sound degrading issues.

Portably you can use it with just about any player. I use mine with my little bitty sansa clip all the time.
post #8 of 26
Actually, most modern integrated sound cards have impedance matching built in so it is unlikely that they have high output impedance.
Generally speaking, I find that the advantage of using an amp with the K550 is very miniscule, but it is there. You will get some more refinement but the difference is not huge.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

Actually, most modern integrated sound cards have impedance matching built in so it is unlikely that they have high output impedance.
Generally speaking, I find that the advantage of using an amp with the K550 is very miniscule, but it is there. You will get some more refinement but the difference is not huge.

I know the Essence STX & ST are 10-Ohm impedance, do you know of any sound cards that are lower then that?

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

It's not a laptop, it's a desktop if it makes any difference? Or is it still the same? Gaming Custom Built Desktop if that makes any difference.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCDaya View Post

It's not a laptop, it's a desktop if it makes any difference? Or is it still the same? Gaming Custom Built Desktop if that makes any difference.

Your AKG K550s can be driving from just about any headphone jack on the planet.

(it's the kind of powering it's get is the question)

You can plug your headphones straight into the gaming computer and see if you like the sound.

What make and model is the motherboard?

Is there an add-on sound card?

 

If you decided to add on an external headphone amplifier, what would your budget be?

The O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier (new $155) would be a good investment as chances are it would work with any headphone (16-Ohm to 600-Ohm) you buy in the future.

And it come with a very low impedance, like 0.5-Ohm, and it works fine as a desktop head amp.

 

Something as cheap as the Fiio E6 ($27.50) headphone amplifier, might make a difference, as it's also low impedance.

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Your AKG K550s can be driving from just about any headphone jack on the planet.

(it's the kind of powering it's get is the question)

You can plug your headphones straight into the gaming computer and see if you like the sound.

What make and model is the motherboard?

Is there an add-on sound card?

 

If you decided to add on an external headphone amplifier, what would your budget be?

The O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier (new $155) would be a good investment as chances are it would work with any headphone (16-Ohm to 600-Ohm) you buy in the future.

And it come with a very low impedance, like 0.5-Ohm, and it works fine as a desktop head amp.

 

Something as cheap as the Fiio E6 ($27.50) headphone amplifier, might make a difference, as it's also low impedance.

My budget would be aroudn the $50 range.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCDaya View Post

My budget would be around the $50 range.

Fiio E11 with a Micca pack.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Fiio E11 with a Micca pack.

Do you suggest me getting a Xonar DG or DGX Sound Card with that Amp since I will be plugging it into my desktop or the E10 since it is USB?

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCDaya View Post

Do you suggest me getting a Xonar DG or DGX Sound Card with that Amp since I will be plugging it into my desktop or the E10 since it is USB?

The Fiio E10's headphone amplifier is low impedance, I'm guessing the Xonar DG/DGX is not low impedance

As long your ok with 2-channel stereo audio, then get the E10.

 

If you want surround sound for movies or gaming, then the Xonar DG with an amplifier.

You can always try the Xonar DG first, without an add-on amplifier, see if you like the sound.

If you went with the Xonsr DG(X), what would you budget for an amp?

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