Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › AKG K240 Studios + FiiO E9. Good combination?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AKG K240 Studios + FiiO E9. Good combination?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I think that I'm severely underpowering my K240 Studios and that's part of the reason why I can't stand to listen to them. I'm willing to take a chance on an amp for them as I need one anyways.

 

I have an E7 so I have been looking at the FiiO E9 pretty much exclusively (as I won't need to buy a dedicated DAC as well). However, I don't know how the K240 Studio pairs with the E9. I do have other headphones that get used far more than my K240s; I hope that the E9 might change that. Lots of people praise this set, and I just feel like I could get so much more out of it. However, both out of my iPhone and my E7, they put me to sleep. They're exceedingly boring sounding...

 

The K240's specifications don't give any indications that they're even remotely hard to drive, but I've been constantly told that they still need an amp. They don't seem to get much better from my E7 as opposed to my iPhone or my laptop...

post #2 of 36

An amp won't make your headphones sound less boring... it will make them sound louder.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

An amp won't make your headphones sound less boring... it will make them sound louder.

Very, very, VERY wrong. Amps do MUCH more than make things louder. That was an excessively stupid statement.

 

My E7 is able to deliver the bass energy of my KOSS Reference Ones, while my laptop and iPhone cannot. They feel slower and less energetic without the E7. It sounds to me like the K240's need more power than the E7 can give. I get plenty of volume for them, but I feel like this headphone can do so much more, and a high power amp can bring out what I'm missing.


Edited by takato14 - 11/11/12 at 12:03pm
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Very, very, VERY wrong. Amps do MUCH more than make things louder. That was an excessively stupid statement.

 

My E7 is able to deliver the bass energy of my KOSS Reference Ones, while my laptop and iPhone cannot. They feel slower and less energetic without the E7. It sounds to me like the K240's need more power than the E7 can give.

 

Actually an amplifier, as should obvious in the name, is designed to AMPLIFY, which means it takes the original signal and increases the voltage, making it louder. It will not make your music sound faster, more energetic, or have more "bass energy". 

post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

Actually an amplifier, as should obvious in the name, is designed to AMPLIFY, which means it takes the original signal and increases the voltage, making it louder. It will not make your music sound faster, more energetic, or have more "bass energy". 

Damnit, thanks to you I'm starting to second guess myself when it comes to buying a "better" amp :3 I have a Fiio E9, which has driven my HD 650 for like 10 months now. And I wanted to up the ante on the amplifier front, but now I'm not sure whether it's worth it or not!
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post


Damnit, thanks to you I'm starting to second guess myself when it comes to buying a "better" amp :3 I have a Fiio E9, which has driven my HD 650 for like 10 months now. And I wanted to up the ante on the amplifier front, but now I'm not sure whether it's worth it or not!

 

It probably isn't worth it. You'd have been better off using that money on better headphones (not that the hd650's aren't good headphones). If you can tell that your amp is distorting, or you have to turn it up beyond 80% to get the volume you want, then you should upgrade. Otherwise, it won't matter. The E9 has 0.005% distortion at 1khz for a 150 ohm load, which is very low distortion.

 

High impedance headphones don't draw much current from an amplifier, so they are actually pretty easy to power as long as the amplifier is getting loud enough without distorting. I know you've probably read otherwise here because most people don't know what heck they are talking about.


Edited by Eisenhower - 11/11/12 at 12:26pm
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

It probably isn't worth it. You'd have been better off using that money on better headphones (not that the hd650's aren't good headphones). If you can tell that your amp is distorting, or you have to turn it up beyond 80% to get the volume you want, then you should upgrade. Otherwise, it won't matter.

High impedance headphones don't draw much current from an amplifier, so they are actually pretty easy to power as long as the amplifier is getting loud enough without distorting. I know you've probably read otherwise here because most people don't know what heck they are talking about.

Hm yeah, with the Fiio E9 I don't even need to turn the knob past 30-35% before it gets too loud even for me (and I like it loud!) and it's not distorting at all. Though the money I'd put forth to buying a new amp won't be enough to buy a pair of headphones that actually are better than the HD 650.

The thing that bothers me a bit though is that I don't find the headphones as "incredibly bloody awesome" as I've read in lots of places, and that's probably why I want to make them even better by getting a "better" amp. (They're still really good though)

I'll ask around a bit more before I decide what to do though!
Edited by Marsson - 11/11/12 at 12:29pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post


Hm yeah, with the Fiio E9 I don't even need to turn the knob past 30-35% before it gets too loud even for me (and I like it loud!) and it's not distorting at all. Though the mone I'd put forth to buying a new amp won't be enough to buy a pair of headphones that actually are better than the HD 650.
The thing that bothers me a bit though is that I don't find the headphones as "incredibly bloody awesome" as I've read in lots of places, and that's probably why I want to make them even better by getting a "better" amp. (They're still really good though)
I'll ask around a bit more before I decide what to do though!

 

People will of course tell you to upgrade your amp. They will use undefinable terms like "bass energy" and "musicality", because they are delusional. Honestly, you should try playing around with EQ. It might just be that you don't like the HD650's sound signature.

I have the HD600, and it doesn't really sound "incredible" just because it is such a neutral sounding headphone. 

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

People will of course tell you to upgrade your amp. They will use undefinable terms like "bass energy" and "musicality", because they are delusional. Honestly, you should try playing around with EQ. It might just be that you don't like the HD650's sound signature.
I have the HD600, and it doesn't really sound "incredible" just because it is such a neutral sounding headphone. 


Haha yeah this place is really awesome, but it seems to be a little dangerous since people always tell you to buy stuff for thousands of dollars D:

I really like the 650's since they sound really good, and they're really comfortable. The only thing I feel that's lacking is the soundstage when I'm watching movies/playing games, it feels a little too cramped. But when I'm blasting music through them they're perfect!
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post


Haha yeah this place is really awesome, but it seems to be a little dangerous since people always tell you to buy stuff for thousands of dollars D:
I really like the 650's since they sound really good, and they're really comfortable. The only thing I feel that's lacking is the soundstage when I'm watching movies/playing games, it feels a little too cramped. But when I'm blasting music through them they're perfect!

 

It's true, objectively the E9 has the power to drive almost any dynamic headpone well.  I would suggest checking out tube amps for the HD650.  I think something like the Little Dot MKII would be a nice compliment to your E9. 


Edited by Digital-Pride - 11/11/12 at 3:03pm
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Pride View Post

It's true, objectively the E9 has the power to drive almost any dynamic headpone well.  I would suggest checking out tube amps for the HD650.  I think something like the Little Dot MKII would be nice compliment to your E9. 

Do you mean that I should switch out my E9 to a LD MKII? I can find it pretty cheap within EU so that I can avoid those nasty toll fees. If it's "better" than Fiio E9 it might be worth to try it and see if it's true that amps won't drive the hd 650 better than my E9 already does smily_headphones1.gif
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsson View Post


Haha yeah this place is really awesome, but it seems to be a little dangerous since people always tell you to buy stuff for thousands of dollars D:
I really like the 650's since they sound really good, and they're really comfortable. The only thing I feel that's lacking is the soundstage when I'm watching movies/playing games, it feels a little too cramped. But when I'm blasting music through them they're perfect!

 

The only thing that affects the soundstage for amplifiers is crosstalk (aka channel separation) which is basically when the left channel induces a signal on the right channel (or vice versa) inside the amp. 

Technically the best design has no crosstalk (and perfect channel separation). The FiiO E9 has been measured to have very very good channel separation. You are not going to improve the soundstage with a new amplifier.

Now if you think that there is too much channel separation, you might consider getting an amp with a crossfeed circuit, which actually increases crosstalk to blend the soundstage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossfeed

 

You will never be satisfied with the soundstage when watching movies/playing games, because those really need 5.1 surround sound. 

post #13 of 36
Ah well that sounds plausible as well >.> I guess the only way to quench my thirst for trying on a new amp is to buy a new one and see for myself.
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Actually an amplifier, as should obvious in the name, is designed to AMPLIFY, which means it takes the original signal and increases the voltage, making it louder. It will not make your music sound faster, more energetic, or have more "bass energy". 

You're just so wrong it's not funny. Even if you have both at a setting that equates to the same volume, the E9 is going to sound better than the E7 because of better design and better components. Depending on the amp, it increases both voltage AND current in varying amounts. High impedance headphones need high voltage and low sensitivity headphones need high current. Obviously if a headphone is both high impedance and low sensitivity, it needs both high voltage and high current to sound right. 

 

And yes, it CAN make your music sound more energetic. The more power the amp has, the more control it will have over the diaphragm, which can increase attack/decay. Which leads to PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing), which is a headphone's "sense of rhythm". Having lots of PRaT on the low end of the frequency spectrum is commonly referred to as "bass energy". Having lots of PRaT on the whole sound is often called "energetic". If a headphone is underpowered it can most definitely sound slow.

 

Another example: my Pioneer SE-700s (an absolute BEAST to drive, stupidly low sensitivity and technically infinite impedance) sound like absolute **** out of my iPhone. The midrange is bloomy and grainy, they have no treble extension, and thee PRaT is totally absent. I get enough volume but they don't sound good at all. With the E7, they still sound bad, don't get any louder, but do still sound far better than the iPhone, with a little bit of PRaT and a mostly smooth sound. Only hooking them up to speaker taps can make them sound how they're supposed to. Even at the same volume my E7 commands, they sound FAR better. The highs extend much farther, as do the lows, and everything tightens up and sounds extremely lively.

 

I don't get how I'm the only one calling you a jackass for this. Try an HD800 out of a Sansa clip and compare it to a DNA Sonett at the same volume. I guarantee you'll change your argument.

post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

You're just so wrong it's not funny. Even if you have both at a setting that equates to the same volume, the E9 is going to sound better than the E7 because of better design and better components. Depending on the amp, it increases both voltage AND current in varying amounts. High impedance headphones need high voltage and low sensitivity headphones need high current. Obviously if a headphone is both high impedance and low sensitivity, it needs both high voltage and high current to sound right. 

 

And yes, it CAN make your music sound more energetic. The more power the amp has, the more control it will have over the diaphragm, which can increase attack/decay. Which leads to PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing), which is a headphone's "sense of rhythm". Having lots of PRaT on the low end of the frequency spectrum is commonly referred to as "bass energy". Having lots of PRaT on the whole sound is often called "energetic". If a headphone is underpowered it can most definitely sound slow.

 

Another example: my Pioneer SE-700s (an absolute BEAST to drive, stupidly low sensitivity and technically infinite impedance) sound like absolute **** out of my iPhone. The midrange is bloomy and grainy, they have no treble extension, and thee PRaT is totally absent. I get enough volume but they don't sound good at all. With the E7, they still sound bad, don't get any louder, but do still sound far better than the iPhone, with a little bit of PRaT and a mostly smooth sound. Only hooking them up to speaker taps can make them sound how they're supposed to. Even at the same volume my E7 commands, they sound FAR better. The highs extend much farther, as do the lows, and everything tightens up and sounds extremely lively.

 

I don't get how I'm the only one calling you a jackass for this. Try an HD800 out of a Sansa clip and compare it to a DNA Sonett at the same volume. I guarantee you'll change your argument.

 

All nonsense. The more power an amp has, the louder it will make your headphones. That is it. This is especially true for higher impedance headphones because they do not draw much current, they merely need a high enough voltage swing to attain the desired volume without distorting. PRaT is also BS. No properly designed amplifier has slew rates low enough to audibly affect the "rhythm" of the music. And the damping factor is good enough with the E7 because it has a such a low output impedance... not that it even matters since headphone diaphragms have low masses.

 

As a matter of fact, the E9 is a worse choice for the K240 pro's because they are a 55 ohm headphone, but the E9 has an output impedance of 10 ohms which is too high. It has nothing to do with "better" components, but all to do with how the amp is designed and spec'd.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › AKG K240 Studios + FiiO E9. Good combination?