Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Completely new to Amps. Are they actually worth it?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Completely new to Amps. Are they actually worth it?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've been looking at headphones for a while now, and all of a sudden amps start showing up. What are they, how do they work? Do they need batteries or external power? Are they actually useful for portable devices?

 

 

Sorry, lots of noob questions. Ignore this post, or direct me somewhere. 

post #2 of 11
An AMP is to magnify analog sound signals basically. If you have a good headphone and a hard to drive headphone, you need an AMP to get the best of it. Otherwise, not much need.
post #3 of 11

what's "a while now," and what's "all of a sudden?"

 

Headphone amps have been a part of the serious headphone scene for decades.

 

Yes, they're necessary with most audiophile headphones.  They're not necessary with all headphones, but for a vast majority of the good ones they are.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post

what's "a while now," and what's "all of a sudden?"

 

Headphone amps have been a part of the serious headphone scene for decades.

 

Yes, they're necessary with most audiophile headphones.  They're not necessary with all headphones, but for a vast majority of the good ones they are.

A while being i've spent the last 4-6 hrs looking up headphones,avoiding work and then making this post:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/638630/dr-dre-trade-the-adventure-of-bad-headphones#post_8909618

 

I've always been a firm believer that headphones should be headphones, and not need any extra guff (for instance Noise Canceling, like Bose). So introducing an amp for headphones threw me for a loop.  

post #5 of 11

There is no way to drive a headphone without an amp. Any device that has a headphone output has some kind of amp to drive the headphone. All you need to understand is that one headphone amp may have a higher performance than another AND one headphone may need a higher quality amp than another. It's as simple as that.

 

In general the better the headphone the more you will gain by spending money on a quality amp.

 

For portable devices the most economical approach appears to be using high efficiency cans that don't need much amping.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zantaff View Post

A while being i've spent the last 4-6 hrs looking up headphones,avoiding work and then making this post:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/638630/dr-dre-trade-the-adventure-of-bad-headphones#post_8909618

 

I've always been a firm believer that headphones should be headphones, and not need any extra guff (for instance Noise Canceling, like Bose). So introducing an amp for headphones threw me for a loop.  

Ah, ok.. so not really a while. :)

 

What kind of experience are you going for?  If you want something introductory level, you probably won't need an amp if you're using an iPod.  If you want to get a little better, then you can try out one of the Fiio amps to get you going.

 

Really, you should just walk away and never come back here.  No good will come of it... we're all broke.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cizx View Post

Really, you should just walk away and never come back here.  No good will come of it... we're all broke.

 

That's the impression I'm getting >_<

 

I was thinking of getting my setup to be Sony V6's -or- Sennheiser HD280's. With a FiiA E5 amp, and new pads, if they're worth it.

 

Seems like a manageable sub $100 setup for a newbie  :)

post #8 of 11

Aww... This is a great place if you can keep a level head. I have a setup that sounds like candy for my ears and I can't get enough of it. I would never have got it without this place. Just exercise some discipline and always keep enough money on hand for food until the next payday.

 

Buying noodles and rice in bulk is a good way to save. Mix with some spice and small pieces of meat or fish on weekends to make it more interesting. If you have a car, consider whether you really need it. You could move closer to your place of work, get a ride with someone who goes the same way, ask your company to provide transportation, etc. Take inventory of your possessions and figure out what you could sell. People often have an amazing amount of unused clutter that can be cleared away and exchanged for $ on ebay. Think Zen. Do your neighbors need work done that you have the time and skills to provide?

 

Welcome and enjoy your hobby!

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post

Aww... This is a great place if you can keep a level head. I have a setup that sounds like candy for my ears and I can't get enough of it. I would never have got it without this place. Just exercise some discipline and always keep enough money on hand for food until the next payday.

 

Buying noodles and rice in bulk is a good way to save. Mix with some spice and small pieces of meat or fish on weekends to make it more interesting. If you have a car, consider whether you really need it. You could move closer to your place of work, get a ride with someone who goes the same way, ask your company to provide transportation, etc. Take inventory of your possessions and figure out what you could sell. People often have an amazing amount of unused clutter that can be cleared away and exchanged for $ on ebay. Think Zen. Do your neighbors need work done that you have the time and skills to provide?

 

Welcome and enjoy your hobby!

Amazing. This made me laugh out loud. RAMEN IT IS! I don't think I really need this bed of mine. 

 

What's this candy setup you have? Sounds interesting (and expensive). 

 

 

(Also, is your avatar from an anime or something? It looks familiar...)

post #10 of 11

Yeah you really dont need an amp TBH. Some headphones need more power to get them to sound their best, and thats were an amp comes in. However for most headphones under a $100 an amp wont really make much of a difference. 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zantaff View Post

Amazing. This made me laugh out loud. RAMEN IT IS! I don't think I really need this bed of mine. 

 

What's this candy setup you have? Sounds interesting (and expensive). 

 

 

(Also, is your avatar from an anime or something? It looks familiar...)

 

Computer > Foobar with WASAPI > Music Streamer II > Audio GD NFB-6 > AKG Q701, re cabled with Mogami cable for dual entry and balanced operation = Candy, at least it does to me.

 

Price: Computer = 0$, you have that anyway

Foobar + Wasapi = 0$ free online

Music Streamer II = $150

Audio GD NFB-6 with remote = $450

AKG Q701 = $240

Mogami cable and Neutrik connectors = $50

Work to modify headphones and make cable = You do it, free

Total = $890

 

With shipping costs the total is close to $1000

To me the sound quality is amazing considering that the total price is only $1000. One day I might like a pair of Beyerdynamic T1 headphones but I am very happy until that day comes. The detail is incredible and I hear things in the mix that were clearly never meant to be heard by music buyers and may even have been barely audible to the mixing engineers, otherwise they would have edited them out. I even hear warts on smooth recordings like Chris Isaak's Wicked Game, not that they detract from the musical enjoyment in any way.

 

I don't know about the avatar. I just like it because it reminds me of my gorgeous wife.


Edited by Hooster - 11/29/12 at 3:31pm
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) › Completely new to Amps. Are they actually worth it?