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Noob Help, Amp vs. Headphone Amp?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

First question, why would I want to get a headphone amp rather than a regular amp, assuming they both have headphone outputs?

 

Second question, I own a TEAC A-H01 DAC/amp combo, it has a headphone output, would this unit be likely to power something like the ATH-AD2000x well? Or would a ~£100 headphone dac/amp do better?

 

Alternatively, is there a way I could use my TEAC A-H01 as a USB DAC and buy a headphone amp and somehow wire them together?

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

^ just one bump :)

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstark View Post

First question, why would I want to get a headphone amp rather than a regular amp, assuming they both have headphone outputs?

 

Second question, I own a TEAC A-H01 DAC/amp combo, it has a headphone output, would this unit be likely to power something like the ATH-AD2000x well? Or would a ~£100 headphone dac/amp do better?

 

First Answer: Most get a headphone amp because (a) they don't have Hi-Fi speakers, and (b) Good headphone amps are much cheaper than good hi-fi amps.

 

Second Answer: I don't see why not.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

First Answer: Most get a headphone amp because (a) they don't have Hi-Fi speakers, and (b) Good headphone amps are much cheaper than good hi-fi amps.

 

Second Answer: I don't see why not.

 

also:

(c) headphone amps are focused on delivering best possible quality to headphones, while in power amps the headphone output is a by-product and even if it is decent, it's very hard to ascertain that as the specs of headphone output are typically not published. 

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

 

also:

(c) headphone amps are focused on delivering best possible quality to headphones, while in power amps the headphone output is a by-product and even if it is decent, it's very hard to ascertain that as the specs of headphone output are typically not published. 


+1.

 

But I wouldn't recommend buying a headphone amp (yet) if one already has a good Hi-Fi amp with headphone out. Spend the money on a good pair of headphones first.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks all! So, technically, there's no real difference between them.

 

I thought stereo amps use a resistor for their headphone port? Because the signal they generate is too powerful to output directly to headphones, or something like that. Maybe that doesn't really affect sound quality.

 

Found this on the subject, quite an interesting read, though it's mostly based on opinions rather than hard facts: http://www.avforums.com/forums/headphones-headphone-amps/157992-headphone-amp-vs-stereo-amp-my-thoughts-advice-long.html

 

Judging by what you guys say here, and what's said in that thread, I suppose I don't need a dedicated headphone amp since I have a headphone out on my fairly decent amp. The funny thing is that TEAC makes a "headphone amp" to complement my amplifier, see: http://www.teac.eu/hifi-audio/reference-series/h-01/ud-h01/ ... it's got a better DAC, but aside from that I have no idea what the difference in performance between the two would be, apart from marketing terms (and XLR).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Second Answer: I don't see why not.

Any ideas for how I'd wire the two devices together? To me it doesn't look like I can sidestep the amplification stage of the A-H01 to use it just as a DAC for a dedicated amp :/


Edited by mstark - 1/3/13 at 4:50am
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