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How hard are the DT880 250 ohms to drive anyway? Puzzling things I've noticed as an owner

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

So my E7 came in today. I excitedly connected it with the ipod dock cable to my Iphone 3gs and began to turn it up, and up and up and at 60 it stopped and was no louder than my Iphone itself. I plugged back and forth between amp and Iphone and if there was any difference in volume it was slight.

 

Then I thought about earlier in the day when I was listening to the same iphone with my HD201's which are nowhere near 250ohms, yet had a similar level of volume as my DT880's. How is it possible for my 880's to be nearly as loud as a much lower impedance headphone? And how is it that my dedicated headphone amp is no louder than the stock amp in my Iphone? I'm not comparing quality, I need more listening tests for that but volume, the main reason I purchased it.

 

Do I just need to let it charge up more? What gives.

 

 

Also, when docked with the E9 I was shocked to find I have to unplug the 3.5mm input in order to hear the DAC, and with the USB cable plugged in, even with no E7, I suddenly get computer noise in my audio signal when amplifying analog sources. So now I have to unplug the USB cable when it's not in use too. I am thinking of sending the E7 back and just cabling my 24/96 USB Line 6 UX2 to it.....

post #2 of 29

It's not about volume, it's about losing dynamics and extension when there's not enough power.

post #3 of 29

Both the iPhone and the old E7 have only 16mw of output. The E07K has 35mw and the E9 has 150mw...

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

So my E7 came in today. I excitedly connected it with the ipod dock cable to my Iphone 3gs and began to turn it up, and up and up and at 60 it stopped and was no louder than my Iphone itself. I plugged back and forth between amp and Iphone and if there was any difference in volume it was slight.

Then I thought about earlier in the day when I was listening to the same iPhone with my HD201's which are nowhere near 250ohms, yet had a similar level of volume as my DT880's. How is it possible for my 880's to be nearly as loud as a much lower impedance headphone? And how is it that my dedicated headphone amp is no louder than the stock amp in my IPhone? I'm not comparing quality, I need more listening tests for that but volume, the main reason I purchased it.

Do I just need to let it charge up more? What gives.

Also, when docked with the E9 I was shocked to find I have to unplug the 3.5mm input in order to hear the DAC, and with the USB cable plugged in, even with no E7, I suddenly get computer noise in my audio signal when amplifying analog sources. So now I have to unplug the USB cable when it's not in use too. I am thinking of sending the E7 back and just cabling my 24/96 USB Line 6 UX2 to it.....

Long shot.

I'm assuming you connected the iPhone to the E7 using the LOD cable, connecting the iPhone LOD port to the line-in jack on the E7?

With this connection, did you first max out the volume control on the iPhone and then change the volume using the E7's volume control?

The Fiio E11's amplifier is more powerful then the E7s, maybe switch the E7 for the E11

For the computer, just get an Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card ($27) and plug the E9 into that and just use the E11 with the iPhone.

post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

So my E7 came in today. I excitedly connected it with the ipod dock cable to my Iphone 3gs and began to turn it up, and up and up and at 60 it stopped and was no louder than my Iphone itself. I plugged back and forth between amp and Iphone and if there was any difference in volume it was slight.

 

Then I thought about earlier in the day when I was listening to the same iphone with my HD201's which are nowhere near 250ohms, yet had a similar level of volume as my DT880's. How is it possible for my 880's to be nearly as loud as a much lower impedance headphone? And how is it that my dedicated headphone amp is no louder than the stock amp in my Iphone? I'm not comparing quality, I need more listening tests for that but volume, the main reason I purchased it.

 

Do I just need to let it charge up more? What gives.

 

 

Also, when docked with the E9 I was shocked to find I have to unplug the 3.5mm input in order to hear the DAC, and with the USB cable plugged in, even with no E7, I suddenly get computer noise in my audio signal when amplifying analog sources. So now I have to unplug the USB cable when it's not in use too. I am thinking of sending the E7 back and just cabling my 24/96 USB Line 6 UX2 to it.....

 

Heya,

 

I find the DT series of Beyers very easy to drive. Even the 600ohm versions can be amplified to more than listening volumes on devices that really shouldn't be able to do that. But they're just really efficient despite their impedance ratings. I've run 600ohm DT880's, DT990's and DT770's from the Fiio E10 for example and they all can be put to louder than listening levels on that little thing. I don't look at it's power output ratings, because it shouldn't be able to do that, technically, based on the  measurements, yet it can. Then again, I've tested my HE-500 from the E10 and it too was able to get plenty loud on that thing. That makes no sense at all. At all. Yet there you go, numbers sometimes don't add up, but when you actually test the gear, it sometimes surprises you.

 

The E7 is not a very powerful amplifier. And newer apple devices are actually decent when it comes to power output (and DAC quality). So I think you're simply looking at that you added a similar level piece of source gear to a similar level piece of source gear and expected more when it's about the same. So your experience is the same. Kind of makes sense.

 

I would definitely send the E7 back, and get rid of the E9 too. I would suggest you use that money to play with amplifiers with much more power output, or simply higher potential voltages, like an OTL tube amp. You could look into the Schiit Magni, JDS Labs O2, a Little Dot MK II, etc.

 

If you need to keep it portable, I use a Fiio E11 with my higher impedance Beyers, and lower impedance Beyers (I have a lot of Beyers...), and it covers all of them just fine.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 29

Even the 1980s 600-ohm DT 990 works fine out of a cheap mp3 player, not very hard to drive.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Long shot.

I'm assuming you connected the iPhone to the E7 using the LOD cable, connecting the iPhone LOD port to the line-in jack on the E7?

With this connection, did you first max out the volume control on the iPhone and then change the volume using the E7's volume control?

The Fiio E11's amplifier is more powerful then the E7s, maybe switch the E7 for the E11

For the computer, just get an Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card ($27) and plug the E9 into that and just use the E11 with the iPhone.


The volume control on the Iphone disappears when using the line out cable. I was comparing line out through the dock connector with the E7 up to 60, and then plugging into the Iphone direct and turned up to max volume. The only immediate difference in the two signals was when I turned the bass boost to 3, in terms of volume and dynamics, on initial impression, very close. I was expecting more from a dedicated amp.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


I was expecting more from a dedicated amp.

 

Have you ever used any other amplifier besides a cell-phone battery powered device?

 

Very best,

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Have you ever used any other amplifier besides a cell-phone battery powered device?

 

Very best,


There was a time and a place when everything had headphone amplifiers built in. CD drives in a computer, your DVD player, everything. My amp of choice before going the PC route for audio storage was my Sony ES home theater amp. It could go as loud on the headphone out as I cared to go. Of course I've used other amps.......trying not to feel insulted here.

post #10 of 29

There should be a gain setting on the E7. Try turning that up, it should go for about 0db to 6db to 12db i think.


Edited by Kimx2310 - 1/10/13 at 12:37pm
post #11 of 29

Well I have the DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm, which is the same thing as the DT 880 250 Ohm but with different housing. I found only my HiFiMAN EF2A hybrid tube amp drives them properly. The FiiO E11 I found doesn't even drive them fully, sure they have more than enough volume on the FiiO E11, but they just don't sound right on anything but my tube amp.


Edited by kman1211 - 1/10/13 at 12:46pm
post #12 of 29

Would a sound blaster z series card drive the 600ohms pretty well? looking to dt 880's as my next can. says on the box and reviews it can drive up to 600 ohms but dunno how much I can trust the box LOL.

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilVaratep View Post

Would a sound blaster z series card drive the 600ohms pretty well? looking to dt 880's as my next can. says on the box and reviews it can drive up to 600 ohms but dunno how much I can trust the box LOL.

 

It would work fine.

 

Very best,

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimx2310 View Post

There should be a gain setting on the E7. Try turning that up, it should go for about 0db to 6db to 12db i think.


I know the E17 does but I haven't found one on the E7.

 

At full volume there isn't even a hint of straining and I already suspected gain as a likely culprit, but don't see any way to adjust it.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


There was a time and a place when everything had headphone amplifiers built in. CD drives in a computer, your DVD player, everything. My amp of choice before going the PC route for audio storage was my Sony ES home theater amp. It could go as loud on the headphone out as I cared to go. Of course I've used other amps.......trying not to feel insulted here.

 

Not trying to be rude, was an honest question actually because the Fiio line uses cell-phone batteries basically and you're talking about the E7.

 

On the other hand, I power my 600ohm DT770's and 600ohm DT880's fine with a Fiio E11 (DAP: Sansa Fuze, LOD -> E11), and even with gain set to low, I get plenty of volume for listening with some overhead to spare. Even more so with gain set to high.

 

 

Just trying to see where you're coming from to help find solutions.

 

Very best,

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