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What goes into finding a solid desktop amp for your headphone?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've been reading around and I feel as if I've failed to find a good answer. What are some of the things one should take into account when looking to buy a desktop headphone amp? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

post #2 of 9

It's depend you are using single eneded or balanced headphones and some AMPs offers both but balanced AMPs sound better and price range also come in acount too.

post #3 of 9

Make sure that the input matches your source and the output matches your headphones.

 

For example, a 2 Vrms source with a fixed gain of 5x is not a good match for sensitive headphones.

A high output impedance is usually not a good match for IEMs and many dynamic headphones.

 

Low distortion and flat FR is another thing to look for, and a low noise floor if you're using sensitive headphones.

 

There are also some amps with additional features like bass boost, crossfeed.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View Post

I've been reading around and I feel as if I've failed to find a good answer. What are some of the things one should take into account when looking to buy a desktop headphone amp? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

It might help to know if there are any particular DACs or amplifiers or DAC/Amps and headphones your looking into.

And what source(s) your using?

Is the setup just for music? gaming? movies?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

It might help to know if there are any particular DACs or amplifiers or DAC/Amps and headphones your looking into.

And what source(s) your using?

Is the setup just for music? gaming? movies?

I currently have a pair of SRH 940s that I want to amp. I'm currently looking at the FiiO E09k, however I have read that the two won't make a good combination. I have also read that the 940s can acheive greater sound quality if amped properly. My source right now is my laptop, so changing sound cards is out of the question. I mostly listen to music, but I also watch movies and game.  

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View Post

I currently have a pair of SRH 940s that I want to amp. I'm currently looking at the FiiO E09k, however I have read that the two won't make a good combination. I have also read that the 940s can acheive greater sound quality if amped properly. My source right now is my laptop, so changing sound cards is out of the question. I mostly listen to music, but I also watch movies and game.  

Your 42-Ohm Shure SRH940s would work best with a headphone amplifier with an output impedance that is 5-Ohms or less, the Fiio E09K is 10-Ohm.

Something like the Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier ($68) would have a better DAC (then your computer) and a very low impedance headphone amplifier.

But you would only have 2-channel stereo audio, so no surround sound for movies or gaming.

 

Does your laptop come with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) output?

 

There are external sound cards, but I'm not sure on their sound quality.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 1/14/13 at 10:35pm
post #7 of 9
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Your 42-Ohm Shure SRH940s would work best with a headphone amplifier with an output impedance that is 5-Ohms or less, the Fiio E09K is 10-Ohm.

Something like the Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier ($68) would have a better DAC and a very low impedance headphone amplifier.

But you would only ave 2-channel stereo audio, so no surround sound for movies or gaming.

 

Does your laptop come with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) output?

 

There are external sound cards, but I'm not sure on their sound quality.

Great, thank you for the suggestion! 

 

No, I don't think I have S/PDIF output. What does it do? 

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperwill0 View Post

Great, thank you for the suggestion! 

 

No, I don't think I have S/PDIF output. What does it do? 

The S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) is a digital connection that can pass 2-channel PCM (uncompressed) audio or compressed audio, up to 6-channels (5.1).

USB is a digital connection, but it's really only used normally for 2-channel thru put

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