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How do I know if I need an amp?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, 

 

I've been reading the forums for quite a long time, and just now I am making my first post.

 

My question should hopefully be simple.  What am I listening for when trying to find the difference in quality between using a headphone amp and not using one?  

 

The headphones I currently own are Denon AH-D600, Grado RS2, and Beats Studio Pros.  I plug into a Calyx Coffee DAC/Amp(?) connected to Macbook Pro.

 

To be honest, I am not even sure if my Calyx Coffee is actually an AMP.  But im having a hard time distinguishing any differences when plugged into the Calyx or connected directly to my iPod Classic (7g).

 

I just ordered a Fiio E11. Something inexpensive to let me test the differences to find out if my ears will benefit from upgrading my Calyx to something else. 

 

Thoughts, opinions?

 

Thanks a ton for dealing with my newbie questions!

post #2 of 4

For me personally, I hear/feel that my headphones have more "oomph," the music they produce just has that sense of increased power or slam. Also, I find that my amp [schiit asgard] improves the tightness of the bass and overall improves the clarity of the music. However, looking at your headphones excluding the Beats Pros, they're both relatively low impedance so an amp may only make a marginal improvement if any at all. 

 

Hope that helps

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmartian View Post

Hi folks, 

 

I've been reading the forums for quite a long time, and just now I am making my first post.

 

My question should hopefully be simple.  What am I listening for when trying to find the difference in quality between using a headphone amp and not using one?  

 

The headphones I currently own are Denon AH-D600, Grado RS2, and Beats Studio Pros.  I plug into a Calyx Coffee DAC/Amp(?) connected to Macbook Pro.

 

To be honest, I am not even sure if my Calyx Coffee is actually an AMP.  But im having a hard time distinguishing any differences when plugged into the Calyx or connected directly to my iPod Classic (7g).

 

I just ordered a Fiio E11. Something inexpensive to let me test the differences to find out if my ears will benefit from upgrading my Calyx to something else. 

 

Thoughts, opinions?

 

Thanks a ton for dealing with my newbie questions!


Try the E11 first.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Wow, ok. So my E11 arrived. I hooked every thing up to my iPod classic and began listening to some of my higher quality ALAC albums, and the difference was astounding. The bass was super tight and controlled, mids had more strength, and highs were clear. I've spend the good portion of the afternoon and evening listening through the Denons. I'll the the Grados some time tomorrow.

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