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Are those big, home-theatre receivers Amplifiers?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have a Pioneer VSX-305 receiver. It has one of those large headphone ports. Is this an amplifier? (Sorry if this is a dumb question). If so, how good is it and how do these big receivers compare to ~$200 headphone amps?

 

They seem to be able to drive my HD 650's adequately well.

 

Here is a photo for reference.

 

http://imgur.com/AbttLnq

 

 

I'm listening to music played through my phone's headphone jack inputting into the receiver via the red/white inputs. 

post #2 of 16

Not sure about this model but most modern Home theater receivers have  headphone outputs that don't actually use the amp that powers the speaker connections on the back.  Usually the headphone out has its own crappy amp that is inferior to a $200 desktop headphone amp.  Connecting your headphones to the speaker leads on the back is a whole different story....

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesino View Post
 

I have a Pioneer VSX-305 receiver. It has one of those large headphone ports. Is this an amplifier? (Sorry if this is a dumb question). If so, how good is it and how do these big receivers compare to ~$200 headphone amps?

They seem to be able to drive my HD 650's adequately well.

Here is a photo for reference.

I'm listening to music played through my phone's headphone jack inputting into the receiver via the red/white inputs. 

If the Pioneer receiver seems to be driving the Senn HD650s decently, might be better to put some cash into a DAC.

What source(s) is the Pioneer receiver plugged into?

 

Edit, using your phone as the output as a source, had to reread your first post.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/4/13 at 5:57pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

If the Pioneer receiver seems to be driving the Senn HD650s decently, might be better to put some cash into a DAC.
What source(s) is the Pioneer receiver plugged into?
I think he's using his phones on board dac. Phones 3.5mm audio out>3.5mm to rca cable> rca analog input on his receiver. A quality dac would definitely improve sound.

I'm sure you could find if the headphone jack on the receiver is integrated or not with some research, the user manual is online.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

Not sure about this model but most modern Home theater receivers have  headphone outputs that don't actually use the amp that powers the speaker connections on the back.  Usually the headphone out has its own crappy amp that is inferior to a $200 desktop headphone amp.  Connecting your headphones to the speaker leads on the back is a whole different story....

Is there a safe, practical, and cheap way to connect my headphones to the speaker leads on the back? Sorry, I am not familiar with home theatre systems. 

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesino View Post
 

Is there a safe, practical, and cheap way to connect my headphones to the speaker leads on the back? Sorry, I am not familiar with home theater systems. 

Some people do hook their headphones to the speaker leads on the back of a receiver.

(Not something I've ever tried)

Your HD650 is a 300-Ohm headphone, the receiver is design to drive 8-Ohm speakers.

 

You might do better to update your source from the phone to a dedicated DAP (Digital Audio Player).

Something with a line-out (and a quality built in DAC), like the $200 Fiio X3

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesino View Post
 

I have a Pioneer VSX-305 receiver. It has one of those large headphone ports. Is this an amplifier? (Sorry if this is a dumb question). If so, how good is it and how do these big receivers compare to ~$200 headphone amps?

 

They seem to be able to drive my HD 650's adequately well.

 

Here is a photo for reference.

 

http://imgur.com/AbttLnq

 

 

I'm listening to music played through my phone's headphone jack inputting into the receiver via the red/white inputs. 

 

Heya,

 

Receivers have amps, just like anything else. They have higher gain values. The posts on the back however meant for speakers have low output impedance, so they match well with headphones (which is different from the headphone jack on the front of the unit, as it's impedance is usually uknown). All you need to attach a headphone to the posts is a cable. Since we're talking about the HD650, it's easy, since you don't have to mod anything to do it. Just get a cable made that has the sennheiser plugs for your headphone, and terminates to 4 banana plugs. Often called "speaker taps." Since your headphone has 300ohm impedance, it will work fine with the receiver. It will compare to a lot of $150~200 headphone amps in general. If it sounds hissy or grainy, it's the gain value, and nothing you can do about it. Many of us use speaker amps to drive headphones. I prefer it actually.

 

Note, it doesn't matter what the receiver/amp has for 'design spec' for rated matching work loads (impedance). 8ohms for example. Makes no difference. The only time it would matter is if it were a locked output state, which is rare. But just understand, as impedance (work load) goes up, the amp does less work. As impedance goes down, the amp will do a lot more work which makes more heat and will stress it out more. The point here, is that it is perfectly fine to use a 300ohm headphone off the posts of a receiver or a speaker amp, it will not affect anything. It actually will take less work to drive, than an 8 ohm speaker.

 

 

Speaker taps, on a custom cable I had made for my HE500.

 

 

Here we are hooked into an AVR, the Pioneer VSX1121. Sounded great.

 

 

Here, plugged into a speaker amp (Emotiva Mini-X A-100) via speaker taps.

 

I had my cable made by Brian at BTG Audio. Google him, he'll set you up for a good price for the cable (since you do not need to mod anything, it's just the cost of a cable).

 

Alternatively you can find someone who can make a cable for you on the cheap maybe.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/4/13 at 6:49pm
post #8 of 16

I got the avr and the headphone jack in front power the enough but seems to lack quality compared to my m-stage amp. How does going from the speaker output increase the quality?

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xprime4 View Post
 

I got the avr and the headphone jack in front power the enough but seems to lack quality compared to my m-stage amp. How does going from the speaker output increase the quality?

if you look around on the forums a little bit you will find that most avr's have a separate amp exclusively for the head phone jack.  This separate amp is much weaker and almost always worse quality than the main amp that is used for speakers.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

if you look around on the forums a little bit you will find that most avr's have a separate amp exclusively for the head phone jack.  This separate amp is much weaker and almost always worse quality than the main amp that is used for speakers.

 

I'm not sure this is accurate. We need documentation to show a unit has a separate amplifier unit for it's headphone jack. I think it's more likely and often that it does not have a separate unit, and shares, there are simply different relays, impedances, etc, setup there for safety.

 

Very best,

post #11 of 16

I agree with Mal that I also find it hard to believe a generalized statement like "AVR's have a crappy, seperate, headphone amp".  I find it much more likely that the headphone output on the majority of AVR's is run off the main amp with a resistor or resistors inline.


Edited by fjosh - 9/12/13 at 2:31am
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjosh View Post
 

I agree with Mal that I also find it hard to believe a generalized statement like "AVR's have a crappy, seperate, headphone amp".  I find it much more likely that the headphone output on the majority of AVR's is run off the main amp with a resistor or resistors inline.

 

Yeah Yeah I had it wrong but it gives a similar sub par performance still... Right?

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

 

Yeah Yeah I had it wrong but it gives a similar sub par performance still... Right?

 

There are vintage receivers that put some serious power out the headphone jack and I'm sure there are a few newer AVR's that are better than some of the cheaper/mid headphone amps.

post #14 of 16

I have a old Pioneer VSA-E03 surround sound audio/video receiver, basically a big amp come AV switchbox.  I had a nosy around inside it a while back and found the headphone amp section is the main amp with inline resistors, nothing more.  DAC side of it has a Crystal CS4226 DAC with a few JRC 4558 opamps around it, its decent, and drives my HD650's admirably but to put it into perspective my O2/ODAC combo does a better job.  Infact it was my rig for many years driving JVC headphones before i got sucked into the world of head-fi, i certainly wouldnt be too upset if i had to go back to it.

post #15 of 16

By older receiver I mean...

 

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