So i have scraped enough money to buy a HD 650 after selling my DT-880s. I read online alot of people saying that the STX just does not do the 650 proper justice, and needs a tube amp to really shine. I tried the headphones at my local store and they were very comfortable and sounded great.... but they were also demo'ed using a $1500 peachtree nova. Should i go for the 650's or maybe go for a 600 or 598?
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is a HD-650 overkill for a Xonar STX?
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So i have scraped enough money to buy a HD 650 after selling my DT-880s. I read online a lot of people saying that the STX just does not do the 650 proper justice, and needs a tube amp to really shine. I tried the headphones at my local store and they were very comfortable and sounded great.... but they were also demo'ed using a $1500 Peachtree Nova. Should I go for the 650's or maybe go for a 600 or 598?
If you read all 916 pages of this thread, I'm sure you will have a great understanding of what amplifiers work well with the Sennheiser HD650.
You might also be able to replace the STX's op-amps (operational amplifiers) to something that improves the audio quality of the HD650 (or other headphones) when plugged into the STX.
Ignore them (along with the suggestions to buy inferior headphones), and just try the HD650 and decide yourself. From a technical point of view, there is no reason why the STX could not do "proper justice" to these headphones, and a lot of people have a biased and snobbish attitude regarding sound cards. If you do not like the sound of the new headphones after using them for a while, you can simply return them, but no one on an internet forum will be able to tell what they will sound like exactly to you. It is not impossible that these are not the right headphones for you (after getting used to the brighter sound of the DT880, one could easily find the HD650 "veiled" at first), but since you have already listened to and liked them, it is at least worth a try.
They will probably still sound good from the STX.... Maybe you could add an amplifier at a later date using the STX RCA outs as the DAC section of the STX is actually very good. Use the STX amp for now and then add a external amp at a later date and see for yourself, its not like the HD650 will sound terrible out of the STX amplifier but you will get improvements with a better amplifier. Alternatively the HE-400 work well out of the STX and do not need much amplification, I prefer the HE-400 to the HD650, depends what you want to use them for.
Edited by nicholars - 9/26/13 at 3:12am
Yep get some HD650 or Hifman HE400, use your STX for now and then either use the STX as a DAC to an external amp or use the SP/DIF out to an external DAC / AMP at a later date. The HD650 might be a little lacking on the STX.. but it certainly will not be bad.... Just maybe not as good as it can potentially be.
Acoustic / classical / slower music / films / games = HD650
Faster music / more energy / electronic / bass = HE400
Get one depending on your preferences.... Personally I think the HD650 are excellent, especially for acoustic, classical or slow/relaxing type music... but a bit boring, the HE400 are much more fun and night and day better for bass and electronic music although not as good for films and games.
Hope that helps
Edited by nicholars - 9/26/13 at 7:38am
I have read these forums for a while but never even made an account but your question stuck out to me because... I currently use HD650s and have used an asus xonar essence STX for years to drive them. I also purchased a Peachtree iNova from a nice store here in NC and use that for mainly stereo sound but also for my 650s. I honestly think my xonar does a great job of driving my 650s (which I have had for 6 or more years) but I mainly use it when gaming. I use the hifi settings in the xonar program and use the extra high gain setting (300-600 ohms) and I feel the 650s do exceptionally well.
On a side note i feel the peachtree iNova has slightly better performance when listening to music but I do have to crank up the volume to drive them well. (I use the USB connection from my PC to connect the iNova).
Anyway I would say you should be very happy with a set of 650s and an STX card, still can't find a more comfortable set of cans, and if you want you can buy a better amp down the line.
- is a HD-650 overkill for a Xonar STX?
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