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amp/dac combo needed for DT660 and 250 ohm DT880

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

HI all,

 

I have just purchased a DT660 and 250 ohm DT880 and am looking for amp/dac that is portable, battery powered so can run off an old phone (pre smartphone), and is powerful enough to drive the 250 ohm DT880.

 

I'm beginning to realise I shouldn't have purchased the 250 ohm version of the DT880 as now it seems I need an expensive amp to drive it. Please tell me I'm wrong. 

 

I would prefer the cheapest thing I can find but I really have no clue on how much quality will scale with price. I have heard the headphone is more important so it seems silly to spend as much on a dac/amp as i did on the headphones.

 

The 660 will be used by my partner at work and by me for recording/tracking, while the 880 i will use for editing/mixing and for music listening at home. 

 

There is the option that my partner can use her HP envy x2 instead of her dumb phone, and so a USB powered amp could be an option, but only if it is significantly better than a battery powered option. Also, I doubt the DT660 will be driven well by just her phone or laptop because her current cheap headphones aren't and, just so you know, these cheapos are hugely loud on an iPhone.

 

I really appreciate any help and realise I could have done a lot more research prior to starting this thread but i figured if SQ doesn't scale too considerably with price for a amp/DAC then someone might just be able to give me a quick recommendation of something cheap. On the other hand if there is a lot of things I need to consider then responding may be more difficult.

post #2 of 10

A FiiO E17 portable DAC & amp could be used with a computer (DAC & amp) and a cell phone (amp only).

With the DT880 32-Ohm version you might have need to buy an amplifier anyway, so better to just get the cheaper 250-Ohm version.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks heaps for your response.

 

I can only get the Fiio E17 for $155 US in New Zealand. Is there anything cheaper or should I just bite the bullet?

 

Also, are there any DACs for use with phones and mp3 players?

 

last question, do amps colour the music? I bought the 880 because of its flat frequency response so I want to avoid this being changed by the amp.

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 

Thanks heaps for your response.

I can only get the Fiio E17 for $155 US in New Zealand. Is there anything cheaper or should I just bite the bullet?

Also, are there any DACs for use with phones and mp3 players?

Last question, do amps colour the music? I bought the 880 because of its flat frequency response so I want to avoid this being changed by the amp.


The FiiO E17 sells for $140 in the USA, so $155 in New Zealand does not seem high.

Not worth trying to hook up a DAC to portable audio like phones and mp3 player, at least not what I would think is a reasonable price.

It would be better to get a FiiO X3 or iBasso DX50 and plug the headphones straight into one of them.

I guess technically any amplifier can "color" the audio, smart phones and mp3 player come with a built in headphone amplifier, but I believe the amplifiers we have been talking about (solid state) are not the ones where the audio would have a noticeable coloring.

A tube amplifier is much more likely to color the audio (which is part of the fun of tube amps).

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks mate, you've been uber helpful.

 

Hoping you will help me with a few more questions. I just wanted to confirm that I could use the x3 just as an amp and DAC if i hooked it up to my computer?

 

Also, I realise the fiio e6 isn't a DAC but would it power my DT880? I've never heard a good DAC so I don't know how much better they are than the standard computer/cellphone DAC, so kinda wondering if they're worth it...so is it a highly noticeable difference in SQ between, say, the DAC on my macbook air and the e17/x3 DAC?

 

I'm trying to choose between the e6, e11, e17 and x3.

 

I really appreciate all your help.

post #6 of 10

I'm not sure how helpful this is, since I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to quality sound.  I just (yesterday) received my DT 880 250 ohm.  I already had a Hifimediy Sabre DAC and a Fiio E11 amp.  I can tell you that the E11 is EASILY able to drive these headphones.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 

Hoping you will help me with a few more questions. I just wanted to confirm that I could use the x3 just as an amp and DAC if i hooked it up to my computer?

Also, I realize the FiiO e6 isn't a DAC but would it power my DT880? I've never heard a good DAC so I don't know how much better they are than the standard computer/cellphone DAC, so kinda wondering if they're worth it...so is it a highly noticeable difference in SQ between, say, the DAC on my macbook air and the e17/x3 DAC?

I'm trying to choose between the e6, e11, e17 and x3.

I believe FiiO is working on a firmware update for the X3, so it could be used as a DAC & amp hooked up to a computer, not sure if they have yet released a firmware update with that feature.

The E6 needs to be at max volume to drive the DT880 250-Ohm, so I would say the E6 should not be one of your choices. Where as the E11 has the most powerful amplifiers, of your current choices and will drive the DT880 250s with the volume knob at around 45%.

The X3 shares the same DAC and amp, with the E17 and I've seen other who use there E17 to drive their DT880 250-Ohm headphones.

I would assume that the E17/X3 DAC chip (WM8740) is better then the Macbook air's DAC chip, not sure on how much of a noticeable improvement it would be to your ears.

If possible, I would think the FiiO X3 would be the best choice, as it would be just one device to use for music, for on the go or just sitting around.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 11/24/13 at 8:53am
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm not sure how helpful this is, since I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to quality sound.  I just (yesterday) received my DT 880 250 ohm.  I already had a Hifimediy Sabre DAC and a Fiio E11 amp.  I can tell you that the E11 is EASILY able to drive these headphones.

Thanks, it is helpful. How are you enjoying the headphones?

Quote:

I believe FiiO is working on a firmware update for the X3, so it could be used as a DAC & amp hooked up to a computer, not sure if they have yet released a firmware update with that feature.

The E6 needs to be at max volume to drive the DT880 250-Ohm, so I would say the E6 should not be one of your choices. Where as the E11 has the most powerful amplifiers, of your current choices and will drive the DT880 250s with the volume knob at around 45%.

The X3 shares the same DAC and amp, with the E17 and I've seen other who use there E17 to drive their DT880 250-Ohm headphones.

I would assume that the E17/X3 DAC chip (WM8740) is better then the Macbook air's DAC chip, not sure on how much of a noticeable improvement it would be to your ears.

If possible, I would think the FiiO X3 would be the best choice, as it would be just one device to use for music, for on the go or just sitting around.

That's awesome info, thanks. I think I will have to see if I can find a music store where I can try out a good DAC, only then will I know whether it is worth the money. If I think its not worth the money I'll just get the E11. But if the DAC seems worth the money I'll see if the x3 can be used as an amp & DAC, then if that is true I will get it, otherwise I will get the E17.           :-)

 

Thanks again, I've really appreciated all the help.

post #9 of 10

I am definitely liking them so far.  I can only compare them to the Shure SRH840, because they are the only other decent headphones I have owned or even heard.  Listening to the same music with the same source, DAC, and amp, my immediate impressions are that the DT 880 is more comfortable, is less fatiguing, and has a noticeably bigger soundstage, which adds to a lot of my music.  I think that vocals and guitars sound better with the DT 880, but I have not done any direct comparisons yet (I am just comparing from memory).  Interestingly, I feel that drums might sound better on the SRH840.  I think the "semi-open" nature of the DT 880 makes some hard rock and metal songs lose a little of their impact.  Finally, I think the SRH840 has more bass.  I will probably have time to do some direct comparisons later this week.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 I think the "semi-open" nature of the DT 880 makes some hard rock and metal songs lose a little of their impact.

I 100% agree with this. For metal the dT660 are unbelievably better than the 880 unamped. Read 660 is amazing for this purpose, 880 is meh.

 

Also, the bass clarity of the DT660 is far superior - which is something I REALLY want to fix by amping the DT880 (just guessing it will work with the right amp).

 

The 660s are just plain better than the unamped 880 in every way except soundstage, and the 660 can be a bit too treble harsh at times.

 

I would like to get an amp that will bring out the bass clarity of the 880 and reduce the treble harshness of both. But the amp is primarily for the 880 as I don't think the 660 needs amping.

 

Here are the only options I have found in my price range (for both DAC and amp) in my country:

 

Schiit magni

Fiio products

aune T1

xiang sheng dac-01 DAC

topping tp32, tp21, tp41, tp30

nuforce uDAC2

Little Dot1+

Pro-Ject Head Box S

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