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250 Ohm headphones sound fine with an iPod?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm new here and I hope you guys can give me some info on this. 

 

I've been thinking about buying DT 990 Pros, the 250 Ohm ones. I've read that headphones with that high impedance would require a proper headphone amp to drive properly, and to my understanding driving headphones means supplying them with adequate voltage so that they can output loud enough volume, right? The thing is, my dad owns the same pair and I managed to test them out today with various setups. Anyway I first tried them with my iPod classic, and to my surprise I could up the volume to definitely loud enough levels, granted the volume was pretty close to max but still. Even with quieter vinyl rips I didn't need more volume than what the iPod could offer, and the headphones actually sounded fantastic with it. Through speakers they sounded pretty much as good, a bit different since they were active speakers (more low-end, a bit recessed mids), not really worse or better. 

 

I suppose my question is, if you can achieve loud enough volume even with an unpowerful source like an iPod, is there any need for further amplification? Is there still some limitation that the low output impedance of the iPod has on the DT 990s, and thus I'd need a good headphone amp to unlock their full potential? 

post #2 of 11

In one word, no.  Wayyy too quiet, let alone the SQ won't be worth it.  There are better options at the price anyway that don't require an amp; like the Mdr ma900, and Fidelio X1.

post #3 of 11

IMO, a headphone amp such as E12 would enhance the sound quality of DT 990 250 Ohm.

post #4 of 11

If you tried out your Dad's DT-990 Pro with an iPod and you were happy with the SQ, then go for it. I used my DT-990 unamped for a while and thought that they were great, as I had never heard better at the time, but even a cheap amp like a Fiio or a CMOY will make a noticeable improvement. It's not just a question of volume. An amp will clean everything up, giving you tighter, deeper bass, better soundstage, more separation and clarity. 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post
 

In one word, no.  Wayyy too quiet, let alone the SQ won't be worth it.  There are better options at the price anyway that don't require an amp; like the Mdr ma900, and Fidelio X1.

Yeah I would go with Philips Fidelio X1 too. 

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

a cheap amp like a Fiio or a CMOY will make a noticeable improvement. It's not just a question of volume. An amp will clean everything up, giving you tighter, deeper bass, better soundstage, more separation and clarity. 

I did not know how to describe properly. But you have explained well.

When I tried to listen K240 mk ii from ipod. Ipod was able to drive K240 mk ii at high volume. But E17 improved the sound quality of K240 mk ii much better.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!

 

Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post
 

In one word, no.  Wayyy too quiet, let alone the SQ won't be worth it.  There are better options at the price anyway that don't require an amp; like the Mdr ma900, and Fidelio X1.

 

I don't think you read my question properly, the headphones do not sound too quiet.

 
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

If you tried out your Dad's DT-990 Pro with an iPod and you were happy with the SQ, then go for it. I used my DT-990 unamped for a while and thought that they were great, as I had never heard better at the time, but even a cheap amp like a Fiio or a CMOY will make a noticeable improvement. It's not just a question of volume. An amp will clean everything up, giving you tighter, deeper bass, better soundstage, more separation and clarity. 

 

The thing is, I actually have Nuforce uDac 2 with my current headphones (Sony XB700), and yeah the XB700s do sound significantly better with the amp, but I also tried the DTs with it and I'm not really sure whether they sound better with or without the amp, I was wondering if better headphones like the DTs even should be amped like that, but maybe the uDac 2 just doesn't pair well with them. What amp do you use specifically? And do you have the 600 Ohm version or the 250 of the DTs?

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagbhnf View Post

 

The thing is, I actually have Nuforce uDac 2 with my current headphones (Sony XB700), and yeah the XB700s do sound significantly better with the amp, but I also tried the DTs with it and I'm not really sure whether they sound better with or without the amp, I was wondering if better headphones like the DTs even should be amped like that, but maybe the uDac 2 just doesn't pair well with them. What amp do you use specifically? And do you have the 600 Ohm version or the 250 of the DTs?


If you thought they sounded better without the amp, then trust your ears. It's probably just a bad pairing. 

I had the 250 ohm version, but I gave it away a while ago. When I owned it, I used it unamped first, then with a JDS Cmoy, then with a Little Dot MKIII. 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


If you thought they sounded better without the amp, then trust your ears. It's probably just a bad pairing. 

I had the 250 ohm version, but I gave it away a while ago. When I owned it, I used it unamped first, then with a JDS Cmoy, then with a Little Dot MKIII. 

Yeah, probably. 

 

Was the MKIII a huge improvement in sound quality to the Cmoy? I'm probably going to buy something cheap like the Fiio E07K (heard good things about when paired with the DTs, plus I think I could use the treble adjustment), just wondering in case I'm ever going to upgrade further. 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagbhnf View Post

 

Was the MKIII a huge improvement in sound quality to the Cmoy? I'm probably going to buy something cheap like the Fiio E07K (heard good things about when paired with the DTs, plus I think I could use the treble adjustment), just wondering in case I'm ever going to upgrade further. 


 I wouldn't say a "huge" improvement, but definitely noticeable. Not to mention that the Little Dot is a fairly tubey sounding amp, so it was also just a different sound compared to the Cmoy. The Little Dot had a smoother, more refined sound. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Little Dot -- I liked it, but you could probably do better for the money. Or even less money. The amp I use now cost  less than the Little Dot, but is better IMO. It's a speaker amp though. Not really practical for most people. 

I suggest checking out Bravo for some really cheap tube amps, if you're interested. They have amps cheaper than the Fiio (you'd need a separate DAC though). For example, Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC is super cheap. 


Edited by manbear - 12/20/13 at 11:56am
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


 I wouldn't say a "huge" improvement, but definitely noticeable. Not to mention that the Little Dot is a fairly tubey sounding amp, so it was also just a different sound compared to the Cmoy. The Little Dot had a smoother, more refined sound. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Little Dot -- I liked it, but you could probably do better for the money. Or even less money. The amp I use now cost  less than the Little Dot, but is better IMO. It's a speaker amp though. Not really practical for most people. 

I suggest checking out Bravo for some really cheap tube amps, if you're interested. They have amps cheaper than the Fiio (you'd need a separate DAC though). For example, Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC is super cheap. 

Tube amps do seem interesting, if I could find one with coaxial input I could even use my uDac 2 as a DAC, since the coaxial output bypasses the amp for whatever reason. Good thing I didn't order anything yet, I'll keep looking around. Thanks for all the help!

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