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Looking for my SECOND set of fones! Thanks for helping me choose: price, brand, impedance :D

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Last year, I bought a Fiio E7 to drive my 64Ω Sennheiser cans from FLAC / AIFF sources. This year, I bought one of the new Haswell-based MacBook Pros, and haven't missed the FLAC file support all that much. The reason I bought the rMBP was to start producing some of my own content (videos, voiceovers, and a podcast.)

 

I am looking for a new set of open-back headphones that have a wider range and high impedance. I am NOT looking to change source, DAC, or amplifier at this time. I want to buy a set of headphones that match the capabilities of my existing hardware, without shooting long and paying for a level of quality that I won't realize with my $80 16/48 amplifier. My main complaint with my existing closed-back headphones are low impedance and muddled high/low ranges.

 

I am also unclear on the theory behind impedance-matching. The Fiio E7 is rated for headphones up to 300Ω. But I have also heard that one should use a ratio of 1:8 for determining maximum impedance. The other option is for me to spend $80 extra on a Fiio E9, which is rated to 600Ω. But then that means I will have to spend $80 less on the phones themselves :-/

 

I would prefer not to buy Sennheiser again, but will consider all other options. I am probably limited to a max price of $199, but I am very willing to consider a lightly-used set of open-back headphones in that price range as well.

 

Any recommendations :)

post #2 of 7

how about Philips X1? It can be easily driven with E7.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/670318/philips-fidelio-x1-review-comparison

http://www.head-fi.org/t/623013/new-philips-fidelio-x1

post #3 of 7

Sony ma900 perhaps. Very airy.

 

The x1 is more bassy.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Sony ma900 perhaps. Very airy.

 

The x1 is more bassy.


+1

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 


+1

+2

post #6 of 7
I'm not really understanding your focus on impedance. Why do you want a higher impedance? Typically, I thought you generally wanted your amp to have as low an output impedance as possible.

The 1:8 "rule" is about the *maximum* impedance out of the amp - not the impedance of the headphones. If your amp's output impedance is 1 ohm, then you can use pretty much any headphone with it and not worry about the damping being a problem. But, buying 8 ohm headphones is not the ideal choice for this - and it really doesn't matter if you use 16 ohm or 160 ohm headphones on the amp with 1 ohm output impedance - it just means the impedance of the amp's output isn't going to be a problem for you.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by erosannin View Post

 

I am looking for a new set of open-back headphones that have a wider range and high impedance. I am NOT looking to change source, DAC, or amplifier at this time. I want to buy a set of headphones that match the capabilities of my existing hardware, without shooting long and paying for a level of quality that I won't realize with my $80 16/48 amplifier. My main complaint with my existing closed-back headphones are low impedance and muddled high/low ranges.

 

I am also unclear on the theory behind impedance-matching. The Fiio E7 is rated for headphones up to 300Ω. But I have also heard that one should use a ratio of 1:8 for determining maximum impedance. The other option is for me to spend $80 extra on a Fiio E9, which is rated to 600Ω. But then that means I will have to spend $80 less on the phones themselves :-/

 

 


What exactly about the low impedance of your headphones is causing a problem for you? Muffled highs and lows are most likely just due to the quality of the headphones, not their impedance in particular. 

You do not need an exact 1:8 ratio. 1:9, 1:10, 1:998787987886, etc. are all fine. Going below that threshold is the thing to avoid. The output impedance of the E7 is 0.13 ohms, so any headphone with 8 times or more than that will be fine. Basically, any headphone. Only in terms of impedance matching, though, not power. In fact, you want to avoid too high of an output impedance (anything more than double digits) because the E7 probably won't deliver enough power into those high impedances. It can only do 23 mw into 150 ohms for example. 

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