Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is there a newsletter or society for people who believe that headphone amplifiers are largely redundant scam products?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is there a newsletter or society for people who believe that headphone amplifiers are largely... - Page 4  

post #46 of 211
Thread Starter 
P.s. I'm not advocating cheapness at all. I use the hd800s to listen to YouTube videos and even there I can hear a definite improvement. I'll also be getting another high end iem once I decide which I want. I'm also looking for a good closed headphone in that price range.thought the lcd xc might be it but they weren't.
Edited by ag8908 - 2/22/14 at 1:41pm
post #47 of 211

Somehow I don't think this figures into the topics under discussion.

post #48 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by younglee200 View Post
 

Read OP's main Question - he feels that headphone amplifiers are largely redundant scam products.  

 

All I'm trying to explain to OP is that there is physical proof that amplifiers do what they are inherently designed to do (amplify and alter output sounds).  As to whether having an external amplifier should sound necessarily better, that should be mostly subjective.  There are those who swear by their Beats from their ipod over the much more costlier headphone system that you and I own, but who are we to call them wrong?

Sure headphone amps count. But once you get past a certain level of quality there is nothing to be gained. Plugging a headphone into a stereo reciever's headphone jack that has a large series resistor in each channel is not a good plan. Maybe attaching the right set of Planars to the speaker taps is OK, done propelry.

And for God's sake, don't get a set of Beats cans. ;)

post #49 of 211

ok, I'm opting out of this thread, I thought it was a more fact finding oriented thread, but it seems like it is becoming more like an argument between two kids on which color bicycle is coolest.  If you are so sure that amps don't make a difference, then why start a thread like this?  The only reason that comes to mind is to bait in people to argue with.  I was actually interested in knowing what people thought, peoples experiences, but everytime someone weighs in on the other side you start saying far fetched things like HERE THIS PROVES YOU WRONG, and throwing links to studies that could be taken any which way from sunday, or just plain old bashing.

 

btw, scientific studies are notorious for fudging facts to make their arguments, back in the 70's they thought that air pollution was going to cause global freezing, and ice ages.  then new scientist came and said, oh no, air pollution causes global warming.  And now you have people like Al Gore and agencies like the EPA profiting 'in the name of the environment' even when more and more 'studies', so take it with a grain of salt, are showing that, omg, climates and weather patterns change from time to time....  

 

unsubscribed from this thread, although if a new, more open minded, fact finding thread were to open on the subject I would be interested in hearing some of the opinions

post #50 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flailure View Post
 

ok, I'm opting out of this thread, I thought it was a more fact finding oriented thread, but it seems like it is becoming more like an argument between two kids on which color bicycle is coolest.  If you are so sure that amps don't make a difference, then why start a thread like this?  The only reason that comes to mind is to bait in people to argue with.  I was actually interested in knowing what people thought, peoples experiences, but everytime someone weighs in on the other side you start saying far fetched things like HERE THIS PROVES YOU WRONG, and throwing links to studies that could be taken any which way from sunday, or just plain old bashing.

 

btw, scientific studies are notorious for fudging facts to make their arguments, back in the 70's they thought that air pollution was going to cause global freezing, and ice ages.  then new scientist came and said, oh no, air pollution causes global warming.  And now you have people like Al Gore and agencies like the EPA profiting 'in the name of the environment' even when more and more 'studies', so take it with a grain of salt, are showing that, omg, climates and weather patterns change from time to time....  

 

unsubscribed from this thread, although if a new, more open minded, fact finding thread were to open on the subject I would be interested in hearing some of the opinions

 

1. Please reread the OP to see why I started the thread.

 

2. That link was obviously meant in jest in response to the other links.

 

Seriously dood.

post #51 of 211
Thread Starter 

While we're on the topic, can anyone explain in words what a tube amp does? One person with whom I spoke said it slightly muddies up the music, in a way that some people enjoy. Based on that I had no interest (who wants muddy sound?)

post #52 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by flailure View Post
 

 

unsubscribed from this thread, although if a new, more open minded, fact finding thread were to open on the subject I would be interested in hearing some of the opinions

But the only way to get facts in this world (one based on electronics), is through the study of things, which is throungh experiments & testing. Although I haven't read the things that were posted in the links, it is those who are uneducated, who do not seek change who are not open minded. The best way to change the way that these people think is through education (in my opinion). I don't mean to bash you in any way, or say that your opinion is not valid, or does not count, but I feel as if the things that you have said do not back up your thoughts.

 

Anyhow science has changed a lot anyways. I'm not sure if you knew this, buy psychologists used to get funding from studies, then get results, then form their whole theory around those. But now to get funding, you need to be able to tell (and in a way sell) what your study is really gonig to prove. 

 

In conclusion, I will also unsub from this thread.

post #53 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by syNRG View Post
 

But the only way to get facts in this world (one based on electronics), is through the study of things, which is throungh experiments & testing. Although I haven't read the things that were posted in the links, it is those who are uneducated, who do not seek change who are not open minded. The best way to change the way that these people think is through education (in my opinion). I don't mean to bash you in any way, or say that your opinion is not valid, or does not count, but I feel as if the things that you have said do not back up your thoughts.

 

Anyhow science has changed a lot anyways. I'm not sure if you knew this, buy psychologists used to get funding from studies, then get results, then form their whole theory around those. But now to get funding, you need to be able to tell (and in a way sell) what your study is really gonig to prove. 

 

In conclusion, I will also unsub from this thread.


This is the entire point. The way to prove that a headphone amp does something, is very simply to create a wav file that contains sounds or changes in sound that can be heard on a headphone amp, but can't be heard if playing out of a decent power laptop jack (and not by playing with the equalizer settings either)

 

You will never be able do that, which explains why headphone amps are either scam products, or hearing aids.

 

P.S. Here is another bit of objective science. Your hearing is best in your youth and undoubtedly and very noticeably degrades in your 30s and 40s. Not just in terms of decibel volume either, but also in your ability to hear details (masking etc.) Because a young person is unlikely to be able to afford a $2,000 amp, most such amps are being purchased by people who do not even have the physical ability to distinguish nuanced sounds anymore (in other words, you can play a sound sample and a 20 year will objectively hear things that a 40 year old won't hear). Never mind the ability to distinguish the imagined improvements between a cheap and good amp, which I think is quite a hilarious and ironic fact about this hobby.


Edited by ag8908 - 2/22/14 at 2:57pm
post #54 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

While we're on the topic, can anyone explain in words what a tube amp does? One person with whom I spoke said it slightly muddies up the music, in a way that some people enjoy. Based on that I had no interest (who wants muddy sound?)

While I believe this thread has an unusually high BS content, I'm an insomniac and have nothing better to do at 5 am sitting behind my desk and listening to some Mahler so I'll add a couple of more polluting bits to cyberspace.

 

A tube amp does the same thing as an ss amp but has different characteristics.  In general it colours the sound more than an ss amp (though if you tinker enough you can get an ss amp to take on virtually any sound signature) and some people like that effect.  What constitutes 'muddling' is in the eye of the beholder, most of this stuff is subjective -which does not mean 'bad' - preference.  Also, by rolling various tubes you can create various sound signatures and hopefully get to your personal nirvana.  Just as an example -and I don't intend to start a polemic about this- my HD-800 through my Violectric can present a harsh treble with some classical pieces.  If I connect it to my tube amp this takes of that slightly harsh edge and imparts some warmth to the sound but at the cost of some resolution and detail.  There's always a tradeoff somewhere.  Apples and oranges.

post #55 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 


"This is the entire point. The way to prove that a headphone amp does something, is very simply to create a wav file that contains sounds or changes in sound that can be heard on a headphone amp, but can't be heard if playing out of a decent power laptop jack (and not by playing with the equalizer settings either)

 

You will never be able do that, which explains why headphone amps are either scam products, or hearing aids."

 

Here is the definition from wiki:

"An electronic amplifieramplifier, or (informally) amp is an electronic device that increases the power of a signal. It does this by taking energy from a power supply and controlling the output to match the input signal shape but with a larger amplitude. In this sense, an amplifier modulates the output of the power supply."

So if you define a device that increase the amplitude of an audio signal as hearing aids, then YES, a headphone amplifier is hearing aids.

 

Again, you are showing that you don't understand what an amplifier is. Behind any headphone jack , there IS an amplifier. Yes, behind the headphone jack of your godly laptop, there is such a thing called an amplifier that takes a small signal and makes it bigger. Without it, you couldn't listen to anything trough your headphone jack. The thing is, that amp behind your headphone jack can be noisy, lack power, have high output impedance, or stupid high level of distortion. People then may want to change it, to fix those issue if issue there is. If you don't have any issue, then fine, but don't say all headphone amps are scam because of that. 

Yes, i'm done.


Edited by Rem0o - 2/22/14 at 4:37pm
post #56 of 211

In November, I used SR80i to listen to the first movement of a quintet on four set ups:
 
1. iPod only
2. iPod + O2 amp
3. CD player only
4. CD player + O2 amp
 
I heard obvious differences between the two amped set ups and the two non-amped set ups, and I prefer both amped set ups to both non-amped set ups.

 

SR80i doesn't strictly need an amp, but the benefits of amping were consistent: with both sources, amping made the treble fuller--it had more body, the playing sounded warmer, and soundstage improved.

post #57 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

In November, I used SR80i to listen to the first movement of a quintet on four set ups:

 

1. iPod only

2. iPod + O2 amp

3. CD player only

4. CD player + O2 amp

 

I heard obvious differences between the two amped set ups and the two non-amped set ups, and I prefer both amped set ups to both non-amped set ups.

SR80i doesn't strictly need an amp, but the benefits of amping were consistent: with both sources, amping made the treble fuller--it had more body, the playing sounded warmer, and soundstage improved.

I did very careful and meticulous hearing test on the objective 2 and it absolutely does not alter the sound in any way. What happened to you most likely is that you played the music at a higher dB volume when using the amplifier or had gain on in your system (which actually distorts the sound). What default gain does your o2 have?

If you would like please point to a specific (minutes and seconds) part of the song and a specific thing (e.g. an instrument) that you heard with the amp that you could not hear without the amp. I would be happy to listen to that song on Spotify 320k to confirm. However if all you have is vague comments about it being fuller or soundstage then you are either lying to yourself to justify the purchase or you simply played it at a higher dBm level.

By the way, I noticed that nobody commented on the scientifically probable fact that most people who can afford to buy expensive anps no longer have the ability to hear subtle sound anymore due to their age. I've always found it hilarious when a 40+ or even 60! year old wants to teach a 20 year old about audiophile stuff when in any objective test on a simple system the 20 year old's hearing would blow the other's away.

Truth and science people. Spend your money on headphones not amps.
Edited by ag8908 - 2/23/14 at 8:33am
post #58 of 211
Ugh I don't really want to get into this, but nobody's pointed it out for some reason. Why would you try to amplify an amplifier? Of course you don't hear a significant difference; what you're doing is amplifying a source that isn't good in the first place. What you're doing is trying to resize a 5x8 picture into a wall-sized picture and complaining that the result doesn't look nice. The O2 is doing its job. It's amplifying the source. You're plugging the O2 into a laptop headphone jack. The O2 could not possibly improve the sound because the sound it's receiving is already degraded; amplifiers aren't magical devices that can somehow improve something that's been degraded.

Edit:
Oh, and this is all in reference to the O2, which I didn't find all that powerful and I honestly didn't think it made anything sound any better; it actually made some of my gear sound worse.
Edited by Ishcabible - 2/23/14 at 8:58am
post #59 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

Ugh I don't really want to get into this, but nobody's pointed it out for some reason. Why would you try to amplify an amplifier? Of course you don't hear a significant difference; what you're doing is amplifying a source that isn't good in the first place. What you're doing is trying to resize a 5x8 picture into a wall-sized picture and complaining that the result doesn't look nice. The O2 is doing its job. It's amplifying the source. You're plugging the O2 into a laptop headphone jack. The O2 could not possibly improve the sound because the sound it's receiving is already degraded; amplifiers aren't magical devices that can somehow improve something that's been degraded.

Edit:
Oh, and this is all in reference to the O2, which I didn't find all that powerful and I honestly didn't think it made anything sound any better; it actually made some of my gear sound worse.

+1

post #60 of 211

Interesting discussion, clearly there are several camps on this topic.

 

I remember at one bay area meet AMB had three Mini^3 amps on display.  They all looked identical, in the same enclosures just numbered on the bottom1-2-3.  He wasn't telling people which OP amp was in which amp.  We had to blindly form our own opinions.  I was auditioning them with Jays IEMs and a Sony D335 PCDP line out as source... fwiw.  One was a "standard" build, the other had a "fast-energetic" OP amp (or at least one that was reputed to be).  I could not tell the two apart.  The third one however was starkly different sounding.  It was a distant sounding circuit, a bit murky and it made vocals and solo instrumentation sound farther off in the distance.  I came back later in the day to audition them again... blindly, and could still very easily pick out that one amp.

 

none of the OP amps were employed in ways to alter harmonic distortion, or used in any way other than as a device to "clean boost /cut" the signal.  I don't have golden ears or anything like that, and have high frequency hearing loss and I could easily decipher what I was hearing on a blind test.

 

Others at the meet could very easily hear the difference between the standard and fast-energetic builds.

 

So deep rooted in the discussion is the ability to perceive the differences on a blind A/B.  So my stance has always been, if I can hear the difference on a blind A/B then the difference exists, if I can't then it doesn't.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
This thread is locked  
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Is there a newsletter or society for people who believe that headphone amplifiers are largely redundant scam products?