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Fiio E07k Enough to Power the 250 ohm DT 990 Pro? DT990 or AKG 550?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

My question is two fold. I've got the E07k and am really tempted to pick up a pair of DT990's as they're down to $142 on Amazon. I like to listen to music relatively loud and I'm worried my little Fiio won't have the guts to power these guys. Your thoughts?

 

Other question. I listen to all genres of music from Mozart to Deadmau5 to Mac Miller and everything in between. I'm totally and completely torn between the DT 990 and the AKG K550.

 

I know the AKG's are significantly lower Ohm than the DT 990 and that they'd be fine with the Fiio. That's not a concern.

 

The DT990 are $142 and the AKG's are $190. I have no preference of open or closed cans. This would be my first real step up from my Pro DJ100's. I do prefer a richer, fuller sound. I like bass but am by no means a basshead.

 

Your thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 31

I agree, the E07K should have no problem driving the K550 at all. I think it would drive the DT990 but most likely not very well. If you were to go with the DT990 an amp would definitely be a major improvement in performance. Both are pretty highly regarded headphones. If you don't want to spend any more money on an amp, I would go with the K550. Most likely your going to have to spend around $100 for a decent amp for the DT990. But your going to pay $50 more for the k550. You could go with the E09k amp but that is going to cost $109. So if you go with the DT990 with an amp your going to spend $251 instead of $190 for the K550.


Edited by Spiral Out - 3/2/14 at 5:43pm
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Good lookin out! Solid response. That's kinda the conclusion I was coming to but I needed to hear it from someone else. Darn, I just got the E07K too lol. 

 

Just pulled out my old Porta Pros and plugged it into the E07k and wow, I'm blown away. Can't believe the sound I'm getting. 

post #4 of 31

Awesome! I'm glad I could help! One of the good things about the E07K is you can always upgrade it later with the E09K if you need more power. Honestly, like I said before, you couldn't go wrong with either headphone. The only thing that would be majorly different would be the the K550 are closed cans and the DT990 are open. If your going to use the headphones outside the house the k550 would absolutely be the one to get. The DT990 will have a more open sound but would be limited to home use. 

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman77 View Post
 

Hi All,

 

My question is two fold. I've got the E07k and am really tempted to pick up a pair of DT990's as they're down to $142 on Amazon. I like to listen to music relatively loud and I'm worried my little Fiio won't have the guts to power these guys. Your thoughts?

 

Other question. I listen to all genres of music from Mozart to Deadmau5 to Mac Miller and everything in between. I'm totally and completely torn between the DT 990 and the AKG K550.

 

I know the AKG's are significantly lower Ohm than the DT 990 and that they'd be fine with the Fiio. That's not a concern.

 

The DT990 are $142 and the AKG's are $190. I have no preference of open or closed cans. This would be my first real step up from my Pro DJ100's. I do prefer a richer, fuller sound. I like bass but am by no means a basshead.

 

Your thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


E07K can drive DT990 250 Ohm very well.

Gain: 6dB

Volume: between 20 and 35 with most recordings.

 

DT990s are definitely bright headphones, so listening at very high volume can be unpleasant with some recordings.
In my opinion, only the best recordings out there make this headphones really shine, specially those magnificent audiophile classical recordings with only a few instruments.

post #6 of 31
Quote:
 E07K can drive DT990 250 Ohm very well

 

The E07K outputs 36 mW into 300 ohms. It would drive a 250 ohm headphone with decent sensitivity. A desktop amp would be a major improvement in performance.  The E07K seems to have been designed for low resistance loads. In the thread starters case, when choosing between a 250 ohm and 32 ohm headphone, the 32 ohm would be a much better match for his E07K.

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiral Out View Post
 

 

In the thread starters case, when choosing between a 250 ohm and 32 ohm headphone, the 32 ohm would be a much better match for his E07K.

I disagree. Since E07K can drive a better headphone (250 Ohm version) I don't see the need of suggesting a worse one that need 7 times less power that the one that E07K can provide.

 

Do you own Fiio E07K and DT990 250 Ohm version?

 

DT990s and DT880s (both 250 Ohm versions) are similar loads.
Based on Innerfidelity DT880 measurements, they need 0,38mW to reach 90dB SPL. This means that 24mW would be enough to make them reach 108dB.

As I've said, in real life, using Fiio E07K with gain settings at 6dB and its volume around half its maximum, DT990 and DT880 sound pretty loud with the vast majority of recordings; louder is not healthy.

 

I'm not saying that you can not get a little bit of improvement pairing DT990s or DT880s (250 Ohm versions) with a more refined headphone amplifier, but refinement aside, E07K has enough power to drive DT990 250 Ohm versions.

 

Thus, nothing make me think that 32 Ohm version is a better pick here (being more expensive + most people tend to agree that this version is not as good sounding as 250Ohm and 600Ohm versions)

 

More so, I've heard some knowledgeable head-fiers saying that Fiio E09K is by no means a major improvement over E17/E07K for 250 versions.

post #8 of 31

I was not talking about the 32 ohm version of the DT990. The K550 was the 32ohm headphone I was referring to.

 

Listen, I don't own the E07K. My opinion is based on the spec. If you own the combo then you would have a much better perspective then I would. But spec wise, 36 mW is not very much power. Loudness is not the only determining factor when it comes to sound quality.

 

Given the posters two choices, the K550 would work far better with his current amp/dac.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiral Out View Post
 

I was not talking about the 32 ohm version of the DT990. The K550 was the 32ohm headphone I was referring to.

My bad!

 

I think the right choice is down to preference. I haven't heard K550, based on frequency response measurements DT990s seem to have more mid bass, and more treble. Being open back headphones, 990s don't provide any isolation but probably have bigger 'soundstage' in comparison with the closed back K550. Both seem to be solid picks.

SoundMagic HP-100 is also a solid pick, probably less bright than both DT990 and K550.

 

K550s are great looking headphones.

 

You can't go wrong with any of this headphones but if you pick a bright one feed them with high quality recordings.

 

Enjoy :beyersmile:

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Phew! Is it hot in here? Lol! Guys, thank you so much for your thoughts and opinions it's appreciated.

 

So, here's what happened. I ran across reviews for the PSB M4U1 and was blown away with the consistent thoughts and opinions on them. Happened to find a guy on Amazon who was selling a "like new" pair for $200. I took the plunge and just place my order. I'm super excited. I feel I got the best of everything here and at a steel of a price. And they're 32 Ohm so no worries there.

 

Thanks again, and I'll post my thoughts once received.

post #11 of 31

There you go! Those look like nice headphones. They should work out well for you. :)

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiral Out View Post
 

 

The E07K outputs 36 mW into 300 ohms. It would drive a 250 ohm headphone with decent sensitivity. A desktop amp would be a major improvement in performance.  The E07K seems to have been designed for low resistance loads. In the thread starters case, when choosing between a 250 ohm and 32 ohm headphone, the 32 ohm would be a much better match for his E07K.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

I disagree. Since E07K can drive a better headphone (250 Ohm version) I don't see the need of suggesting a worse one that need 7 times less power that the one that E07K can provide.

 

Do you own Fiio E07K and DT990 250 Ohm version?

 

DT990s and DT880s (both 250 Ohm versions) are similar loads.
Based on Innerfidelity DT880 measurements, they need 0,38mW to reach 90dB SPL. This means that 24mW would be enough to make them reach 108dB.

As I've said, in real life, using Fiio E07K with gain settings at 6dB and its volume around half its maximum, DT990 and DT880 sound pretty loud with the vast majority of recordings; louder is not healthy.

 

I'm not saying that you can not get a little bit of improvement pairing DT990s or DT880s (250 Ohm versions) with a more refined headphone amplifier, but refinement aside, E07K has enough power to drive DT990 250 Ohm versions.

 

Thus, nothing make me think that 32 Ohm version is a better pick here (being more expensive + most people tend to agree that this version is not as good sounding as 250Ohm and 600Ohm versions)

 

More so, I've heard some knowledgeable head-fiers saying that Fiio E09K is by no means a major improvement over E17/E07K for 250 versions.

guys i'm new in audio world, can you teach me how to match a headphone and an amp? like how much power do i need to drive ineficient headphone like dt990 250 or 600 and akg k7 series, q701, k612pro?

 

i read somewhere, but it for matching speaker with an amp not headphone. he said that i must look impedance first, for example like if speakers have spec 80mw/16 ohm so i must match an amp with 16ohm first plus 50% from speakers spec. so i must choose an amp with 120mw/16ohm.

 

how do you guys matching the spec like you write above? how can i match the headphone and an amp if the specs write different like this 

36 mW into 300 ohms, It would drive a 250 ohm

its different ohm right?

 

i can't understand this either

they need 0,38mW to reach 90dB SPL how can you calculate that? what is spl?

 

and the last question, why certain headphone is hard to drive? i told by someone that sennheiser hd600 is easier to drive than beyer dt990 pro, but whe i look the specs both headphone

HD600: 97db and 300 ohm

dt990: 96db and 250 ohm

why dt990 harder to drive than hd600?

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn Beckman View Post
 

 

 

guys i'm new in audio world, can you teach me how to match a headphone and an amp? like how much power do i need to drive ineficient headphone like dt990 250 or 600 and akg k7 series, q701, k612pro?

 

i read somewhere, but it for matching speaker with an amp not headphone. he said that i must look impedance first, for example like if speakers have spec 80mw/16 ohm so i must match an amp with 16ohm first plus 50% from speakers spec. so i must choose an amp with 120mw/16ohm.

 

how do you guys matching the spec like you write above? how can i match the headphone and an amp if the specs write different like this 

36 mW into 300 ohms, It would drive a 250 ohm

its different ohm right?

 

i can't understand this either

they need 0,38mW to reach 90dB SPL how can you calculate that? what is spl?

 

and the last question, why certain headphone is hard to drive? i told by someone that sennheiser hd600 is easier to drive than beyer dt990 pro, but whe i look the specs both headphone

HD600: 97db and 300 ohm

dt990: 96db and 250 ohm

why dt990 harder to drive than hd600?


Well, there's quite a lot to explain.

 

To drive a headphone to certain level you need certain voltage.

Some headphones need little voltage to sound loud (HD598), some other headphones need a good amount of voltage to sound loud (DT880/600Ohm)

 

When I say "to reach 90dB" that's a measure of loudness.

Normal listening levels range about 70dB and 85dB, with peaks that can hit 100dB if listening loud.

 

On top of that, for a given voltage, lower impedance headphones drain more current from the amplifier. So if you have two headphones that need the same voltage (K702 and DT880/250 Ohm) the one with lower impedance will be the harder one to drive (K702).

 

DT990 needs more voltage than HD600 to sound at the same level, and being slightly lower in terms of impedance it drains a little bit more current from the amp.

That's why it's slightly harder to drive.

 

You can find a good database at innerfidelity.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-measurements

Check the bottom right hand corner of each sheet and you'll find how much voltage you need for 90dB SPL.

Look how low impedance headphones like the K702 need more power than high impedance headphones like DT880/250 despite both needing similar voltage (around 0.300 Vrms)

That's because the lower impedance drains more current from the amp and so the amp should be able to provide both relatively high voltage and current.

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 


Well, there's quite a lot to explain.

 

To drive a headphone to certain level you need certain voltage.

Some headphones need little voltage to sound loud (HD598), some other headphones need a good amount of voltage to sound loud (DT880/600Ohm)

 

When I say "to reach 90dB" that's a measure of loudness.

Normal listening levels range about 70dB and 85dB, with peaks that can hit 100dB if listening loud.

 

On top of that, for a given voltage, lower impedance headphones drain more current from the amplifier. So if you have two headphones that need the same voltage (K702 and DT880/250 Ohm) the one with lower impedance will be the harder one to drive (K702).

 

DT990 needs more voltage than HD600 to sound at the same level, and being slightly lower in terms of impedance it drains a little bit more current from the amp.

That's why it's slightly harder to drive.

 

You can find a good database at innerfidelity.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-measurements

Check the bottom right hand corner of each sheet and you'll find how much voltage you need for 90dB SPL.

Look how low impedance headphones like the K702 need more power than high impedance headphones like DT880/250 despite both needing similar voltage (around 0.300 Vrms)

That's because the lower impedance drains more current from the amp and so the amp should be able to provide both relatively high voltage and current.

mm i little bit confuse, some says lower impedance is easy to drive, but you says lower impedance need more power

first of first i need to know what is you mean "power" i mean in unit or symbol, like sensitivity is db, impedance is ohm

how can i determine how much voltage how much current needed in the specs list?

after i read this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/750420/need-help-really-confused-with-amp-dac-choice-for-dt990-250-ohm-pro i am confuse read your explanation on that thread to know how much power we need is 110-sensitivy ex. dt990 pro, so 110-96=14 then 10^(14/10)=25 mw for 110db

hd600 is 110-97=13 then 10^(13/10)= 19mw for 110 db

akg k702 is 110-105=5 then 10^(5/10)=3.16 mw for 110db

 

how can akg needed more power?

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn Beckman View Post
 

mm i little bit confuse, some says lower impedance is easy to drive, but you says lower impedance need more power

Me x3: It really doesn't matter what some say because basic physics is not a debatable matter these days.

 

first of first i need to know what is you mean "power" i mean in unit or symbol, like sensitivity is db, impedance is ohm

Me x3: Power is measures in Watts (W) or milliWatts (mW)

 

how can i determine how much voltage how much current needed in the specs list?

Me x3: You can read Innerfidelity sheets, there you can find how much voltage is needed for 90dB for each headphone.

You need some math to know how much current is needed, but it's not a very useful piece of information anyway since very little amps talk about how much current they can supply.

 

after i read this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/750420/need-help-really-confused-with-amp-dac-choice-for-dt990-250-ohm-pro i am confuse read your explanation on that thread to know how much power we need is 110-sensitivy ex. dt990 pro, so 110-96=14 then 10^(14/10)=25 mw for 110db

hd600 is 110-97=13 then 10^(13/10)= 19mw for 110 db

akg k702 is 110-105=5 then 10^(5/10)=3.16 mw for 110db

 

Me x3: There's no explanation of mine on that thread as I can see, but the math on your examples is not working fine.

DT990 Pro needs 1mW to reach 96dB at 500Hz

HD600 needs 1mW to reach 97dB at 1000Hz

K702 needs 1Vrms to reach 105dB at 1000Hz

So you are comparing green apples, with red apples, with oranges. Not a good idea.

 

Here's comparable info:

DT990 Pro needs 1mW for 94dB at 1000Hz

HD600 needs 1mW to reach 97dB at 1000Hz

K702 needs 1mW to reach 88dB at 1000Hz

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