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Best high end headphones for AK240

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi, 1st post here smily_headphones1.gif I ordered an astell and kern 240 but havent decided which headphones i would use. What high end headphone would you recommend. And why? And where does it excel?

I live In the philippines so an audition or a mashup of cans is impossible considering all high end cans are order basis only. So every purchase is a risk frown.gif

Your kind input would be of great help smily_headphones1.gif
Added info.
-ill just plug the cans directly to the dap, so no external amp (changed my mind, compact amp is a go)
- open budget
- no specific genre i like.an All around genre headphone is appreciated smily_headphones1.gif
- very good sound stage
Edited by ShySugarDaddy - 3/18/14 at 11:34pm
post #2 of 22

A true high end headphone is hardly what you need with for that DAP.

Firstly because they usually cost well in excess of 1000$ and secondly the DAP will not be able to drive them properly, nor will it be an accurate enough source.

Meaning you'll only be able to experience a fraction of what they're really capable of, when connected to a high end system (DAC + amp) for example.

 

So I'd highly recommend you aim a little lower to something like AKG K550 (if you like AKG).

They're both the easiest to drive AKG headphone and the best sounding closed AKG (so fit for portable use).

In terms of sound quality alone they will give you 90+% of the high end experience.


Edited by James neutron - 3/18/14 at 7:54am
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

How about the audeze LCD-x? it has 22 impedance. do you think the ak240 would be able to drive it better than the akg?? 

post #4 of 22

No, absolutely not. The Audeze has a sensitivity of 96db for 1mW, relative to the K550's of roughly 102db for 1mW (or 114db per 1 volt)

Meaning you need to pump more than 4 times the power into the LCD-X to get the same loudness as K550.

 

For DAPs you need high sensitivity headphones, impedance alone doesn't help at anything.

Low impedance means only that the headphone will demand less voltage, but more current from the amp. A high impedance headphone will do the opposite - demand high voltage and less current.

DAPs in general deliver very low voltage and low current.

That's why a high sensitivity headphone (such as IEMs) is more suitable for DAP use.

If you're really set on a top of the line product maybe custom IEMs, like JH Audio, might be a better choice.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ohh nice info. How about if i add an alo rx mk3 would it be enough for the lcd-x? If not what portable amp would suffice?
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ohh nice info. your comment certainly changed my mind about compact amps. now im sure ill be using one.

How about if i add an ALO rx mk3 would it be enough for the lcd-x? If not what portable amp would you recommend?

 

sorry for the double post

post #7 of 22

From what I read ALO Rx is capable of driving even tougher headphones than LCD-X and it is one of the best portable amps out there. Therefore , it may be one of the best choices for the Audeze.

But I have no personal experience with this amp, so I can't say more about it.

You can start a thread in the Portable Amps section and ask the more experienced guys what they know about this combination.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post

No, absolutely not. The Audeze has a sensitivity of 96db for 1mW, relative to the K550's of roughly 102db for 1mW (or 114db per 1 volt)

Meaning you need to pump more than 4 times the power into the LCD-X to get the same loudness as K550.


 

For DAPs you need high sensitivity headphones, impedance alone doesn't help at anything.


Low impedance means only that the headphone will demand less voltage, but more current from the amp. A high impedance headphone will do the opposite - demand high voltage and less current.

DAPs in general deliver very low voltage and low current.


That's why a high sensitivity headphone (such as IEMs) is more suitable for DAP use.


If you're really set on a top of the line product maybe custom IEMs, like JH Audio, might be a better choice.


 



Nonsense, it should have more than enough power to drive the LCD-X which are not hard to drive at all. My HE-400 is much harder to drive based on the impedance and sensitivity ratings, but a puny E17 has plenty of juice to drive them.
post #9 of 22

Just to remind you, the question was:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShySugarDaddy View Post
 

How about the audeze LCD-x? it has 22 impedance. do you think the ak240 would be able to drive it better than the akg?? 

The rest is self explanatory.

 

 

 

As to a DAP's driveability of a high end Audeze, I'll leave it up to personal judgement and preference.

Technically, yes it's doable and sound will come out of the headphones.

But I wouldn't drive a high end headphone non-amped. Or I wouldn't buy a high end headphone for DAP-only use in the first place.

 

Your millage may vary, of course.

post #10 of 22

And as a side note, here's what your E17 outputs -->>  MAX output voltage: > 7.3 Vp-p
And here's what AK240 outputs -->>  Output Level: Stereo Unbalanced 2.1 Vrms/ Balanced 2.3 Vrms (Condition No Load) 

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post
 
Nonsense, it should have more than enough power to drive the LCD-X which are not hard to drive at all. My HE-400 is much harder to drive based on the impedance and sensitivity ratings, but a puny E17 has plenty of juice to drive them.

 

These judgments are better made by actual experience than by calculation. An O2 has enough juice to drive a 600 ohm model but there's a disagreement about how good it sounds relative to some other amps with as much power. I believe you that E17 has enough juice to drive HE400 but I also know it will sound better with more power, so enough juice doesn't necessarily mean that it's a sonic pairing to strive for and OP might be better served with another model. So OP, simply ask on the LCD-X thread; I'm sure somebody has tried it with AK240.

post #12 of 22
See this review:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/astell-kern-ak240/reviews/10589

it says that it drives the HD800 very well. The HD800 is said to be one of the trickiest headphones to amp. Also it said it drove the LCD-3 and LCD-XC very well.
Edited by Za Warudo - 3/19/14 at 12:08pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post
 

And as a side note, here's what your E17 outputs -->>  MAX output voltage: > 7.3 Vp-p
And here's what AK240 outputs -->>  Output Level: Stereo Unbalanced 2.1 Vrms/ Balanced 2.3 Vrms (Condition No Load) 

 

And as a side note, you present some very misleading measurements.

 

Let's express that 2.1V (rms) as peak-to-peak amplitude. 2.1V*sqrt(2)= 3.0V (peak amplitude). 3.0V*2= 6.0V (peak-to-peak)!!! Not so different from that E17 now that we've bothered to express our values coherently!

 

Anyhow, I don't understand why you are so opposed to the idea of driving LCD's with the AK240 when you are apparently just fine with people driving them with the ALO RX. Just because the AK240 is a DAP doesn't mean that its headphone amplifier is any less competent than the ALO RX, ultimately they are both battery-powered headphone amps. 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post

See this review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/astell-kern-ak240/reviews/10589

it says that it drives the HD800 very well. The HD800 is said to be one of the trickiest headphones to amp. Also it said it drove the LCD-3 and LCD-XC very well.

 

I want to hear it from someone old school who has thought through a system, not someone directly associated with the so-called "portable audio revolution." You've done your best, but OP has to ask around himself so he doesn't blow his money.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by logwed View Post
 

 

And as a side note, you present some very misleading measurements.

 

Let's express that 2.1V (rms) as peak-to-peak amplitude. 2.1V*sqrt(2)= 3.0V (peak amplitude). 3.0V*2= 6.0V (peak-to-peak)!!! Not so different from that E17 now that we've bothered to express our values coherently!

 

Anyhow, I don't understand why you are so opposed to the idea of driving LCD's with the AK240 when you are apparently just fine with people driving them with the ALO RX. Just because the AK240 is a DAP doesn't mean that its headphone amplifier is any less competent than the ALO RX, ultimately they are both battery-powered headphone amps. 


I copy/pasted the manufacturers' published specifications. And I agree, both are misleading.

Nonetheless the fact remains the AK240 delivers less "juice" than the Fiio 139$ portable does.

If anyone is comfortable to drive their high end headphones with 2.1V rms ... well it's their choice.

 

As to Alo RX you should have a look at what that amp is actually capable of and compare to what the DAP is capable of (amplification wise).

 

 

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