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Which DAC/AMP for Hifiman He-400?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hellow there

 

I have my He-400's for about 2 months now but they dont sound like they are supposed to without DAC and amplifier. So I am looking for a nice dac/amp(only 1 device) to drive my he-400s properly. I thought about going for Fiio E07k or E17 since they tend to be exactly what I look for and are quite popular. 

 

So is the E07k enough to drive my He-400 or do I need the E17? Any other recommendatons are greatly appreciated!

 

dryu

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

*b

post #3 of 18
First, best to wait a day before you bump a post. Be patient smily_headphones1.gif

Some more information could probably help people to help you:
What is your budget?
What devices are you using your HE-400s with? (make/model)
Anything else you can tell us?
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding, cel4145, I didnt know that.

 

My budget is a max of $200 for both DAC and amp. I really strive for the most SQ possible for that money.

I use those headphones mainly(95%) on my laptop(Clevo 170EM) at home.

That laptop has the Realtek ALC892 onboard chip installed and I want to get off it since everyone says onboard chips suck especially on laptops.

I dont have all too much space where I live and thats why I prefer DAC and amplifier in one device if possible.

It does not have to be portable.

 

As you all propably know already the He-400 is a low impedance device with a sensitivity of 92.5 DB and requires an amplifier to reach its full potential.

Also it is the first Hifiman device that uses the planar driver.

 

I listen mostly to electronica and dance which is a  reason why I chose the He-400.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated!

 

dryu

post #5 of 18
The Schiit Modi and Magni stack are considered by most people to be the best price/performance value for $200. They are two pieces, but they are only 5" wide by 3.5" deep:



Oh, and I have the HE-400s. Great headphones smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Arent they a little bit 'overkill' or do they really need such an insane amplifier?

post #7 of 18
That's not insane; those aren't very big. LOL

And the thing about the HE-400s is that they are so resolving of detail; you will notice a good improvement with a good DAC/amp.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I meant insane in terms of power not in terms of size. What do you think of E07k, E10 or E17?

They seem to be portable + cheaper ... or are those Fiio products bad?

 

Just to compare $ : E07K DAC + amp for $100 and shiit magni+modi = $200.

 

Or am I missing something?

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by destroyerryu View Post

Sorry, I meant insane in terms of power not in terms of size.

Not at all. Since the HE-400s are fairly inefficient, they do benefit from having more power.

It takes double the amount of power to achieve 3db more volume. It takes 10db more volume for a perceived double the volume by the listener. And typically, best to have 10db more volume available out of the amp for the being able to support the dynamics of the music.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

So do you think it wont be enough to only get the Fiio E07k?

Or whats the point of getting modi und magni since the E07k seems to be enough to handle the He-400?

I mean I understand that m+m are better in terms of performance but I dont know why I should pay twice the price

if the fiio can already handle the situation.

 

But like I said im quite a newbie and I might miss something...

post #11 of 18
The Magni and Modi are better sounding equipment than the E07K. The HE-400 are highly resolving headphones and take advantage of that.

Not all headphone amps are created equal. See these two shootout threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared

The Magni would be most similar to the O2 in quality. See the rankings in the reviews in the sub $200 thread.
post #12 of 18
I thought the SQ from my Gateway laptop from 2009 sucked because thats what I read here at head-fi. I bought an E17 expecting a huge jump in quality for my 80 ohm DT 770. The reality was I had decent SQ from my Gateway already. The E17 added a bit more power, but I wasnt satisfied. My new Lenovo laptop has the crap SQ I was expecting from the Gateway.

Try the E07K first by itself hooked up to your laptop. If thats not enough SQ for you then add the E09k desktop amp. Like the E17, the E07k can be docked into the E09K. The E17/E09k combo gave me the power and SQ I was looking for. The added bonus with E09K is the low/high gain for a variety of headphones. You can adjust the bass and treble on the E07K, while still docked if you so choose.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Magni and Modi are better sounding equipment than the E07K. The HE-400 are highly resolving headphones and take advantage of that.

Not all headphone amps are created equal. See these two shootout threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared
http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared

The Magni would be most similar to the O2 in quality. See the rankings in the reviews in the sub $200 thread.

 

Now that is what I am looking for! 

But the E07k and E17 still look very nice there. 

Do you have the same for not-portable amps/dacs?

post #14 of 18
I have the C&C BH, used to own the FiiO E17, and I have heard the FiiO E11 and the Fred CMOY amp. I used to own the Objective 2 amp, own an ODAC, a Schiit Asgard 2, and a TubeMagic D1 dac/amp. Based on all the reviews, the Modi/Magni are similar in performance to the ODAC/O2. People that have heard both either say they are similar, or fight over it, which means that they are too close to call. LOL

It is worth it to buy the Schiit stack for the HE-400s. The HE-400s are more resolving than you know, and than you will ever know, then if you go with something like the FiiO E07K or E17. You bought a high performance headphone. Sure it will sound good with those. But it will also perform even better with a more transparent headphone amp like the Magni and a good DAC like the Modi. The HE-400s wlll also respond well with more power because of the better dynamic headroom. If you had bought $100 headphones, or higher sensitivity headphones, you would not get as much benefit out of going with the Schiit stack.

If you want some other opinions on whether it's worth it to spend the extra money or not, go here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I have the C&C BH, used to own the FiiO E17, and I have heard the FiiO E11 and the Fred CMOY amp. I used to own the Objective 2 amp, own an ODAC, a Schiit Asgard 2, and a TubeMagic D1 dac/amp. Based on all the reviews, the Modi/Magni are similar in performance to the ODAC/O2. People that have heard both either say they are similar, or fight over it, which means that they are too close to call. LOL

It is worth it to buy the Schiit stack for the HE-400s. The HE-400s are more resolving than you know, and than you will ever know, then if you go with something like the FiiO E07K or E17. You bought a high performance headphone. Sure it will sound good with those. But it will also perform even better with a more transparent headphone amp like the Magni and a good DAC like the Modi. The HE-400s wlll also respond well with more power because of the better dynamic headroom. If you had bought $100 headphones, or higher sensitivity headphones, you would not get as much benefit out of going with the Schiit stack.

If you want some other opinions on whether it's worth it to spend the extra money or not, go here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread

 

I understand that they are better than those fiios.

Right now I consider buying only the E07k or the modimagni combo.

And the main thing I want to know is:

Is the difference between those 2 options really this notable?

I am not in the situation to pay $100 more without feeling much of a difference.

And I also dont have the option to "test" it out since magni and modi arent available to buy where I live.


Edited by destroyerryu - 4/18/14 at 5:48pm
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