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Pioneer VSX-AX3 and 600 Ohm headphones? (Beyerdynamic DT 800)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a Asus Hero IV mainboard with SupremeFX onboard sound hooked up to a VSX-AX3. My current headphones are AKG 271 MKII, but they hurt my ears after a while. So I'm looking for better neutral headphones which need to be more comfortable. They can be more expensive than the AKG 271, but not too much. So I'm looking at Beyerdynamic DT 800 with 600 Ohms and I'm wondering if my Pioneer VSX-AX3 will be able to fully support them (in regards to sound quality). Unfortunately, I can't find any information on the headphone out of the Pioneer VSX-AX3, neither in the manual, Pioneer website, nor in reviews. I can't really imagine this AV receiver to be inadequate, but I just need some confirmation to make me sure about the purchase. Can anyone help me out?


If the Pioneer isn't enough, I see two options: buy a dedicated soundcard with integrated headphone amp, or buy a dedicated headphone DAC, like a FIIO or Beyerdynamic's own A 200 p. ...or rather, buy headphones with less impedance, in which case I'd ask for a suggestion.

post #2 of 10
Receiver manufacturers often don't provide information about their headphone amp output. Sorry. That's just how it is. Given the large number of models of receivers out there, you'll have to be extremely lucky for another Pioneer VSX-AX3 owner who also have used 600 ohm headphones with it to stumble on this thread.

However, no need to get a soundcard or a DAC. Your receiver appears to have both tape monitor outs and pre outs (check your manual). You could hook up a dedicated headphone amp (no DAC) directly up to those.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your answer. My receiver has analog outs. However, I don't want to invest in a headphone amp. I fear that cheap solutions won't fit the rest of my setup and a pricey headphone amp is overkill. I'd rather get a mobile DAC, that way I can use the headphones anywhere. Of course, a proper mobile DAC isn't cheap either, but at least it serves more function than just sitting at home.


Well now that I took a look at the Fiio page it seems like I'll end up with a headphone amp anyway, since only the FiiO E09K Qogir supports 600 Ohm.


post #4 of 10
This Schiit Magni would be considered by many to be better than the FiiO and is about the same price with shipping.

The Objective 2 is transportable (not pocket portable--too big) with internal rechargeable batteries, and it is 600 ohm rated.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, but since I'm from Germany I'd have to pay so much shipping and import fees (around 60-100) on those that I could get better equipment instead if I ordered something from within the EU. (EDIT: And I'd rather not spend that much on a single purpose gadget.)

Edited by headboom - 5/8/14 at 12:42pm
post #6 of 10
Well, the DT880 Premium 600 ohms are hi-end headphones that need better amplification. Most people that are budget conscientious like you are about headphone amps stay away from 600 ohm because the two go hand in hand. If your budget won't support a good headphone amplifier, I'd suggest the 250 ohm DT880s. Most receivers do quite well with 250 ohm headphones, and it would also be easy to buy a portable amp to use with them.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well I have to spend about 270 on the Beyer 880 and now you're telling me a dedicated headphone amp for about 100 isn't good enough. I need to spend beyond 200. So that makes around 500. So I have to wonder how headphones for 500 compare to the Beyers. (Assuming that at least some of these hp can be driven by my receiver.)


EDIT: wrong term

Edited by headboom - 5/8/14 at 1:21pm
post #8 of 10
I'm just telling you most people here wouldn't buy the 600 ohm Beyers unless they are going to run them with a very good amp. Might as well get the DT880 250 ohm instead. Usually the 250 ohm Pros or Premiums are cheaper than the 600 ohms, so you'd save money. If you haven't bought the 600s, I'm not sure why you are fixated on those.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

So if I have 500 to spend I can either pick the 880 600 and an amp or I can get the T90 without an amp, since it only has 250 Ohm. And since the T90 is supposed to be a better headphone with a similar sound, that would be the smart choice.


I am fixated on the 600 Ohm version, because it's the best version of that model. Also, I definately need to hear an improvement on my AKG 271 MKII, otherwise I can't justify the expense.

post #10 of 10
There are lots of headphones that would be considered an improvement over the AKG 271 MKII in overall sound quality. Although that doesn't mean that you will like their particular frequency response better.

I haven't the heard the T90. So I don't know how it compares to the DT880s.
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