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Need an amp that can support both high and low ohm headphones

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I want to upgrade my ASUS Xonar DGX (UNi drivers) to Sound Blaster Z because I prefer SBX Pro to Dolby Headphone because Dolby Headphone has nasty reverberation/echo-like sound distortions I find very unrealistic. My current headphones are Sennheiser HD-280 Pro's, which have 64 ohms impedance. Current Xonar DGX card's impedance is 10 ohms and Sound Blaster Z's is 22 ohms, which does create an issue for my 64 ohm headphones. An amplifier would solve that, but what if I upgrade to 32 ohm or 300 ohm headphones like Sennheiser HD800 or some 600 ohm ones? I need an amp that can improve the sound quality for a big range like that. Does one exist? Is it pricey? Consider that I barely tell the difference between a 256kbps MP3 and a WAV file when volume is equalizer, should I even bother with an amplifier? I find it so fascinating how people here can distinguish such minute details from all kinds of high-quality amplifiers, headphones, etc. I wonder how many people have acute hearing for that... 5%? I attended evening music school for 5 years, learning to play piano, but I while others could tell the teacher which exact note was played, I couldn't ever get it right - no sense of audio/sound/hearing what-so-ever, I guess. No sound memory either, so would I even hear the difference between Sound Blaster Z with Sennheiser HD-280 Pro's, which are nowhere close to 1:8 ohm ratio, and Sound Blaster Z --> Amp --> Sennheiser HD-280 Pro's??? 

post #2 of 3

Get a Schiit Magni, cheap, versatile, might be the only amp you'll ever need. Plus, if you don't like it, you've got 15 days days to ship it back for a refund.

post #3 of 3
A great choice would be one of the amps from Garage1217.com - they are impressive amps at a great price and come with adjustable output impedance. For instance, on my Project Ember I can choose between 1/2, 35 & 120 Ohms, so it adapts well to both my IEMs and full-size phones. What's cool is you can change it on-the-fly in the middle of a song if you want to compare the difference. FWIW, my Schiit Asgard 2 hasn't been used much at all since the Ember arrived.

Also, if you can solder or are willing to learn, you can build it yourself and save even more money.
Edited by ericr - 6/30/14 at 10:08am
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