Appropriately paired headphones to Sony ZX1
post-10633412
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 5

Conext

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Messages
296
Reaction score
87
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Posts
296
Likes
87
Hello, all!
 
I just recently picked up a ZX1 and was curious if the fine ladies and gentlemen at Head-Fi could help provide some guidance on a question.
 
First, I'll say that I'm not an audiophile. I moved to the ZX1 because I wanted to get away from Apple and because I wanted something that had 128GB of storage—not because I expected it to have profoundly better output qualities versus an iPhone or an iPod. That being said...now that I have the ZX1, I would like to extract as much sonic quality from it as possible. To me, that means selecting an appropriate set of headphones.
 
Physically, I can go either direction: tiny IEMs, all the way to full-blown, over-the-ear cans. But I seem  to recall that impedance is a key element of how well a given set of headphones will match with a device. Although, it's only a vague recollection and I'm not sure about the specifics. So, I started searching and I happened across this handy article.
 
The key element that I took away from it is:
 
As a rule of thumb, the load impedance (headphone) should be at least eight times higher than the amplifier output impedance.
 
Alright, great. So I just need to find the output power and impedance of the ZX1. That...was easier said than done. In the end, I hit upon another handy Head-Fi posting.
 
Okay. 15mW into 16 Ohms.
 
So, given the first article, that means eight times 16 Ohms. Or in other words, I should be looking for headphones that have an impedance at or around 128 Ohms. Is that correct, or am I overlooking something?
 
     Share This Post       
post-10634233
Post #2 of 5

thievesarmy

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
350
Reaction score
45
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Posts
350
Likes
45
I think that formula of 1/8 is kinda like, in a perfect world situation, where you could theoretically pick from any & all impedances. The reality is that most headphones today are being made to handle low-impedance sources (like phones) because they are so ubiquitous. Further, if you start looking around at headphone spec's, you will see some common numbers, but not EVERY number between 10-600. For example, Sennheiser's higher end phones are around 300 Ohm. Beyer's usually come in 3 options: 32, 250, and 600. My point is I don't know if you would even be able to go find a headphone at 128 Ohm, or if that should be how you go about picking them in the first place.
 
Coincidentally I recently picked up a ZX1 myself (just got it the other day, actually), and I will be testing it out with all the 'phones I have in my collection (check my profile) to see how they sound. I don't have a ton of free time for this so it may be a slow process, but I'm going to start with the Sony 'phones because I have this (perhaps misguided) belief in synergy between products made by the same company. I'll let you know what I find - in the meantime, I suggest you subscribe to the official ZX1 thread and try posting your question again in there: http://www.head-fi.org/t/680853/sony-nwz-zx1-35th-walkman-anniversary-model
 
     Share This Post       
post-10634396
Post #3 of 5

Conext

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Messages
296
Reaction score
87
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Posts
296
Likes
87
I don't have a ton of free time for this so it may be a slow process, but I'm going to start with the Sony 'phones because I have this (perhaps misguided) belief in synergy between products made by the same company.
 
Interesting.
 
I believe Sony has it's own list of "recommended" phones for use with their high-resolution line of DAPs (meaning the ZX1 and the F-880 series). You might want to put this through Google Translate if you want to read all of it, but even without it, it's fairly obvious to pick out the headphone models:
 
http://www.sony.jp/CorporateCruise/Press/201309/13-0925B/
 
Recommended corresponding high resolution headphones: "MDR-1R", "MDR-1RBT", "MDR-1RMK2", "MDR-1RBTMK2", "MDR-10R", "MDR-10RBT", "MDR-10RC", "XBA- H3 "," MDR-1RBT "," MDR-1RBTMK2 "and" MDR-10RBT "is available only when using headphones as normal by connecting the code.
 
I can't say I'm a big believer in pairing headphones from the same manufacturer as the DAP. I'm not against it, though.
 
And you're probably right in regards to finding a pair of headphones with 128 Ohm impedance. I haven't really begun my search in earnest, but I seem to recall seeing 80 Ohm and 250 Ohm, but I haven't seen anything that was specifically in the 100's. In any event, thanks for the response. I'll look forward to reading what you find.
 
And I'd certainly be curious to see what the experiences of others are with the ZX1 and headphones of varying impedance—24, 32, 80, 250, 600, etc.
 
     Share This Post       
post-10635089
Post #4 of 5

Slashfury99

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
453
Reaction score
29
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Posts
453
Likes
29
As a 6 month owner of the ZX1, I have concluded that it doesn't have much power. Meaning that pairing high impedance headphones with the ZX1 might not be the best. The ZX1 goes well with low impedance headphones, though I find the UERM and Noble 4 to do exceedingly well.
 
     Share This Post       
post-10803819
Post #5 of 5

Meck

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
35
Reaction score
13
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Posts
35
Likes
13
Question: does anyone here now of the ZX1 along with the sony XB500 headphone a good combi is? ..... for example, my samsung galaxy s 5.0 player with the sony mdr-xb500 is a great combi...will it sounds better with the ZX1 or just as good as on my SG s 5.0 player....btw, I only use mp3 320kbps on a mp3 player
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top