Best headphone for FiiO X3?
Jun 12, 2014 at 6:44 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 43

Polar1

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I’m looking for a headphone to drive directly from FiiO X3 when I am at home – without using extra amp or additional equipment. My question is: Which headphone would be the best choice?
 
Initially I was thinking to go for HD 650 but I read that in order to get most out of it I’ll need a better set up than just FiiO X3. Now I seriously consider the option of HE-400 or even Yamaha PRO 300 / PRO 500.
 
My concern is to get a headphone that will be fully utilized by FiiO X3 and will produce the best sound that I could get from this portable device. I’d be grateful if you guys could help me choose the most suitable one. Thanks a lot. 
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Jun 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM Post #3 of 43

Polar1

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Thanks a lot for the reply. I'm actually looking for a high quality headphone that will sound to it's full potential when connected to X3. I could buy HD 650 if I could be sure that X3 or even FiiO X5 could fully handle them, but I read on this review that even when connected to X5 the HD 650 could only sound to the 80% of their potential.
 
"I personally think that having a player such as X5 you would never need additional power, all tested portable headphones were driven very well. Sennheiser HD650 and HD800 dynamic headphones had enough volume, but didn’t sound to their full potential, but maybe at 80% probably yes."

 
I'd be willing to upgrade to X5 in case that could fully utilize the potential of a Hi-Fi headphone such as HD 650, but it'd be silly to buy something which I won't be able to enjoy. 
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Jun 15, 2014 at 11:49 AM Post #4 of 43

Polar1

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According to my research, it seem’s that Sennheiser HD 598s are the way to go. Their impedance is 50 ohms whereas HD 650s is 300 ohms, which means that a portabe device such as FiiO X3 will be able to drive them much more efficiently. Any opinions on that?
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Jun 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM Post #5 of 43

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According to my research, it seem’s that Sennheiser HD 598’s are the way to go. Their impedance is 50 ohms whereas HD 650’s is 300 ohms, which means that a portabe device such as FiiO X3 will be able to drive them much more efficiently. Any opinions on that? :happy_face1:  


Yes, the hd598 is an excellent choice. The x3 drives it very well.

However take a look at this:



The HD 598 might be rated at 50 Ohms but to bring out the lows properly you need a few more. Thankfully the X3 can deliver.

Cheers,
K
 
Jun 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM Post #6 of 43

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Hmmm... I get your point Koolpep. Thanks a lot for the reply. :wink:
 
By the way, I also seriously consider the option of HE-400 but I read the following on this review
 
"The HE-400s have a low-rated 35-ohm impedance, but they're understandably difficult headphones to drive. That is to say, they're not optimized for use with portable music players or phones and is better-suited as a stay-at-home headphone."

 
Is there such a thing as HiFi headphones which are optimized for use with portable music players? 
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Jun 15, 2014 at 5:18 PM Post #7 of 43

jimmers

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However take a look at this:



The HD 598 might be rated at 50 Ohms but to bring out the lows properly you need a few more. Thankfully the X3 can deliver.

Cheers,
K

I think, maybe, that you don't understand the meaning of impedance plots.
That rise in impedance means, among other things,  that less power is required around that frequency range.
 
Jun 16, 2014 at 4:01 AM Post #8 of 43

Koolpep

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  I think, maybe, that you don't understand the meaning of impedance plots.
That rise in impedance means, among other things,  that less power is required around that frequency range.

 
Hi Jimmers,
 
indeed I have very limited knowledge in this area, so please by all means, correct me if I talk gibberish, it's just how I understand the matter and I would love to understand it better. So my limited understanding is that you have a higher resistance but, as you said, lower current needed to make the headphone loud.
 
So you have I = V/R (current = Voltage divided by Resistance in Ohms)
 
The headphone is responsible for R (resistance at this frequency range) and the amp provides the voltage and current, correct?
 
So while most amps have no problem driving the needed current (in the case of the HD598 I guess not more than maximum of 200mW), they might have an issue providing the right voltage to drive the headphone properly (the HD598 might be a bad example as it is generally easy to drive). Does this make sense?
 
The reason why I am so hung up about this is, that I want to understand why the Bottlehead Crack drives my T90 so well, while no other amp gives it such a solid response in all frequencies, then I looked at the impedance/frequency curve for the T90 and it's off the charts. I always expected the amount of current and voltage to be the reason behind it. But I might be completely wrong.
 
Many thanks,
K
 
Jun 16, 2014 at 6:40 AM Post #9 of 43

jimmers

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  The reason why I am so hung up about this is, that I want to understand why the Bottlehead Crack drives my T90 so well, while no other amp gives it such a solid response in all frequencies, then I looked at the impedance/frequency curve for the T90 and it's off the charts. I always expected the amount of current and voltage to be the reason behind it. But I might be completely wrong.
 
Many thanks,
K

I guess this is all a bit OT,
but yes, generally higher impedance phones (usually the impedance @ 1kHz) need higher voltages, but efficiency also comes in to it, i.e. how much electrical power is required for sound level, so low efficiency planars might only be 50ohms yet might need higher voltage than your T90.
 
I haven't listened to the crack or the T90, but it looks, measurement-wise that the T90 has similarities to the HD650 (which I have) and the crack is featured extensively on the HD650 thread as being ideal (so much so that at times it appears to be the crack thread), I have heard that the crack was "voiced" for the HD650, so the T90 should perform well although with the high  output impedance of the crack and the higher resonance of the T90 I would expect a bit of a boost around 100Hz.
As to why the crack is "special" I guess that's magic
beyersmile.png
 
 
Jun 16, 2014 at 7:09 AM Post #10 of 43

jimmers

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  I have a FiiO X3 and I’m looking to buy a headphone in order to drive directly from the X3 when I am at home – without using extra amp or additional equipment. My question is: Which headphone would be the best choice?
 
Initially I was thinking to go for HD 650 but I read that in order to get most out of it I’ll need a better set up than just FiiO X3. Now I seriously consider the option of HE-400 or even Yamaha PRO 300 / PRO 500.
 
My concern is to get a headphone that will be fully utilized by FiiO X3 and will produce the best sound that I could get from this portable device. I’d be grateful if you guys could help me choose the most suitable one. Thanks a lot. 
regular_smile .gif
 


Generally the better the headphone the better (more expensive ) the DAC/amp needed to get the ultimate from them, this is usually referred to a as "scaling well", the HD650 scales well, BUT it doesn't mean it's horrible with lesser equipment. I brought my X3 (FW3.0) home to try my HD650 for you  - still sounds great (i.e. better than most) and has the advantage that if you want to further invest in DAC/Amp you won't have to replace your phones until you go stratospheric
normal_smile .gif

 
I'm listening on low gain at 85/120.(tried Bangarang but had to wind it back to 70/120
basshead.gif
)
 
At work I use Momentum circumaural with the X3 as they reduce background more effectively (and I enjoy them).
On Innerfidelity's wall of fame the Momentum got bumped by the NAD VISO HP50 in the full sized closed category.
Innerfidelity's wall of fame is a good resource and you get one (very experienced) man's reviews.
 
Edit: In short don't be put off HD650 because you'll only have the X3 as source, I've been listening for40 minutes now and really enjoying a range of genres.
 
Jun 16, 2014 at 7:28 AM Post #11 of 43

Koolpep

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  I guess this is all a bit OT,
but yes, generally higher impedance phones (usually the impedance @ 1kHz) need higher voltages, but efficiency also comes in to it, i.e. how much electrical power is required for sound level, so low efficiency planars might only be 50ohms yet might need higher voltage than your T90.
 
I haven't listened to the crack or the T90, but it looks, measurement-wise that the T90 has similarities to the HD650 (which I have) and the crack is featured extensively on the HD650 thread as being ideal (so much so that at times it appears to be the crack thread), I have heard that the crack was "voiced" for the HD650, so the T90 should perform well although with the high  output impedance of the crack and the higher resonance of the T90 I would expect a bit of a boost around 100Hz.
As to why the crack is "special" I guess that's magic
beyersmile.png
 

 
Apologies to everybody for being OT.
 
Amazing @jimmersyou explained exactly the 100Hz bump I get with the T90 and the Crack... while with other amps the T90 is on the leaner bass side. 
 
Many thanks for the explanation!!
 
Back to topic:
The T90 is not the ideal headphone for the X3, the DT770 32 Ohms sounds fantastic on the X3, the Onkyo ES-FC300 sounds very good. I love to listen to the X3 and the Momentum as well in the office as well. 
 
I also agree on Tyll's opinions and wall of fame. It's a great resource and I at least can say that I have never had a bad experience following Tyll's advice.
 
Many thanks agin,
K
PS: yes the crack is indeed "magic" - the sound follows the looks...
 
Jun 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM Post #14 of 43

Polar1

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Yamaha PRO 500 are 23 ohms and as it's mentioned in their overview they have "ultra-premium drivers, mobile-optimized for maximum efficiency and performance". For this reason they look like a great option to me since they should be easier to drive by a portable device than any other headphone. 
 

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