Best high impedance headphones for LG v30 DAC?
Oct 14, 2017 at 2:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Gavinc244

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I'm planning on getting a LG V30, and i want to make good use of the quad DAC. I have no idea what kind of impedance this can drive, so i need a reccomendation. I know this is kinda common but I want a pair of closed back, high impedance headphones that a lg v30 can drive in the sub $150 range. Keep in mind i have zero audio equipment except for the phone. Thanks.
-Gavin
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 5:04 PM Post #2 of 21

cossix

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Why do you want a high impedance headphone specifically?
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 7:00 PM Post #4 of 21

cossix

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The V30 can drive up to 600ohms. However the quad DAC also works with <50ohms.
It can drive up to 600 but that doesn't mean it'll sound good. Claiming to drive 600 ohm headphones is a marketing gimmick. It's like saying "This Toyota Prius will go up to 200mph" but not mentioning that it'll take 3 minutes to get up to that speed, and the car will rattle to the point of falling apart once going that fast. Also, high impedance headphones aren't better than low impedance headphones. There isn't much reason to have high impedance as a primary desire when looking for a new headphone. It's like living in New York City and looking for a new car, and the first thing you want to look for is a car with the highest top speed. It doesn't mean anything really because you'll never drive that fast in the city and it's a useless "stat" in the first place.
 
Oct 15, 2017 at 2:31 PM Post #5 of 21

Gavinc244

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Ok, thanks. I was looking for high-impedance phones because I've heard that they sound better, and it's good to know the v30 can drive up to 600 ohms. This'll help in my search for a pair of headphones to fit my needs, or more specifically wants. Thanks and bye, unless anyone has a specific suggestion.
Edit: BeyerDynamic dt770 pro looks like the way to go, anyone think so?
 
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Nov 24, 2017 at 12:36 AM Post #7 of 21

Monsterzero

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It can drive up to 600 but that doesn't mean it'll sound good. Claiming to drive 600 ohm headphones is a marketing gimmick.

False.
I own the V20 and it drives my AKG K240 Sextetts(600 ohms)very well,much better than my old MU2.

The issue I have with the amping in the V20 isnt a manual option,and apparently will only kick in with a 600ohm load.
 
Nov 24, 2017 at 12:57 AM Post #8 of 21

ProtegeManiac

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Ok, thanks. I was looking for high-impedance phones because I've heard that they sound better

Only if whatever you plug them into has a high output impedance (which negates most of the effects of that) but otherwise has enough voltage.


and it's good to know the v30 can drive up to 600 ohms.

Only in the sense that if you put the 1.8L I4 turbo engine from an Audi A4 into an A7 with four passengers it will still move, not that you won't wish you just bought the S7 with the twin turbo V8. Or a Tesla Model S.


Edit: BeyerDynamic dt770 pro looks like the way to go, anyone think so?

Depends on whether you like that sound. But if you want the DT770's low end with the strong (though technically not hi-fi) midrange of a Grado, there's the Superlux HD660. 150ohms so it triggers the Quad DAC, and 93dB/1mW is high enough with the Quad DAC running.

That said I'd much sooner use the Focal Spirit Pro and then do that software trick that just makes Quad DAC run regardless of impedance since 1) this isn't that hard to drive and 2) you get a smoother response curve.
 
Mar 6, 2018 at 5:25 AM Post #9 of 21

Anticitizen

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Sorry to resurrect this thread but I am also looking for some advice and think I'm in a bit over my head. I have the LG V30 and am enjoying the sound it is producing compared to my Galaxy S6 and Sansa Clip but the volume seems pretty low coming out of my ATH M50s compared to both of those players (seems to lack punch too, but I think that is a volume issue as I enjoy the M50s at higher volumes on other players). I'm a complete noob with no understanding of the what and why of sound, but I understand that a higher impedance headphone will produce louder audio through the V30? If that is the case I am also looking for recommendations for high impedance headphones but don't really know what kind of sound I'm looking for as I've never really compared headphones before; I guess neutral(?), maybe a little bassy (shocker, right?). Fwiw I listen mostly to death/math/grind metal/core and other headphones I had that I liked were Sennheiser HD215.

Thanks for any advice/recommendations!

(RE the DT770s mentioned above: there is a 250ohm and 80ohm version; since both of those will trigger the high impedance mode what is the difference between the two and why are they the same price?
 
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Mar 6, 2018 at 12:40 PM Post #10 of 21

ProtegeManiac

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Sorry to resurrect this thread but I am also looking for some advice and think I'm in a bit over my head. I have the LG V30 and am enjoying the sound it is producing compared to my Galaxy S6 and Sansa Clip but the volume seems pretty low coming out of my ATH M50s compared to both of those players (seems to lack punch too, but I think that is a volume issue as I enjoy the M50s at higher volumes on other players).

Galaxy S series has a tendency to have a boost to the lower range so that's likely the "kick" you're hearing vs the flatter sound of the V30.

As for overall volume, that can depend on the firmware, which isn't limited to EU Nanny State requirements. My S3 and S5 sounded louder than my Note3 and Note4 (not necessarily better or cleaner sounding), with the S3 originally going from "almost there" to "OHMYGODTURNITDOWNNOWWWWW!!!!" between lvl 3 to lvl 4 (based on how many times you press the + button from mute) on my 125dB/1mW Aurisonics ASG-1.3.


I'm a complete noob with no understanding of the what and why of sound, but I understand that a higher impedance headphone will produce louder audio through the V30?\

ATH-M50S is not a high impedance headphone. Its nominal impedance load is 38ohms. Quad DAC drive mode triggers at 50ohms.

Try looking for the software hack that will get past that impedance sensor so it runs Quad DAC all the time and see if it sounds better to you.


If that is the case I am also looking for recommendations for high impedance headphones...

As much as Quad DAC triggers at 50ohms and you get considerably more power there than at 32ohms, the higher the impedance, the lower the output power (except for OTL amplifiers), so it's likely that if you put a 300ohm load on it the Quad DAC will not be pushing out as much power as its power saving drive mode at 32ohms. Quad DAC isn't really something that runs better for high impedance loads in absolute terms, but LG basically assuming that impedance has more impact than sensitivity on loudness, therefore using that as the basis for when Quad DAC triggers. As to why it has to be triggered at all in the first place, well, it's for surviving in a market that isn't completely comprised of audiophiles - if some website ran the phone to test battery life and Quad DAC is how it normally functions, then they'd look bad compared to the competition.

Also, as much as headphones typically have a higher impedance headphone having higher sensitivity (ie how loud it gets at 1mW on headphones; 1w at 1m distance on speakers) than its counterparts, this is more true if you're comparing Sennheiser or Beyer to AKG or HiFiMan. In the case of your M50S, at 99dB/1mW, its sensitivity is higher than even the HD600, HD650, and even the HD660S. That means that if you just get a headphone with higher impedance you'll have more of the same problem now that you have lower sensitivity and probably not enough power over what the M50S is getting without Quad DAC.

Which is why before blowing more money on headphones you should try the hack to run Quad DAC as the default mode and see first if you like the improvements.


...but don't really know what kind of sound I'm looking for as I've never really compared headphones before; I guess neutral(?), maybe a little bassy (shocker, right?).

Well, do you want bassy or do you want (as) neutral (as current technology allows)? Neutral in some cases just gets thought of as "not bassy" not simply because the response lacks bass boost, but because it also rolls off at a higher frequency. The HD600 starts rolling off at around 55hz, so basically everything below that is already weaker than 1000hz, on top of which, many "neutral" headphones are open back which allows more ambient noise to get in the way of hearing the low bass. By contrast something like the HE400i would be as neutral as it gets with a near flat response from 1000hz to 10hz, but while it reproduces the bass more accurately, people tend to feel the bass is "weak" since it doesn't get any boost. Having open cups on both of those headphones just adds ambient noise to get in the way of hearing the bass.



(RE the DT770s mentioned above: there is a 250ohm and 80ohm version; since both of those will trigger the high impedance mode what is the difference between the two and why are they the same price?

80ohms would trigger the Quad DAC without having to worry about how much less power that Quad DAC will produce at 250ohms vs 32ohms to 100ohms.
 
May 27, 2018 at 3:47 PM Post #12 of 21

RaidenHUN

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Ok, thanks. I was looking for high-impedance phones because I've heard that they sound better, and it's good to know the v30 can drive up to 600 ohms. This'll help in my search for a pair of headphones to fit my needs, or more specifically wants. Thanks and bye, unless anyone has a specific suggestion.
Edit: BeyerDynamic dt770 pro looks like the way to go, anyone think so?

Hi!
I know it've been a while, but I wanted to correct you on one common mistake: high impedance headphones doenst sound better or "superior" to low-impedance ones. Yes, if a headphone has higher impedance version, it is usually better. But for anything else, impedance has no effect or correlation with sound quality.
 
May 28, 2018 at 3:38 AM Post #13 of 21

Dulalala

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Hi!
I know it've been a while, but I wanted to correct you on one common mistake: high impedance headphones doenst sound better or "superior" to low-impedance ones. Yes, if a headphone has higher impedance version, it is usually better. But for anything else, impedance has no effect or correlation with sound quality.

OP original question has nothing to do with high impedance headphones sounding better than low impedance headphones. He wanted high impedance headphones to trigger the Quad DAC which is also incorrect. The only thing high impedance headphones trigger on the V30 is the high impedance mode which is basically just adding more voltage through an amp.
 
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May 28, 2018 at 4:22 AM Post #14 of 21

yong_shun

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Does the high impedance mode sounds better than normal device mode? For what I know the difference is only at the power output of the amplifier...
 
May 28, 2018 at 10:16 PM Post #15 of 21

Mhog55

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OP original question has nothing to do with high impedance headphones sounding better than low impedance headphones. He wanted high impedance headphones to trigger the Quad DAC which is also incorrect. The only thing high impedance headphones trigger on the V30 is the high impedance mode which is basically just adding more voltage through an amp.
This is accurate. I don't know if the OP will see this, but here's what I've used of higher impedance, and actually kept.
Sennheiser HD 25 - Sounds wonderful for rock with this phone
M-Audio Q40 - These cans are a real treat of an all rounder imo. May be hard to source.
Hifiman He400s - Not high impedance, but hard to drive. The V30 gets them close, but I can't help but feel they could use a little more power to unlock their full potential.
Next up - Sennheiser hd 6xx / 650. Just saving the coin
Returned - Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 ohm. A little too hot / bright for me, and that dang cord.
Tricking the phone into auxiliary mode and using with sub 50 ohm cans is great to. Don't get to hung up on the impedance thing. Last night I ordered a pair of Hifiman Edition S cans. I'm really looking forward to these puppies. Found them on sale for 89 bucks. Couldn't resist
 

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