Buying my first cans (beyer dt990 pro) - Questions regarding tube vs solid state amps and the necessity of a DAC
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awsny

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I've been looking into higher quality headphones for a little while, after some research I am seriously considering buying the Beyerdynamic DT 990 pro (250 ohm). I know that I will need to buy an amp to go with it, but really don't want to spend much more than $100. From what I can tell, the dt900's need a fair bit of power to sound great, and other users on this forum have said that the fiio e6 or e7 won't cut it. I have been looking into the fiio e07k (was looking at the e11, but it seems to be roughly the same amp but without the dac - if the dac isn't as necessary I would consider the e11), and was wondering if you guys think that it would be a good amp to go along with the dt990s. I've also heard that dt990s sound especially good with tube amps, but from what I can tell the cheapest tubes (bravo ocean, schiit vali) are slightly more expensive than $100 and don't include a DAC. I would appreciate your advice regarding the following questions:
 
1. Do you think that the fiio e07k is a good amp to start with for these cans?
 
2. How necessary is it that I purchase a DAC? I would most likely be running audio out of my HTC One M8, which I hear has a quality dac compared to other phones. (not sure if that's saying much, though)

3. Do you think that a tube amp such as the schiit vali would provide a significantly better listening experience than the e07k's? If so, do you think that this increase in quality would offset the fact that I wouldn't be using an external DAC?
 
(Also, I realize that the e07k is portable while the tube amps are not. While I would prefer a portable amp for sake of convenience, I plan on using these headphones at home most of the time, so this isn't really an issue.)
 
Thanks in advance guys, and I apologize if this has been posted in the wrong place.

 
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PurpleAngel

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I believe the FiiO E18 is about the only FiiO product that might have it's DAC feature work with a smartphone.
 
Audio Technica ATH-AD900X headphones, they are only 40-Ohms, so do not need an add-on headphone amplifier to work with the smart phone.
 
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manbear

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I've never used Fiio, but I used my DT-990 250 ohm with a JDS Labs Cmoy amp. It sounded fine and it had way more than enough power. 

As for DACs, I don't know if a cheap one is going to be that much better than your phone. Also, you will need to be careful about finding a DAC that actually works with your phone. 
 
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awsny

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Thanks guys, I didn't realize that most DACs wont't work with my phone. Also I think I'm going to get the dt880's now instead, with either an fiio e11 or JDS Labs Cmoy. Then later on I could pick up a desktop DAC such as the schiit modi, since I imagine it would sound much better than the e07k.

Any comments on these two portable amps, and how well they would perform with beyer 880 pro 250 ohm headphones?
 
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PurpleAngel

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Thanks guys, I didn't realize that most DACs wont't work with my phone. Also I think I'm going to get the dt880's now instead, with either an fiio e11 or JDS Labs Cmoy. Then later on I could pick up a desktop DAC such as the Schiit Modi, since I imagine it would sound much better than the e07k.

Any comments on these two portable amps, and how well they would perform with beyer 880 pro 250 ohm headphones?
 
The E11 will give a decent volume to the 250-Ohm headphones with the E11's volume knob at around 40%.
 
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cel4145

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See this sub $100 portable amp shootout. Rankings follow the reviews: http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared
 
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