Desktop or Portable Amp/DAC for Sennheiser HD650
May 5, 2015 at 10:12 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 38

rdb1

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So I have seen a pair of HD 650 which look in brand new condition, could anyone recommend me a desktop or portable amp please. I mainly use CD and Spotify on my PC.
 
I also have a Cambridge CD4, Kenwood KA 3020 SE and some Gale 4 Speakers which were a gift.
 
Dont really have a budget but something around £100 or more, I just want to get the best sound possible for these headphones.
 
Thanks
 
Rob
 
May 5, 2015 at 11:50 AM Post #2 of 38

KG Jag

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Your budget is a bit light to get the best from these cans--especially (but not only) if you are buying new.
 
At your price point, you're almost certainly looking at a portable amp.  Those who use them far more than I do will be able to guide you in the right direction.
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:02 PM Post #3 of 38

rdb1

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  Your budget is a bit light to get the best from these cans--especially (but not only) if you are buying new.
 
At your price point, you're almost certainly looking at a portable amp.  Those who use them far more than I do will be able to guide you in the right direction.

 
Just out of curiosity what would you recommend please? If I had a good budget? 
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:08 PM Post #4 of 38

Rearwing

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Fiio E17 would be a good start, I have one as my travelling amp to use with either the iRiver through the Optical Out, or with my Fiio X1 Line Out, dependent upon mood and genre.
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:31 PM Post #5 of 38

KG Jag

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I like it with the now discontinued desktop HiFiMan EF-5.  At least until recently there were some decent closeout prices offered on it (in the USA).
 
However, I don't do my serious music listening by way of computer files.
 
May 5, 2015 at 12:32 PM Post #6 of 38

KG Jag

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  Your budget is a bit light to get the best from these cans--especially (but not only) if you are buying new.
 
At your price point, you're almost certainly looking at a portable amp.  Those who use them far more than I do will be able to guide you in the right direction.

 
Just out of curiosity what would you recommend please? If I had a good budget? 


You also might want to check threads here that are dedicated to the HD 650 and what drives it well/the best.
 
May 5, 2015 at 1:47 PM Post #7 of 38

cel4145

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Probably the best amp with your budget, given you are in the UK, is the Objective 2, available here from a UK vendor: http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:01 PM Post #8 of 38

KG Jag

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Probably the best amp with your budget, given you are in the UK, is the Objective 2, available here from a UK vendor: http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

 
Agreed--that is a very good amp, especially for one within OP's budget.  I was a bit surprised at the UK price, as I thought it would be quite a bit more.
 
That said, it is an amp only.  So you may want to look at the O2/ODAC combo, if it still falls within your budget.
 
There are better amps with the HD 650 than the O2, but you will have to save more for them.  The O2 is very neutral and very solid state.  While it is a great Swiss Army knife for many good cans (inlcuding the HD 650), to my ears the HD 650 sound best from a hybrid, tube or solid state amp with a tooby sound signature.
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:10 PM Post #9 of 38

cel4145

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Agreed--that is a very good amp, especially for one within OP's budget.  I was a bit surprised at the UK price, as I thought it would be quite a bit more.

That said, it is an amp only.  So you may want to look at the O2/ODAC combo, if it still falls within your budget.

There are better amps with the HD 650 than the O2, but you will have to save more for them.  The O2 is very neutral and very solid state.  While it is a great Swiss Army knife for many good cans (inlcuding the HD 650), to my ears the HD 650 sound best from a hybrid, tube or solid state amp with a tooby sound signature.


+1

Or you could start with the O2 and buy the stand alone ODAC later.

Are you currently hooking your PC to your Kenwood amp? If so, and your amp is powering your headphones to very loud volumes, I'd recommend starting with the ODAC if you can only get one.
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:11 PM Post #10 of 38

rdb1

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Thanks for that. I could probably stretch to up to £200. I was looking at the Fiio stuff as well.  Is the EHP-O2 usb, as I am not to sure how I could use it with my PC?
 
I could probably stretch and buy the The EHP-O2Di
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:14 PM Post #11 of 38

rdb1

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+1

Or you could start with the O2 and buy the stand alone ODAC later.

Are you currently hooking your PC to your Kenwood amp? If so, and your amp is powering your headphones to very loud volumes, I'd recommend starting with the ODAC if you can only get one.

 
The Kenwood amp is a part of my hi fi system with a Cambridge CD4. I mainly use my pc with spotify so just through a headphone jack. Ive ordered a sound card for future
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:33 PM Post #12 of 38

rdb1

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The PC sound cards I was looking at are:
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essence-STX-II-Express-Real-Time/dp/B00JF6RN6E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1430850561&sr=8-3&keywords=asus+sound+card]]
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-Xonar-D2X-XDT-Express/dp/B0011BC1FO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1430850561&sr=8-7&keywords=asus+sound+card
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:35 PM Post #14 of 38

cel4145

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You beat me to it :)

The ODAC/O2 would be a better setup than the Asus cards, IMO, except those cards do offer virtual surround for movies and gaming, if that is of use to you.
 
May 5, 2015 at 2:38 PM Post #15 of 38

rdb1

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Right okay, thanks for that. So you would recommend http://www.amazon.co.uk/Epiphany-Acoustics-EHP-O2Di-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B00O25MG88/ref=pd_sim_MI_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QYEKYG6EYFT70X3FWNQ
 
Ive seen this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Epiphany-Acoustics-EHP-O2D-24-bit-miniature-USB-DAC-headphone-amplifier-/231544057969?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item35e919f071
 
Can you recommend anything else please?
 

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