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Do 16ohm 125sensitivity iems require a amp?

  1. greyscale75
    Have Senn ie800s iems. Have decided on a dac, RME ADI-2. Would an amp be needed for this combo?
  2. ksorota
    Do you mind me asking why you choose this DAC...Since its an AD/DA converter, are you using it for other purposes other than listening to your music?

    The Specs say its a monitoring headphone out...not sure what that means for quality.

    The sensitivity suggests that a any DAP or phone would drive these to very high volumes. A chord Mojo would likely be a better starting point unless you need the ADI-2 for something else too.

  3. rutter
    I would imagine not for power but for sound quality. Would be interested if you hear differences should you use an amp.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  4. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    In terms of power, no.

    In terms of output impedance and noise, that depends on what you're plugging them into. If there's no noise and the output impedance is low so you can assume that it's not messing with the response, then no.

    I can't find the specs on the headphone output impedance and you can't really predict if there will be noise or not just with the SNR when you're going with a very high sensitivity, low impedance driver, so you might as well try it first. If you don't get noise and the response isn't that weird compared to what others say about it, then no. If you don't like that sound, then it's the IEM that needs to be replaced, not the ADI-2 (unless what you replace it with needs more power than what it has, or you might benefit from higher power output at lower SNR, but again that'll be unpredictable when the impedance is too low while the sensitivity is too high).
    PaganDL likes this.
  5. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I really love the FiiO Q5 and think it represents incredible sound quality for a very reasonable price. It also is quite well made, truly portable and has the ability to roll amp modules so a nice feature. I personally don't use IEMs (nothing can fit in my ears) but if I remember correctly even with the stock AM3A amp module that ships with the Q5 it is silent with even fairly sensitive IEMs. Probably not the most popular suggestion but I can't help but highly encourage people to try these newer generation of small footprint DAC/Amp devices. Love the quality Bluetooth connectivity as well, solid plus in my eyes.
  6. greyscale75
    Thanks, currently using a 2018 Ipad Pro & a Samsung
    Me Too ;>), Thanks
  7. bflat
    No, RME ADI-2 DAC is perfect for IEMs and arguably the better of the 2 headphone outputs. Adding an amp will only benefit you if you want to color the sound, but keep in mind RME has PEQ feature to fine tune the sound to your preferences.

    ADI-2 DAC is D-to-A only. The ADI-2 Pro is the older version and has A-to-D. "monitoring" means the output is neutral so that sound engineers can effectively mix their recordings. RME equipment is primarily for the professional market. My opinion is that ADI-2 DAC is in the same class as Hugo 2 so more resolving and spacious than Mojo.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  8. PointyFox
    Doesn't the RME ADI-2 have a built-in amp?
  9. greyscale75
  10. bflat
    Yes, one for 6.3mm SE and one for 3.5mm SE. Output impedance is around 0.5 ohm. The 6.3mm SE needs an amp for hard to drive cans. I use mine strictly with IEMs though.
    greyscale75 likes this.
  11. PointyFox
    Well then. The original question is invalid.
  12. ksorota
    greyscale75 likes this.
  13. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Probably not much of a problem on the iPad Pro other than a bit of distortion due to the impedance, but with the Samsung, if it's not like the better versions of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, you might have a problem with both noise and very obvious distortion.

    My J7 Prime and S3 (both Snapdragon) suck compared to the S5, Note 3, Note 4, and S7 Edge (also Snapdragon versions).

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