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Do I need an Amp for the AKG K550?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jcdaya, Nov 9, 2012.
  1. JCDaya
    Planning to buy the AKG K550 very soon, and I'm wondering if it is needed to drive the headphone. I am planning to use the headphone on my desktop computer. If so, what amp do you guys suggest on buying?
    Thanks Guys,
  2. JCDaya
  3. hubertfung
    I have a Burson HA160 and it doesn't do much to the K550. I guess that's because K550 was designed for portable players (although it seems a bit too big for portable use[​IMG])
  4. JCDaya
    Thanks for the Reply!! Is there any other suggestions on what should I do?
  5. reload
    AKG K550s don't need an amp to be driven but it helps. On their site they said these where home and on the go headphones.
  6. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Fiio E10 ($66) USB-DAC Headphone amplifier.
    Should have a better DAC then your laptop's
    The E10 headphone amplifier have very low headphone output impedance, like 1-Ohm :)
    Which is a benefit for 32-Ohm headphones like the K550.
    Chance are the laptop's headphone output is high impedance.
    (Impedance is resistance, measured in Ohms)
  7. Doc-holliday
    Yes purple angel is right. You should for sure get the E10 not because you need more power but to bypass the dac/amp circuit of the laptop which is prone to all kinds of sound degrading issues.

    Portably you can use it with just about any player. I use mine with my little bitty sansa clip all the time.
  8. jupitreas
    Actually, most modern integrated sound cards have impedance matching built in so it is unlikely that they have high output impedance.
    Generally speaking, I find that the advantage of using an amp with the K550 is very miniscule, but it is there. You will get some more refinement but the difference is not huge.
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I know the Essence STX & ST are 10-Ohm impedance, do you know of any sound cards that are lower then that?
  10. JCDaya
    It's not a laptop, it's a desktop if it makes any difference? Or is it still the same? Gaming Custom Built Desktop if that makes any difference.
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Your AKG K550s can be driving from just about any headphone jack on the planet.
    (it's the kind of powering it's get is the question)
    You can plug your headphones straight into the gaming computer and see if you like the sound.
    What make and model is the motherboard?
    Is there an add-on sound card?
    If you decided to add on an external headphone amplifier, what would your budget be?
    The O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier (new $155) would be a good investment as chances are it would work with any headphone (16-Ohm to 600-Ohm) you buy in the future.
    And it come with a very low impedance, like 0.5-Ohm, and it works fine as a desktop head amp.
    Something as cheap as the Fiio E6 ($27.50) headphone amplifier, might make a difference, as it's also low impedance.
  12. JCDaya
    My budget would be aroudn the $50 range.
  13. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Fiio E11 with a Micca pack.
  14. JCDaya
    Do you suggest me getting a Xonar DG or DGX Sound Card with that Amp since I will be plugging it into my desktop or the E10 since it is USB?
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Fiio E10's headphone amplifier is low impedance, I'm guessing the Xonar DG/DGX is not low impedance
    As long your ok with 2-channel stereo audio, then get the E10.
    If you want surround sound for movies or gaming, then the Xonar DG with an amplifier.
    You can always try the Xonar DG first, without an add-on amplifier, see if you like the sound.
    If you went with the Xonsr DG(X), what would you budget for an amp?

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