Do I need an amp?
Nov 9, 2013 at 5:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


New Head-Fier
Nov 9, 2013
Hey guys, first post here. I'm really into the pc world and have almost zero knowledge when it comes to higher end audio. I've never had a decent pair of headphones and after reading some reviews I settled on the dt770 pro 80. After burning them in for about a day they started to sound very good to my ears. The only issue I have is they sound starts becoming somewhat unclear and a little distorted with the windows volume anything above 60ish. Now I have a sound card, but when I purchased it, I bought it for the positional audio aspect of it. Even though creative claims it can power high impedance headphones, I think the sound card is causing the sound issues due to not being able to power the 770s enough. The sound card is the creative fatal1ty recon3d. On the main forum i'm usually on, the audio guys say I should get something like a fiio e10 and that should make them sound better. My question is, will there be a noticeable difference from the sound card to the e10? I would have already bought the e10 if I knew it would make a good difference, but since I will lose the positional audio, I want to make sure it's worth it.
Any advice?
Nov 9, 2013 at 7:03 AM Post #2 of 8
Hello and Welcome.
Yes I have some advice, but I'm sorry to say that you may not like it and it comes in the form of some bad news.  Firstly to answer your question: No you don't need an amp.  I've listened to lots of headphones from the headphone out of my postage stamp sized iPod Shuffle, the headphone out of my Logitech Z2000 PC speaker system (which drives the hell out of my Sennheisers), a couple of home theater receivers, my Little Dot MKIVse and several amps high and low at a Head-Fi meet. Unless you have very hard to power headphones an amp will have little effect on the overall sound, when used at normal listening levels.  But if enjoying music means playing it as loud as you can stand it (and for some that's true) then yes, you may want to add an amp and an e10 likely won't cut it.
Now the bad news I mentioned, and keep in mind this is just one guys opinion.  The DT-770 80ohm is probably the worst headphone I've ever heard.  I owned them for a couple months but only listened to them for a couple of days.  Once I got over the "funness" of the bass, which took an hour or so, I couldn't stand them.  The bass is flabby and one-notey like a cheap bass reflex car stereo sub box and the mids are recessed and muddied by the bass.  But even worse than these traits is the fatiguing and sibilant treble.
I really hate to type this as the first reply to the first post you've made, but honestly, my advice is to sell the Beyers and get new cans.  
BTW the DT-880 is an entirely different animal altogether (I don't want you to think I'm a Beyer-hater, I'm really not), but there is an enormous amount of choices in front of you.
Good luck!
Nov 9, 2013 at 7:17 AM Post #3 of 8
Well I bought them two days ago from guitar center and I have a 30 day return window. Honestly I didn't even find the bass that impressive... I read that people love the bass, but to me it sounds like normal amounts of bass.
Well thanks for shining some light on the issue, looks like ill just stick to my sound card. 
As far as getting other headphones, anything above $200 is more than I am comfortable spending for first time decent headphones. Do you have any other suggestions? I do like bass, but I like balanced sound.
Opinions on the custom one pros?
Nov 9, 2013 at 7:36 AM Post #4 of 8
Look into the Philips line. X1, L1 or L2. Had the Fidelio X1 and it really doesn't need amping to shine. Obviously it does get better with a dac/amp but it doesn't scale that much.
And if you want less bass look into Audio Technica AD700/900 or A700/900.
Nov 9, 2013 at 8:08 AM Post #5 of 8
Id get a half decent usb DAC first, Audioengine,Fiio etc
Plus they will have headphone amp built in.
Get the source sorted first, then you can hear what the headphones are really capable of, then try some different types
Nov 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM Post #6 of 8
Id get a half decent usb DAC first, Audioengine,Fiio etc
Plus they will have headphone amp built in.
Get the source sorted first, then you can hear what the headphones are really capable of, then try some different types

I'm pretty sure by his purchases that getting a USB DAC and amp wouldn't be much use for gaming.
Nov 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM Post #7 of 8
The Sennheiser HD-25-1 II ($199 on Amazon) are a great beginner's headphones: they sound good (neutral enough), they're very sturdy and they don't leak sound at all, meaning they can be used anywhere for pretty much anything. They don't need amping either. I've used them daily for about two years now and they've never let me down. 
Nov 9, 2013 at 1:31 PM Post #8 of 8
But to answer your queston. Yes, the DT770 do improve a lot with a dac/amp. The Fiio E10 is like 60$ now, a real bargain. I would buy it and call it a day if you like the sound of your DT770. If you could up your budget there's a lot of great DAC/AMPS out there. If you want portable the Dragonfly is great. It's the size of a usb-stick.

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