DT990 pro unamped for tv use?
Feb 14, 2015 at 1:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

Blaalad12

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Hi guys. Long story short. The dt990s are the only headphone i can buy here that are reasonably priced and seem to be good for what ill be using them for.... Movies.

The only issue is that alot of people say they need to be amped but given that i won't be using them for music. Wouldn't they be fine unamped for what ill be using them for?
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 1:24 PM Post #2 of 27

Blaalad12

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Just to clarify. My theory is that they won't need to be amplified for movies as i imagine they will be loud enough for tv use. Also they might not reach they're full potential unamped but again, wouldn't the difference be negligible given ill be listening to movies not music?
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 1:37 PM Post #3 of 27

larsjuhljensen

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The answer is unfortunately a useless "that depends on your TV". If you plug them straight into your TV, it depends completely on how good or bad the amp that is built into your TV is. For fun, I just plugged my DT-990 Pro directly into my Sony TV and they sounded quite good, but not as good as with the Schiit Vali.
 
I would probably try if I were you - if the amp of your TV turns out not not be satisfactory, you can probably easily add an amp later. Almost all TVs have a line-out connection, so it would give you a nice upgrade path: in the beginning use the DAC and amp of the TV, later upgrade with a dedicated amp (continueing to use the DAC of the TV), and possibly later adding a dedicated DAC too if you like.
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 2:19 PM Post #4 of 27

Blaalad12

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The answer is unfortunately a useless "that depends on your TV". If you plug them straight into your TV, it depends completely on how good or bad the amp that is built into your TV is. For fun, I just plugged my DT-990 Pro directly into my Sony TV and they sounded quite good, but not as good as with the Schiit Vali.

I would probably try if I were you - if the amp of your TV turns out not not be satisfactory, you can probably easily add an amp later. Almost all TVs have a line-out connection, so it would give you a nice upgrade path: in the beginning use the DAC and amp of the TV, later upgrade with a dedicated amp (continueing to use the DAC of the TV), and possibly later adding a dedicated DAC too if you like.


Can i tell from the tv's specs wether or not it has a decent amp? It's a new TV so id like to think all new tv's have decent amps but how good does it need to be is the question. Anyway to tell by lookin at the specs?
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 2:44 PM Post #5 of 27

derbigpr

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Can i tell from the tv's specs wether or not it has a decent amp? It's a new TV so id like to think all new tv's have decent amps but how good does it need to be is the question. Anyway to tell by lookin at the specs?


There's no telling for sure without trying. I know my Panasonic plasma from about 5 years ago, which was a model from their most high end series and was far more expensive back then most 4K TV's are today has a excellent headphone output. Silent and very powerful. Drive Beyerdynamic T1's and makes them sound as good as when they're plugged into some average receiver or integrated amplifier output. It doesn't sound quite as good as with a dedicated headphone amp, but certainly not bad, and for cheaper headphones I would feel no need to get an amp.  On the other hand, a Samsung LED that's like 1 year old in my bedroom has a horrible headphone output, it hisses on higher volume, yet its too silent, it distorts, etc. 
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 3:09 PM Post #6 of 27

Blaalad12

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I have an amp if need be. I'd just rather not have to disturb my current set up. If however i buy the dt990s and decide they need to be amped. How can i connect my TV to the amp?

I only have rca inputs on the amp and a USB port and on my TV i only have an optical output, headphone out and HDMI arc. I can't afford to spend much money so the only cheap option (possibly the only option actually) would be to buy a headphone to rca cable? But would that reduce the sound quality?
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 3:37 PM Post #7 of 27

larsjuhljensen

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Do you have some other headphones that you could use for tests before buying? If you hear a lot of hiss, the quality of the headphone out is bad. If the quality is fine, try to judge if it is likely to have enough power based on how much you need to turn up the volume with your current headphones and how hard the your current headphones are to drive compared to the DT990 Pro.
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 3:46 PM Post #8 of 27

Blaalad12

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Do you have some other headphones that you could use for tests before buying? If you hear a lot of hiss, the quality of the headphone out is bad. If the quality is fine, try to judge if it is likely to have enough power based on how much you need to turn up the volume with your current headphones and how hard the your current headphones are to drive compared to the DT990 Pro.


I have he500s but can't test them because they have a 6.3mm jack. I have a pair of tdk ba200s but doubt they would be good for judging it!!??
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 5:21 PM Post #9 of 27

Blaalad12

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Can anyone tell me btw if a headphone to rca cable would be ok for the amp in order to use it with the tv? I only have rca inputs and only a headphone output, Optical output and a HDMI arc which i think can be used as an output to
 
Feb 14, 2015 at 6:06 PM Post #10 of 27

larsjuhljensen

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As I see it, there can be two fundamentally different problems with the DAC and amp that is built into your TV:
1) Low quality. You have a lot of noise or distortion due to a poor quality DAC or amp.
2) Too little power. The quality is fine but the amp just cannot drive the headphones.
 
The easy way to test the quality would be to plug in your TDK BA200s. If the sound quality sounds great to you, then the quality of the output quality should be good enough. In that case I would buy the DT990. If it turns out that the amp is also powerful enough, it's all good. If not you can use a jack-to-rca cable to plug into your existing amp; this will result in so-called double amping, which is certainly not ideal, but also not terrible as long as the TV amp is not bad.
 
If the sound quality you hear in your TDK BA200s is not great, then you have no options other than to bypass the TV amp. Since your TV does not have RCA line-out, this unfortunately means that you would have to buy a DAC that can accept, for example, optical input. So this would not be exactly cheap.
 
Feb 15, 2015 at 11:13 AM Post #11 of 27

Blaalad12

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Btw, how would i avoid double ampin and bypass the tvs amp/dac?

As i said. I have an aune t1 which has rca inputs, a usb input (although it's not a typical usb port, it looks like an optical input but it says usb?) and rca inputs. My TV only has an optical output and a HDMI arc output, and headphone jack but connecting the amp via that would result in double amping right.
 
Feb 15, 2015 at 1:40 PM Post #12 of 27

kramer5150

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Hi guys. Long story short. The dt990s are the only headphone i can buy here that are reasonably priced and seem to be good for what ill be using them for.... Movies.

The only issue is that alot of people say they need to be amped but given that i won't be using them for music. Wouldn't they be fine unamped for what ill be using them for?

 
 
Just to clarify. My theory is that they won't need to be amplified for movies as i imagine they will be loud enough for tv use. Also they might not reach they're full potential unamped but again, wouldn't the difference be negligible given ill be listening to movies not music?

my .02$...
Which 990 model do you have?  The 32 ohm model should be fine with all but the absolute weakest headphone circuits.  The 250 ohm one I would think should also be fine, given how high its sensitivity is.  The 250-600 ohm models absolutely will scale up with better stuff upstream.
 
What TV do you have?  Might want to look into its specs... surf some TV / AV forums and try and get a better idea of what its capabilities are.  Do you have anything with which to compare and form a baseline?  Like a portable CD player, cell phone... something with which to compare and evaluate just how good/bad your TV headphone circuit is?
 
It doesn't sound like you have very high expectations, and as long as its loud enough then thats sufficient for you.  But then again, its that its the seed of doubt in the back of your mind that at times can lessen the enjoyment.
 
The only way to avoid double stacking amp "Stages" is to take the optical or coax digital bit-stream from your source DVD player, direct TV, computer soundcard or cable TV box, convert that to an analog signal and then amp that.  A lot of affordable amps have DAC functionality built in, some are USB input only, others have both, others are optical/coax only... you have to pick one that suits your needs.
 
Adding an amp to an analog RCA line output (while theoretically better than amp-ing a headphone output) is still a double stacked amplification stage.
 
Feb 15, 2015 at 1:44 PM Post #13 of 27

larsjuhljensen

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Sadly what you have does not connect easily. Your Aune T1 is a combined USB DAC/amp - there are only two ways to get signal into it: digital sound from a computer via the USB type B plug or analog line-in sound via the RCA plugs. Your TV can connect to neither. So unless you want to invest in a DAC with optical toslink input and RCA out, you will have to live with either plugging the headphones straight into the TV or with double amping. The latter means that the sound gets amplified both by the amp in the TV and by your external amp.
 
Feb 15, 2015 at 1:48 PM Post #14 of 27

kramer5150

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Btw, how would i avoid double ampin and bypass the tvs amp/dac?

As i said. I have an aune t1 which has rca inputs, a usb input (although it's not a typical usb port, it looks like an optical input but it says usb?) and rca inputs. My TV only has an optical output and a HDMI arc output, and headphone jack but connecting the amp via that would result in double amping right.

IIRC the Aune T1 is a USB only DAC.  so it has no coax digital or toslink optical inputs.  Its doubtful your cable TV, Direct TV or DVD player sources have a USB output.  Some DVD players have USB ports, but those AFIAK are mainly for USB hosting an external drive, they are not "typically" used for audio data bit-streaming.
 
With that amp, the only way to connect it would be to take an RCA line out from either your source (preferable) or the TV itself (less preferable).  Taking the TV RCA line out "may" not be all that much different than amping its headphone output.... depending on the internal circuit.
 
Actually... since you do have a good amp there... I would start by direct comparing the sound amped with the T1, against the TV headphone out jack.  Go back and forth and A/B the two.  Go with whichever sounds best.  Just because its "amped" with a dedicated component, is not going to mean its automatically going to sound preferable.
 
Feb 15, 2015 at 2:31 PM Post #15 of 27

Blaalad12

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Would i be best just to get the dt 770s given they are somewhat similar to the dt990s buy don't require amping. Soundstage might be sacrificed but they might be more immersive being closed back which sounds ideal actually.

Also considered wireless rs 170 as it would save me having to buy an extension cable n the annoyance of running wires but i assume wired would be better especially when both are priced similarly
 

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