hd-600's for computer audio
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ingenious28

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hey all
i managed to stumble onto this forum while in search of a pair of headphones to purchase for my computer audio
i do realize most people here seem to be all about home audio equipment, but hopefully my questioned can still be answered

my setup thus far is this: klipsch pro media 5.1 speakers and a game theater xp soundcard
ive read that the sennheiser 600's require a heck of a lot of power to run and more importantly run to there fullest potential, and i was wondering if my currenert setup is sufficeint for the job
if it isnt, id appriciate any recommendations as new other equipment that might help
thanx
 
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post-193097
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joelongwood

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Welcome to Head-Fi, ingenious!

You're correct.......the HD-600s need some serious power to shine. And they need decent power to just sound good. I don't think your current source is going to provide that power.
Since you say you "stumbled" upon this site, as many of us here did as well, I'm gonna give you some good advice. Pick up a pair of Sony MDR-V6s for about $75. Great bass, comfortable, indestructible..........I was happy with them for over 10 years until I "stumbled" onto HeadWize, a similar site. Now I'm doomed!!!
Leave now.........seriously.

Don't say you weren't warned.
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Actually, the HD 600 doesn't need all that much power; it just needs greater voltage swing than what the typical soundcard can provide. The HD 600 is a high-impedance, medium-efficiency headphone (and thus is only modestly sensitive). At least it doesn't need a 600-pound-gorilla of an amp that a few of Sennheiser's cheaper headphones (such as the craptacular HD 490) require.
 
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Magicthyse

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You didn't put down a location, assuming you're in the US, joelongwood has what seems to be the correct advice.

Take a look at the Beyerdynamic DT231 as well. I really like these for games (if that's your main reason for buying phones for your PC) - although you might find the earcup fit a little odd. If you're buying phones for MP3 listening, an HD600 unamped or not will show you just how crappy those downloaded files are - so may not be the best choice.

The DT250-80 is also a popular phone here, because of their easy to listen nature. I'm not so fond of them - I find them merely OK - but who knows, you might like them. But IMHO, they're nearly as hard to power from a PC audio socket as an HD600 and clip quite noticeably at higher volumes. But they will mellow out those crappy MP3's.

joelongwood is also right about the wallet-hammering potential of Head-Fi. Better get your recommendation quickly and stay away


In my case, my headphone-related purchases before Head-Fi in 2 years:
£580

After Head-Fi in 4 months:
£3,285
 
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mercid

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Welcome to head-fi! I am also a new member and let me tell you, your wallet is going to rue this day.


If you are into rock music you just have to hear a pair of Grado’s. I recently purchased a pair, and am nothing but amazed. So far my main use of these phones has occurred on the PC and they sound much better then the HD580’s for this use, although each have their individual strength's. The model that I ultimately went with was SR325, but if your looking for something cheaper the SR 80 is a good choice.
 
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taipeileviathan

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i don't actually like the grado sound that much for my j-rock. it's a little too forward for my tastes, and on sheena ringo recordings where her trebles tend to get engineered to the harsh side, u need a really neutral sound with good upper register resolution and extension in order not to cringe from her more sibilant and nasal passages. i love my staxes!!

... ingenious, stay on these forums a bit longer so u can begin to talk like me!
but seriously tho, i am a relative junior here as well, but that fact has not spared my wallet one bit in the past 2 months or so. pre head-fi purchases in 5 years (including 1 pcdp and 1 pmdp): 400$. post head-fi in 2 months: 1000$, and am currently eyeing a 200$ cdp on audiogon
. somebody help me!!
 
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post-193138
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joelongwood

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Quote:

somebody help me!!


Sorry........no can do!
 
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Aboogwa

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I see you have the Klipsch Promedia 5.1s...

Well if the headphone out on these speakers is similar to the Promedia 2.1s, when you plug in the HD600 and turn it to max volume you will probably blow out your ear drums and blow out the headphone drivers as well... Indeed in my setup, the Promedia 2.1 headphone out provides more volume than a Corda HA-1 amp.. (I have not tried max volume, but I suspect the computer's headphone out will have more distortion at ultra high levels) Maybe this is not *technically* true... I'm not very knowledgeable about electronics. It's just based on the observation that I have to turn up the volume knob higher on the HA-1 to get the desired volume level.

But the main problem is sound quality which will not be as good as a high quality dedicated amp..
That being said it will not sound like absolute crap either. I preferred the senn hd600 unamped to some other cheaper (but supposedly good for the price) phones... Just don't expect to be absolutely blown away.

Don't get the impression that high end equipment will magically make mp3s sound crappy. Actually it is more of a relative effect, It shows you that potentially higher sound quality is attainable..
It's not like high end equipment actually makes mp3s sound worse than low end equipment. And if the bit rate is high enough on the mp3s a lot of people have suggested that they are pretty much indistinguishable from CD quality.. (You will find much opposition to this claim however, justified or not)

The standard response to this question, as you seem to have found out already, is that if you don't have an amp don't buy the hd600s and settle for a cheaper headphone...
 
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ingenious28

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Quote:

Originally posted by Eagle_Driver
At least it doesn't need a 600-pound-gorilla of an amp that a few of Sennheiser's cheaper headphones (such as the craptacular HD 490) require.


thanks for the advise on alternate headphones, much appriciated

you say it odesnt need a "gorilla of an amp", but what would be a decent amp to power the 600's then?
 
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Gluegun

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Your sources aren't that Hi-Fi... so why go with headphones that would need a complete source upgrade to really be worth the $$$??

Why not get some HD590's if you wanna spend lots of money, or get some Philips SBC-HP890 if you don't? both are great from www.meier-audio.com

BTW, are you considering closed headphones??
 
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Guyferd

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Philips Hp890 (depend on your location) are quite cheap and sounds good.
I think Beyer dt250-80 will give you very good performance for mp3 listening.. 128kbs mp3 definately doesn't sound harsh on this phone compared to like hd600...
It just doesn't show u all the detail.. very forgiving phone. Nice and smooth mid. Might wanna try that out.
 
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post-193276
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MacDEF

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I agree with Guyferd, the Beyer DT250-80 will give you a similar sound to the HD 600, but work great directly out of a computer sound card (I disagree with Magic on this).
 
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bifcake

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HD-600's are not a good match for a computer. They're overkill and require an amp. Additionally, if you listen to MP3's, they'll sound like crap. You need decent source equipment with HD600 and decent media. Get something cheaper, better suited for computer and MP3's.
 
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taipeileviathan

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there are two scenarios: 1) if u're planning to stay on these forums and get into this hobby full-time, getting the HD600's now and upgrading ur source, amplification, interconnects etc. later is a great idea since it means u'll have 1 less component to upgrade later; 2) however, if u dun plan to stay on these forums, i would recommend going with a pair of less demanding phones. the HD600's seem to require a lot of investment to get them working right: good source, good amp, even replacement cabling and stuff. be careful not to get caught up in the "All headphone geeks agree that Sennheiser HD600's are the King of Headphones, and since I always demand uncompromising quality, I must buy HD600's" mentality... there are a lot of other choices out there, even for listening out of a decent source rather than a computer. to be sure, there are headphones that cost a lot MORE than the HD600's and connote a lot more prestige as well, so they are not the holy grail of phones as some would have u believe. the best advice i think i can offer u is still to see if u can find a place where u can audition ur prospective phones. u might find urself totally loving a different sound profile than u'd have expected before (i certainly did)...
 
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SumB

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The HD600's sound like $50 cans from the Promedia's headphone jack.
 
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