Help with picking Headphone Amp for my home.
May 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


May 2, 2016
I am not an audiophile, just started dabbling with all this higher end stuff recently and have posted a couple other threads here.  I am just starting to learn about all the things associated with power headphones and the what not.  I don't understand a lot yet but I am learning fast.
I just bought a Denon AVR-X4200W for my home theatre.  I watch a lot of movies (streaming, blu-ray and dvd), play Xbox One and listen to music after the kids go to bed a lot.  Like every night.  I specifically bought this amp because I can run the headphone amp off the Zone 2 analog out of the Denon.
I recently purchased (yes I know I went nuts):
I am currently running out of my headphone jack into my E12A and then into my earphones.  It sounds pretty good but it is annoying to have the amp in hand with the long cord from jack to amp.  I also think I know I can better sound out of an amp.
My budget is under $200
I was looking at the following:
I have three questions:
1) Do I need an additional amp at all?  Is running through my E12A enough?  Are we talking percentage points here? Am I being obsessive, yes.
2) If you recommend another amp, which?  Solid State? Tube?  I doubt I will be upgrading my headphones anytime soon so don't need too much room.
3) Is running out of the Zone 2 analog out the right choice?  The Denon 4200 has lots of options I just don't know which.
May 17, 2016 at 9:07 PM Post #2 of 5


Headphoneus Supremus
Dec 16, 2011
grand rapids, mi
1) Do I need an additional amp at all?  Is running through my E12A enough?  Are we talking percentage points here? Am I being obsessive, yes.

Quite possibly. There are a few main situations where a different/better amp makes more of a significant difference:

1) When your amp is underpowered for the headphones so that it cannot render they dynamics. If the amp easily turns up to twice as loud in perceived volume (not twice on the dial) without distorting from what you normally listen to, then you probably have some decent headroom left in the amp for dynamics.

2) When the amp's low output impedance is not low enough for the headphones. You won't have that problem with the E12A

3) If your amp is pretty crappy in SQ. But the E12a is not.

So don't expect miracles :)
May 18, 2016 at 1:48 PM Post #5 of 5


100+ Head-Fier
Nov 12, 2012
The ODAC + Objective 2 combo will tide you over for DAC and amp needs for a very long time. I still keep mine around, can't bear to let them go. I recommend getting them as separate units but you can also get them in a 1 unit combo. Small and transportable, even battery powered if you like. The ODAC on its own does not require a power supply. Solid classic.

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