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I guess you need both to make an informed decision
as @520RanchBro stated the HE-500 by a few dB. Now if your question is which is easier to drive properly I would say the HE-560 since is will sound pretty good with most desktop headphone amps while the HE-500 sound best with speaker taps from my limited experimentation so far and this is just my opinion and is one of the reasons I don't have a HE-500, to much trouble to set up a dedicate amp to drive them properly from my point of view.
Thanks for that! Sounds like the 560 might be the way to go. Are there any portable amps that can do it justice at lower volumes?
What's your budget? Using them primarily with a phone/portable media playerI presume?
Can't really help you too much here since the only portable stuff I have is Fiio X3ii, X3, X1, which for my needs is quite sufficient since my portable headphones are V-Moda XS, Momentum on-ear/over-ear, and MDR-7506. I tried my HE-560 on both X3ii and X3, slightly better bass with X3 but mids and highs better on X3ii, here's a pic of them:
This is a borderline combination since both DAPs are on high gain and volume is at 90/100 for X3ii and 100/120 for X3 for getting to my listening level of 65-70dB which is not very loud. FWIW I like the X3 sound better, the X3ii is a little harsh on top.
Portaphile micro was the only portable that really drove my 500 & 560's really well. Still didn't have the body of a dedicated desktop amp. But performed admirably.
Yup, in a portable setup. Budget would be around 500USD. The portaphile micro seems to be in that bracket.
Battery life on Caesars amps is not good. If I remember correctly the unit I had was less than 10 hrs. But it was one of the best sounding portable amps I've heard.
10 hours is quite long to me, my X3 only gets 7-8 hours, but then it is getting old and the battery gets recharged once every 3-4 days since my GF uses it almost every day with her HD-700 for an hour or two when she takes our dog out.
I was reading that the Questyle QP1R will drive a HD-800 so should be pretty good with the HE-560 as the HE-560 is less amp picky than the HD-800.
I really like to hear my 560 with and DAP with line out via the Cayin C5 or the already mentioned Fiio E12. The Hifiman HM901 with the balanced amp card and a balanced cable also drives the, very satisfactory for me.
with other amps like the JDS Labs C5D (I love this DAC/amp) you can hear quite early how the bass distorts in bass heavy songs as the amp struggles to deliver the power needed for a large driver movement.
Any idea if the JDS O2 amp might be sufficient for the 560?
On JDS site, it states O2 puts out 650mw (i'm rounding) into 32ohm
The 560s can take a lot of juice, I'm normally at 12 o'clock on my Lyr, and sometimes go to 3. Based on that I'd say you'd want to aim for the Magni 2 or Magni 2 Uber, which will give you 1000mw (or 1200 with the Uber) into the same 32ohm load
going to get a lot of s____ for this but IMO the O2 does not drive the HE-560 well, its sounds thin, lacks bass and a little harsh sounding to me, even the Fiio X3 sounds better to me. This is based on a O2/ODAC so it might be different with a O2 only.
Would that be simply because the O2 cannot deliver enough power?
I don't think its just the power, I believe it has something to do with harmonics but can't remember which thread I saw the info.