How necessary is a headphone amp? Headphone amp vs buying new cans?
Jan 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

yearsofwisdom

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I currently own TF10s. I'm considering getting a pair of full size cans like denon 2000s. However, my source right now is only a ipod/galaxy s2 phone. Which would give me the biggest improvement in sound? and which would be cheaper? getting an amp or new cans?
 
Jan 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM Post #2 of 15

tomb

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The headphones will make the biggest difference.  However, keep in mind that you will never be realizing what the headphones can do without proper amplification.  Even the Denons, which are both low impedance and highly efficient, benefit from amplification.  Bass is less bloated and more controlled - whereas the common unamped complaint is that their bass is bloated and not well controlled.
 
Jan 22, 2012 at 1:33 AM Post #4 of 15

Eisenhower

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Headphones, without a doubt.
The importance of getting a dedicated headphone amp is a bit overstated here. Lots of sources (e.g. ipods) deemed useless are actually sufficient for many headphones.
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 5:20 AM Post #5 of 15

Melvins

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headphones although a good amp is a solid investment than will aid you in your excursion to audio utopia. 
 
Jan 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM Post #6 of 15

Spareribs

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IMO, amps are important especially in the long run and if you listen often. In the beginning, a good headphone will definitely impress but after extensive listening when you get to know the personality of your headphone, you will see an improvement when a good amp is connected.
 
My answer will be something like yes, go get a good headphone and if you can't afford it, forget an amp. But if you can afford it, a quality amp will help complete the audio experience.
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM Post #10 of 15

obzilla

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There are benefits to going either way.
 
New headphones will give you the quickest noticeable results, but later, when you want an even better pair, you will eventually run into the situation of getting a decent amp.
Amps become increasingly necessary as you go up the ladder.
 
If you start out with a capable amp, you can almost go through headphones at will knowing they will be driven correctly.
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM Post #11 of 15

brokensound

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Upgrading to the D2000 will offer the better improvement.
 
Once you have a pair of mid-fi headphones though, I believe getting an amp will be more important than get another pair of mid-fi headphones (D2000, HD600, AKG K701, DT880, etc...). 
 
My point of reference is owning a pair of D2000, which I use out of my iphone, ipad, laptop, and DNA sonett amp. The difference between amped and unamped is very noticeable. Even the average person, such as my apartment mates and girlfriend can easily hear the difference.    
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM Post #12 of 15

Melvins

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the thing with that upgrade set up, is that I honestly cannot discern the difference between 320 kbps and say, 192. Most of the time. Their are very specific genre's and bands in my library where I can immediately tell the difference. That being said, my amp and DAC both provided immediately recognizable upgrades in my music. Like, immediately. As soon as I started using them. The upgrade was instantaneous. 
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 9:56 PM Post #13 of 15

chrislangley4253

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Quote:
the thing with that upgrade set up, is that I honestly cannot discern the difference between 320 kbps and say, 192. Most of the time. Their are very specific genre's and bands in my library where I can immediately tell the difference. That being said, my amp and DAC both provided immediately recognizable upgrades in my music. Like, immediately. As soon as I started using them. The upgrade was instantaneous. 



I can almost always notice 192... 320, 320 i have issues with
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM Post #14 of 15

Melvins

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yeah. That's pretty much what I meant.
 

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