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Im using my Home Reciever How much do I have to pay to get a better sound?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by themetaldude, Jan 2, 2012.
  1. TheMetaldude
    I am using a Onkyo TX SR-707. My Sennheiser HD598's and my Klipsh S4 sound incredable through my Home reciever. So much better then my Ipod with a small E6 amp. Basicly I am wondering what kind of upgrade of sound will I get if I decide to go out and get a deticated Headphone amp. How much money will it take to plug a headphone amp in and be blown away over my current set up? Any suggestions on this would be greatly apprieciated.
  2. Super MANSKITO
    higher end headphones will make the biggest difference and its really the only thing you can spend money that will make you go WOW that's better.
    The difference between the best amp in the world and $200 one is not that much.
    The amps job is too be as invisible as possible. If you get right down too it an amp can only make the source signal worse, it can only impart more distortion or more noise in the signal to make it more powerful so it can drive your headphones.  
    Prefect amps or very good ones all sound about the same.  Less then perfect amps impart flavors on the signal that may or may not be pleasing to the ears.  
    However better headphones can improve your music by night and day.  
    My advise would be to put your money into better cans first, then make sure your source is good and finally look at getting a better amp.   Which may or may not be any different then whats in your reciever.
  3. moodyrn
    I somewhat agree with some of what you said, but also disagree with most of what you said. And a lot of what you said really makes my point as to why I disagree. Yes, the largest differences are always going to be with the headphones. Most of them can sound very different, and with the headphones the op already have, I woudn't bother with an amp or dac for that matter since the one in that onkyo is already decent. My next purchase would be better headphones. After that then you would need to worry about upgrading amps and sources.
    With that said, yes, all the amp is suppose to do is amplify the signal, but most amps don't sound the same and many of them don't do a very good job of amplifying the signal. Some of them have a lot more distortion than others which is why some sound very clean and others don't, and also one of the many, many reasons why most of them sound very different. Going from a 200.00 amp to the best in the world isn't that much different sonically? Really? Going from a 200.00 to a 400.00 is a huge difference IME. It can be the difference between being properly driven or not. Also having a much better power section, using better quality caps and resistors, better pcb design and layout etc. All of these things have a big effect on how an amp sounds. I've heard noticable differences between amps that cost the same as well.
    But if you haven't perceived large differences, then that's you and your ears. But as I've said so many times, just because your ears can't hear it, doesn't mean the differences aren't there. I could write for days about differences in how many amps sound, but it's not worth the time, and you are entitled to you opinion. Let's just say it's an opinion I don't agree with.
    But to the op, as long as you have those headphones, I would stay with what you have. The hd598 are very good for the money, but unless you plan to upgrade to much better headphones in the future, I wouldn't worry about it.
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I just sold off my Onkyo TX-SR706B, which had no problems powering my 250-Ohm headphones.
    (replaced it with a Yamaha RX-V671s for the headphone surround sound)
    With the TX-SR707 built in DACs, all you would need is a headphone amplifier with RCA inputs.
    But Sennheiser HD-598s will not benefit (improve) greatly over the TX-SR707, unless your will to spend like $250 for something like a Schitt Asgard.
    Maybe there would be something cheaper, but I'm not sure on it.
    But my two cents is save money and just use the TX-SR707 headphone jack.
  5. atothex
    Headphone amps are way overrated on this site, especially the cheap crappy ones. I wouldn't bother.
  6. iceman23


    Likewise, just because your mind believes you can hear a difference doesn't mean it's there.
  7. moodyrn
     True if it was only my mind. But it's "my ears" that "easily" hear the differences. And it's my ears and no one else ears I trust. And like I said if you don't, that's great. You can just get your self a cmoy and call it a day. Heck if you can't hear a difference, why bother going past a portable, headout of a computer at all? If there's no difference to your ears, just get the cheapest amp you can find, save yourself the money, and be happy. I really wish my ears couldn't hear the difference, that would have saved me a ton over the years. So enjoy what you have. So since "my" "ears" and not just my mind hearing the differences there is in fact a difference to me. It can't say if there is one for you or not, I don't have your ears.

    And what did your post have to do with what the op was asking anyway? That's called trolling. My post was directly related to my advice for the op which was to keep what he had unless he/she planned on upgrading headphones in the future. And why after upgrading to higher end headphones would going with a better amp in the future would benefit. What was your advice? Yeah right, you didn't give any. That's called trolling. This thread is already on the verge of getting out of hand
  8. TheMetaldude
    Thank U all for your advise. What Ill take out of it is I would be better off going with a better headphone before worrying about getting a amp given the set up I have. I thought a better amp would produce a stronger signal to the phones giving better tone and control of sound to the headphone. I guess there is a peak and a stronger signal does not necessarily mean better sound.
  9. hodgjy
    I completely disagree.  Amps can, and do, make a difference.  Many times, the difference is quite large.

  10. atothex
    That's situational. The OP doesn't exactly have a K701 or O2.

  11. TheMetaldude


    That sounds a bit insulting. My stuff aint good enough for a amp. Thanx.
  12. Rawrbington
    i think hes just saying those senns aren't as amp dependant as those 2 power hungry cans.
  13. fubar3

    Are you using a Line Output Device/cable?  Generally, you can connect an amp to the phone jack of a portable music player but the quality will be inferior.
  14. atothex

    Not this.



  15. ACDOAN


    I do not know much about the 707 spec but my Onkyo 876 has no problem to drive the AKG 701/702 and the Senn HD600/650. My Pioneer A35r intergrated will also drive any cans in my signature with satisfaction. You will have to pay a lot more ( Burson, Wo audio...) to get a better image , soundstage .
    Dac and amp are kind of funny. The same principle in 2 channel audio will apply to cans too, as I have learned.  There is a relationship between speakers and amps. That synergy is very important and the same with cans and headphone amps/dacs. 
    Amps are designed only to amplify the incoming signals but not amps are built equally and are designed the same with the same topology, therefore amps do sound differently and do improve or not improve the original incoming signals. We have class A, A/B,H, D...amps and believe me they are not sound the same as long as your speakers or your cans are reveal enough to hear the differences. I am talking about Hi-end speakers and Hi-end cans. Mass produced speakers/ cans tend to behave otherwise.
    I use cans for leisure listening, mostly Internet Audio ( Spotify, Pandora) while I an resting so I will not pay a lot for amps and Dacs.  With my main 2 channel audio rig, it' s a different story.
    Your needs and your priority may be different.
    I would suggest you to try some enrty level amp/dac from Fiio ( the E10 or the E9). They are pretty FUN to listen to and they are cheap so you won't break your bank while enjoy some improvement.

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