Just how bad do the 580s sound without an amp?
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PCJ

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So, I finally decided to upgrade from my 212s. The problem is that I don't have an amp. I have someone to buy my old 212s, but I've heard that 580s without an amp are just awful.
I am saving up for a Pimeta right now, but I was wondering if there is even a point in getting the 580s before the amp is here. So, which should I get first?
My sources are an old Yamaha receiver and an Audigy 2 ZS.

Thanks.
 
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purk

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Senn HD-580 is a very power hungry cans, and won't fufill the potential unless properly driven with a headphone amp. If you have an old reciever, I would go ahead and get the HD-580. Then next step is to get a dedicate headphone amp. The HD-580 is great sounding, but you won't hear it unless you have a system for it.

Purk
 
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PFJ

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I think they sound great with or without an amp personally. I've ran them through a home stereo headphone out, a sound card out, and now my meta 42, and (surprisingly, for me) there has not been a lot of difference. Much preferred to my eggos or grados in all situations, with the others the volume knob is just not turned as far.

Your mileage may vary
 
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Jigglybootch

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I happen to think that the 580's sound great unamped. But in order to unlock their true potential, an amp is a must.
 
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ampgalore

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I tried HD580 out of the headphone jack of my portable CD player, the sound was, veiled, recessed, dark, etc.

When I hooked up the HD580 to the headphone out of my home CD player and the headphone out on the integrated amp, the sound just suddenly brightened up, a lot more bass and presence.

HD580 definitely needs to be amped properly.
 
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GlowWorm

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They sound O.K. without an amp, just thin, and lacking in dynamics.
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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Unamped, they still sound better than any >$50 can I've ever heard.
 
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After listening to my HD580's through an amp for about a year i have to say an AMP makes a huge difference. However don't let this stop you from buying great phones, just make sure a headphone amp is in your future.
 
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My hd580s don't sound too bad directly out of the TV, it actually sounds dynamic to be honest.
 
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PCJ

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great, then I'll get the 580s first. A pimeta is coming as soon as I get more money.
Is there any reason to hold onto my 212's?
 
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Abula

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Quote:

Is there any reason to hold onto my 212's?


The 212 are closed, and the 580s are open, if you have a use for closed HP then keep them (like lan parties or if you have to many fans on your computer).
 
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pedxing

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580 are great headphones. I think its worth getting them and then wait for the amp to come later. In the mean time, you can use the yamaha amplifier to drive the headphones.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PFJ
I think they sound great with or without an amp personally. I've ran them through a home stereo headphone out, a sound card out, and now my meta 42, and (surprisingly, for me) there has not been a lot of difference. Much preferred to my eggos or grados in all situations, with the others the volume knob is just not turned as far.

Your mileage may vary




PFJ, this an depend on a number of variables--what kind of source are you using, for example. Also, the Meta42, while a solid little performer, might not be up to snuff for the 580 (don't quote me, I'm not sure what is considered up to snuff for the 580s).

Also, a friend of mine compared some cheapie $30 Aiwa's (not even sure of the model) to an unamped 580 and said he couldn't hear the difference. Now, he doesn't have a golden ear, but nor is he a complete idiot regarding hi-fidelity sound reproduction. Moral? Definitely pick up an amp, sooner or later.
 
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fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mxs1030
My hd580s don't sound too bad directly out of the TV, it actually sounds dynamic to be honest.


The TV probably has an amp in it with enough power to "properly" drive HD580s. The point is that because of the high impedance and sensitivity on the low side of things, many "built in" amps do not.

Also, a lot of "built in" amps have high output impedance (which colors the HD580s, particularly in the bass... not necessarily unpleasant, but not accurate to the music either) and/or are just not very good quality amplification.
Quote:

Originally Posted by oneeyedhobbit
PFJ, this an depend on a number of variables--what kind of source are you using, for example. Also, the Meta42, while a solid little performer, might not be up to snuff for the 580 (don't quote me, I'm not sure what is considered up to snuff for the 580s).


IMO it is up to snuff... just. There's a rather narrow range on the volume knob where HD580/600 sounds 'just right' (driven really well), but one gets the sense that a better amp would bring out even more potential, particularly at lower volumes. However, a maxed out Meta42 is probably a good minimum recommendation to hear what the cans are capable of (I certainly enjoy mine).
 
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Unamped, my 580s sound so bad...

(...how bad do they sound, P?)

Unamped, my 580s sound so bad... that they are my first choice for home listening, ahead of: my lesser Sennheisers, any Grado, and the AKG K240 I used to have.

For thin sound lacking in dynamics I would go back to the SR60s I owned and used as my primary cans for seven years.

Disclaimer: the 580s are guaranteed to perform poorly if you starve them - soundcards, PDCPs and the like are not going to make them happy headphones. They need at least a good receiver, and it certainly won't hurt to have a dedicated amp. A well-built Pimeta or a Rega Ear ought to be dandy. If you want bragging rights, grab a PPA.

As to what you should buy... only you can decide... but I am listening to my 580s out of a Yamaha receiver right now and they sound wonderful.
 
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