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Most affordable Amp or Amp+Dac combo for HiFiman HE400i

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  1. 0pethian
    Okay i joined this forum as i purchased HE400i as they were $229 on amazon for just like a night n then went back to $249. I currently dont own any amp or dac and anyother decent can i ever owned are Sennheiser HD 598 CS (closedback) so im in no way an audiophile so have zero knowledge about this stuff. I will have to get things from Amazon or US and someone will bring it to my country as we dont get anything here without paying like a hefty premium.
    My audio source is Macbook Pro 15inch 2015 playing my flacs. I dont need anything portable or super light weight, good sound is my main concern which can drive HE400i, i dont think ill ever buy anything better than these or anything at all for a very long time.
    Read other threads as well but most people who made those threads had multiple cans in their collection so their choices were based on what they have which might not be true for me. 
    Also checked this page and nearly all of those $150+ are out of my budget at the moment, may be in 2-3 months i save enough to get something around 150 mark in this list. So what u guys recommend i should get, if im building some setup just for HE400i and HD598 CS.
     
    Thanks 
     
  2. Dulalala
    Well honestly I don't think you need a DAC/Amp. The HE400i is easy to drive so there is no need for one if your current setup has no issue. My recommendation is to save it up for your next headphone purchase however long that may be. However, if you do want one my recommendation would be the Schiit Fulla 2.
     
    0pethian likes this.
  3. 0pethian
    ur the 2nd guy who has recommended this Fulla-2 to me, the ist being this guy on YouTube (aornic) lets hope u both r not the same :D
    problem for me is Fulla-2 is not shipped to my country but will do something ... 
    do u really think a macbook pro 2015 can drive them? a guy i know tried to run them on MBP 2016 15inch n he was not satisfied and another tried Fiio E07K and both r not satisfied, cant say for myself as ill get them in few days 
    price of FUlla-2 is well within my budget ... if u have tried them n then some n then recommending them then u must be right in ur recommendations ... 
     
  4. Dulalala
    Well I don't have a Macbook so I can't say for certain but my phone can adequately power them so it should be no issue. If the Schiit Fulla 2 is not available maybe take a look at the Dragonfly Black. It is quite good too.
     
    0pethian likes this.
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Bravo Ocean tube (hybrid) headphone amplifier, $80.
    Plug it directly into the Macbook.
     
    0pethian likes this.
  6. AT Khan

    I would glady, gladly disagree. He needs an amp. I just got the He400i 2 days ago and I have a fiiO E07k and a creative E05 and guess what... I need an amp. Yeah, still. Even these amps are insufficient for me right now. So no, the fiiO E17 or maybe even the E12 may fall short.

    If he's not gonna be buying stuff for a long time, he better get something good enough that may possibly help him later too. But even for his current Hifiman, he will have to have an amp.
     
    I have a lot of other cans and the amps were playing them like no sweat and suddenly they are really sweating with the Hifiman now. I'm surprised too but well, it's how it is.

    Someone also did not approve the schitt fulla for me. And the objective O2 errr... don't know about that either.
     
    0pethian I am again thinking about at least that little dot ii or maybe that xduoo xd-05 or something... but I don't know... let's study stuff. I think $160 to $200 range will have be inevitably the way. I'd hate it that you get something and save some money and then regret. Schiit fulla 2 someone said may not be powerful enough. Just hang in there, study the options, gather the money and go for the kill then.
     
    0pethian likes this.
  7. 0pethian

    @AT Khan  offcourse i dont wana regret later when this hobby grows on me and i curse myself 
    but whats the reason why a 35ohm cans would need so much amping? 
    i can barely hear my HD598 CS at half the volume with Boom 2 which just enhances the audio (not a good solution) 
    but again i have not heard many cans or have any experience ... so this community of experts is my only help
    2ndly as u know where i live, so getting something is already a big issue for me :) 
    thanks for having a different opinion, it always generates more discussion and we might reach a better conclusion
     
  8. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    The impednace (Ohm) is just one factor to consider for how much power it takes to drive headphones.
     
  9. buke9
    The E 12 would have no problems bringing them to ear bleed levels I'm sure. My old Alpha Dogs were much harder to drive and it hurt past 1 or 2 o'clock on the high gain. I have the 400's and 400S the 400's need a amp for sure but the S's not so much but do sound better with one.
     
  10. Dulalala
    Well if you look purely at specifications....
     
    HE-400i (headphone impedance: 35 Ohm, headphone sensitivity: 93.0 dB SPL/mW)
     
                                 LISTENING LOUDNESS      VOLTAGE NEEDED         CURRENT NEEDED          POWER NEEDED
    Safe
    85 dB SPL
    0.07 Vrms
    2 mA
    0.14 mW
    Moderate
    100 dB SPL
    0.42 Vrms
    12 mA
    5.04 mW
    Fairly Loud
    110 dB SPL
    1.32 Vrms
    37.71 mA
    49.78 mW
    Very Loud
    115 dB SPL
    2.36 Vrms
    67.43 mA
    159.13 mW
    Painful
    120 dB SPL
    4.19 Vrms
    119.71 mA
    501.6 mW
     

    (taken from http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion/4470 but can be calculated from http://www.digizoid.com/headphones-power.html)
     
    The Fiio E07K supplies 220mW at 32 Ohm so unless you want ear bleedingly loud levels it can power it. I may be wrong however as I haven't personally tried it but SPEC wise it should work. Same goes for the Schiit Fulla which outputs 360mW at 32 Ohm. Also OTL tube amps aren't the best to use with low impedance headphones. I would go for a hybrid if you want a tube amp.
     
  11. Wyllio
    Schiit Fulla 2 is a good amp that has enough power to drive most headphones. Uses AK4490 DAC that is also in other more expensive products like the Modi 2/Uber and Bifrost. Its also go a fixed and variable in case you ever want to hook up powered speaker to your setup.
     
    HE400i aren't particular hard to drive, seemed loud enough for me if I were to play them through my iPhone. They sit at around 75-80% volume on my phone, which is around 70-75 dB out from the headphones. Tho, on my phone they did sound thin, and with an amp/dac it did improve the sound quality. 
     
  12. 0pethian
     
    @Dulalala  thanks for such a detailed reply
    i also got these stats from another friend and Schitt Fulla - 2 does look better n quite capable
     

    i cant really push my headphones past 50% on my MBP, so i think i will be good n F-2 will be enough for my needs n i think may be they will be able to power any future cans i get ... 

     
  13. AT Khan

    Well Im using the he400i with the e07k. At full (12db) gain and at 80% volume, its still not bleeding levels and if the music is bassy, the amp distorts with each bass kick. You can hear it so clearly.

    I dont care about the measurements here. Im hearing distortion and each kick pound is like an industrial slop. And anyhow, by the time i increase the volume to that level the bass has already become so dry and thin.

    Overall the amp is not so bad but insufficient. It gives in before it totals out. And no these are not quite ear bleeding levels. Only at at least 40% volume at high gain do the cans become comfortably audible.
     
  14. illram
    For comparison, on the E10K my 400i gets uncomfortably loud around 4 or 5 on the dial when set to high gain. 2 or 3 is great and plenty loud. The E10K is not particularly powerful. So I imagine something like that or the old Fulla (on sale if they still have stock) would suffice if you're looking for something cheap. 
     
    0pethian likes this.
  15. 0pethian

    so E10K r enough for these?
    Fulla gen 1 were on sale but cant see them on amazon
    e10K r $75 
     
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