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O2 powerful enough for HD600?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by krismusic, Dec 17, 2014.
  1. krismusic Contributor
    Bear of little brain here again.
    Is the O2 Objective technically powerful enough to drive the Sennheiser HD600 at high volume?
  2. stv014
    Technically, the O2 is capable of about 116-117 dB SPL full scale output with the HD600 at the standard 2.5x low gain and using a 2 Vrms source (= 5 Vrms output from the O2 at full volume, and the HD600 has been measured to have a sensitivity of 90 dB / 0.23 Vrms by InnerFidelity, although obviously there can always be a few dB of random sample variation). ~3 dB higher SPL is possible by using high gain and controlling the volume at the source. High gain may also be useful with some very quiet and dynamic recordings that have peaks below -10 dBFS.
    In other words, for most people it should be more than powerful enough.
  3. krismusic Contributor
    Thank you very much for that. I wish technical data did not bounce of me like a rock!
    Is it a misconception to think that a more powerful amp would control the drivers better?
  4. cjl
    Yes, it is. Given otherwise identical specs, all that more power will give you is a higher peak SPL. The O2 is more than powerful enough for the great majority of headphones on the market, and is audibly perfect in nearly every way (aside from potentially a couple of weird corner cases).
    Keep in mind, if you're driving a pair of HD600s with volume peaks at 100dB (pretty loud), you will only ever need about 730mVRMS. 730mVRMS into several hundred ohms is really easy for an amp like the O2. Having a different amp capable of 10VRMS isn't doing you any good, since you aren't using it anyways. Accurate driver control is more about low distortion and low output impedance (good damping factor) than it is about available power, so long as the available power is sufficient for the required SPL.
  5. krismusic Contributor
    Nice one guys. Subjectively I love my 600's with the O2. I was encouraging a friend to buy one and he questioned whether it had enough power. I just wanted to check the reality as opposed to my impressions. Got to love SS for that. :)
  6. RRod
    If you want real fun try to convince people on the HD800 thread that the O2 is good enough for them.
  7. castleofargh Contributor
    http://www.apexhifi.com/specs.html  clic the excel pic to get the excel file. else you have 2 topics on headfi, one by xnor with most headphones need already estimated.
    then all you need is to find measurements about the O2 and that is not something the O2 lacks of ^_^.
    and the answer is yes of course.
    an amp with more power is like an usb charger of 1.5A compared to one of 1A. on something like a clip+ with a battery that is about 3.7v@300mA if I remember, you can guess that the battery isn't going to charge any better with either of those chargers. they both have more than enough available and will provide the maximum the battery can take.
    but if I try to charge my netbook that has some massive battery, then having a 2A charger would have let me charge my netbook faster. because even 1.5A will not provide all the battery can accept.
    so for a headphone and amp it's the same.  specs are important to make sure you'll have enough. but after that it won't change shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii(fan of HBO the wire for eternity). because the headphone will most likely be the current limiting component in the circuit(even more so with a 300ohm headphone). and the voltage will be set by you to have the proper loudness for your listening. making the needs for one headphone a fixed value whatever the amp plugged into it(as long as the amp can actually provide that much).
    at least that's my own understanding[​IMG] I hope I'm not all wrong.
  8. Happytalk
    My scientific guess is yes. I really dig the sound of the hd600's with the O2 Odac combo. Bitperfect with iTunes. It's a start, but a really good one. A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra by The Oscar Peterson Trio sounded beautiful. Just some lossless files.
  9. headwhacker
    +1 it's fun indeed. Many people will come up with different opinion why HD800 needs more power but no one can tell how they come up with. There will be a few will swear they can only listen to HD800 driven by speaker taps to get their "full potential". [​IMG] 
  10. Takeanidea
    Hi everyone,
    there is a lot of hype surrounding the hd800. I'm not telling anyone to get them I'm not saying they are the best headphones on the planet and I'm not an audio engineer.
    The hd800 needs a lot of power to go loud. I have a beautiful looking amp from fidelity audio which I paid to upgrade which doubled the output and had some more expensive components changed. I spoke to the owner and head engineer and talked to him about the results of his £800 amp being better bass and separation and a cleaner sound etc. Do you know what he said? He said well my amps don't produce better bass etc. They just go louder. That is a function of an amplifier. To make sounds louder. So if the HD600 sounds loud enough through the 02 dac combo then the HD800 would be right there shining with it. I just have something more expensive because I thought it was the best for my money at the time and I could afford it. Time has made me more dubious that spending lots of money on high end equipment is necessary to get the best from top end headphones.
    As long as they can be driven easily they'll sound just great with an amplifier that doesn't produce audible levels of distortion.
    After over 2 years of listening the HD800s continue to remain the most important part of the musical chain. That or any other headphones makes the most difference in sound when comparing equipment.
    It's not everyone's cup of tea is the hd800 but I'm not going to be telling you I could find any difference between the hp200se and my damagic
  11. headwhacker
    You need to define "a lot of power to go loud". Exact how much exactly is needed?
  12. Takeanidea
    I'll have a test and get back to you
  13. RRod
    My Magni only lets me play with about the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the pot before it drives the HD800s unbearably loudly, and that's b/c I'm a classical music fan. On my way overpowered V200, I have to put the gain to -6dB to make the pot at all usable as well. Like you, I went for "the best" I could glean from specs and reviews, but I now know I have way more amp than my cans need. It's all good in fine if others want to do this too, but I feel it's a disservice to great cans like the HD800s to drive away people with $2000 to spend simply on the myth they need a $3000 amp to deal with the HD800s, which is how the 800s thread reads. Sadly, the same thing happens for the 600/650/700 as well. The latter I own, and I can't even use it with the Magni b/c I get to use about 10degrees worth of the pot ^_^
  14. Takeanidea

    That's one of the best entries in headfi I've seen. Thank you very much for this I could have written this word for word.
    It's refreshing to see someone else is not sold on the myths created by a select few with money to burn and a burning desire to spew out a lexicon of meaningless phrases.
    Whatever headphones you love this is the season for sitting back and catching up on your favourite music while the rest of the family watches repeats of White Christmas. Enjoy them!
  15. toolio
    To get back to the original question, my unscientific answer is that my HD600s sound very good with my JDSlabs O2+ODAC. I was very pleasantly surprised when I first heard the combo. Not quite as good as my far more expensive Schiit Lyr/Bifrost, but not far off.

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