Quick question, hd650 ipod combo
Nov 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

zpro

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Hello,
 
So tomorrow I will be picking up my first pair of quality headphones, sennheiser hd650's. They have been used lightly (essentially new) and the owner upgraded to hd800's so is selling his hd650's.
 
I understand these headphones are 300ohm and need proper amplification to unleash their full potential (...right?).
 
I would love to use these headphones with my ipod (ipod video, 5th gen, 30gb) on the go (battery) and have been looking at a few of the amp or amp/dac combos I see mentioned frequently (E17 being one) and to be honest I am overwhelmed. It seems every person recommends something completely different (not that this is bad! just difficult to process...).
 
Also I understand using an amp like this, one should not be using the headphone out of the ipod to feed the portable amp but preferably the actual docking slot of the ipod. Where do I find such a connector? Which one would be suitable for my setup.
 
Also I have a focusrite saffire pro 40 at home that is fed data through firewire from my desktop pc. Would this be suitable for home listening with the hd650's? I also use an onkyo receiver fed by the saffire pro 40 (do not have have the exact model number) to power my paradigm titans and paradigm 7semk3's which has a 1/4" headphone output... Not sure whether I should plug the headphones into the soundcard, the receiver or neither...
 
I only listen to lossless (FLAC, WAVE, ALAC) content period. My ipod is running rockbox os and I will probably never use the apple os again. Will I need to change my Ipod (5th gen 30gb video) to use it with an external amp/dac such as the e17 through the dock port?
 
Much love and many thanks to any input.
 
Sorry if my English is lacking in coherence.
 
Nov 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM Post #2 of 7

mata944

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I don't think you can use the DAC option with the E17 or E7 with ipods, only the amp.  You cant bypass the internal DAC in the ipod; at least not without spending a lot more money. Not sure if you know this already.  Plus I've read that the ipod video 5th gen already has a pretty good internal DAC.
The connector your wondering about is called a LOD cable (example: fiio L9).  I use one and it makes a difference in sound quality IMO.
For an amp for your ipod, I would suggest holding out for the upcoming fiio E12 (Supposed to come out in december I think).  For more info on the E12; http://www.head-fi.org/t/620339/upcoming-fiio-flagship-portable-amp-mont-blanc-e12-updated-on-11-9-2012
Hope this helps.
 
Dec 3, 2012 at 10:15 PM Post #4 of 7

zpro

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So figured I should update here instead of starting a new thread.
 
I finally managed to snag the hd650's for 350CAD which seems to be a good price. The previous owner said they have about 50 hours of use max probably less.
 
First impression was that these are great headphones. I am now curious as to how much the sound will really change upon upgrading to a higher end headphone specific amp such as the fiio amps.
 
Unfortunately I was expecting more. I thought it would be a comparable experience to reference quality bookshelf speakers, and maybe it is (I am still getting used to them to be honest)... But I feel almost worried to say I would have appreciated more definition.
 
Is an amp a worthwhile investment? I am currently playing them through my focusrite saffire pro 40. Would appreciate any input as I have zero experience with hifi headphones.
 
Much love.
 
P.s.: Are cable upgrades something I should be looking into?
 
May 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM Post #5 of 7

zpro

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Hate to bring this back from the dead.
 
Still looking into scaling upgrades for my hd650's.
 
I have come to the conclusion that I feel they are lacking treble definition/depth no matter what I run them through. I compare them to my favorite soundsource so far, which is my paradigm titan mk1 bookshelf speakers (absolutely love these). I listen mostly to jazz, reggae, and acoustic music and can comfortably say I like high frequency definition and presence more than most people. Bass is not something I like very much of.
 
Currently I mostly listen to them through my desktop pc with a texas instruments firewire card connected to a saffire pro 40, then a technics su-9070, se-9060 preamp and amp.
 
I am looking into possibly changing to a silver cable such as the headphile black silver cable... Would this be a worthwhile upgrade? Some say it is snake oil others say there is a definite change which is slowly driving me insane...
 
I have over 100 hours on them now. Not sure how many exactly though.
 
I would appreciate any input.
 
Much love.
 
May 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM Post #6 of 7

ButtUglyJeff

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Do you have a budget?  And have you invested in a decent LOD (Line Out Dock)?
 
May 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM Post #7 of 7

zpro

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Sorry for the really late reply here... Dont really have a budget.
 
I dont think I need a line out dock unless I am missing something, as I am never on the go when I am using them (so no ipod).
 
Consulted a local hifi specialist and he thinks my amp and preamp need to be changed or upgraded and I must say I am starting to feel the same...
 
On the other hand I am thinking of trying to get my android phone functioning with usb audio and a portable amp.
 
Much love.
 

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