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Sennheiser HD 600's unamped sound no different then amped?

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  1. billybob_jcv
    Once upon a time (1996), the HD600 was the top of the Sennheiser line, and considered one of the best headphones in the world.
     
  2. KG Jag

    The HD 600 scales up well with better amps and equipment.  However, at that level you should be matching it with Flagship grade cans like the HD 800.
     
  3. Cobaltius
    Would the HD 600 be good with that combo though. I told myself that everything above that combo is overkill for them
     
    You don't consider the HD 600's flagships?
     
  4. KG Jag

    No--not for a long time.  For a long time--and especially true today--the HD 600 has been/is a quality mid-fi can. 
     
    Have not heard that combo, but know that it is a match for quality cans with a street price of about $1,000 and up.   The HD 600 can sound great with an amp as low in price as the O2.  Of course there are many quality options, including those from Schiit, well under price point/range you mentioned.
     
  5. Cobaltius
    I've heard the Schiit Mojo and Gungnir combo is great with the HD 600's especially when making the HD 600's balanced. I've read that it is just mind blowing.
     
  6. KG Jag

    So how is it with the HD 800?  See:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HD800
     
    I'd first put my money in Senn Flagship--or HE-6, LCD-3, T1, HE 560, etc. 
     
    The cost of the Schiit amp and dac is about $1,500.  I'd rather have the HD 800 with an O2 +/- DAC.  I certainly wouldn't spend $1,500 (5 x or more of the price of a new HD 600 with patience and shopping) as you plan to without testing the entire set-up with my own ears.
     
  7. Me x3

    HD600 are pretty easy to drive, easier than DT880/990 (250 Ohm version). For normal/healthy listening levels, you don't need much voltage.
     
    Many people (around here) misunderstand the amp's role (they plug HD600 into a Lyr and think they are driving them with the "huge amount of power they deserve").
     
    In my experience, some 'unamped' headphone outs (Smartphones, iPods, Laptops) are often noisy, others are just ok.
     
    For the vast majority of headphones and considering normal listening levels, the main purpose of external DAC and Amp is to provide a more transparent and refined sound, free of noise, free of distortion.
     
    If your 'unamped' out is quite good, then it sounds quite logical to me that you didn't noticed much of a difference (or any).

    Some really subtle differences could be there. Extended critical listening of top quality recordings might help in order to find those differences. Our hearing can be trained to get more information out of the music but also our brain can be tricked in order to think that we are hearing more and better when that's not happening.
     
    I haven't tried the Asgard yet, but I've read that it's a very slighty warmish solid state amp, same is said about Fiio E07K. They should be very much alike driving HD600s.
     
    These are two top quality albums:
    http://www.hdtracks.com/alexis-cole-a-kiss-in-the-dark
    http://www.hdtracks.com/sessions-from-the-17th-ward-binaural-134352
     
    Best Luck!
     
  8. alitomr
    I'm going to revive this old thread because this is asked all the time, and since I am currently listening to my new HD600, trying them from several sources, I must say that the difference in audio quality coming from them when connected to the iphone 5c or my laptop and then when connected to my very cheap but with a surprisingly powerful headphone output behringer q502usb mixer, is not subtle at all. The HD600 sounds actually quite nice from the laptop or the iphone. But the soundstage is practically NADA. Details and instrument separation disappear. Bass is a one note boom boom. A lot of things are no longer there, and overall it's like they sound from the mixer (which only puts 160mW into 300ohms) but through two pillows, or maybe behind a wall. 
     
    Listening to this HD600, now mid-fi and "easy to drive" (there was a not so distant time - 200:xf_cool: when the Sennheisers HD6X0 were "really hard to drive", makes me think about those headphones that supposedly change a lot depending on the components in the audio chain, because these really change depending on the amplification/source. 
     
    At this point, what I would suggest to anyone who happens to find this thread when looking for the truth ( [​IMG] ) is that you go get a cheap headphone amp and listen for yourself. There is no doubt that everybody hears differently. Some people are tone deaf and will probably not hear a difference between an HD800 with a super high end amp and dac or their iphone earphones.  You might. 
     
  9. Me x3

    Recording quality plays a role as well.
    People listening mostly to modern compressed stuff are less likely to hear a difference, while people listening to top class recordings and focusing on subtle details are more likely to hear a difference.
     
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