Sennheiser HD 650: Cheapest other gear
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My current set of earphones are CIEMS: Noble Audio Encores.
I drive them using my iPhone X or my macbook pro. I know I should get a DAP - but they sound pretty good as they are direct from these sources.

However, they do hurt my ears (left side is too big, looking to have it adjusted). Regardless, I can wear them when mobile but I'd like to pick up a pair of Sennheiser HD650 for home use.

I'd like to know what is the cheapest amp I should get that would pair well with them?
I've read the A20 is best, is that true?

Finally, all my music resides either on my iPhone X or through my macbook Pro. Should I be looking also at some other device to play from?

I'm really just looking to start enjoying the HD650 but don't have budget to buy a $1300+ amp, etc. What would you suggest?
 
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My current set of earphones are CIEMS: Noble Audio Encores.
I drive them using my iPhone X or my macbook pro. I know I should get a DAP - but they sound pretty good as they are direct from these sources.
However, they do hurt my ears (left side is too big, looking to have it adjusted). Regardless, I can wear them when mobile but I'd like to pick up a pair of Sennheiser HD650 for home use.
I'd like to know what is the cheapest amp I should get that would pair well with them?
I've read the A20 is best, is that true?
Finally, all my music resides either on my iPhone X or through my macbook Pro. Should I be looking also at some other device to play from?
I'm really just looking to start enjoying the HD650 but don't have budget to buy a $1300+ amp, etc. What would you suggest?
Massdrop/Sennheiser HD58X,150-Ohm, easier to drive then the 300-Ohm HD650
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-hd-58x-jubilee-headphones
 
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...I'd like to pick up a pair of Sennheiser HD650 for home use.

I'd like to know what is the cheapest amp I should get that would pair well with them?
I've read the A20 is best, is that true?
You can get a Darkvoice DV336se for half that as long as you don't plan on using low impedance, lower sensitivity headphones on them.


Finally, all my music resides either on my iPhone X or through my macbook Pro. Should I be looking also at some other device to play from?
A DAC so it sends a cleaner line output to the amp. Or a DAC-HPamp - same thing except you don't need analogue cables to connect them since it will be intenrally wired.

Something like the AudioGD NFB-11.


I'm really just looking to start enjoying the HD650 but don't have budget to buy a $1300+ amp, etc. What would you suggest?
You don't need $1300. The DV336se is around $300 or less and an ODAC to go with it costs around $100. AudioGD NFB-11 is in the same ballpark. Or maybe an ODAC and either a Meier Corda Jazz FF ($425) or WooAudio WA6se ($700). Still well under $1000.
 
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Massdrop/Sennheiser HD58X,150-Ohm, easier to drive then the 300-Ohm HD650
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-hd-58x-jubilee-headphones

You can get a Darkvoice DV336se for half that as long as you don't plan on using low impedance, lower sensitivity headphones on them.




A DAC so it sends a cleaner line output to the amp. Or a DAC-HPamp - same thing except you don't need analogue cables to connect them since it will be intenrally wired.

Something like the AudioGD NFB-11.




You don't need $1300. The DV336se is around $300 or less and an ODAC to go with it costs around $100. AudioGD NFB-11 is in the same ballpark. Or maybe an ODAC and either a Meier Corda Jazz FF ($425) or WooAudio WA6se ($700). Still well under $1000.
Thanks great info.

So can I expect a significant boost in audio quality going to the HD650 with, for example the Darkvoice DV336se+AudioGD NFB-11, over continuing to use my CIEMs (Noble Audio Encores) but with a DAP like an AK70 mkII?
Obviously they will sound different in regards to sound signature, but just trying to justify the change. Also, as mentioned, comfort is a big driver in the change too, but I may stick with the CIEMs and just get a good Astell/Kern DAP if the sound quality would be about the same as with the HD650 and a desktop amp+DAC.
 
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I'd like to pick up a pair of Sennheiser HD650 for home use.
I'd like to know what is the cheapest amp I should get that would pair well with them?
A Schiit Magni 3 will drive 300 ohm headphones to ear-damaging levels, and sound damn good doing it. There are plenty of DACs you could pair it with, including the new Modi 3.
http://www.schiit.com/home
 
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So can I expect a significant boost in audio quality going to the HD650 with, for example the Darkvoice DV336se+AudioGD NFB-11, over continuing to use my CIEMs (Noble Audio Encores) but with a DAP like an AK70 mkII?
Obviously they will sound different in regards to sound signature, but just trying to justify the change. Also, as mentioned, comfort is a big driver in the change too, but I may stick with the CIEMs and just get a good Astell/Kern DAP if the sound quality would be about the same as with the HD650 and a desktop amp+DAC.
I'm not sure why you'd use the NFB-11 with the DV336se. The NFB-11 already has a fantastic amplifier stage that will work with practically any headphone while the DV336se will have some limitations, ie, low sensitivity, low impedance headphones. You might as well save money and just use the NFB-11.

As for whetehr it will be better than your IEMs, I can't answer that. Imaging can be a little bit better, but the HD650 isn't going to project the same kind of soundstage as, say, an HD800, so it's not by much over an IEM. Tonally, I can't be sure as I haven't tried those Nobles.

What i can say is that as much as I have the ASG-1 as a reference IEM and a (heavily EQ-d) ZST as my beater, everything I use has a similar enough sound now, but as much as I use IEMs mostly all day, doesn't mean I'd just use an IEM at home save for example when rain pounds on the roof making the open headphones unusable.
 
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