Suitable portable or battery powered amplifier for DT880 600 ohm
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TheGiantHogweed

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I originally purchased the 250ohm versions of the DT880s but had reliability problems with the coiled cable, so decided to go with the 600 ohms. I use the FiiO A3 and most of the time, it can just about go loud enough, but sometimes has distortion. Sometimes, especially with films or quieter music, you just can't get them to the ideal volume.

I've tried these headphones with my integrated amplifier (pioneer A-209r) and this can get them more than loud enough (can't even go close to half way), but this is not in an ideal location. I don't notice much if any improvement in sound quality over my A3 using this which makes me question how much it is worth spending on an amplifier if the main thing it will do is make it louder rather than also making a noticeable improvement in sound quality. I'm wanting to keep it under £100 if possible.

A portable or battery powered amplifier is pretty important to me as I use it most on my desk, but do use it elsewhere. I also find that almost every device I have that gets powered by USB or is powered through the wall lets some noise / interference through to my headphones. I just prefer to have the audio input and a battery and charge it when not in use. I bought the Fiio A5 at one point and surprisingly, I found it was barely any louder than my A3. Given the specs and the price difference, I was rather disappointed and returned it.

I just use a simple DAC (SMSL M3) that happens to have a rather weak headphone amplifier in. This is fine for most headphones and I use the line out to connect my integrated amplifier and speakers and my A3 currently to power my DT880s. Preferably, I would just like a simple analogue amplifier with a battery, dial volume control and a 3.5mm input and output. Don't need it to be full of features, just very powerful. Size also doesn't really matter. Can be far bigger than the A3 if needed.

If such a thing is hard to find for under £100, then next time I purchase headphones, I possibly should go for lower impedance ones as if I have to spend much more that £100, that is paying nearly the same for the amplifier as the headphones themselves. I'm sure many will say this is necessary to get them to sound good, but given I got my A3 for under £50, I'm hoping there is something out there of very similar design that is a lot louder for not too much more.



Thanks.
 
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buke9

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600 ohm headphones are not meant for portable devices. The A5 is as powerful as you can get for the money and it was not designed for 600 ohm headphones so not too surprised it didn’t do too much better.
 
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Mightygrey

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The iFi Micro iDSD Black Label ought to have no worries in 'Turbo Mode'.
 
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buke9

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The iFi Micro iDSD Black Label ought to have no worries in 'Turbo Mode'.
Don’t think you can get one for $100 though as is the OP’s budget.
 
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TheGiantHogweed

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600 ohm headphones are not meant for portable devices. The A5 is as powerful as you can get for the money and it was not designed for 600 ohm headphones so not too surprised it didn’t do too much better.
I did think I could run into this problem. And it could well be the case that I'm expecting too much. My next best option may be spending just a little more on some very similar sounding headphones that are easier to drive. I would have preferred the 250ohm if it wasn't for the coiled cable.

I possibly could have a powered amplifier for my desk and just put up with the A3 being a bit quieter when using my headphones elsewhere i suppose. I tend to still use them in my room though, just not at my desk. So an amplifier with a remote if such a thing exists may be good too. Anyhow, a few suggestions of desktop amplifiers under £100 may still be worth looking at. Preferably just with an analogue input.
 
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