Headphone Amps? Anyone use one?

Vargas

Molon Labe!
Oct 16, 2008
3,426
151
63
Western, PA
Does anyone use a headphone amp? If so, which one?

I'm thinking of doing this as I want to get a nice pair of over the ear head phones to use and I think an amp would compliment them nicely.

Any opinions would be welcome and appreciated.
 
Here is the problem. In order to achieve a reasonable battery life, many designers limit the ability of the audio output stage to deliver substantial amounts of current. What this means is that the device may sound great with higher impedance headsets but sound restricted or distorted with lower impedance headphones.

I have a pair of Grado headphones which sound absolutely great with my home hi-fi equipment but really suck with an ipod or my XM Inno. Yes, an amplifier would remedy this situation. That's not what I do. I have another pair for use with battery powered devices. It is a Koss Sporta-pro. It's about 60 ohms compared to the Grado 30 ohms. This is enough to make a great difference.

If you gotta have the Grados (or Senheisers), get an amp. Otherwise search the net for something with a little higher impedance.

Good luck & let us know how you do on this. This is a good topic that many need to know about.
 

Vargas

Molon Labe!
Oct 16, 2008
3,426
151
63
Western, PA
Here is the problem. In order to achieve a reasonable battery life, many designers limit the ability of the audio output stage to deliver substantial amounts of current. What this means is that the device may sound great with higher impedance headsets but sound restricted or distorted with lower impedance headphones.

I have a pair of Grado headphones which sound absolutely great with my home hi-fi equipment but really suck with an ipod or my XM Inno. Yes, an amplifier would remedy this situation. That's not what I do. I have another pair for use with battery powered devices. It is a Koss Sporta-pro. It's about 60 ohms compared to the Grado 30 ohms. This is enough to make a great difference.

If you gotta have the Grados (or Senheisers), get an amp. Otherwise search the net for something with a little higher impedance.

Good luck & let us know how you do on this. This is a good topic that many need to know about.

that is fantastic information and I had not thought of it like that.

I have not yet done anything but I will let you know when I do.
 

DoublEE

Active Member
Oct 11, 2008
640
40
28
53
South Euclid, Ohio
Vargas:

I have a pair of Phiaton MS400 and absolutely love them. I looked at the the highest end headphones and most and two drawbacks to them. They required a amp to power them and they were an open design. They are considered audiophile headphones and the drivers can be powered by an iPod (or other portable devices.) These bad boys will cost you $249 but I consider it a steal considering how great they sound.

http://www.phiaton.com/fulfillment/public/ShoppingCart/product_detail.asp?prod=12471

As always, before digging into the product, I hit the website to find the technical specifications:

MS400 - From the Moderna Series

* Studio grade 40 mm Electrodynamic Drivers
* Impedance: 32 Ohm
* Sensitivity: 98 dB
* Max input power: 1,000 mW
* Weight: 6.5 oz / 185 g without cord

With these additional features:

* Carbon fiber enclosure for high quality audio
* Optimized airflow delivers concert hall sound quality
* Close-ear design promotes greater noise reduction

 
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