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Headphone + DAC + Amp Combo

solderdude

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You can also use the BTR5 and connect using 3.5mm TRS to L30/L50 (3.5mm TRS to 2x RCA) as it provides 1.6V which is enough for L30/L50
 

Leiker535

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Thanks! So this means, I use the laptop USBC-C to connect to BTR5. Use a 2.5 mm -> 6.35 mm balanced cable (do not know if such cables exist) to connect from BTR5 to L50 6.3 input. this way I will get the max power out of L50. Is my understanding correct?
Yes, but you'll need a split cable, the 2.5 end will contain L/R and respective grounds, and the other end will be two P10 for the bal in of the L50. Or you could use a simples 3.5mm SE > SE RCA and don't worry about it, as you will not use all the power for all but the most demanding headphones (or very high impedance headphones). The Sundara will be plenty fine with SE. And up to 300 ohm headphones with medium/sensitivity headphones like the Hd6X0s will get to deafening levels of loud with SE.

I use my 6xx with the L30 and an aggressive -9dB EQ preamp and still get easily above 90 dB with headroom. The only instance my setup falls a bit short is with the 600ohm DT 880, but with that type of headphone you'd better the A30 Pro or an OTL (if you don't care for state of the art SINAD).
 
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Sprint

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Yes, but you'll need a split cable, the 2.5 end will contain L/R and respective grounds, and the other end will be two P10 for the bal in of the L50. Or you could use a simples 3.5mm SE > SE RCA and don't worry about it, as you will not use all the power for all but the most demanding headphones (or very high impedance headphones). The Sundara will be plenty fine with SE. And up to 300 ohm headphones with medium/sensitivity headphones like the Hd6X0s will get to deafening levels of loud with SE.

I use my 6xx with the L30 and an aggressive -9dB EQ preamp and still get easily above 90 dB with headroom. The only instance my setup falls a bit short is with the 600ohm DT 880, but with that type of headphone you'd better the A30 Pro or an OTL (if you don't care for state of the art SINAD).
Thanks a lot! Is it true that higher impedance headphone sound more detailed? Sundara is 37 ohms but is the champion for details. Would love to know on what does higher impedance phone provide more than lower impedance phones. I will be getting my Sundara tomorrow. Next year, I will buy HD560s as a secondary set.
 

Leiker535

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Thanks a lot! Is it true that higher impedance headphone sound more detailed? Sundara is 37 ohms but is the champion for details. Would love to know on what does higher impedance phone provide more than lower impedance phones. I will be getting my Sundara tomorrow. Next year, I will buy HD560s as a secondary set.

No, that's a myth. Impedance has to due with the way the driver is designed and purposed. Some decades ago we hadn't the marvelous scene of top spec cheap amplifiers we have today, that have vanishingly low levels of distortion and, most importantly in this scenario, output impedance.

If an amplifier has high output impedance, as had those old amplifiers and most OTL tube amps, the damping factor (the ratio between the HP impedance and the OI of the amp) would be halved and driver control would be compromised, making the frequency response change in some ways, specially in the lower octaves (increasing decay and making bass woomfier). So, in order to counteract this, specially for studio use, manufacturers like sennheiser, AKG and Beyerdinamic made headphones with very high impedance (300 ohms or higher) so their headphones wouldn't be much affected by poorly designed amplifiers, specially ones that had actual resistors on the outlet to lessen the floor noise.

Some people actually like this effect and use OTL amps and so to make the FR "warmer", but the extension of the effect vary a lot from headphone to headphone. The Sennheiser HD 6x0 line for example changes considerably with higher OI amps, as do IEMs (for the worse, IMO), while my beyerdinamic for instance doesn't:

index.php


1637797403502.png


As seen on diy-audioheaven and measured by solderdude.

With planars, which have low impedance and thus are more current dependent, amplifiers with high OI, specially OTLs, will sound awful because of the current shortage.
 

twsecrest

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Thanks a lot! Is it true that higher impedance headphone sound more detailed? Sundara is 37 ohms but is the champion for details. Would love to know on what does higher impedance phone provide more than lower impedance phones. I will be getting my Sundara tomorrow. Next year, I will buy HD560s as a secondary set.
A 37-Ohm headphone can sound just as good as a 600-Ohm headphone.
In the old days headphones needed to have high impedance (250-Ohm to 600-Ohm), to work well with the sources it would normally be plugged into (recording studios or hi-fi receiver or stereo amplifiers or tube amps). Because the source's headphone jack had high impedance, the headphone needed to have an even high impedance (damping control). lots of voltage need to overcome the headphone's high impedance. Now the majority of the headphone market has shifted to portable (battery) power sources (smartphone, DAPs, etc). Battery means limited power source, so the impedance of the headphone has to be brought way down (8-Ohm to 50-Ohm), requiring less voltage to drive the headphone (but the current has to be increased). Low impedance headphones do not sound good plugged into high impedances sources. So a tube headphone amplifier (lots of voltage, but little current) would not be a good match for your 37-Ohm headphones, stick to solid state amps for low Ohm headphones.
 
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Sprint

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No, that's a myth. Impedance has to due with the way the driver is designed and purposed. Some decades ago we hadn't the marvelous scene of top spec cheap amplifiers we have today, that have vanishingly low levels of distortion and, most importantly in this scenario, output impedance.

If an amplifier has high output impedance, as had those old amplifiers and most OTL tube amps, the damping factor (the ratio between the HP impedance and the OI of the amp) would be halved and driver control would be compromised, making the frequency response change in some ways, specially in the lower octaves (increasing decay and making bass woomfier). So, in order to counteract this, specially for studio use, manufacturers like sennheiser, AKG and Beyerdinamic made headphones with very high impedance (300 ohms or higher) so their headphones wouldn't be much affected by poorly designed amplifiers, specially ones that had actual resistors on the outlet to lessen the floor noise.

Some people actually like this effect and use OTL amps and so to make the FR "warmer", but the extension of the effect vary a lot from headphone to headphone. The Sennheiser HD 6x0 line for example changes considerably with higher OI amps, as do IEMs (for the worse, IMO), while my beyerdinamic for instance doesn't:

index.php


View attachment 167884

As seen on diy-audioheaven and measured by solderdude.

With planars, which have low impedance and thus are more current dependent, amplifiers with high OI, specially OTLs, will sound awful because of the current shortage.

Thanks a lot! Contributors like you make us learn a lot from a great forum like ASR. My Sundaras arrived today and I will listen to it tonight. Have a great evening!
 
OP
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Sprint

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A 37-Ohm headphone can sound just as good as a 600-Ohm headphone.
In the old days headphones needed to have high impedance (250-Ohm to 600-Ohm), to work well with the sources it would normally be plugged into (recording studios or hi-fi receiver or stereo amplifiers or tube amps). Because the source's headphone jack had high impedance, the headphone needed to have an even high impedance (damping control). lots of voltage need to overcome the headphone's high impedance. Now the majority of the headphone market has shifted to portable (battery) power sources (smartphone, DAPs, etc). Battery means limited power source, so the impedance of the headphone has to be brought way down (8-Ohm to 50-Ohm), requiring less voltage to drive the headphone (but the current has to be increased). Low impedance headphones do not sound good plugged into high impedances sources. So a tube headphone amplifier (lots of voltage, but little current) would not be a good match for your 37-Ohm headphones, stick to solid state amps for low Ohm headphones.
Thanks a lot! I had ordered a Topping L50 and will listen to it tonight for the first time with Sundara.
 

BillyKueek

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Hi all,

Big fan of ASR and had my living room set up based on learnings from ASR. Currently I own a Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm driven by FiiO BTR5 DAC + AMP. I am looking to step to the next level. The source is iPad Pro 2021 and MacBook Pro 2021 model. I listen to Apple Music lossless, Spotify and YouTube music.I listen most of the times in my bed or couch. Desktop is rarely used. I am in EU and I do not have many HiFI shops to listen. I am dependant on Thomann or Amazon. Since I already own a closed headphone, this time I am inclined towards open back headphones. Budget for whole set up and to be end game is max 600 Euros and the lesser the better with high value for money.

Here are some that I listed in the order of ranking based on my reading of reviews in ASR/crinacle.

1. HiFiman HE-400SE (169 Euros)
2. Audio Technica ath-r70x (305 Euros)
3. Sennheiser HD 560s (200 Euros)
4. Sennheiser HD 600 (400 Euros)
5. Hifiman Sandara (350 Euros)
6. AKG702 (120 Euros)

Which of them has the highest value for money and close to end game? Or should I stick to my DT770? Which 2 HP would you propose so that I can order, compare and return one of them?

I assume I would need an AMP to drive one of the above. The next question is do I need a DAC or can I rely on the DAC of my iPAD and MacBook? If I need should I go for seperates or DAC/AMP combo?

The DAC/AMP combo that I have selected is:
1. HDIZIS HD80 (140 Euros but currently not available)
2. Topping EX5 (349 Euros)
3. Topping DX3+ Pro (200 Euros but currently not available)
4. Topping E30 + L30 Combo?

Do I really need balanced output (XLR?) for better sonic reproduction? I may also go for IEM like 7HZ timeless next year and therefore Amp to be compatible.

I am also looking for Noise cancelling wireless HP for my office + occasional casual music? I am eyeing on Bose 35 or 45, Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless
or anything else. I assume these wireless cannot come close the above HP.


Thanks in advance for your help!
What are you preferences in sound? What type of music do you listen to more? A quick look at your list and my first instinct price suggestions would be Hifiman Sundara + iFi Zen DAC V2
 
OP
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Sprint

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What are you preferences in sound? What type of music do you listen to more? A quick look at your list and my first instinct price suggestions would be Hifiman Sundara + iFi Zen DAC V2
Thanks! I like Neutral sound with tons of details. I listen to Jazz, Pop, Electronic, Indian movie songs, Classical. I never listen to Rock, heavy metal. I am testing now Sundara with Topping L50. But without EQ. I need to continue testing further.
 
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