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Hifiman Edition XS

Tobi

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Output Impedance (HP)BAL
SE
<2 Ohms
<1 Ohm

Even if those relatively small numbers are correct, with 18 Ohm Headphones, every increase in output impedance matters quite a bit.
I'm also no expert on these topics, but if I'm correct you're losing around 1/18th of your available power into that 1 Ohm resistance when using SE out. On BAL out you then lose around 2/18 (= 1/9) of your available power, so the efficiency drops.
"Losing" power here does not mean you actually lose it, it means it gets used inside the output's resistance and transforms into heat, not being used to drive your headphones.
At 300 Ohm the Amp's output impedance does not matter too much, as most of your power gets indeed "used" in the headphones resistance.

Also, as others already pointed out, you need a lot of current for 18 Ohm low efficiency headphones. The Zen Can seems to struggle with that current delivery, as you can see in Amirs Review.
I think you also mentioned the Schiit Asgard 3 as a potential alternative. While it puts out a lot of power into low impedances without clipping, the distortion rises quite a bit, even at 33 Ohm. The distortion performance will therefore be worse at 18 Ohm (it will also clip earlier, however Amir did not test impedances lower than 33 Ohm).
So yeah, if you don't mind distortion, you should get a lot of power from the Asgard 3.

Another potential alternative you mentioned is the Topping L50, which does not really struggle with current delivery whatsoever (see Amir's review).
I for myself don't really get the "its too analytical", it's just playing the music you feed it, without adding distortion products.

Either way, you really don't need that much power for the Edition XS, you just need a lot of current, so I would search for Amps that can provide that without clipping.

So, getting back to our actual Topic here, the wonderful Edition XS :)
When it comes to low impedance and low efficiency headphones like the Edition XS, one of the most important graphs in Amirs Amplifier reviews is power delivery /clipping behavior for different impedances. Thats where you can get a sense of the amplifiers capabilities for these kind of headphones.
 

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Makafuni

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Even if those relatively small numbers are correct, with 18 Ohm Headphones, every increase in output impedance matters quite a bit.
I'm also no expert on these topics, but if I'm correct you're losing around 1/18th of your available power into that 1 Ohm resistance when using SE out. On BAL out you then lose around 2/18 (= 1/9) of your available power, so the efficiency drops.
"Losing" power here does not mean you actually lose it, it means it gets used inside the output's resistance and transforms into heat, not being used to drive your headphones.
At 300 Ohm the Amp's output impedance does not matter too much, as most of your power gets indeed "used" in the headphones resistance.

Also, as others already pointed out, you need a lot of current for 18 Ohm low efficiency headphones. The Zen Can seems to struggle with that current delivery, as you can see in Amirs Review.
I think you also mentioned the Schiit Asgard 3 as a potential alternative. While it puts out a lot of power into low impedances without clipping, the distortion rises quite a bit, even at 33 Ohm. The distortion performance will therefore be worse at 18 Ohm (it will also clip earlier, however Amir did not test impedances lower than 33 Ohm).
So yeah, if you don't mind distortion, you should get a lot of power from the Asgard 3.

Another potential alternative you mentioned is the Topping L50, which does not really struggle with current delivery whatsoever (see Amir's review).
I for myself don't really get the "its too analytical", it's just playing the music you feed it, without adding distortion products.

Either way, you really don't need that much power for the Edition XS, you just need a lot of current, so I would search for Amps that can provide that without clipping.

So, getting back to our actual Topic here, the wonderful Edition XS :)
When it comes to low impedance and low efficiency headphones like the Edition XS, one of the most important graphs in Amirs Amplifier reviews is power delivery /clipping behavior for different impedances. Thats where you can get a sense of the amplifiers capabilities for these kind of headphones.
Thx, that explains a lot :)

I know there is a lot of people who won't seem to acknowledge the fact that these headphones need current not power. I think I get that but not sure how to figure out given current delivery based on the relatively sparse info you get on manufactures sites.

But it would be nice with a thread to discuss the best pairings for these headphones. Amps, dacs, cables etc. I think this HP is very revealing and pretty sensitive to what you feed it with. So would be nice with peoples experiences in this area.

I know there are other threads around but have not found much info so far. And it would leave out those who just refuse to believe that different gear will affect the sound if it doesn't effect the FR in a test.

I can't seem to find specs on amps which says how much current is delivered at a give ohm, but with the asgard and l50 I assumed that 1W+ in 16 ohm would also deliver sufficient current.

Don't mind distortion as long as inaudible and the rest sounds good.
 

Makafuni

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Even if those relatively small numbers are correct, with 18 Ohm Headphones, every increase in output impedance matters quite a bit.
I'm also no expert on these topics, but if I'm correct you're losing around 1/18th of your available power into that 1 Ohm resistance when using SE out. On BAL out you then lose around 2/18 (= 1/9) of your available power, so the efficiency drops.
"Losing" power here does not mean you actually lose it, it means it gets used inside the output's resistance and transforms into heat, not being used to drive your headphones.
At 300 Ohm the Amp's output impedance does not matter too much, as most of your power gets indeed "used" in the headphones resistance.

Also, as others already pointed out, you need a lot of current for 18 Ohm low efficiency headphones. The Zen Can seems to struggle with that current delivery, as you can see in Amirs Review.
I think you also mentioned the Schiit Asgard 3 as a potential alternative. While it puts out a lot of power into low impedances without clipping, the distortion rises quite a bit, even at 33 Ohm. The distortion performance will therefore be worse at 18 Ohm (it will also clip earlier, however Amir did not test impedances lower than 33 Ohm).
So yeah, if you don't mind distortion, you should get a lot of power from the Asgard 3.

Another potential alternative you mentioned is the Topping L50, which does not really struggle with current delivery whatsoever (see Amir's review).
I for myself don't really get the "its too analytical", it's just playing the music you feed it, without adding distortion products.

Either way, you really don't need that much power for the Edition XS, you just need a lot of current, so I would search for Amps that can provide that without clipping.

So, getting back to our actual Topic here, the wonderful Edition XS :)
When it comes to low impedance and low efficiency headphones like the Edition XS, one of the most important graphs in Amirs Amplifier reviews is power delivery /clipping behavior for different impedances. Thats where you can get a sense of the amplifiers capabilities for these kind of headphones.
I'll go check out some of his reviews then. but from reading different forums and post, different opinions etc It's very unclear how much power/current it actually needs. Some says it's sufficient with a dongle some says it needs 2+ watts and others that it need a lot of current not power. ´But not really how much is enough. And I don't mean what's enough to play them loudly enough. But what would get the most out of them?
 

Jimbob54

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I'll go check out some of his reviews then. but from reading different forums and post, different opinions etc It's very unclear how much power/current it actually needs. Some says it's sufficient with a dongle some says it needs 2+ watts and others that it need a lot of current not power. ´But not really how much is enough. And I don't mean what's enough to play them loudly enough. But what would get the most out of them?
You'll get sound out of anything. But youll unlikely deafen yourself with these headphones and a dongle.
 

KenTajalli

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Thx, that explains a lot :)

I know there is a lot of people who won't seem to acknowledge the fact that these headphones need current not power. I
Current is power!
current X current X impedance = Power
Where it gets tricky, is when an amp is asked to deliver current into low impedance load.
That is difficult.
At 18R the EDXS is considered low. It is in reality more like 16R.
But praising Chord Dacs on ASR is akin drinking vodka in a mosque !
Get a used Mojo, start enjoying your music.
 

raistlin65

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Thx, that explains a lot :)

I know there is a lot of people who won't seem to acknowledge the fact that these headphones need current not power. I think I get that but not sure how to figure out given current delivery based on the relatively sparse info you get on manufactures sites.
That's not a good way to describe it. Of course it needs power. Current equals Power divided by Voltage (I=P/V)

The right way to think of it is that Edition XS does need a lot of power because they draw a lot of current, not that they don't need power. Whereas a difficult to drive high impedance headphone will need a lot of voltage for its power needs.

And in this case, the Zen Can is "current limited" because it doesn't behave as expected with lower impedance headphones and is unable to supply as much power. Compared to other amps that have equally high voltage output at high impedance.
 
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odyo

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Loving all your posts but i guess we shouldn't forget that 1W is 1W. Current calculation is already in it. If it can deliver 1W at 16 ohm, it can deliver 1W worth of current as well. Zen Can is current limited because it can deliver more power/watts at 300 ohm than 16 ohm balanced.

Btw i can hear a lot of crosstalk with my iem. How 18 ohm XS work with Zen Can in terms of crosstalk ? Can you guys test it ?

Also i wonder if issues like crosstalk, ground loop buzz, hiss etc tied to the current delivery or power delivery ? 25 ohm Ananda is easier to drive so it should be more prone to these issues than 18 ohm XS right? or am i missing something ?
 

Makafuni

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That's not a good way to describe it. Of course it needs power. Current equals Power divided by Voltage (I=P/V)

The right way to think of it is that Edition XS does need a lot of power because they draw a lot of current, not that they don't need power. Whereas a difficult to drive high impedance headphone will need a lot of voltage for its power needs.

And in this case, the Zen Can is a "current limited" because it doesn't behave as expected with lower impedance headphones and is unable to supply as much power. Compared to other amps that have equally high voltage output at high impedance.
Ok, that's what I meant thx for clearing that up ;)
Loving all your posts but i guess we shouldn't forget that 1W is 1W. Current calculation is already in it. If it can deliver 1W at 16 ohm, it can deliver 1W worth of current as well. Zen Can is current limited because it can deliver more power/watts at 300 ohm than 16 ohm balanced.

Btw i can hear a lot of crosstalk with my iem. How 18 ohm XS work with Zen Can in terms of crosstalk ? Can you guys test it ?

Also i wonder if issues like crosstalk, ground loop buzz, hiss etc tied to the current delivery or power delivery ? 25 ohm Ananda is easier to drive so it should be more prone to these issues than 18 ohm XS right? or am i missing something ?
What input are you using? Heard about crosstalk with the Stock RCA cable (ie Amirs review), so if you haven’t upgraded to a better RCA I would start there. It also makes a huge difference to the sound! The stock one is utter garbage as I just found out.
I’m pretty sure all Amir’s measurements are done with stock rca and fixed output from the dac. Not sure though.
 

KenTajalli

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What input are you using? Heard about crosstalk with the Stock RCA cable (ie Amirs review), so if you haven’t upgraded to a better RCA I would start there. It also makes a huge difference to the sound! The stock one is utter garbage as I just found out.
I’m pretty sure all Amir’s measurements are done with stock rca and fixed output from the dac. Not sure though.
Crosstalk is when seperation of left and right channel is not maintained.
Cables have nothing to do with it, it is internal to the amp, as Amir suspects, there may be parasitic capacitance between left/right, so they leak into each other.
The more I hear about this amp, the more I believe someone should mod the PSU from inside.
Bad crosstalk figures, makes the sound more Mono than Stereo! sound stage gets compressed.
Nothing you can do to remedy it from outside the amp.
 

Makafuni

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Crosstalk is when seperation of left and right channel is not maintained.
Cables have nothing to do with it, it is internal to the amp, as Amir suspects, there may be parasitic capacitance between left/right, so they leak into each other.
The more I hear about this amp, the more I believe someone should mod the PSU from inside.
Bad crosstalk figures, makes the sound more Mono than Stereo! sound stage gets compressed.
Nothing you can do to remedy it from outside the amp.
So it can't be fixed switching to a different input ie. BAL interconnect? And could this cause imbalance issues as I'm still getting a 0.5ish db imbalance from the amp no matter the setting.

I don't know about crosstalk or if it's only measurable not audible in this case?
But with an upgraded RCA, the sound improved significantly. Opened up the HP with noticeably more soundstage and improved seperation. Guess this is just because of a better cable. The same happened with BAL-out when I tried that.

I can't say I get a monolike experience with this setup at all. Especially driven from BAL out and with a replacement RCA they sound very stereolike, open and big to me :) But again I have no direct comparison so wouldn't know what I am missing out on.
I am visiting a friend in the near future who has an amp that should deliver everything this HP could ask for, so will get an idea if oit's worth an amp upgrade then
 

KenTajalli

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So it can't be fixed switching to a different input ie. BAL interconnect? And could this cause imbalance issues as I'm still getting a 0.5ish db imbalance from the amp no matter the setting.
No, it can't be fixed by changing anything on the outside of the amp, it is an internal issue.
I don't know about crosstalk or if it's only measurable not audible in this case?
Very audible, if anything less than 50dB from top of my head.
I can't say I get a monolike experience with this setup at all. Especially driven from BAL out and with a replacement RCA they sound very stereolike, open and big to me :) But again I have no direct comparison so wouldn't know what I am missing out on.
I am visiting a friend in the near future who has an amp that should deliver everything this HP could ask for, so will get an idea if oit's worth an amp upgrade then
It is still stereo, crosstalk is not horrible on this amp! I was trying to explain in words what the effect sounds like.
Don't worry too much about it, with headphones, some even deliberately use crossfeed to get a better forward stereo image.
Crossfeed is like diminished crosstalk, but it mixes left and right more at lower frequencies and less at higher frequencies, crosstalk is more like an even leak, or reverse of crossfeed behaviour, meaning worse at higher frequencies .
Don't worry, not a huge issue.
 
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odyo

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Ok, that's what I meant thx for clearing that up ;)

What input are you using? Heard about crosstalk with the Stock RCA cable (ie Amirs review), so if you haven’t upgraded to a better RCA I would start there. It also makes a huge difference to the sound! The stock one is utter garbage as I just found out.
I’m pretty sure all Amir’s measurements are done with stock rca and fixed output from the dac. Not sure though.
I have nicer RCA cables and 4.4mm bal cables though i doubt it makes a difference.
Crosstalk is when seperation of left and right channel is not maintained.
Cables have nothing to do with it, it is internal to the amp, as Amir suspects, there may be parasitic capacitance between left/right, so they leak into each other.
The more I hear about this amp, the more I believe someone should mod the PSU from inside.
Bad crosstalk figures, makes the sound more Mono than Stereo! sound stage gets compressed.
Nothing you can do to remedy it from outside the amp.
Not just channel crosstalk, despite having no cable connected to 3.5mm input of the amp, i can hear the music from 3.5mm input mode. It leaks from other inputs to the 3.5mm input. I can pretty much use this amp with 3.5mm input without cable lol.

It's a subjective territory but i hear good soundstage with this amp. The soundstage difference is unmistakably huge compared to my smartphone but it's probably the smartphone's problem. I don't have another dac or amp to compare right now. But yeah crosstalk does what you say.

So it can't be fixed switching to a different input ie. BAL interconnect? And could this cause imbalance issues as I'm still getting a 0.5ish db imbalance from the amp no matter the setting.

I don't know about crosstalk or if it's only measurable not audible in this case?
But with an upgraded RCA, the sound improved significantly. Opened up the HP with noticeably more soundstage and improved seperation. Guess this is just because of a better cable. The same happened with BAL-out when I tried that.

I can't say I get a monolike experience with this setup at all. Especially driven from BAL out and with a replacement RCA they sound very stereolike, open and big to me :) But again I have no direct comparison so wouldn't know what I am missing out on.
I am visiting a friend in the near future who has an amp that should deliver everything this HP could ask for, so will get an idea if oit's worth an amp upgrade then

You can test it. Remove the cable from the right cup and then go play a music with only right channel. Youtube have it.
and see if you can hear the music from left earcup.
It's about -40db in the treble i guess which may have a subtle perceptible effect on music.

Not going too far off topic, i'm curious if you can hear it with the XS. I can only test it with iems right now which isn't ideal and my XS is still on the way.
 

Makafuni

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I have nicer RCA cables and 4.4mm bal cables though i doubt it makes a difference.

Not just channel crosstalk, despite having no cable connected to 3.5mm input of the amp, i can hear the music from 3.5mm input mode. It leaks from other inputs to the 3.5mm input. I can pretty much use this amp with 3.5mm input without cable lol.

It's a subjective territory but i hear good soundstage with this amp. The soundstage difference is unmistakably huge compared to my smartphone but it's probably the smartphone's problem. I don't have another dac or amp to compare right now. But yeah crosstalk does what you say.



You can test it. Remove the cable from the right cup and then go play a music with only right channel. Youtube have it.
and see if you can hear the music from left earcup.
It's about -40db in the treble i guess which may have a subtle perceptible effect on music.

Not going too far off topic, i'm curious if you can hear it with the XS. I can only test it with iems right now which isn't ideal and my XS is still on the way.
I did a balance test yesterday and couldn't hear bleeding but maybe it was not loud enough. I'll test it with the method you described and see if I can hear anything with the EDXS.

So maybe this whole Zen Stack discussion has gone a little off topic, but it mainly comes down to whether this amp is powerfull enough to run the EDXS. So far the only thing I can conclude is that despite being current starved it should be sufficient to drive the EDXS.
This is relevant for all owners of the EDXS wondering what kind of power this headphone needs.

Still haven't got any actual power requirement figures for the EDXS besides that it needs a lot of current with the power delivery.
So what would be a min. power requirement for this HP to be run to it's full potential from only a power perspective?
 

Jimbob54

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I did a balance test yesterday and couldn't hear bleeding but maybe it was not loud enough. I'll test it with the method you described and see if I can hear anything with the EDXS.

So maybe this whole Zen Stack discussion has gone a little off topic, but it mainly comes down to whether this amp is powerfull enough to run the EDXS. So far the only thing I can conclude is that despite being current starved it should be sufficient to drive the EDXS.
This is relevant for all owners of the EDXS wondering what kind of power this headphone needs.

Still haven't got any actual power requirement figures for the EDXS besides that it needs a lot of current with the power delivery.
So what would be a min. power requirement for this HP to be run to it's full potential from only a power perspective?
Figure out what your peak volume requirement is. I would suggest this is a sane level. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/hifiman-edition-xs.27903/post-1138577

Entirely depends on the listeners hearing and preferences. Some reviewers like Amir will run distortion tests at different levels and you could argue a headphone is past its peak performance once distortion goes too high. But I suspect for the xs that level is probably beyond most users upper volume threshold.
 

Makafuni

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Figure out what your peak volume requirement is. I would suggest this is a sane level. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/hifiman-edition-xs.27903/post-1138577

Entirely depends on the listeners hearing and preferences. Some reviewers like Amir will run distortion tests at different levels and you could argue a headphone is past its peak performance once distortion goes too high. But I suspect for the xs that level is probably beyond most users upper volume threshold.
To my understandig this only tells you how loud the HP will get. I have the Zen stack so Im perfectly aware that they get loud enough from the SE output of the dac. Not the answer I'm looking for.
 

Jimbob54

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To my understandig this only tells you how loud the HP will get. I have the Zen stack so Im perfectly aware that they get loud enough from the SE output of the dac. Not the answer I'm looking for.
Your understanding is wrong or your question is poorly phrased. The calculator will tell you what power you need to get to any given SPL on any given headphone. There is no one "power requirement". YOU need to decide what volume level sounds best to you. There is no universal magic tipping point when a headphone goes from "not great" to "good" - just the listener's preferred SPL and then the point where it goes into excess distortion.
 

Makafuni

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Your understanding is wrong or your question is poorly phrased. The calculator will tell you what power you need to get to any given SPL on any given headphone. There is no one "power requirement". YOU need to decide what volume level sounds best to you. There is no universal magic tipping point when a headphone goes from "not great" to "good" - just the listener's preferred SPL and then the point where it goes into excess distortion.
I know it gives you the power requirements for a given SPL. It is still not what I'm asking
 

Jimbob54

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I know it gives you the power requirements for a given SPL. It is still not what I'm asking
Then you might want to re-frame your question.

"Still haven't got any actual power requirement figures for the EDXS besides that it needs a lot of current with the power delivery.
So what would be a min. power requirement for this HP to be run to it's full potential from only a power perspective?"

I dont know what answer would satisfy you if you dont tell us what SPL you want to achieve.
 

Makafuni

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Then you might want to re-frame your question.

"Still haven't got any actual power requirement figures for the EDXS besides that it needs a lot of current with the power delivery.
So what would be a min. power requirement for this HP to be run to it's full potential from only a power perspective?"

I dont know what answer would satisfy you if you dont tell us what SPL you want to achieve.
Maybe you've noticed a lot of people on different forums saying this HP(and in general low impedance planars) needs a lot of current to drive properly. I'm not talking about the basic requirements to achieve a certain SPL.
I guess you don't believe in this as you keep referring to how loud it will get.
I can drive them loud enough from my computer. But it's clear they don't perform well even at low volumes. The same with the dac. Still sounds better on the amp which has more power. I listen at around 60-70 db.
So again I'm asking if there is anything to gain from the HP by upgrading to an amp better suited for low impedance planars.
If you still don't understand what I'm asking I really don't know how to explain it to you.
 
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