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Topping dx3 pro+ vs FIIO K7 for Sennheiser HD 6xx.

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Have you seen Amir's latest review, the Loxjie D40?
Very low power.
Feb 2022.
This one?
 
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Boltman92124

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Very low power.
Feb 2022.
This one?
It's a nice review. Excellent DAC section. Remote is nice. Does about 750mw into 32 ohms and over 100 into 300 ohms. Not a powerhouse headphone wise but prob sufficient for most cans. He said it drove the HD650's nicely. Also has balanced outputs and internal power supply. No wall wart!! $430 would get you a much more powerful Schiit Asgard 3 with the DAC option though.
 

JaMaSt

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https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/ifi-zen-can-review-headphone-amp.25224/


Ifi Zen CAN Headphone Listening Tests
It is a gorgeous day here with blue skies, temperatures in 70s F and little humidity. This apparently enticed my XLR to unbalanced headphone adapter to take a walk so my testing is limited to using balanced output of the Zen CAN only. There, I started with Sennheiser HD650. I am telling, this thing can pump some serious power into these headphones. Play some techno music with heavy bass, turn up the volume and your skull may literally shrink a millimeter or two after being pounded in the middle by this headphone and amp combination!!! The sound is powerful, detailed and with no hint of distortion I could detect.

I was very surprised how much performance dropped when testing with my Ether CX 25 ohm headphone, again in balanced mode. Turn up the volume past moderately loud and the sound starts to get distorted. Turn it up a bit more and bass notes cause momentary muting, and distortion is abundantly audible. Now "normal" listening may be before all of this happens but still, I would not recommend low impedance headphones with this amplifier.

Conclusions
Despite paving its own path here, ifi gets a number of things right. Price is very attractive for balanced headphone amplifier. Feature set is very good. Most importantly this thing produces a ton of clean power into high impedance loads. Down sides are poor crosstalk, and inability to drive low impedance headphones well or at all.

I am going to give a conditional recommendation for ifi Zen CAN for high impedance headphone use only. It is one of the best in that category if not unique with the incredible amount of power it has together with balanced I/O and multiple gain settings. Outside of that the weaknesses of the design stand out too much to recommend over many other alternatives.
 

Boltman92124

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https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/ifi-zen-can-review-headphone-amp.25224/


Ifi Zen CAN Headphone Listening Tests
It is a gorgeous day here with blue skies, temperatures in 70s F and little humidity. This apparently enticed my XLR to unbalanced headphone adapter to take a walk so my testing is limited to using balanced output of the Zen CAN only. There, I started with Sennheiser HD650. I am telling, this thing can pump some serious power into these headphones. Play some techno music with heavy bass, turn up the volume and your skull may literally shrink a millimeter or two after being pounded in the middle by this headphone and amp combination!!! The sound is powerful, detailed and with no hint of distortion I could detect.

I was very surprised how much performance dropped when testing with my Ether CX 25 ohm headphone, again in balanced mode. Turn up the volume past moderately loud and the sound starts to get distorted. Turn it up a bit more and bass notes cause momentary muting, and distortion is abundantly audible. Now "normal" listening may be before all of this happens but still, I would not recommend low impedance headphones with this amplifier.

Conclusions
Despite paving its own path here, ifi gets a number of things right. Price is very attractive for balanced headphone amplifier. Feature set is very good. Most importantly this thing produces a ton of clean power into high impedance loads. Down sides are poor crosstalk, and inability to drive low impedance headphones well or at all.

I am going to give a conditional recommendation for ifi Zen CAN for high impedance headphone use only. It is one of the best in that category if not unique with the incredible amount of power it has together with balanced I/O and multiple gain settings. Outside of that the weaknesses of the design stand out too much to recommend over many other alternatives.
Looks nice too but isn't a DAC/Amp combo unit.
 

Boltman92124

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The initial post just asked about an Amp. But of course, the Zen DAC is an option to pair with the Zen CAN.

https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-dac-v2/
I peaked at that DAC since it does also have a headphone amp. It's missing Toslink, Coax dig inputs though. No line input either. Low powered headphone amp might be fine for easy to drive cans. Not competitive with the Topping or FiiO for a combo unit though at the same price IMO. Also, those iFi units are funky looking for stacking I think.
 
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It's a nice review. Excellent DAC section. Remote is nice. Does about 750mw into 32 ohms and over 100 into 300 ohms. Not a powerhouse headphone wise but prob sufficient for most cans. He said it drove the HD650's nicely. Also has balanced outputs and internal power supply. No wall wart!! $430 would get you a much more powerful Schiit Asgard 3 with the DAC option though.
100mW for the HD650 is too little.
Boltman, do you know if balanced outputs give better sonic qualities? The consensus in this forum seems to be that balanced output will give you more power but not better quality, unless you have a specific problem with "interferences or stray noises".
 

JaMaSt

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Low powered headphone amp might be fine for easy to drive cans.
Its high current, balanced-out into 300 Ohm, is why Amir recommends it . He references the HD650, as does the OP. Amir doesn't often use the term "incredible" (see below).

I used to own the Zen DAC/Amp stack. Now I own the FiiO k7 (which works much better with my 12 Ohm, 112 dB IEM). But the OP was asking for an Amp that works will with the HD650. Not a DAC/Amp combo.

index.php
 
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Balanced is for long runs and low noise. If you don't need a DAC the Topping L50 has all the power you need. Or A30 Pro for true balanced.
The L50 has very low THD in the graphs. Is this noticeable?
My DX3PRO+ has non balanced output but I can't hear any noise whatsoever.. so I must conclude that I would not benefit from a balanced connection?
 
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Agony

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The HD660S are cheaper but the ones everybody recommend are the HD600 and HD650.
All HD 600,650,660s are close to the sound signature , But if u listen a lot of hours side by side like i do then there are some differences , 600 to me are the most neutral between them, 650 are the warmer , 6XX are like 650 but even warmer, and 660s are between them not so warm not so neutral . What 660s have is speed and tight bass ( not more bass) . ( these are with new Clear ring pads all of them )
People recommend 600 and 650 because 600 have build there name and are many years , 650 got famous again because of the 6XX and 660s and S2 need time (660s will not have time) . The shame happens when HD650 first arrived for years everybody said buy 600 and before 600 everybody said buy the HD 580 ...
What i know is all of them are close to each other and the best between them is the one that U like more ... And NO one can tell you what U like more .
 
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Agony

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You guys in Europe seem the opposite on these Senns. US prices I see-
HD6xx (HD650)- $199 Massdrop
HD600- $299
HD650- $349
HD660s2- $499 ($350 S1?)

BTW, the 660's are only 150 ohms, which may be an advantage for some.
I am from Europe.
HD6XX cost me 280 euro with shipping and taxes to Greece.
And i have re new my collection of HD 6 line with the Ireland again , sold the old Ireland 600 black rings , and Romanian 650 660.
The New 2023 cost.
HD 600 is 280 euro
HD 650 is 310 euro
HD 660s is 290 euro
HD 660s2 is 507 euro LOL :)

So every HD 6 line is the shame price for Europeans , at 300 euros ( except the 660s2 they need 2 years to go in normal price )

For Americans the Clear Choice is HD 6XX and even if they are the warmer (veiled for some not to me) of them all , they are 95% HD 650 and honestly i have to really carefully listen side by side and i cant hear that on every track .

HD 660smaybe they are 150 ohms but trust me the difference its not like people think , its something like 10% less power needed.

Anyways only Red coil whine HD 6 line will stay 600,650,660s2... The Blue Coil whine discontinued headphones 660s, 700 in my opinion are for collectors .
 
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All HD 600,650,660s are close to the sound signature , But if u listen a lot of hours side by side like i do then there are some differences , 600 to me are the most neutral between them, 650 are the warmer , 6XX are like 650 but even warmer, and 660s are between them not so warm not so neutral . What 660s have is speed and tight bass ( not more bass) . ( these are with new Clear ring pads all of them )
People recommend 600 and 650 because 600 have build there name and are many years , 650 got famous again because of the 6XX and 660s and S2 need time (660s will not have time) . The shame happens when HD650 first arrived for years everybody said buy 600 and before 600 everybody said buy the HD 580 ...
What i know is all of them are close to each other and the best between them is the one that U like more ... And NO one can tell you what U like more .
I like transparent trebble. I hate when the high frequencies are muffled.
Powerful bass is not important for me.
Then, which one you recommend to me?
 
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