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Upgrading my studios' Headphone monitoring...

jonwb

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Hi... currently using the analog headphone out from a Audient ID22 interface into some Sennheiser HD6xx headphones. The ID22 was billed as having a good quality headphone DAC and thus far, it's been pretty good. However, I have to push the headphone level up quite a bit to get enough volume. The Senns are rated at 300 Ohms.

It may be time to take advantage of the ID22's S/PDIF Optical output and run it to a seperate headphone amp?
Question is, which amp would you suggest I look at? I use the HD6xx's (with Morphit) in Pro Tools but that doesn't necessarily mean I need pro level stats.

I'm just hoping there's something that might cater to them better that won't break the bank.... Thanks
 

Brian Hall

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If you use the optical output you will need a dac and a headphone amp or a headphone amp with a dac. You may get some good recommendations if you give a definition of "won't break the bank".

I've tried several options and now I'm using an Eversolo Dac Z8 as both a dac and headhone amp. It was $699. It replaced a Schiit Modi+ dac and Schiit Magni+ headphone amp combo.
 
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jonwb

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Thanks Brian... forgive me for my lack of knowledge here.

Is it best to use the Audient's Optical out rather than the analog 3-4 outputs I have available? (Outs 1-2 run to a Adcom amp for my speakers).
I just assumed it would be better audio, but maybe not?
 

Brian Hall

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Thanks Brian... forgive me for my lack of knowledge here.

Is it best to use the Audient's Optical out rather than the analog 3-4 outputs I have available? (Outs 1-2 run to a Adcom amp for my speakers).
I just assumed it would be better audio, but maybe not?

I wasn't familiar with what the Audient was. If you have analog outputs, something like a Schiit Magni or similar headphone amp will have plenty of power for your headphones. I used the Magni with my Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

Just checked and it looks like the Magni headphone amps have been discontinued. They have the Vali 2 for $149 or the Midguard for $219. Either of those should work for you. Both of those will work as a preamp for another amp also if the headphone is not connected.
 
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jonwb

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Just received a Topping LX30 II HP amp this morning. I have to hook it up through the 3-4 outputs of the ID22. I'll report in a while.
 
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jonwb

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Ok so I looked at that unit. Since it's balanced, It would work well with the Audient (which has balanced TRS outs). However, I do have a S/PDIF digital out with this interface. Maybe an all-in-one Headphone amp/DAC would suit me better?

BTW, the Topping L30 II is excellent! I've been re-listening to my catalog and it's amazing. I'm definitely hooked on running the Senn HD6xx's this way.
 
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