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Old 04-10-2009, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Headphone amp?

So I splurged a couple months ago and bought a pair of Sennheiser 650's. I absolutely love them...and they sound amazing all by themselves.

The reason I'm posting is this:

Before I bought these phones, I did alot of research online and read pretty much every review on them I could find. Quite a few of the reviews said a headphone amp is "a must" if you're gonna use these, because the nominal Impedance is 300 ohms. I'm only using these to listen on my computer though, so thats not exactly a weak power source I don't think.

Some other reviews suggested that a headphone amp will make music sound more crisp, and do cool sounding **** like "back up the soundstage". I got the impression that this was just audiophile BS though.
I'm pretty sure that if you are powering your headphones properly, thats all an amp is REALLY needed for right? Like I said...I'm on my computer here , not trying to listen to these through a walkman or something.

So yeah, does anyone have an honest non-audiophile opinion or comment on this, or even used an amp for high end headphones? I'd rather not spend the extra money if I don't have to. I've heard that after the headphones/speakers are upgraded, everything else you buy such as amps, chords, etc. suffer pretty bad diminishing returns for what you pay for them. If the diffrence is significant though, I'd probably end up buying one.

Thx for any help
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's not necessary to have a headphone amp in terms of volume.
As far as sound quality is concerned, think of it in terms of car audio systems where people buy amps for component speakers like tweeters, mids, etc... A dedicated power source provides cleaner sound even at lower volumes and the speakers benefit from having enough juice to drive them.

If you're not worried about "audiophile BS", then don't get a headphone amp.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hadn't quite thought of it that way...that makes sense. When I look at it in that light though, I couldn't imagine them sounding much cleaner. And it probably wouldn't be very noticeable to me if it was...

Really just wish I could try one out and compare more than anything, cause I don't think it would matter, but will always bug me just a little if I don't know for sure.

Thx for the feedback Verdical.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You checked out your local music shop? If you've got a Sam Ash or something to that effect, they usually let you try their products depending on what it is. I can't see why you wouldn't be able to hook a headphone amp up to a music source and use your headphones to test it.
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