Headphone amp or no headphone amp?

OK- I'll try to be specific. I've been moving stuff around in the house and I've ended up with my Yamaha RN-602 amp/streamer spare and unused. It is hard to sell because it's bulky and difficult to post (not got the box). So I had an idea- I'm thinking of getting some high-quality headphones and setting up a listening room far away from the other half so she can't complain about the 'racket' my music makes.

My question is- if I plug straight in to the amp and enjoy that way, how good would the quality be compared with a dedicated headphone amp? I really don't have the budget to buy more equipment. Any suggestions on the best way to set things up- I'm using Qobuz Hi-res for streaming. Currently thinking of buying the Meze 99-Neo headphones.

Thanks for any advice in advance- as long as it doesn't break my budget!


Well-known Member
Buy your desired headphones firstly. If you're happy with the quality, great, if not buy a headphone amp.
FWIW those units are popular enough, I'd say source a box suitable and it may sell easier than you think of that's a preferred option
Thanks for that- I normally know what I'm doing with hi-fi stuff but audiophile headphones and listening that way is a whole new ballgame for me. I twigged yesterday that I have a spare room and a spare amp/streamer so I can set up somewhere that the Mrs won't be shouting, "that's too loud!" Problem is that I've never gone beyond high quality Bluetooth headphones, so don't know how good it will be. Ordered the Meze 99-Neo. Will see how good they sound!! :)


Well-known Member
The word Audiophile is thrown around a bit 😉.

Chances are with decent headphones you'll be happy, especially if your used to bluetooth ones which might not always sound as good as wired ones


I listen to a lot of music on headphones. Gradually upgraded the cans themselves, well not so much upgrading rather more like collecting. I have to say though that even using the top pair I own perform much better when played through a good headphone amp. I'm happy with the performance of the bottom range headphones from inbuilt headphones jacks but the top pair really do respond well to good amplification.

I've only every owned hard wired headphones. It all depends on how deep your pockets are because some headphone amps can be quite expensive, especially if you do for those with built in DACs.
Well, these Meze 99 neos are brand new, so not run in but the sound over the Yamaha is pretty impressive. Not missing anything from my speakers. Will see how it goes but I think my old amp will be good for a few years! 😊

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