Headphones & Amps

morenish

Well-known Member
Hi all,

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had 2 pairs of headphones. Both Beyerdyamic, first DT 551 and now DT 880.

Both have served me well, although the DT 880 did have a repair and now they has developed a fault.

I want to get some new ones, but am torn between Beyerdynamic 990 Pro and Sennheiser HD 560 S.

After some great advice on this forum I now intend to buy a headphone amp, namely the iFi Audio Zen Dac V2. Whilst looking I noticed another amp, ifi Audio Zen Can. There is only £4 between the two. Could someone explain the difference and give their recommendation of what amp.

My main amp is a Marantz integrated amp, PM66 SE, Special Edition. I’ve probably asked this before, but just want to be certain. Would these headphone amps connect to my Marantz and if so, how ? Would I have to buy an appropriate lead ?

It has, unfortunately, been many years since I bought my first separates and even then, it was only through trial and error that I connected the kit together 😊 and I haven’t learn much since 😊

Thank you all, so much.
 

David Alexander

Active Member
The Zen Can is a headphone amp (no internal DAC). So your Marantz will output to this unit. So the can will be useful if you have higher impedance headphones which your headphone output of the Marantz might run out of oomph.

The Zen DAC v2 is USB input only. It uses the USB output from a laptop say, and bypasses the laptop amp and DAC as the ones in the Zen DAC are superior.

If you plan to listen from your Marantz then it’s the Can you want out of the two. The Can comes with RCA cables and a power adapter.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
The Zen Can is a headphone amp (no internal DAC). So your Marantz will output to this unit. So the can will be useful if you have higher impedance headphones which your headphone output of the Marantz might run out of oomph.

The Zen DAC v2 is USB input only. It uses the USB output from a laptop say, and bypasses the laptop amp and DAC as the ones in the Zen DAC are superior.

If you plan to listen from your Marantz then it’s the Can you want out of the two. The Can comes with RCA cables and a power adapter.
I would not sum it up better. ;) @morenish let us know if you have any more questions.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
I got a Zen v2 yesterday and I could not be happier. Lovely sound and I got the optional power adapter for it which really pushes the headphones.

10/10 would recommend.
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
@JollyJamma I've been using Momentum In-Ear a few years ago. I was very happy with them, as they have a fun, easy-going tuning. I believe that's the case with Momentum 2, isn't it?
Yes. Absolutely.

Love the fun sound they have. I prefer it to the absolutely clean and sudden sound of other headphones.

I like the idea of matching the Zen v2 with another set of headphones that are more clean as the DAC definitely adds more of a fun and musical sound.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Yes. Absolutely.

Love the fun sound they have. I prefer it to the absolutely clean and sudden sound of other headphones.

I like the idea of matching the Zen v2 with another set of headphones that are more clean as the DAC definitely adds more of a fun and musical sound.
@JollyJamma I'm matching HiFiMan HE-400se with the Zen Signature set, namely One and CAN HFM Edition. They go so well together, HE-400se really punch above their class.
 

David Alexander

Active Member
@JollyJamma I'm matching HiFiMan HE-400se with the Zen Signature set, namely One and CAN HFM Edition. They go so well together, HE-400se really punch above their class.
Just to say that I’m seriously impressed by the Zen DAC v2. I’m running Amazon HD through it via my laptop and I’m able to pick up subtleties between my AKG550, Grado SR325e, sennheiser HD660S and Monolith M1060 headphones. They are very different headphones but I feel that the Zen is able to drive them to a level which enables a comparison.
BTW, they’re all four of them my babies. Don’t ask me to choose between them. Yet ;)
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
Just to say that I’m seriously impressed by the Zen DAC v2. I’m running Amazon HD through it via my laptop and I’m able to pick up subtleties between my AKG550, Grado SR325e, sennheiser HD660S and Monolith M1060 headphones. They are very different headphones but I feel that the Zen is able to drive them to a level which enables a comparison.
BTW, they’re all four of them my babies. Don’t ask me to choose between them. Yet ;)
Do you find that the Zen Dac makes the Grado more musical?

I'm sure you've used other sources for the headphones and I wonder if the sound from the Grado goes from absolutely neutral to warmer and easier to listen to.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just to say that I’m seriously impressed by the Zen DAC v2. I’m running Amazon HD through it via my laptop and I’m able to pick up subtleties between my AKG550, Grado SR325e, sennheiser HD660S and Monolith M1060 headphones. They are very different headphones but I feel that the Zen is able to drive them to a level which enables a comparison.
BTW, they’re all four of them my babies. Don’t ask me to choose between them. Yet ;)
Thank you for your kind words! Having multiple headphones is nice since you can choose one depending on your mood and the music you want to listen to.

Do you find that the Zen Dac makes the Grado more musical?

I'm sure you've used other sources for the headphones and I wonder if the sound from the Grado goes from absolutely neutral to warmer and easier to listen to.
I believe that is the case. Zen series is made to be a universal, easy-going gear for everybody to enjoy :)
 

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