Headphones

HaideraGill

Active Member
Hi,

I have a set of Sennheiser PX100 that I use on a Marantz PM6006. I also have a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3 which I use when I use to commute in for work or the gym but much I prefer open-back headphones like the PX100s. TBH ay home I have been doing most of my listening on headphones so though it would be good to get a pair of Hi-Fi headphones so was hoping to get some suggestions. I would sell the PX-100 and the Shure SE110s but I would probably just get bottle tops for them but I'm hoping to get a set of cans that will retire them. Any thoughts on a dedicated headphone amp compared to the Marantz?


Thanks
Haider
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Marantz does have a pretty good headphone circuit and will make a fair job of driving even some of the most difficult headphones. There is no doubt that a headphone amp will improve on the dynamics and may prove a worthy investment. I feel you will have to spend a few bucks to improve though and again a lot will depend on the quality of headphones that you wish to use.

Connection will be easy by using the record out RCA to the headphone amp. Good quality headphones amps will set you back around £150 to £300 and it's easy to spend more on that amp than what the Marantz originally cost.

The Pro-Ject Head S2 is always worthy of a mention.
Pro-Ject Head Box S2 Black Headphone Amplifier - Headphone Amplifiers - AV Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists (audiovisualonline.co.uk)

Things get a little bit special with the Lehmann Rhinelander.
Lehmann Audio Rhinelander Black Headphone Amplifier - Headphone Amplifiers - AV Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists (audiovisualonline.co.uk)

Consider this amp if you buy headphones over £1000.
Lehmann Audio Linear Black Headphone Amplifier - Headphone Amplifiers - AV Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists (audiovisualonline.co.uk)

Top to bottom on those recommendations would reflect on how much you budget for the headphones themselves.
 

HaideraGill

Active Member
I was thinking of the Shure SRH1840. Ideally if I can continue using the PM6006 that would be ideal but equally well I know that it's best to partner components that belong in the same price/class. I prefer the sound of open headphones. XM3s feel not spacious hence why I dug out the PX100s/SE110...
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have the closed back Shure 1540s and I often listen with them just on the headphone jack of my Marantz sa8005 CD player. There will be similarities between that and the headphone jack on the pm6006. Power output is 30mW and that has no trouble driving the 56 ohm 1540s, the 1840s are slightly higher at 65 ohms. My Marantz is basically a headphone system with no additional external amplification and I'm happy to use it as such. With the same design the 1840 is guaranteed to be very comfortable and a non fatiguing listen regardless of what it's hooked up to.

Originally the Marantz was hooked up to my Rega stereo amp and because that amp doesn't have a headphone circuit so I had to buy a standalone headphone amp. There was a difference between the Marantz and the headphone amp with the amp sounding more spacious and detailed.

The difference between open and closed back is somewhat more pronounced. There is a greater soundstage and it seems easier to pick out and place individual instruments within that soundstage. Bass is more expansive. Mids and highs don't overlap each other and become muddled on certain frequencies. However I'm not comparing like for like here as my open backs are Oppo PM1 planars which sound far better when having a quality headphone amp driving them.

You will certainly notice a difference with having open backs. It's the open backs I always reach for serious listening alongside the headphone amp.
 

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