I need some advice doing my first purchase ever audio related

SomeNewGuy

Novice Member
Hi all! This post has been on a few forums already and it was always stated that my questions where off-topic. I hope this is (finally) the right place for my questions.

This christmas I ordered myself a Fiio m6 DAP. I'm completely now to "Better than smartphone audio" things, and I'm looking for a simple step into listening to music.
So I have the Fiio m6 And I'm looking for a pair of Headphones that sound good and aren't crazy expensive for a first pair.
I have posted this question on other forums as well, if any of you came accross it. It just never got answered. I hope there will be more people willing to answer here.
I already got recommended 2 headphones by a friend.
  1. Sennheiser HD 600 - about 299 EUR
I heard that these are really good headphones, and that they are "open" headphones. What I understand from what I've read and watched "open" headphones are meant to give the sound a lot more "3D" feel, at the cost of some Bass. Please tell me if this is not accurate/completely incorrect as I'm going in completely blind
  1. Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250 Ohm - about 190 EUR
These are "closed" Headphones and from what I've read, these are a pretty good set of headphones at their price and have a very "flat" frequency response graph (which, if I understand correctly, is a very good thing) but they require a lot more power to achieve that Quality.
So I have a few questions. I'm not planning on buying an AMP just yet. The Fiio m6 + Headphones will cost enough so for my first months/year of listening I don't think I'll buy extra hardware outside of the DAP and Headphones.
  • Will the Fiio m6 have enough power to give to achieve the potential these headphones have? I imagine the HD 600 will require less power than the DT 770? If I'd go with the DT 770 and my Fiio alone, is it worth it? Will it even be able to get anything worthy out of those headphones or is it not worth it without an AMP?
  • What are the big differences in listening experience between "closed" and "open" headphones, apart from obviously hearing more of your surroundings with open headphones?
  • What specs are related to the power output of a DAP? I'll list some of the Fiio m6's Specs. I have no clue what most of the mean so just Pointing out what they generally mean would be very helpfull.
• Chipset: ESS Sabre 9018Q2C
As far as I can tell this is the DAC that basically turns a file (song) into electric signals for the headset/output device?

• Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 118 dB (A-weighted)
No clue what this means, at all. Also no clue if this affects the headset/listening experience and how to interpret it.

• Noise floor: <3uV
Same as above, absolutely no clue.

• DSD64/128 support (incl. ISO, DSF and DFF)
I think this means it can "transfer" the audio files to a better DAC and act like some sort of "File serving" device that can handle high quality files? Not sure at all.

• LDAC, HWA, aptX HD, SBC supported over BLE4.2
The BLE part tells me this is for wireless listening. I think these are codecs that can feed into high(er)-end bleutooth speakers and headsets than just a regular 30€ bluetooth speaker? Again, not sure.

• Power output 1: ≥110 mW (16Ω / THD+N < 1%)
I'm sure this plays a role in what headphones you should use with the DAP and how much power it can handle, but no clue what it means.

• Power output 2: ≥70 mW (32Ω / THD+N < 1%)
Same as above, no clue.

• Frequency Response: 10Hz ~ 85kHz (-3dB)
Not sure, I'd like to know what this exactly means

• Output Impendance: <2Ω (32Ω Load)
No idea, but the low numbers worry me that the DT 770 wont even be close to an option for this DAP

• THD+N < 0.002%
No clue.

• Peak Out Voltage: 4.24Vp-p
The max voltage going out I guess?
And my final question:
The DT 770 has 250ohm in the name, what does it mean? I've read that that is the "lowest" value and some parts of the spectrum of that headset may require around 300ohm. No clue what it means though.
I didn't really find anything about Ohm for the HD600. I'm sure I just don't know where to look and I have no clue what it al means, so I hope you guys can help me with this/give me tips.
Thank you very, very much in advance.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Welcome to the forums, I am sure that someone will be along soon with a wealth of knowledge to assist.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator

Please see posts in that thread

It is relevant to look at manufacturer voicing and not just open versus closed. For example Beyerdynamic are known to tune with treble bias (Google for many measurement graphs online, no need to take my word for it). This gives the perception of extra detail but for my tastes the Beyerdynamic treble is wonky sounding and not natural. Many people do like them and Beyerdynamic are a common sight in the studio

This is when personal experience of headphones and what you like / do not like comes in

Have you actually purchased the portable player? There is a premium for a portable battery powered device with a display and file management system. To be perfectly honest, a purchaser should carefully research online user reviews and criticism of the Fiio user interface and software quirks. They are getting better but it depends on your tolerance. One person's quirk is another's annoyance

Buying an iFi audio headphone DAC all in one unit and connecting to the computer will likely give more money value as far as sound quality goes, at the expense of being connected to a laptop or desktop computer. The iFi units will have more volume power for your headphone candidates too
 

SomeNewGuy

Novice Member

Please see posts in that thread

It is relevant to look at manufacturer voicing and not just open versus closed. For example Beyerdynamic are known to tune with treble bias (Google for many measurement graphs online, no need to take my word for it). This gives the perception of extra detail but for my tastes the Beyerdynamic treble is wonky sounding and not natural. Many people do like them and Beyerdynamic are a common sight in the studio

This is when personal experience of headphones and what you like / do not like comes in

Have you actually purchased the portable player? There is a premium for a portable battery powered device with a display and file management system. To be perfectly honest, a purchaser should carefully research online user reviews and criticism of the Fiio user interface and software quirks. They are getting better but it depends on your tolerance. One person's quirk is another's annoyance

Buying an iFi audio headphone DAC all in one unit and connecting to the computer will likely give more money value as far as sound quality goes, at the expense of being connected to a laptop or desktop computer. The iFi units will have more volume power for your headphone candidates too

I am fine with the GUI and general User Experience of the device itself, I'm mainly looking for a pair of headphones that will properly work with them. It would be a shame if I bought a 299 EUR headphone just to barely hear anything when plugging them in to the Fiio m6
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Just waiting for someone like you to come along. .. I have a few different sets of head phones and ear phones. These include the Sony MDR1 and MDR1A ,the Sony X1000 M3 noise cancelling model and at various times the Sennheissers ..
Well Amazon have Mitchell and Johnson model 2 for sale at 103 pounds sterling . Their list price was 500 . I got a set , just two weeks ago and they are excellent. Where they score over any ither model I have heard is in transients .. the twang of a guitar string ,the hit of a drum are better than any of the others .
And no ..I am not linked with any seller. The Sonys are more comfortable to wear, but that and a mellow sound s their only saving grace.
I have used the M&Js with Android Tablet, Cyrus Sound key , Sony NWA 45 DAP and AVRs ..no problems in driving any of them. I also confirmed them working with the FILO M7 DAP . My current practice is to use the Soundkey DAC with a windows PC and the MJs , for static listening and the Sonys when strolling with the DAP. They are just more suitable for sitting down listening.
 
Last edited:

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Hi all! This post has been on a few forums already and it was always stated that my questions where off-topic. I hope this is (finally) the right place for my questions.

This christmas I ordered myself a Fiio m6 DAP. I'm completely now to "Better than smartphone audio" things, and I'm looking for a simple step into listening to music.
So I have the Fiio m6 And I'm looking for a pair of Headphones that sound good and aren't crazy expensive for a first pair.
I have posted this question on other forums as well, if any of you came accross it. It just never got answered. I hope there will be more people willing to answer here.
I already got recommended 2 headphones by a friend.
  1. Sennheiser HD 600 - about 299 EUR
I heard that these are really good headphones, and that they are "open" headphones. What I understand from what I've read and watched "open" headphones are meant to give the sound a lot more "3D" feel, at the cost of some Bass. Please tell me if this is not accurate/completely incorrect as I'm going in completely blind
  1. Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250 Ohm - about 190 EUR
These are "closed" Headphones and from what I've read, these are a pretty good set of headphones at their price and have a very "flat" frequency response graph (which, if I understand correctly, is a very good thing) but they require a lot more power to achieve that Quality.
So I have a few questions. I'm not planning on buying an AMP just yet. The Fiio m6 + Headphones will cost enough so for my first months/year of listening I don't think I'll buy extra hardware outside of the DAP and Headphones.
  • Will the Fiio m6 have enough power to give to achieve the potential these headphones have? I imagine the HD 600 will require less power than the DT 770? If I'd go with the DT 770 and my Fiio alone, is it worth it? Will it even be able to get anything worthy out of those headphones or is it not worth it without an AMP?
  • What are the big differences in listening experience between "closed" and "open" headphones, apart from obviously hearing more of your surroundings with open headphones?
  • What specs are related to the power output of a DAP? I'll list some of the Fiio m6's Specs. I have no clue what most of the mean so just Pointing out what they generally mean would be very helpfull.
• Chipset: ESS Sabre 9018Q2C
As far as I can tell this is the DAC that basically turns a file (song) into electric signals for the headset/output device?

• Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 118 dB (A-weighted)
No clue what this means, at all. Also no clue if this affects the headset/listening experience and how to interpret it.

• Noise floor: <3uV
Same as above, absolutely no clue.

• DSD64/128 support (incl. ISO, DSF and DFF)
I think this means it can "transfer" the audio files to a better DAC and act like some sort of "File serving" device that can handle high quality files? Not sure at all.

• LDAC, HWA, aptX HD, SBC supported over BLE4.2
The BLE part tells me this is for wireless listening. I think these are codecs that can feed into high(er)-end bleutooth speakers and headsets than just a regular 30€ bluetooth speaker? Again, not sure.

• Power output 1: ≥110 mW (16Ω / THD+N < 1%)
I'm sure this plays a role in what headphones you should use with the DAP and how much power it can handle, but no clue what it means.

• Power output 2: ≥70 mW (32Ω / THD+N < 1%)
Same as above, no clue.

• Frequency Response: 10Hz ~ 85kHz (-3dB)
Not sure, I'd like to know what this exactly means

• Output Impendance: <2Ω (32Ω Load)
No idea, but the low numbers worry me that the DT 770 wont even be close to an option for this DAP

• THD+N < 0.002%
No clue.

• Peak Out Voltage: 4.24Vp-p
The max voltage going out I guess?
And my final question:
The DT 770 has 250ohm in the name, what does it mean? I've read that that is the "lowest" value and some parts of the spectrum of that headset may require around 300ohm. No clue what it means though.
I didn't really find anything about Ohm for the HD600. I'm sure I just don't know where to look and I have no clue what it al means, so I hope you guys can help me with this/give me tips.
Thank you very, very much in advance.
Ok what these specs mean.
Chipset.. ESS are very well regarded and this is a fine device. Other names include CS, AK and BB. It is the electronics used to take the digital file and convert it into analogue signals

S/ N ratio.. basically anything above 90dB is very good. Vinyl Discs were at about 70dB, meaning one could always hear a faint hiss. 118dB is crazy good. Basically saying that if it can produce a voltage of 4 volts into the headphones, the noise level when there is a quitness is 3 millionths of a volt.
Power is expressed in all sorts of different terms ,but DAPs just produce a voltage. The amount of power will depend on the resistance in ohms of the headset. The power is VxV/R ..and if you insert the V as 4 and the R as 16 ,32 320 ohms , you will get those numbers. . However the amplifier in the DAP will not give infinite power if R was zero.. and the 2 ohm figure for output resistance gives an upper limit. It is very desirable to have a low R out , compared to the impedance of the headset. So a 32 ohm headset and 2 ohm output is excellent.
The amplifier distorts signals when it is being asked to output a lot of current, and those THD figures are saving that if you are at the limit distortion is as bad as 1% and as good as 0.001% if you are not near the power peak.
The LDAC etc are just different methods of transmission for Bluetooth from the DAP to Bluetooth headphones. Of these LDAC is the best, but no Bluetooth is better than a wired connection. Note if you use Bluetooth the ESS DAC is redundant as the DAC in the headphones is the ine which matters.
The DSD etc are just different digital files which if stored in the DAP can be interpreted and played by the DAC.
 

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