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out of place: headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by cribeiro, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hi! I know that I shouldn't put this here, but I simply don't know where to ask, and since I got lots of helps in this forum, I will simply drop it here and wait... Although I go tomorrow on holidays and it will be difficult to see the answers until the 10th of January! Ok, the question is... I have a Yamaha rx-v530, and I want some decent headphones, but I don't know how much I should spend in order to get something according to the quality of my amp. I just want them both for music and movie, I am wondering how will be that surround that yamaha claims the amp can make in the headphones!
    Any hint? Thanks!
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Sennheiser headphones are excellent. Something like the HD580, HD600 should do nicely. Available from around 80 quid (130 euros) upwards.
     
  3. James45

    James45
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    i'll second that, I have the HD250 mk2's cos I wanted closed back headphones and they are excellent.
     
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Sennheiser 580 'phones at £80 or so are extremely good value - but they are also quite high impedance (300 ohms, IIRC) so to get the best out of them you really need a headphone amplifier. If you are quite definitely not going to get a headphone amp then you might be better off with something cheaper, perhaps Grado SR60s at about £60. You might be all right with the Sennheisers and no amp - it depends on what you're using to drive them. I'd suggest try-before-you-buy.
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Good to see you suggest people try things,Nicolas!....the Sennheisers are excellent headphones.

    cribeiro.....If you should find you need a headphone amp,(which is unlikely unless you need the last ounce of quality,in which case you should drive the headphone amp directly from the pre-outs or the line out of your source),you might like to check out Creek's OBH-11 and OBH-11se amps.....both designed to drive headphone loads specifically,and also very good value....highly recommended.
    www.creekaudio.co.uk

    The best headphone amps available are either from headroom(www.headroom.headphone.com) or the Earmax (www.audiophileclub.co.uk)but all of these are seriously expensive products for headphones.
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    If you want to go completely mad then the Sugden Headmaster is apparently very good - and a serviceable stereo pre-amp to boot - but that'll set you back something like £600. :) Creek = good for the price, or so I have heard several people say. I've also heard quite good things about Musical Fidelity X-Cans V2 - again, fairly cheap. I'm rather fond of my own Graham Slee Projects "Solo" amp - but then I got a very good deal on it.

    If you're seriously considering buying a decent headphone amp then you might also want to consider the possiblity of getting into electrostatic headphones, for example one of the lower-end models from Stax. These can't be driven at all without the appropriate electronics, but price-wise the whole system compares not unfavourably with a good pair of dynamic 'phones plus a good headphone amp.

    I'm not totally sure I'd agree with that statement. Very few manufacturers of affordable amplifiers spend any significant amount of money on the headphone jack. Many integrated amplifiers just stick a resistor in series with the speaker output (shudder). Even those that don't will often just use a little 50p op-amp chip. It depends on the 'phones as well. Grado SR60s will usually sound okay without a headphone amp, but Sennheiser 580s (or 600s) have a much higher impedance. Some sources will be okay, but if you try to use them with (say) a portable CD player they sound like crap. Even if you think there's enough power available you still have to worry about things like damping....
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Got to hand it to you Nic,you really do go for it.....man's got a Yamaha vx-530 here...considering the comments I've had for recommending Kimber cables(even the cheap stuff),you're really inviting it with the Headmaster....still...for true insanity(and i mean absolutely howling mad)try the Headroom Blockhead...this should clear around £3K from your account.

    In the meantime,it's unlikely that any benefit would be accrued at this amp price/quality level.
    As for damping,as the load impedance rises,the damping factor will rise,although the absolute output in Watts will obviously fall....damping factor is seldom a problem with headphones though(and yes...I have tried a few....Beyer,Stax,Sennheiser,Grado etc...before settling a set of Sennheiser 600's fed from an Earmax(single ended triode OTL valve headphone amp).
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Surely the cheaper the amp the more likely it is that the headphone jack will be seriously dodgy, and hence the more benefit you woud get from a headphone amp? :)

    That was kind of my point - Sennheiser 580s may produce unsatisfactory results without a headphone amp if you want to drive them with something like a Yamaha vx-530; because he probably doesn't have the budget for a headphone amp he might therefore be better off not actually getting the 580s and going with something like the Grado SR60s instead. (I really need to be more liberal with my smilies :);):D:cool: ).
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Only way to maximise the benefit of a good headphone amp is to bypass the receiver entirely...feed the source direct to it....happy xmas!
     
  10. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Thank you.

    Sorry for the late reply, but I was on holidays... I had heard about the Sennheiser, actually they were my first option. I will check also the others. But of course, if I have an amp which costs 450 euro I will not buy a 200 euro headphones, I would rather buy speakers!
    About going directly to the source, I agree with that, but I am precisely curious about the capabilities of the amp with the headphones, since yamaha claims that it makes a kind of surround... And I do not have in mind to buy a special amp for the headphones.
    I want them to listen both movie and music at late night, whenever I like louder sound but I cannot disturb my neightbours. But if I really want to enjoy it, I will wait until it is day again, and play the speakers... Otherwise I would not have spent the money!
    I also would like them wireless... What about that?
     
  11. Taz

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    I've got some Sennheiser cordless somewhere, will have to dig them out and flog them;)


    Taz.
     
  12. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Nice and swift response! Well, I usually do not like to buy second hand, but I guess that most of the people in this forum treat their little toys for adults (as I call them) with lots of care. So it looks like a nice offer, but I live in Germany...
     
  13. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Hello!

    I have been browsing the internet, and I have finally seen that the Sennheiser headphones are the ones that suit my needs, since no other brands of the here mentioned are cordless. So, unless you convince me of the convenience of the wires, I am almost done. I will go for the rs-40 or similar. I only worry about the impedance now... Just tell me that the sound will be good enough without a dedicated amp, and I will go to the shop. If not, maybe I should give up about cordless...
    Thank you all!
     
  14. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I don't know anything about the Sennheiser RS40. The RS65 is quite good. RS85 is also good, but not really much better than the 65. But think about what it is that you're paying for with cordless. With regular 'phones you pay for the 'phones themselves. With cordless you pay for the 'phones, plus the radio transmitter, plus a DC power supply, plus the rechargeable batteries, plus a radio receiver, plus radio modulation and demodulation circuitry. The obvious consequence of this that any given pair of cordless 'phones will sound a lot less impressive than regular 'phones at the same price point.
     
  15. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Thanks. I already thought about it, in fact it is one of my explanations when a friend wants to buy something like a micro-hi-fi (if it is not a sin to mix both in one word), saying that they are paying a lot for many fancy buttons and lights.
    The problem is that I really need some "autonomy" (sorry, it is direct from spanish... I don't know how to say it properly), to walk around or whatever.
    Knowing there is a huge difference, do you think I could hear it with my amp? If not, it is done, and I get the cordless ones. But if I take the Grado that you recommended me, for example, wouldn't it be a problem to use a long extension cable...? My bed is 4 meters away from the amp... That would attenuate the signal... Or not?
     
  16. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Using a long extension cable certainly can adversely affect the sound. It is possible to buy extensions that don't have a measurable effect, but they can be expensive. However, the effect may not be very great, and in any case this is a trade-off: is the loss in quality caused by adding an extension lead to some with-cord headphones worse than the loss in quality experienced by switching from with-cord 'phones to cordless ones? I suspect you'll find that with-cord 'phones sound better, even with an extension lead, than cordless ones do.

    But to be honest, the only person who can really answer this question is you. :) Find a shop that will actually let you listen to the 'phones you're thinking of buying before you decide.

    Freedom? Freedom of movement?
     
  17. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    Thank you very much. You are probably right. I will try...
    Ah! And thanks for the english lesson. I cannot even speak properly in english and I am already learning german... ;-)
    Thanks a lot!
     

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