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Sennheiser HD580 Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Hawklord, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I've just orderd these for use late at night so as to not annoy the neighbours (i live in a flat).
    My question is when watching movies which piece of kit would be best to plug them into?. My DVDP, AV amp and integrated amps all have headphone sockets and i'm not sure which would be best sq wise.
    any ideas?:confused:
     
  2. ditton15

    ditton15
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    if the same question was asked about CDplayers and amps, I would have recommended that you used the CDplayer, or else a dedicated headphone amp. that would seem to suggest that you use the DVDplayer, especially since the alternatives would be confusing: int. amp for the front stage only or AV amp for the surround - and goodness knows what would happen to the LFE.
     
  3. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I thought that would be the logical answer - maybe I'll try both the dvdp and av amp and see what's best.
     
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    This is definitely a "try it and see" question.

    The best possible sound would probably be got by buying a dedicated headphone amp and connecting it directly to the original sound source. (Of course even then you have to worry about whether to use the DACs in the player or in your AV amp for stereo music! :) ). But that could work out quite expensive.
     
  5. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    What sort of money are we talking for a budget one? What are the major benefits and is the difference that noticable between a normal headphone connection and routing through a designated headphone amp.
    It's alway struck me that if the sound is that good via a headphone amp why do we all tend to invest in av amps and speakers when we could all have our own indevidual headsets:confused:
     
  6. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    I can't answer most of your questions but i know the budget Creek ones start at about £100 which is the smallest amount people seem to recommend spending.

    I was vaguely considering one for my HD570s but then i got into AV and have been skint ever since :)
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    The thing is, though, that a cheap headphone won't necessarily sound better than the headphone socket on some other piece of kit - it depends. If you can afford to spend £400 or so, you can get some really stunning stuff....


    It's one of those chicken and egg things. Recordings are designed to be played back over speakers, so if you use headphones the soundstaging is all messed up - it sounds as if all the sound is inside your head, which gets rather tiring after a while. Thus people rarely use headphones because the music doesn't sound good when they do. So the manufacturers of the CD players and amps don't bother spending any money on headphone output ability, and the people making the recordings don't bother to make recordings that sound good over headphones, and so people don't bother to listen with headphones, and so on.

    It's a shame. A good pair of 'phones, a good headphone amp, and a binaural recording sound stunning, but there are very few binaural recordings out there. Dolby Headphone is an interesting idea, but still very much a blind alley - trying to use headphones to simulate speakers rather than setting up a proper binaural soundfield directly.
     
  8. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Sorry NicholasB but I disagree that music doesnt sound good through headphones. OK it may take a little getting used to, but it certainly doesnt sound bad if you've got a good quality pair of headphones and some decent amplification.

    @ Hawklord, try all of the outputs on the components and see which is most pleasing for you, although I generally havent heard very good things about the headphone out on Arcam amps, but you never know...
     
  9. NicolasB

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    It depends what you mean by "good". I have a pair of Sennheiser HD600s, driven by a Graham Slee Projects "Solo" headphone amp, being fed from an Arcam DV27 player. In terms of the purity and quality of the sound, it's fabulous - better than just about speakers I've listened to - but, like I said, the music is inside your head.

    I have one CD that I acquired relatively recently which is a binaural recording of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathrustra" and Saint-Saens' "Organ Symphony". The sound-staging on that when listening through headphones is amazing - I actually caught myself looking out the living room door into the hallway to see where the violins were! :)

    Also, of course, 'phones like the HD600s (or 580s) have a frequency response that is rated all the way down to 12Hz. For most music this is overkill, but this recording includes a pipe organ with a 32 foot stop, which means there is a lot of stuff going on between 16 and 31Hz. Most stereo speakers just burst into tears if you throw a signal like that at them - even many subwoofers can't really handle 16Hz. But the "Solo" and HD600s between them - wow! :eek::D
     
  10. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I'd say that was a good rig mate, all I am saying is that I personally very much enjoy my music played through headphones, and I have a more modest rig than yours (a Terratec EWX24/96 soundcard, Rotel RA-01 amp, Beyer DT770 Pro and AKG K271S headphones), and my music sounds great through this rig in my opinion. The Beyer's even have something resembling a soundstage :D

    Cheers :smashin:
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I'm not being nearly as negative about this as you seem to think I am. :)

    I enjoy headphone listening too. The stereo separation is certainly very good, and (as I said) in terms of actual sound quality (lack of distortion) a headphone amp and 'phones costing costing only a few hundred pounds between them easily outperform a pre-amp/power amp/speaker combination costing thousands. Most people don't realise how good headphones can actually sound a) because they have never listened to a decent pair of 'phones, and b) because so few player/amp/pre-amp manufacturers bother to devote any time and money to the headphone output.

    The thinking presumably: why should they if people never use it? If they do then it will put the price up, and other products that don't pay any attention to headphone output will sound just as good with speakers and cost less money, so their product won't sell.

    I think it's a real shame that the industry doesn't do more to suppport headphone listening. I'm increasingly perplexed, for example, by the endless progression towards more and more loudspeakers in a system. Where will that end? When it comes down to it, people only have two ears. If you can exactly reproduce at the ear what the sound is supposed to be like, then you should be able to reproduce anything more precisely than you could with any number of speakers (unless you cover literally every square inch of the walls, ceiling and floor with thousands of them).
     

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