Headphone Question / Recommendation Wanted - AVS Forum
Speakers > Headphone Question / Recommendation Wanted
PenskeFile's Avatar PenskeFile 02:37 PM 03-22-2013
I'm thinking about buying some good quality headphones to allow me to really immerse myself in music (classical and jazz mostly) while not disturbing/being disturbed by family activities.

I would use these in the living room where I have a Sonos ZP90 connected to a Onkyo TX-NR515 receiver via RCA jacks (previous consensus was that the Sonos DAC is probably better than the receiver).

The Onkyo has a large headphone jack on the front.

Questions:
Do I need a separate headphone amp if I am running through the Onkyo?

Anyone with experience in a similar use-case who can make a recommendation? I'm planning to keep this under $300

warpdrive's Avatar warpdrive 02:55 PM 03-22-2013
Do you want a closed headphone (that blocks out a little bit of sound?)

Here's a good place to start

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame

I don't think you necessarly need a headphone amp....although for specific low impedance headphones a headphone amp can offer less noise or sound more linear.

The best sounding type of home use headphone are "Around the ear, Open" class. Those work best for classical and jazz music
PenskeFile's Avatar PenskeFile 04:39 PM 03-22-2013
Thanks for the info and link. As a result, I have a bid in on eBay now for something in my price range. Still not sure what to make of the headphone amp issue though
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 11:33 AM 03-23-2013
If you buy low impedance headphones that have (a) have wide variance in actual impedance and (b) the receiver's impedance output doesn't go as low as the headphones, then there could be issues with the smoothness of the frequency response. Then an amp "could" help.

What headphones did you bid on?
Petden's Avatar Petden 06:00 PM 03-23-2013
Recently i picked up sennheiser 598 brand new for $170 and i really like them. Whether i drive them through my computer directly or my denon 3313 the bass response is not where it should be. As soon as i put them into a dedicated headphone amp they open up and the bass is much more lively. It's present, strong, tight and clean.
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 12:13 AM 03-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petden View Post

Recently i picked up sennheiser 598 brand new for $170 and i really like them. Whether i drive them through my computer directly or my denon 3313 the bass response is not where it should be. As soon as i put them into a dedicated headphone amp they open up and the bass is much more lively. It's present, strong, tight and clean.

Not surprising. The 598s are known for being a bit difficult to drive because of their wild impedance swing.
PenskeFile's Avatar PenskeFile 07:11 AM 03-24-2013
Bidding on a set of Sennheiser HD 600's. 9 hours to go as the top bidder. I always bid what I think something is worth plus about 10% just to make sure I have no remorse if someone gets the item for like $1.00 more than I bid. I love ebay and it continues to amaze me how many people misunderstand the bidding process there.

I guess I will try them out with my receiver and see if I like it. If its up to what I am expecting that I'll try a headphone amp. Any recommendations there?
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 10:20 AM 03-24-2013
The HD 600s are specified as 300 ohm impedance headphones, but have been measured to require upward of 550 ohms. So you would probably want a headphone amp that is designed to support high impedance headphones.
warpdrive's Avatar warpdrive 12:39 PM 03-24-2013
I wouldn't run out to buy a headphone amp just because everybody else says you need one. My old Pioneer receiver sounded really good with HD600, so it depends on the receiver.
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 02:45 PM 03-24-2013
Yeah. I wasn't saying necessarily buy one. However, if you buy one, be sure to get one that provides good support for very high impedance headphones.
PenskeFile's Avatar PenskeFile 04:41 PM 03-24-2013
Used HD600 Headphones on the way! It was about $120 less than new after figuring taxes so I fee pretty good. All the reviews I've read on this set have been positive and hopefully this set is not being sold because of a problem.
mborner's Avatar mborner 12:12 PM 03-25-2013
Personally, I have not heard a better headphone than the Sony MDR-V6....................at ANY price. Sony has been making the MDR-V6 for nearly 30 years and I believe they still make them today. There is a reason why they are the most widely used headphones in professional studios. The best part is they can still be had new for around $80.
smudge981's Avatar smudge981 04:46 PM 03-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mborner View Post

Personally, I have not heard a better headphone than the Sony MDR-V6....................at ANY price. Sony has been making the MDR-V6 for nearly 30 years and I believe they still make them today. There is a reason why they are the most widely used headphones in professional studios. The best part is they can still be had new for around $80.

+1

I personally use the Sony MDR-7506 at work (radio.) Even bought a pair for home A/V use for when the daughter goes to bed. Got them on sale over the holidays in December for $75. Swear by them.
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