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maybe this is the wrong place to bring this up, but I want to buy headphones so I can watch a movie with our baby sleeping. I have the Anthem AVM 20 which has a headphone jack. I do not want to buy a headphone amp,,, do I need one? it says in the manual the Headphone output is 100mW into 32_ (funny symbol) @0.2% THD+N

can someone translate that for me? I am looking at the Sennheiser HD600.


Are there surround sound headphones?
 

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You do not need a headphone amp. The headphone jack onyour AVM20 is designed to drive pretty much any "dynamic" headphones. Don't get too caught up on the speeds and feeds. Generally speaking, headphone amps allow you to connect headphones to devices that don't have a headphone output by taking a line level input (eg pre out or tape loop) and take this signal and boost it and provide a connection for the headphones.


And yes I do recall seeing surround sound headphones but I can't recall who makes them - I believe you need some type of special headphone amp. You can do a search on old threads on headphones and surround and some other variables and see what comes up.
 

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Have a look at headfi.org and www.headphone.com. Very good sites about headphones and amps.


A headphone amp does IMHO improve the sound over the headphone jack in most receivers. I have a headroom Supreme amp and was surprised at the difference in sound. I was very skeptical for a long time about headphone amps. I do most of my music listening with headphones and do prefer the sound using the amp over my Denon receivers headphone jack.

Saying that, it's not necessary to buy an amp. You're best off putting the money towards good headphones first and then considering the amp if you listen to the headphones often.


I have a pair of Sennheiser wireless headphones with SRS built-in that I use for movies/tv . IT works quite well when watching late at night.
 

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Sennheiser made a surround sound processing "amp" that didn't sell well at all and that people didn't really like much. It supposedly enabled Dobly Pro-Logic onto the headphones, but i'm not sure if people didn't notice the difference/didn't care/didn't like the difference, but you can often times see it going for about $30 (marked down from $200).


Headroom and a few other amps make their amps to have a certain... audio signal processor that allows for uh.. (i forgot the term) but basically it tries to replicate speakers in a real-world scenario by playing a little bit of the right signal on the left ear of the headphone, and a little bit of the left signal on the right ear of the headphone, at a slightly delayed rate (for both signals). This is meant to reproduce speakers in real life, as you would hear the R speaker in your left ear still, but at a slightly delayed time than when you heard it in your right ear.


Some people won't buy amps that don't have this feature, others care less about it.


As for "surround sound processing" however, I think that would overall muddy your sound somewhat, as it would be like trying to replicate every channel of a 5.1 or 7.1 setup through just your front two speakers.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, I think the AVM20 has the "headroom" circutry built into its headphone stage. Anyways yes you can get seperate headphone amps like the Headroom stuff and Melos etc that will sound better than the integrated jack but for your purpose of listening to a movie while the baby is sleeping and the extra cost for this - I don't think it is worth it in your case but its your call.
 

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I have a pair of Grado SR-60's. They are so out of date with their styling, but I have never heard a better sound come from any headphones. (granted I didn't do months of shopping for my pair)


I don't use a headphone amp (just my Marantz receiver) and it does a great job. They sound fantastic. I have been really pleased.


I would recomend skipping out on the amp, and just getting a set of headphones. If you get the right ones, you should be happy with them without the amp.
 

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I picked up one of those Senn "amp" when they first got slashed in price. I generally like the sound of the processing on, myself, but that's just me. The process does muck about with the sound, so on some material, I have to turn it off (you can press a button and have it just pass the signal through untouched). Its not just for headphones as it takes RCA stereo in and has RCA stereo outs and a minijack out. Having phones pluged in mutes the RCA outs. It has a mode for speakers and a mode for headphones. In speaker mode you can have pass through, 3D or automatic volume control. In headphone mode, you only get 3D or pass through, but adds volume control (the actual amp part of the package). I think its great (I've got it rigged up in a desktop PC environment). Gives me a headphone amp that, while not great, does sound better and give easier control than running a line straight out of my soundcard, processing for headphones and my big speaks that I feel sounds better than normal for 90% of my material (including audio from console games), and AVC that helps keep me from blasting stuff with my big speaks (and they're huge, 3.5' tall Fisher floorstanders built sometime in the 70s; they've got 15" woofers) at startling intervals with many soundtracks or DVDs. The most cost effective and just plain useful piece of gear I have in that rig, though for the original asking price of $150, I can see why it failed miserably.


Kensai
 
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