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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AFTER SOME DIAGNOSTIC TESTING, I DETERMINED THAT THE AMPLIFIER'S HEADPHONE OUTPUT IS FAULTY. THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING WRONG WITH THE HEADPHONES.



I received the HD650's in the mail this evening. They look great and feel pretty good on my head.


I plugged them into the headphone jack on the front panel of my receiver and ... they suck! ... sort of.


Don't get me wrong, they have a nice sound, it's just that I cannot get them up to a decent volume for listening to movies. When I crank the volume up past -20 dB, I get noticeable clipping and distortion. That this distortion is so noticeable is testimony to the sound quality. The thing is, I didn't buy them to listen to distortion.


What do I do?


The receiver is a SONY STR-DA5300ES. It should have gobs of power to drive these things. Should I use a rear panel output channel rather than the headphone jack?


Please don't say I need a headphone amp or I will just be sending these back. That is just too much money for headphones for them to not work.
 

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The headphone out on your receiver is not nearly enough to drive those cans. Yes, you do need a headphone amp to use those to their full potential. I don't mean to sound mean but you should have done your homework first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gchanjam /forum/post/16939559


The headphone out on your receiver is not nearly enough to drive those cans. Yes, you do need a headphone amp to use those to their full potential. I don't mean to sound mean but you should have done your homework first.

I did.


In the extensive description on the web site there is no mention of impedance mismatch or other reasons that dictate the need for a headphone amp. They sell headphone amps, too, so if they thought this needed one, you'd have thought they's have mentioned that. They did so for other models. They certainly were pushing to sell aftermarket cabling, so why no mention of the amp?


I believe they have a 30 day return policy, so I should be okay.
 

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The 650's are some of the most respected cans in the world but yes they need proper amplification. You wouldn't buy 800 series B&W's and hook them up to a normal receiver.


Just because they didn't push headphone amps on you doesn't mean you did your homework. If you need the salesman to inform you of what you'll need equipment wise then you haven't done your homework. You're assuming the salesman knew these headphones are hard to drive or that he makes as much of a commission off the headphone amp as he does off the cables.


Maybe you could take the headphones back to the store you bought them from and listen to them with a headphone amp. Or you could go over to www.head-fi.org and ask the very knowledgeable people over there to recommend a good cheap headphone amp for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You guys are cracking me up with all these put-downs! I bought them from a very knowledgable and respectable web site. There was no pushy salesman and no commision-based sales promotion.


Did you even read what I posted above? They DO recommend amps for many headphones sets but NOT for these. I do not think it is too much to add a sentance that says, "To obtain nominal performance, these headphones require a headphone amplifier." How about this, "NOTE - the 300 ohm input impedance of these headphones is not compatible with the output available from the headphone output jacks on most consumer oriented home receivers in the USA. We recommend an XYZ headphone amplifier for use with these headphones."


Anyway, they are going back. I get the joy of paying return shipping and they get to eat their cost of shipping the product to me (they were sold with "free shipping").


A few extra words in their advertisements would have avoided this whole thing.


P.S. - There is no implication there is anything wrong with the performance or sound quality of the HD650. From what I can tell, they will be an AWESOME-sounding headphone if you have the proper gear to drive them. I do not.
 

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No matter how you look at it 300 ohm cans are a pretty hard load even for some headphone amps. This is why most of the bigger manufacturers like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Ultrasone, etc. have high and low impedance versions of the same headphone. Honestly I agree with what everyone else has said that you should have done your homework first. Of course Sennheiser is not going to advertise that their headphones sound like crap if you don't use an amp, they are in the business to make money after all. You have a great pair of cans there so why not just invest in a headphone amp to properly power them? You can get nice decent amps for as low as $100. High end headphones are the same thing as speakers, you don't see speaker manufacturers saying that you need to have an amp for their speakers even when you do. They just assume that if you see the 4ohm or lower impedance in the specifications that the buyer already knows that they will need some good amplification and headphones are the same thing.
 

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i have the 650s and i can tell you for sure they will not sound anywhere their best without an amp--they are hard to drive. i use the musical fidelity xcan v3 which sounds nothing short of incredible. send them back at your own peril.
 

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Would a MA2275 Mcintosh integrated amp need a headphone amp for the 650's too?

I thought I was all set until I read this post.

Maybe I am leaving SQ on the table.?.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Titus /forum/post/16944509


Would a MA2275 Mcintosh integrated amp need a headphone amp for the 650's too?

I thought I was all set until I read this post.

Maybe I am leaving SQ on the table.?.

Honestly there is no way to know for sure unless you buy em and try them out. Some integrateds and avr's have a good headphone section whereas others do not. NAD is known for providing good headphone ports in their units but others are pretty unknown. For instance I have a really old sony receiver that powers my 250ohm Beyers pretty good but my newer and more expensive Yamaha avr in the living does not so go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by VectorLabs /forum/post/16944031


Of course Sennheiser is not going to advertise that their headphones sound like crap if you don't use an amp, they are in the business to make money after all.


I was not referring to Sennheiser's descriptions. I was referring to the retailer who sold them. The retailer has several headphones which they claim need an amp. For these, no such claim was made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanDallas /forum/post/16943837


Is there another receiver you can try.


I have an old Kenwood integrated amp out in the garage. I will try them out there. I use a Sennheiser HD570 headphone out there with that amp with phenomenal success. I was hoping to use these with my (indoors) home theater and that they would be even better than the HD570's.


It doesn't look too promising for keeping these, though, as I've already re-packed them and printed the return authorization form.
Still, I will try them on the other amp.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag /forum/post/16944566


I was not referring to Sennheiser's descriptions. I was referring to the retailer who sold them. The retailer has several headphones which they claim need an amp. For these, no such claim was made.

Who was the retailer if you don't mind me asking?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Titus /forum/post/16944509


Would a MA2275 Mcintosh integrated amp need a headphone amp for the 650's too?

I thought I was all set until I read this post.

Maybe I am leaving SQ on the table.?.

agreed no way to tell without trying it--never tried a mcintosh integrated headphone input. good gear doesn't necessarily come with one and some gear you would think of as having a good one (like my sony es cdr) have very good can amp implementations. nonetheless, I have never tried one with the 650s that sounds as good as the dedicated amps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denophile /forum/post/16944616


agreed no way to tell without trying it--never tried a mcintosh integrated headphone input. good gear doesn't necessarily come with one and some gear you would think of as having a good one (like my sony es cdr) have very good can amp implementations. nonetheless, I have never tried one with the 650s that sounds as good as the dedicated amps.

Yeah it's funny how even the most expensive integrateds and avr's can come with a craptastic headphone section yet some of the cheapest gear in the market has great ones.


I would assume since Mac gear caters to the old school audiophile with their looks that they would include a good headphone section as well. Back in the day pretty much all gear came with good headphone amps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag /forum/post/16939521


Please don't say I need a headphone amp or I will just be sending these back. That is just too much money for headphones for them to not work.

Sorry, not trying to bust your balls or anything, but just because you didnt do your research and bought professional headphones that are designed to be used with either professional audio equipment or headphone amps, doesnt mean the headphones "aren't working".


You can get some decent amps for relatively little that will do what you need them to.


If you want good cans that are designed for use with computers/laptops/ipods, etc, look at the HD595's.
 

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OKay Okay.... a less caustic post this time. I'll follow Hrimnir's example with a recommendation. I just placed an order for a set of Audio Technica HD700s, which are supposed to be very good open ear headphones without needing an amp. The HD595 was a consideration for me, as was the HD555s.
 

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OP, i looked through my bookmarks, take a look at the review for this headphone amp, he specifically uses HD650's as one of the headphones with it, so you can get an idea of how it will perform. I think the amp can be had for roughly $150:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...re-amp-269458/
 

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BL,


I guess I will have to go with the others. I do think these cans require a seperate amp.


If I get in the mood I can turn the volume almost to max on my Musical Fidelity X-CAN Amp and optional Power Supply. I don't usually do this but goes to show you that I am taking the Headphone Amp to the limits and the cans can take more. The MF pieces (amp and power supply) is the only headphone amp I have owned so nothing else to compare.


If I can take the Musical Fidelity pieces to near max when listening to blu-ray concerts late at night I am not sure they would be at their best using just an AVR. For CD's I tone it down and they sound awesome.


My Pre/Pro does not have a phone jack or support cans so not sure how they would do without the MF Amp.


These cans need a seperate amp and sound pretty dang good and I have never experienced distortion or clipping.


Rick
 
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