Need info on Headphone Amp!?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Retrolize77, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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    Hi,
    i got a Beyerdynamic DT 880 250 Ohm for sounddesign/Mixing , use it on my MacBook Pro 2011 output.

    I wonder if u should get an Amp, cause Im working with electronic music , so the Low end is important to be heard in detail.

    I read in a other forum that with MacBooks the DAC is not necessary , is that correct?

    As I’m on low budget here (my kids „eatin up“ all the money as they grow up), I think I’ll buy it ‚used‘ and it shouldn’t be more than 70-100 euros.

    Heard the more pricey Schiit stuff (vali/modi combo) would be a good idea, but still dunno if I need the dac on MacBook, and would like to have the Amp & dac (if needed) in one body. Also, im from Germany and can’t find any Schiit stuff in eBay Germany, so PLEASE recommend me something helpful.

    Read that the FiiO E10K Olympus 2 can be ok, at least al lot better with a low pricey Amp than without any amp.
    About 50euro used/70 Euro new is supercheap, which is good, but in contrast to a Schiit it looks like comparing a Prophet to a Casio keyboard, like toystuff, especially the bass on/off makes me headache, as I look for more neutral sound for mixing, so...

    Thx in advc for takin the time to read till here, have a nice day, and share some info if u are able 2.
    Greetz, my fellow musicians

    Ehhm, im on sierra here, hope this ain’t a problem with older devices, cause it’s connected via usb (some many tech issues, damn, just wanna make music
     
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  3. spyfx

    spyfx Guest

    hi my friend @Retrolize77 :bow:
    do you already have an audio interface ?
    if not in my humble opinion you can get a presonus audiobox itwo for $149/122 euros it has a very strong headphone amp :
    https://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-iTwo

    also check the Steinberg ur-22 it also has a strong headphone amp (i know about the mk1 version not the mk2) :
    https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/discontinued_hardware/ur22.html

    if you really just want only a headphone amp you might like this & fits your price better :
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HP4 you can use a y cable to connect to your mac

    stay away from the entry level focusrite range like the solo,(good interfaces for their money but no strong headphone amps)

    hope this info helps you :wink:
     
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  4. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    IMHO the DT880 is a very good headphone. If the output volume you have with your computer is enough for you, don't add a cheap headphone-amp, for listening the simpler the chain the better, unless you would be using a very good audio interface but with a low output.
    As, if I understand, you will use the same output of your computer, you wont have better quality by adding a phone-amp.

    If you go the interface way, as spyfx suggested, which is probably the best way, stay away from Focusrite , their headphones output are weak. (I have a DT 880 pro and a Focusrite 18i20)

    A listening chain is as good as it's weakest part.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  5. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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    Thx for nice & quick answers, love u guys in this forum for the good manners : )

    Spyfx & olymoon, u both got a point!

    I ain’t got a interface, but got my little outboard gear somewhere else, so totally itb here, so no need for 1, at least I think, although a good idea cause of the build in amp! Thx

    Important thought, olymoon, don’t want to poison my audio chain with cheap stuff, just thought it is needed for mixing cause of the low end, never heard a headphone amp in work, so it’s all theoretic for me actually.
    And I like those new dt-880 very much , such a rich majestic sound, big difference to my old superlux, especially some Kicks I like thru the superlux sound like trash , weak , distorted & and overprocessed on the dt, which really is its purpose as a reference HPhone, and I love it for that fidelity.
    So, u presume I would make no progress soundwise/low end clarity thru buying a lo fi amp if I would use the MacBook audio out.
    But when I connect the amp thru usb, then I need a dac, and then the possibility for more clarity and difinition is there?? Oh guys, hope i get it right, dunno how the MacBook is build from the inside , not info tech capabilities here on my end.
     
  6. spyfx

    spyfx Guest

    @Retrolize77 If the output volume you have with your computer is enough for you as Olymoon suggested stay with your headphones.
    IMHO adding an audio interface will be more useful in the future too :wink: you might want to do some vocal recordings in your electronic music production so you will need mic pre's & a mic :wink:

    & if you go with the presonus audiobox itwo you get an awesome plug in bundle :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
  7. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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    Allright, then it’s a no brainer, cause it’s loud enuff, anything louder than maximum will damage my ears I bet, so.

    If one of my kids should start singing / emceeing whatever, I’ll buy 1 hell of a interface.
    But no need for vocals right here, if so then better recorded somewhere else then our living room : )

    But wait, I got some skills myself , long time no mic tested, that interface may come quicker then imagined
     
  8. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    All roads goes lead a mic :rofl:
     
  9. Army of Ninjas

    Army of Ninjas Rock Star

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  10. deltec

    deltec Newbie

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    It cost more than you could afford by the way is a great sounding DAC and headphone amplifier too, "Chord Mojo" I use it every where!
     
  11. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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    Gotta „google“ it, names to nice maybe I wait, maybe I don’t need one, maybe I go for a cheap 1 to see what it can provide ...
    Thx anyway
     
  12. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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  13. ClayHadi

    ClayHadi Newbie

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    Hi....I personally use the Sennheiser HD580 headphones and a Total Airhead 9v amp. For listening to music, i use that on a Sony Discman since it gives much better sound than either a TBSC, GTXP, or Audigy can possibly output for music(but then i'm the rare guy that doesnt pirate mp3's). Setup works great on either...but most people can't afford the 440 or so bucks to listen to use that kind of gear. Then, many people also don't have the ears to hear the difference.
     
  14. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Hi ClayHadi, below the posts you can see a date and the last one before yours reads Jan 13, 2018, so I think the problem is solved meanwhile.
    Nonetheless you gave some useful info - and welcome to THE forum.
     
  15. Rorer

    Rorer Platinum Record

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    What do you want to like your sound , sounding like?
    And what sound do you have?
    Ah, open with singing? lol
    I use KRK KNS-8400 with Sonarworks Reference 4
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  16. Death Thash Doom

    Death Thash Doom Platinum Record

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    If you are looking for only a headphone amplifier, I can state that I have never been let down by the little monotor box by Little Labs:
    https://www.littlelabs.com/monotor.html

    Although it seems though that you might want something that offers superior quality AD/DA conversion than what is on-board your computer.
    That is a whole different kettle of fish if you are after an interface to bypass the built-in soundcard as there are so many options and at practically every price point, Depending on what you require inputs/output wise, There are some very high-quality headphone amplifiers with great converters which can be in some cases the main/only real interfacing some want/need. I could not get by without many ins and outs along with different monitor speakers to do my job, Yet I know that not everyone needs nor wants a ton of ins/outs with monitor speaker switching and so on.

    I do not have to take into consideration whatever headphone or lack of headphone amplification an interface I am interested in offers due to finding a great solution already, I use a number of Little Labs handy problem solving/utility boxes and they have always served me without fail, That is though with a setup that already includes quality converters as the monotor does not feature such, It is a very simple but great little headphone amplifier.

    Sonarworks reference is a wonderful piece of software/a superb tool as Rorer mentioned, Well worth the price of a license as it can be the difference between a meh mix and a good, solid mix which you hear through whatever your choice of headphones or multiple pairs in my case is, No messing either, It's a doddle to use.

    Edit: I see that I am also a few years too late on this one. Sorry about that/didn't notice and I'm very rusty, First day back in like four years, So forgive me for that one :oops:
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  17. Blue

    Blue Audiosexual

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    Did you send your headphones to Sonarworks for a custom profile or do you use any generic profile supplied by the software?
     
  18. Death Thash Doom

    Death Thash Doom Platinum Record

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    I use the supplied generic ones, They have translated just fine for my AKG K702s (open for critical listening/monitoring but not when there is a microphone within 5 meters of them at least!) and my Beyerdynamic DT770 (closed back which are my main pair/goto for tracking when spill is my utmost concern, They are very plenty good reference wise but wear my ears out quicker due to the closed-back nature, The low-end is not as deep). I didn't even think of that option to be honest as I have found the results good and most importantly they translate mixes well/help keep everything more uniform which is what I find so handy.
    I've not used it with my pair of Audeze LCD-X, they are at my closest friend's as he borrowed them to decide whether he wants to get himself a pair, I will do though after this lockdown/self-isolation has lifted, They are a fairly recent addition to my collection, So I've not had time to fully adjust to them and the price stung hard, I am still in the "revelation they are worth the money" phase listening to my music collection/favourite CDs with, So yeah not at all familiar with them to use as my trusty old K702 headphones just yet.
    I am not at all a rich man by a long shot Blue.

    Hope that is useful, Obviously, just my experience and mileage may vary. All the best your way
     
  19. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    briefly checking Thomann for budget headphone DACs, all have usb connection and decent headphone amplification, there are 3 top options (sorted by price high to low):

    1) RME ADI-2 DAC
    2) Fostex HP-A4 BL
    3) Swissonic HAD-1

    depends what you really seek for, you might get a decent audio interface instead, since you're into audio production?
     
  20. Retrolize77

    Retrolize77 Audiosexual

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    Thx for the late replies.
    Still pluging my Dt directly into computer, but enhanced with sonarworks & can opener. Especially sonarworks is a gamechanger for me, much more fun doing it with headphones, plus my translation is totally different in the best possible way.
     
  21. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    if you like Sonarworks for headphones, you can also check Morphit by Toneboosters,
    but let me warn you - they are indeed "game-changers", in a way of providing different listening experience - but not really better in any way, so don't take them as the ultimate better response :thumbsup:
     
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