Author Topic: Headphone Amp Advice  (Read 1239 times)

Offline Kshah

Headphone Amp Advice
« on: January 06, 2018, 02:54:30 PM »
Hey guys,

Need some advice regards a headphone amplifier.

I have a set of Sennheiser Momentum OE cans, which I use for listening when the dragons in a mood or the kids are doing homework. Primarily playing them via Huawei handset.

I feel that a phone amp may improve my experience, but unsure.

I see the cheapest around is the Fiio portable... But have seen impressive looking options on Amazon, especially the valve options...

Any advise would be appreciated. I may prefer something that's portable or reasonably portable, but it's not a deal breaker.

Budget should be about 1000ZAR max.

My sister it's going over the pond in March so sourcing from Amazon should be easy.

Thanks

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Shah

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 08:33:37 PM »
Look at what Fiio offers in your price range. Buy something that can drive somewhat lower impedance cans (150-300 ohm) if you ever plan to upgrade. Or consider the Audiometry Dragonfly advertised in the classifieds.
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Offline Kshah

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 09:03:22 PM »
Look at what Fiio offers in your price range. Buy something that can drive somewhat lower impedance cans (150-300 ohm) if you ever plan to upgrade. Or consider the Audiometry Dragonfly advertised in the classifieds.
Thanks. Will look into it.

I was looking at the Nobsound valve amp @ $50 there's also a Little dot, and Topping for less than $100, I think...

Was wondering if anyone had experience with them

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Shah

Offline Tenflare

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Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 05:34:42 PM »
If you have toslink out on your source, the SMSL 793II is a great solution. I can personally attest that it's a stupendously clean powered DAC/amp.

If you must have USB, the Topping TP30 also falls into your price range.
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Offline Kshah

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 09:22:42 PM »
If you have toslink out on your source, the SMSL 793II is a great solution. I can personally attest that it's a stupendously clean powered DAC/amp.

If you must have USB, the Topping TP30 also falls into your price range.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely look into those

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Shah

Offline kamikazi

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 05:02:03 PM »
Those headphones were designed for portable sources. Either get a better quality source or a better headphone. Don't waste your money on amplification.

Offline Wolla

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Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 08:23:54 PM »
Those headphones were designed for portable sources. Either get a better quality source or a better headphone. Don't waste your money on amplification.
+1
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Offline itscraig

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 08:32:54 PM »
+2 All a good amp would do is give a bit more volume and more control

Offline Tenflare

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Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 12:05:17 PM »
The amps I recommended aren't exactly class A impedence smashers. But they are cheap, have clean DACs, and offer enough future-proofing to scale up to something more suited to home listening.


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Offline Momo

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 12:32:37 PM »
I definitely think including something like the audio quest dragonfly in the mix will prove beneficial I have used it with my B&W p5's and in ear monitors and simply love it.

Offline Kshah

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 12:55:31 PM »
Thanks for the advice guys... definitely something to look into...

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Shah

Offline ron g

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 10:39:48 PM »


personally i have to wonder if you should consider looking at the source you are using first.
 - what quality music are you using - mp3 / flac?
 - what playback app are you suing - the phone's default or another like poweramp?

i found that going from my s7's default app which could only playback mp3 to poweramp & flac files made a big improvement, at a very small cost. this may of course not be applicable to your phone though.
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Offline naughty

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 02:31:24 AM »
if your phone is OTG capable i would recommend a DAC/AMp like the audioquest dragonfly black (closest to your projected budget) and then as long as its an android phone the best purchase you can make is to get USB Audio Player Pro (around 99 bucks from the play store)

the app allows you to play bit perfect and it plays up to 24/192 FLAC and it also does the more basic versions of DSD so when you eventually get a better DAC/AMP then you can scale up in quality .... in fact when i set the app to play bit perfect and i try to play the phone onto my main speaker set via the CD input of my AVR the phone sounds around 95% of the way to my PC playing the same music .... the differences are i assume due to power supplies ...so when i use the Hi-Phibian supplied adapter USB power only cable connected to a wall wart and use that to power the uDSD then the difference in sound quality gets even smaller .... and the difference is basically only bass quality

the only problem with this scenario is that for a fixed Hi-Fi installation most phones that have an effecient enough OTG capability with proper USB host control capability is going to be a fair amount costlier than a microserver with the associated additional ram and graphics card

but if you already have a decent phone (like the S7 mentioned by Ron G above) and get a decent DAC/AMP and you use a decent headset then you can get some superb sound quality and have it play loud enough to drown out the rest of the world without disturbing anyone else .... it does mean that you have to invest a wee bit more to get the right equipment than severely limited one purpose items like a specific headphone amp (offboard DACs make a fair amount of difference in sound quality compared to onboard DACs found in phones)

BTW your phone doesnt come standard with OTG support but you can enable it using the following guide if you like so you will be able to make DAC/AMPs work via an OTG cable connection

https://androidtutorial.net/2017/03/02/enable-otg-support-huawei-p9-lite/

Offline Kshah

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 10:38:25 AM »

personally i have to wonder if you should consider looking at the source you are using first.
 - what quality music are you using - mp3 / flac?
 - what playback app are you suing - the phone's default or another like poweramp?

i found that going from my s7's default app which could only playback mp3 to poweramp & flac files made a big improvement, at a very small cost. this may of course not be applicable to your phone though.

I am playing MP3 and FLAC with my Huawei P9 Lite, i also just bought a Samsung J7 but havent connected it yet.

I am using the native app for playing music.

Ideally would like to play music via phones using either phone or perhaps a an MP3 playing - thinking of buying an iPod.

Usually use the phones for listening when I cant play my system (Wife and children studying) or when I am travelling alone.

Thought that the amp/dac would improve sq and volume.

Presently I am happy with the sq, just feel need more bang if you know what I mean ;)
Shah

Offline Katji

Re: Headphone Amp Advice
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 10:53:45 AM »
Quote
i found that going from my s7's default app which could only playback mp3 to poweramp & flac files made a big improvement, at a very small cost. this may of course not be applicable to your phone though.
If that is Samsung S7... the S5 Samsung music player plays .flac .  ...The S6 was a downgrade because of the non-replaceable battery, and the S7 was a downgrade because of battery fire. :)