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Headphone amps


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25 replies to this topic

#1
WaveZero

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So as the title state, does anyone have headphone amps? Do you think they really work or just a total waste of money? I just recently got Fiio E6 portable headphone amps, only costed me about $30 AUD. The price is decent enough, though I haven't tried it out yet. Letting it charge fully before testing it out. I hope that I will get better audio reproduction.

Here's mines:
https://www.dropbox....01 11.50.13.jpg

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#2
JohnFlower

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if having a soundcard with a headphone amp in it counts as having one, then yes i do have a headphone amp. otherwise, no.
either way, i love the soundcard. i can definitely tell the difference between onboard and what the card outputs.

my soundcard is an Asus Xonar Essence STX btw.

#3
WaveZero

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Anyone has experience with portable ones?

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#4
Freeman

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Just bought these for $10. Only 2 hours left on the deal. I don't like headphones, I find them really uncomfortable.
http://www.amazon.co...rd_p=1416111582

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#5
WaveZero

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^Umm ok, that was off topic hahaha

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#6
WIRLYWIRLYPOOL

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Fuckin Johnny...nearly 200$ for a sound card...Your an insane son of a bitch bro...

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#7
JohnFlower

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Fuckin Johnny...nearly 200$ for a sound card...Your an insane son of a bitch bro...

as long as pcie sticks around, i can reuse it as many times as i want. its a piece of hardware that actually has some longevity. i don't plan on hooking up a 10:2 surround sound system in the near future.

#8
Shadowshot2

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When you want good sound, you're willing to pay the price.

I use the Boostaroo amplifier (completely contradictory to above statement): http://boostaroo.com...r-T613-BNC.html
Nothing special, it boosts the input and splits it so that you can output it to up to 3 other things. It doesn't add anything to the sound and as long as your batteries hold up and your device can handle it the sound is not clipped. These are best used on headphones that do not have their own power supply for that extra kick in volume.

I got this for my skull candy gaming headset (a really low-end headset). The headphones couldn't get enough power from how they were normally set up, so the volume was really low even on its highest volume setting. Putting in the amplifier made a huge difference, having the volume set to around 25% was already louder than before the amp, and at 50% it could have rivaled Turtle Beach headsets in sound quality if it weren't for the lack of low range drivers in the headset itself. At max volume the headphones stuttered due to their physical limits but otherwise did not lose sound quality.

I found it at a local radio shack, if you have one nearby try this out, it shouldn't be too expensive.

#9
13ack.Stab

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Nice, John! I use the exact same card... it's glorious. ;)

I also own an Astro mixamp.

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#10
Zachimillius

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(If talking headsets I will ignore everything you say as they do not have anything in common with sound quality :P )

Depending on your headphones there may be no point. Actually, the chances are there is no point. I have my RX A3000 receiver to drive my headphones, however for an on the desk/PC kind of thing I recommend DACs (different to an amp but some come with amps and visa versa) over soundcards.

The Maverick Tube Magic D2 is a great DAC, the D1 is not as good but does have a built in amp of you want to drive powerful headphones (again most people do not need this). That is a good starting point, I can go a lot expensive or cheaper with DACs.

First I need to know what headphones people have before I talk about amps!

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#11
WaveZero

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Here are my first impressions of it: I LOVE IT!!

Unlike Shadowshot2 amp, this amp has EQ settings other than just boosting the volume. There are 4 EQ settings, well I guess you don't count the first one since it just amplify the volume, adds a really nice clean crisp boost to all the frequency ranges.

Officially there are 3 EQs:

1st EQ: Adds a nice boost to the lower frequency range, which that adds a lot of bass, but however it doesn't sound overpowering or screws up the mid or higher range frequencies.
2nd EQ: Adds a decent boost to the mid frequency range, really handy if you want to make the mid range sound more alive. Really nice if the bass is too over powering.
3rd EQ: Lowers all the frequency range by 3dB, this is handy with you have something that has a high level input. However not likely that I'm gonna use it hahaha

I love using the 0th (lols) on my computer headphones, since the computer already has an EQ, I have no use for the extra EQs of this amp. However when I'm using it on my phone or tablet, the 2nd EQ is my favorite, makes my songs sound more alive, I use the 1st EQ on songs that want that extra "hump".

The design of the amp is just perfect, fits perfecting along side my phone in my pocket. The size of it is really damn small, imagine a size of a business card but only 1/4 of it and about 0.3cm thick. The battery is rated at 10 hours, but so far I haven't drained it yet, about 3-4 hours use now.

That's all I have to say, will post back some more once I used it a bit more. If you want a more professional review, check here: http://www.trustedre...le-Audio_review

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#12
Zachimillius

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My bad.. portable stuff. I recommend you all check out Emmeline stuff. By far some of the best portable amps I have heard.

Also Headamp has some great products! If you want small, but amazing sound, their picoslim is my choice!

However picking one is not always simple, like with anything else you got to consider things:

What headphones are you using? How much you want to pay? What music are you listening to? What sound signature are you looking for? How big/small do you want the amp?

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#13
Animefan93

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I own a pair of Astro A40s and a Astro Mixamp if that means anything to anyone. I have gone back to using my 5.1 surround sound though and only use the astros for Skype, late night watching anime and gaming... also watching videos the whole house should be hearing if you catch my drift.

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#14
Evil_Burrito

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Having an external amp for headphones is kinda like a band-aid for a low end sound card and poor head phone design. But whatever works for ya.

I have used the same x-fi platinum sound card in my last 3 computers (about 6-7 years). It was totally worth it and I still have yet to find a better internal card with as many features and different types of inputs/outputs. I hoped for years Creative would release a newer pci-e version, but they sadly never did.

#15
WaveZero

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The title is misleading, I was talking about portable ones. Hahaha I don't think you can carry a soundcard and power it inside your pocket while connecting it to a phone.

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#16
Animefan93

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But you can carry around a Astro Mix Amp if you by the rechargeable battery pack :P, just wanted to put that out there.

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#17
13ack.Stab

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But you can carry around a Astro Mix Amp if you by the rechargeable battery pack :P, just wanted to put that out there.


Yeah, but that would be a huge pain in the ass. I love it, but it has too many wires for that.

I mainly use the Astro Mixamp for late-night console gaming sessions so I don't wake anyone.

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#18
WaveZero

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Anyways, posting back here to say that the Fiio E6 battery life is superb, I actually got out about 13 hours of usage, more than the rated 10 hours. Which is great. But I hope that the battery life will stay like that for the next year or so. But I know that after about 2 years of usage, battery life would be nearly about half the rated capacity. Look at my phone, used to be able to standby for over 2 weeks, now it doesn't even last near a week. About 5 days before it needs another charge >.>

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#19
Zachimillius

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You must not have one of those new touch screen smart phones.

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#20
JohnFlower

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You must not have one of those new touch screen smart phones.

indeed. with regular use, you're lucky to get even a day out of them.


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