Nov 27, 2018140 views

Looking for an amp/dac for hd 6xx

Just got the hd 6xx headphones for $200. I am told an amp/dac will be needed for these headphones but it seems people recommend products that are $200+ personally I can not yet justify spending that much on an amp and dac. Someone recommend the JDS atom amp which seems like a good amp. Could I get buy with just that and no DAC? I have also just thought about buying the Fiio e10k or the q1 mark 2 even though it will be “underpowered” my thinking is that it will be better than just going directly into the PC.
thumb_up
Neubrineo
thumb_up1
7
remove_red_eye140


JDS Labs Atom amp + Massdrop Grace SDAC,that is best measuring combo you can get at this price.
Hi Marlowe, I'm awaiting delivery of HD6XX's. I have a portable audio player (Pioneer XDP-30R) which claims to have barely sufficient power to play these - should I move about with them), but I'm wondering what you'd use as a home dac/amp?? ... a Jutenheim?
The amps you mentioned are not fit to drive the 6XX. They crave tons of voltage and the Senns can swing upwards of 500 ohms. The units you listed are suggested to 150 ohms max. You'd be better off looking at the JDS lads Atom, Schiit Magni, etc. as they will have more than enough power for your needs and leave with plenty of headroom. Unless your source device is a jittery-noisy mess, you'll be fine not getting a DAC. But, if you really want to get one, the Grace SDAC here is solid and only $80. My suggestions should give you ample clean power and push just about anything that isn't a current hungry planar. I really can't think of a better jumping off point.
At that price point I'll reiterate what I stated on other posts. It's better to just get an amp. You won't really notice appreciable gains in getting a DAC (especially if you're using USB without a decrapifier) at lower price tiers. The benefits of a DAC become more apparent as your system improves (which is why on TOTL systems it's considered extremely important). My recommendation is the Schiit Magni 3 if you're located in the USA. I have this amp and I have found it to be extremely versatile (it's pretty neutral; good enough power for most headphones). It's $100 plus shipping from Shiit directly. Another good one is the Objective 2 from Massdrop. JDS Atom is also alright. If you want portable the Fiio A3 is pretty neutral. Keep in mind the HD 6XX is pretty easy to drive despite the 300 Ohms. The reason why people will recommend such expensive gear with the 6XX is that the 6XX is one of the best-scaling headphones on the market. You'll notice improvements in your setup as you get more stuff. Many people have dedicated their entire system to the 6XX (well, HD 650, which is the same headphone) and I found some of them truly exceptional.
I've done the amp out of my aux port(3.5 to rca) and it's not the best experience. I'd try the ifi nano BL. I have the ifi xdsd powering my 6xx and I love it. The nano is a cheaper option that is also (kind) of portable
Also forgot to mention I will mainly use this for gaming. However it would be nice to have something like the q1 mark 2 for portable listening.
Notanaudiophile
I wouldn't get the Fiio Q1 Mk II for the HD6XX. I have both and the Fiio its vastly underpowered for a 300 ohm headphone. The single ended output only has a stated output of 11 mV and it will not not drive the 6XX to listenable volume even at max (though I admit I like it loud). If you wanted to splurge on a balanced 2.5mm cable for the 6XX, the balanced output should give you decent volume and OK sound quality, but IMO you'd be better off putting that money to a better DAC/amp for the 6XX. Don't get me wrong, the Q1 MK II is a great device for its intended task: I use it with an OTG cable to stream Tidal from my phone when out of the house. I primarily use a Campfire Lyra II (17 ohms) from the balanced output (though the single ended output will drive it pretty well) and it sounds terrific.