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Powering my Senn HD600s


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Hey guys and gals. I recently acquired a pair of Sennheiser HD600s (passed on by a family member) and have been running them straight out of my sound card on my computer. Sounded great, but not up to the potential of the headphones. Also recently, I was able to get my hands on a Bryston B60 Integrated Amp for free (all the outputs except for the headphone out (which is freakishly convenient) were dead, and it was on it's way to the trash) So I am currently running my audio from my X-Fi Titanium HD soundcard to the amp, then out to my HD600s.

 

I've heard several people say that I should invest in a DAC as well to power the headphones, but I'm not sure it's needed at this point.

 

Any input on how to make my headphones sound their best, or is what I have sufficient already? I'm pretty new to all of this so any input would be great! I listen to a variety of everything (Mostly Rock and Blues though) if that helps at all :)

 

Thanks for the help :D

 

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I have a pair of Senn HD600s.

 

I like them a lot, however my experience is that they benefit much more from dedicated amplification than my other phones (B&W P5 and Grado SR125).

 

Subjectively I would say that the treble becomes a bit grind-y sounding. I'm not familiar with your amp, so I have no idea how the hp out compares with a dedicated hp amp, but it seems likely that it will be better powered (therefore better sound from power-hungry phones like Sennheisers) than the direct hp out from the computer.

 

Stating the obvious here: You should be able to compare the two fairly easily. Make sure you have some lossless files, as opposed to compressed mp3 or aac versions, and give each output option a fair crack before coming to any conclusions.

 

I agree with the people who say an external DAC should be next on your wish list, but as baxtus comments its good to enjoy your music as it is and explore the options before splashing out. One choice you may find yourself exploring are the increasing number of DACs which also have headphone output, which would make for another useful comparison with your existing setup.

 

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There are some fairly inexpensive headphone usb dac/amp combinations. There's one that's called something like udac2 which sells for either $99 or $129 depending on the version you get. You just plug it into a USB port and listen. It's quite small and convenient and I've heard good things about it. It's made by Nuforce.

 

It's something you might consider exploring if you're not entirely satisfied with what you have, especially if you can get it with return privileges. You can buy directly from Nuforce.com or something like that, but I don't know what their return policy is. If you've not heard of them, they're a reputable audio company that's been around for awhile.

 

-Chris

 

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