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Noobish question about Beyer DT 770s


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A long time user of Sennheiser 555s, I recently started searching around for some reasonably priced headphones that deliver tight punchy bass. I found a lot of mentions of this brand, and the DT 770 Pro in particular.

 

I went ahead and grabbed the 250 ohm version, knowing that they need more power to drive, but still wasn't sure if plugging them into the jack in my cheap 2.1 desktop computer speakers would give me the full experience.

 

Though I can say they have great sound, the bass feels kind of thin, though accurate, it doesn't punch as hard as was often described. Even with the 555s, you can get them loud enough to feel them rumble on your head before things get muddy. I am assuming/hoping that its simply a matter of these things needing an amp, and not just these headphones not being as hard hitting as I was looking for.

 

TLDR version

 

My basic questions:

 

Should I expect low end desktop speakers to provide the needed power for 250 ohm headphones?

 

What type of amp do I need to get if not? Most headphone amps seem to be made for mobile devices, I just need one for my desktop.

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First of all very few bassy headphones provide tight punchy bass. I say very few but actually it's rare. The low-cost ATH M50 is a starting point. The Sennheiser HD25 series, of which I've had the Amperior, might be a good bet. I just looked down the list of the last 75 headphones I've owned, and find nothing except these two. Many headphones I've had have bass bloat, but not punch. You'd be better off getting something like the M50 or Sennheiser HD25 'Aluminum' and just adding some emphasis in the 30 to 50 hz range with a good equalizer. The better headphone amps I've had will tighten the bass, but will also make it slightly thinner.

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The headphone forum here is pretty thin, you would probably get a lot more chatter on head-fi. I have never used your Beyers, but I think the short answer is no, your computer speakers are most likely not going to have a worthy headphone output.

 

Bypassing the computer's crumby audio output for serious headphone listening requires two things:

 

1.) a USB DAC - think of this as a soundcard that plugs into a USB port

2.) an amp powerful enough to drive the headphones, this would take the audio signal from the USB DAC

 

Do you need a DAC? If you are using a regular soundcard or motherboard audio outs then you should definitely consider an external DAC. There are products that are both DACs and amps rolled into one.

 

Some places to start looking at DAC/amps:

 

$150 - Audioquest Dragonfly - USB DAC with amp with compact USB-stick formfactor, it is reported to do a decent job driving the Beyers. It might be a little on the lower power side, but for $150 you could add an amp later and not feel bad

 

$200 - Schiit Modi + Magni - these are standalone DAC and AMP made to be stacked. Great entry point, most powerful amp I've listed, could handle almost any headphone from a pure power standpoint

 

$300 - ifi iDAC - a bit of a step up from the Dragonfly in my opinion, it is larger and nicer to use as a desktop AMP/DAC. More powerful amp section than the Dragonfly. Nicer to use because it has a real volume knob.

 

$300 - meridian explorer - similar quality to ifi iDAC but different character, it was reviewed on this site, Unsure of output power to drive the beyers

 

$280 - JDSLabs ODAC+O2 amp - reportedly good power and very transparent. I haven't heard it but has a bigtime following. You can read reviews on headfi

 

If you just want an amp

 

~$100 - Schiit Magni - the amp described above

~$150 - JDSlabs O2 - standalone amp described above

~$250 - iFi iCAN - very nice amp for the money, has a good bass boost and crossfeed implementation

 

If you have more money to spend, then you can go up the chain pretty quickly. These would be where I'd start looking.

 

A long time user of Sennheiser 555s, I recently started searching around for some reasonably priced headphones that deliver tight punchy bass. I found a lot of mentions of this brand, and the DT 770 Pro in particular.

 

I went ahead and grabbed the 250 ohm version, knowing that they need more power to drive, but still wasn't sure if plugging them into the jack in my cheap 2.1 desktop computer speakers would give me the full experience.

 

Though I can say they have great sound, the bass feels kind of thin, though accurate, it doesn't punch as hard as was often described. Even with the 555s, you can get them loud enough to feel them rumble on your head before things get muddy. I am assuming/hoping that its simply a matter of these things needing an amp, and not just these headphones not being as hard hitting as I was looking for.

 

TLDR version

 

My basic questions:

 

Should I expect low end desktop speakers to provide the needed power for 250 ohm headphones?

 

What type of amp do I need to get if not? Most headphone amps seem to be made for mobile devices, I just need one for my desktop.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Beyers are not bass heavy headphones. You should check the Vmoda m100 very popular in the head fi community. Punchy bass without sounding bloated. The audio technica ath m-50 are also very polular and has decent bass.

Agree with Kelly's amp recommendations.

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