Headphones amplifier

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SQBubble
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Headphones amplifier

Postby SQBubble » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:25 am

does anyone have experience with headphones amplifiers?

ive been lookin' at ebay, there is xm4, little dot micro and cmoy...

what should I look for in these amplifier for best result, there is no rms or thingslike car or home audio, lol?
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eezip
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Postby eezip » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:50 am

Here's a good site http://tangentsoft.net/audio/

Dynamic range [signal-to-noise ratio] will be more important than a loudspeaker amp because headphones are high efficiency and right next to your ear. In the same vein, you don't want high out-of-band noise. These will be largely dominated by PCB layout so it's probably in your best interest to buy a design with at least 2 layers and as physically small as possible. Other than that, I'm not aware of any parameter that is magnified by a headphone amp that you don't need to consider just as carefully as a loudspeaker amp.
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crazyray
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Postby crazyray » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:52 am

I tried a couple of CMOY type designs and was very unimpressed. I finally broke down and bought one of the proven commercial designs from HeadRoom:

http://www.headphone.com/

I liked my Supreme so much that I later bought an AirHead for portable use with some Etymotic in-ear monitors. I don't fly much these days but that combo definitely makes travel a more pleasant experience.
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JimJ[VT]
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Postby JimJ[VT] » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:00 am

What kind of budget do you have?

I'd recommend a Bottlehead S.E.X kit, but the price isn't for everyone...
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John
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Postby John » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:15 am

SQBubble wrote:what should I look for in these amplifier for best result, there is no rms or thingslike car or home audio, lol?


There are some of the things, but the specs are not usually easy to find...I'm not sure what role (as in real world difference) they actually play...things like the resistence of your headphones.

Do you have a set of headphones you want to amplify, a low source, or what is your application exactly?
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crow
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Postby crow » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:27 pm

I picked up the Xenos 3HA about a year ago. I'm not in a position to make any comparisons to the high end stuff but if you are interested in headphone amps and are looking for a relatively cheap entry level unit, I would recommend it. I expect it would run just about any set of headphones to high volumes without any trouble.

One seemingly rare feature it does have is bass and treble eq knobs built in. Probably blasphemy for audiophile setups but I like them, especially considering the terrible eq presets on the ipod.

It's basically a black plastic box with three knobs but it has performed very well for me. I will likely step up to a more sophisticated amp in the future but this little amp has convinced me that the investment is well worth it. I have used it for hours at a time on almost a daily basis without any problems.


JimJ[VT],

I've been eyeing that Bottlehead amp kit. Might make a nice winter project.
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SQBubble
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Postby SQBubble » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:56 pm

its for a sennheiser hd555, it sounds really nice, but lacks mid-bass punch, want to reinforce the mid-bass most importantly... i dont want to pay more than 100$ at all, lets just say the best bang for the buck...

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