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New headphones, should I get an AMP?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by mab1376, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. mab1376

    mab1376

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    I just picked up a pair of Ultrasone HFI780's and i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on AMP's. If they're necessary, do i need one with a sound card, etc.
  2. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    definitely. you don't need a sound card however you can buy a sound card with a internal headphone amp like the ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Auzen X-Fi Bravura or Auzen X-Fi Forte otherwise see here.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
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  3. mab1376

    mab1376

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    what would you recommend in the $100-$200 range?
  4. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    <squints her nose>

    I am not sure. I haven't been keeping up with amps. the link I gave you has reviews so you will have to research yourself.
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  5. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    I have a PA2V2 amp for my Senn 595's and I love it.
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  6. Zen_

    Zen_

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    A USB DAC /w an amp is another option. I use the Aune MK2 and really like it...NuForce Icon, Fireye II, Fubar III, Travagan’s Green are all roughly in your price range too.
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  7. mab1376

    mab1376

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    I think i'm gonna get the MK2 next week when I get paid :)
  8. n-ster

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    I prefer having a soundcard and no amp then an amp and no soundcard. As Bumblebee rightly pointed, the 3 sounds listed are with a headphone amp. I'd lean towards X-fi Forte, but I also like that ASUS one
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  9. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    A sound card with solid-state headphone amp is better on the long-run than using your onboard audio with an external amp of the same value (even tube ones). On the other hand, an external amp lets you connect to any audio source.
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  10. mab1376

    mab1376

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    I have an X-Fi XtremeMusic, I do really like the Auzen X-Fi Bravura though.

    I mainly want the amp for playing vinyls though through my ION TTUSB. The USB functionality of the MK2 is just an added bonus.

    What do you think the best card on the market is right now with an integrated AMP?

    also what do you think of this?

    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD 24-bit 96KHz USB In...
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  11. n-ster

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    ahh you got a soundcard already... I guess an external amp is best in that case...
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  12. Anisotonic New Member

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    I recommend the Audio-GD FUN DAC/Amp, I use the older Compass model with my pro900 ultrasones and it's really great.
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  13. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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  14. mab1376

    mab1376

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    that's one nice looking piece of equipment, too bad its far out of my price range.

    http://www.pacificvalve.us/AudiogdFUN.html
  15. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    sorry I couldn't be anymore help. my audio knowledge is 2008... any information is bad information. hope it works out and keep us informed.
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  16. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    I never understood why people are using amps for headphones. Why do they?
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  17. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    headphone amplifiers are for audiophiles interested in amplifying a signal for higher volume and clarity.
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  18. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Makes sense. I've always used amps anyway, so an amp for headphones never made sense to me.
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  19. micropage7

    micropage7

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    if you looking for power, the amps will give you that and ofcourse better audio flow especially when you run it with nice soundcard too
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  20. erixx

    erixx

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    The part about the "More volume" is serious? Do you want to blow your ears of your head? I`mean, I am using headphones with a XFi and I cant turn the volume past 1/3 otherwise I would just DIE... And during my live I have used many other soundcards and headphones and never had a volume problem.... :twitch: Nor "audio flow", "clearity".... What are you guys talking about, i am anxiuous to learn :rockout:
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  21. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/why-do-i-need-a-headphone-amp.php
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  22. majestic12

    majestic12

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    That's a really good link there ---

    While my sound card has a decent amplifier already, it just can't compare to my headphone amp/DAC combo (an Audio Technica AT-HA25D). I get the benefits of EAX through the sound card, plus the sound is simply much cleaner and more detailed going through the amp. It's like comparing the sound quality of a portable media player (with exception to maybe the Hifiman) to a decent home audio system. They can both achieve a loud enough volume, but it's done with much more authority when properly amped.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
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  23. n-ster

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    alot of times, when you do EQ modifications, the volume drops.... amps help in that case too
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  24. sethk New Member

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    btarunr has a point about a good headphone friendly amp being a solid choice for your headphones. If you need something that can be used with a laptop or multiple devices, the Nuforce uDac is a pretty solid choice in this price range, and quite versatile too. There are over 1800 posts in this Head-fi thread about it, including a nice review in the first post.
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  25. mab1376

    mab1376

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