Christmas Headphones!

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Sorry about the apostophe,

Sorry about the apostophe, typing error!

mikealdren wrote:

mikealdren wrote:

Since you're listening on your laptop, why not take it to a shop and try some headphones with it using a few favourite recordings........

Well, that might be possible. But I don't find it all that easy to make good judgements in those circumstances.........And now that I am (back) in South Wales, I am not sure how many "dealers" there are in the local vicinity.

Jane

Jane

Appreciate it is over your budget , but I took the plunge and bought a TEAC HA-P50  DAC /amplifier. It is brilliant , and goes directly to laptops and Apple units without fancy plugs.

I have a pair of very cheap headphones - Plantronics or something. Transforms them, that's the only word. 

OK, it's £200 on the internet, but it/s an investment for the future.

I plan on a top end pair of headphones to go with this DAC/Amp, but if that doesn't come to fruition i still have so much better sound than from the laptop direct.  Best move i made in a long time.

HTH

TEAC

I agree that a suitable front end can transform the sound. The Fiio E10k will do something similar to what the TEAC does, maybe not as well, but at least pretty well, for rather less. From what I can see of the TEAC it has one disadvantage for Jane: it does not have an analogue output to go into a stereo amplifier like her Denon. The Fiio can serve as both a DAC for the Denon, and as a DAC/headphone amp. I still think it would be nice to know how her Denon will serve as a headphone amp.

Willem

Willem wrote: If the Denon

Willem wrote:

If the Denon headphone output is indeed a problem, you could buy e.g. a Fiio E10k usbdac/headphone amp. This should sound a lot better than directly from your laptop. It will also work as a DAC into your Denon. Alternatively you could get a Chromecast, plug it into the line input of your Denon, and perhaps add a Fiio E5 headphone amp, if that will work with the Denon (ask Denon).

Thanks again, Willem.

As I will usually be plugging into the laptop, I think a DAC/headphone amp would be the best solution. If I got Chromecast, I would still need to plug the headphones into something, and since I am often unable to use my Denon (noisy tv-watching family in the room next-door), that leaves the laptop.........which makes Chromecast somewhat redundant, since the laptop is already connected to the internet. Though I can certainly see the benefits of being able to control the Denon from my phone etc

In answer to your earlier question: do my headphones sound different when plugged into the denon? Yes, they do - they are much, much better. No comparison.

I am currently thinking of a pair of Grado SR80es. Based on reading around, they sound like good value for the money......

Gud2bhere wrote:

Gud2bhere wrote:

Jane

Appreciate it is over your budget , but I took the plunge and bought a TEAC HA-P50  DAC /amplifier. It is brilliant , and goes directly to laptops.....

Well yes, it is above my budget, but good to know such a device can "transform" your headphones. It certainly adds weight to the case for a DAC/Amp of some kind. Thanks.

some issues clarified

So we are now clearer about some things.

1 your laptop has a crappy analogue output.

2 your Denon works well with at least this headphone - do you know its impedance?

3 you want to be able to use the headphones away from the Denon.

 

Conclusion: you need an external dac and a headphone amplifier if you want to listen with the laptop as your source. The Fiio E10K may be a good option, even without new headphones.

If you do not need anything portable, the Beresford TC 7520 may be another option: http://www.beresford-dac.nl/products/TC-7520.html It is a pre amplifier with DAC with multiple inputs, and a good inbuilt headphone amplifier. See here for a test: http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/beresford-tc-7520-dac-amplifier-rev... I bought the TC7510 version (without usb) for my son as a pre amplifier, plus a Chromecast Audio, and we have been more than happy (in a pretty demanding setup: Quad 303 and LS3/5a speakers). The technical advantages of a desktop unit over a portable are many, and with the Beresford you get coaxial and optical inputs as well. Add a power amplifier like the 2x120 watt Beringer A500 later and you have a full blown powerful amplifier system.

Willem

socratesgwr wrote: Plenty

socratesgwr wrote:

Plenty more of this small portable devices available which seem perfect for your laptop/headphone combo.

Yes, there are some attractive products out there................that dragonfly you mentioned is a nice looking device, almost a piece of jewellry.

Willem wrote:

Willem wrote:

So we are now clearer about some things.......

I really need portability. Right now, I have no particular listening room, so have to be flexible and listen where I can. Though not outside or away from home. A fuller investment in long-term gear is not an option right now: I am only here for a shortish period, before moving on again; most of my stuff is in storage and I am desperately short of space here.

I don't know what exact headphones I have, but looking at similarly priced and similar looking Sony stuff on Amazon, I have found a pair which has an impedance of 24 ohms. I would have thought that was somewhere in the ballpark.........

Dragonfly

Apparently it also sounds good, and very easy to use in your specific listening situation. Go for Red rather than Black version, especially with earphones. 

Hope you have a good Christmas in your new place. Sounds cozy but busy! 

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