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View Full Version : SB2: Any difference between line out and headphones output?



Nicola Fankhauser
2006-07-26, 03:29
hi everybody

I recently purchased Sennheiser HD-650 headphones, which I totally liked in the shop (where they were driven by some special headphone amp). However, connected to my SB2 they just do not sound really good.

I'm a bit confused now, since the same SB2 connected analogically to my Creek A50iR amplifier with Epos M12.2 loudspeakers sounds just great - comparable to the Creek CD50mk2 I have as well.

Is there any difference between the line out and headphones output? I had a look at headphone amplifiers - however, besides setting me back another 400.-, will a good one (driven by the SB2 analog line output) make a real difference?

thanks & regards
nicola

BillC
2006-07-26, 07:08
> I recently purchased Sennheiser HD-650 headphones

> Is there any difference between the line out and headphones output?

Nice headphones, congrats.

Line outs aren't meant to drive a load so they aren't designed to
provide the power needed for that. On top of that, the Senn HD-650s
(while great cans) are notoriously difficult to drive. Even low end
headphone circuits (like you'd find on a portable music player) are
hard put to adequately drive those 650s. You'll definitely hear a
noticible difference with a good headphone amp.

A great place for all things headphone is Head-Fi:

www.head-fi.org

Lots of discussion of headphone amps, why you'd want one and which
ones work best with which headphones. I'll leave you with the
tradition Head-fi greeting:

Sorry about your wallet.

:-)

Nicola Fankhauser
2006-07-26, 07:58
Line outs aren't meant to drive a load so they aren't designed to
provide the power needed for that.


misunderstanding! I meant to say that my normal amp (+ loudspeakers) driven by the line out sounds _way_ better than the HD-650's driven by the headphone output of the sb2...



On top of that, the Senn HD-650s
(while great cans) are notoriously difficult to drive.


this may have to do with the fact that they have an impedance of 300 ohm.


Sorry about your wallet. :-)

hehe! :)

regards
nicola

mschiff
2006-07-26, 12:44
I have found that even an inexpensive headphone amp ($200) from Headroom sounds considerably better than the headphone output on my SB3. Much lower noise floor, and better sound as well. FWIW, the Headroom amp also sounds better than the headphone output on my high end Yamaha receiver when plugged into the SB3.

I should say that SD offered to help me troubleshoot the headphone jack issues, but it wasn't that important to me since the optical out sound to my receivers is fantastic and that is what I use 99% of the time. When I use headphones, I connect my Total Bithead amp to the line out connections on the SB3, and it sounds fantastic.

This is with AKG K701 headphones and Ultimate Ears Superfi5Pro in ear monitors.

-- Martin