MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Budget heaphone amp?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Budget heaphone amp?
Panason
I just got the AKG 702 headphones. They are very good but I think I need a headphone amp to drive them properly. When I plug them into my MOTU interface's headphone outs I have to turn the MOTU's hp output volume to the max to get a good level.

Any recommendations for €100 or less? Must have volume knob & headphone jack at the front and L&R 1/4" jack or XLR inputs at the back.. battery powered would be great but not sure this is a option.

Thanks!
Panason
I can see a few "personal headphone amps" with XLR inputs and battery power option. Will these be good with the 702? I don't need more than one headphone output...
forestcaver
Build an nwavguy o2 amp (or buy one). Meets all your requirements - cheap and amazing.... (I’ve built two and they’re better than my other headphone amps). Can easily drive high impedance headphones.

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html

http://www.headnhifi.com/objective2

https://jdslabs.com/product/objective2/
Panason
Thanks. I have never looked into headphone amps before. Do I connect one to my interface's spare outputs for best quality sound ? The battery powered O2 only has a stereo minijack input which is making me a bit hesitant.

The Presonus HP2 and LD Systems HPA 1 are the other candidates at the moment..

The Presonus may not be any better sounding than the Behringer copy though, and the Behringer is half the price.... not familiar with the other two brands but they seem better quality?
forestcaver
You could connect it like that.

You can stick whatever inputs and outputs you like on it eg from headnhifi (I have no connection to them! But I’m sure they’d build what you want)

http://www.headnhifi.com/diy-kits/o2-desktop-kit

For headphones on eurorack I usuall use my Mackie mixer.... I have a few headphone amps I have used with it as well but they’re usually for music listening. I’ve used my o2 amps with hd650, dt800, dt770 and grado headphones and it’s great....
Panason
Thanks! I 'm assuming that connecting the amp to a pair of the MOTU's extra outputs (and routing the stereo mix from the DAW to those as well as the main outs) will be better than just jacking in to the MOTU's headphone output?

The MOTU has balanced outs on XLRs but the O2 does not offer balanced inputs. Is that likely to give me less than the best possible sound?
forestcaver
Panason wrote:
Thanks! I 'm assuming that connecting the amp to a pair of the MOTU's extra outputs (and routing the stereo mix from the DAW to those as well as the main outs) will be better than just jacking in to the MOTU's headphone output?

The MOTU has balanced outs on XLRs but the O2 does not offer balanced inputs. Is that likely to give me less than the best possible sound?


I’m not able to answer that - sorry!

(I don’t know how good the motu headphone circuit and output circuit is or what the impedances are of the outputs or your headphones).

Also balanced audio’s benefits depend on a number of things as well eg cable length, noise in your environment etc.

For short runs I don’t care about balanced..... ymmv.... (long runs are a different matter). Are your headphones balanced?

But you could add balanced inputs if you diy.....

Sorry not to be of much use!
Panason
no worries, thanks for the input. It sounds like the O2 will have superior quality sound to the other amps I mentioned. It also comes in a choice of colours including an intriguing bamboo faceplate!
milkshake
The AKG 702 can be driven by practically any headphone output. It has medium impedance, high enough sensitivity, only tube headphone amps can have difficulty driving this headphone.

Read the nwavguy site for more information. His amp is the best of the best, but huge overkill.
forestcaver
milkshake wrote:

Read the nwavguy site for more information. His amp is the best of the best, but huge overkill.


But also just about the cheapest good quality amp.... so why not overkill it :-)
forestcaver
Note that Vladimir Pantelic (vpme.de) built a eurorack module based on the same schematic.... (he made a few changes)
Panason
Seeing as it's only €30 more than the other two amps I'm looking at ( i just can't bring myself to cheap out on the Behringer when it comes to this) I think I might go for it.
Looks like the slightly pricier desktop version can also be used like a monitor controller (via RCA sockets only in the standard build) and it will mute your monitors when you plug in headphones, which I like.
milkshake
forestcaver wrote:
milkshake wrote:

Read the nwavguy site for more information. His amp is the best of the best, but huge overkill.


But also just about the cheapest good quality amp.... so why not overkill it :-)


It just proves my overall points in my comments about sound quality on this site, you don't need to spend big bucks to have the best sound quality available.
Amplification and conversion are easy to get right, no need for expensive stuff. Buy a module instead.
forestcaver
milkshake wrote:
forestcaver wrote:
milkshake wrote:

Read the nwavguy site for more information. His amp is the best of the best, but huge overkill.


But also just about the cheapest good quality amp.... so why not overkill it :-)


It just proves my overall points in my comments about sound quality on this site, you don't need to spend big bucks to have the best sound quality available.
Amplification and conversion are easy to get right, no need for expensive stuff. Buy a module instead.


Yeah - agree completely! (Well-designed amplification doesn’t have to be mega-bucks - way too much snake-oil pseudoscience around :-) )
forestcaver
Panason wrote:
Seeing as it's only €30 more than the other two amps I'm looking at ( i just can't bring myself to cheap out on the Behringer when it comes to this) I think I might go for it.
Looks like the slightly pricier desktop version can also be used like a monitor controller (via RCA sockets only in the standard build) and it will mute your monitors when you plug in headphones, which I like.


Dunno about the last part but I dont think you cango wrong with it (if it meets your needs). It’s also an easy cheap diy build if you go that route....
Panason
milkshake wrote:
The AKG 702 can be driven by practically any headphone output.


There may be some setting in the MOTU software that I need to check but so far i have had to turn the volume up to the max on the MOTU's front panel AND push the master fader close to 0 on the DAW if I want to get a loud signal with the AKG 702- not deafening, just a little higher than working level.
This made me think that an amp might give me better sound quality at lower volumes to make the most of what the headphones can do.
milkshake
Panason wrote:
milkshake wrote:
The AKG 702 can be driven by practically any headphone output.


There may be some setting in the MOTU software that I need to check but so far i have had to turn the volume up to the max on the MOTU's front panel AND push the master fader close to 0 on the DAW if I want to get a loud signal with the AKG 702- not deafening, just a little higher than working level.
This made me think that an amp might give me better sound quality at lower volumes to make the most of what the headphones can do.


Don't take my word for it, I can be wrong.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group