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Headphone preamp suggestions

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Headphone preamp suggestions

Postby mammy » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:39 pm

Hi guys .I bought ollo audio s4 headphone.I use it in computer and I think pc output is not enough to give the real heahphone capacity.So I decided to buy a headphone amplifier.Which one is best for me ? Should I buy solid state or tube amplifier ?
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Re: Headphone preamp suggestions

Postby ef37a » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:10 am

mammy wrote:Hi guys .I bought ollo audio s4 headphone.I use it in computer and I think pc output is not enough to give the real heahphone capacity.So I decided to buy a headphone amplifier.Which one is best for me ? Should I buy solid state or tube amplifier ?

Ooo! you don't want a valve amplifier IMO. Load of beardy,tweaky nonsense.

In fact you don't really want a simple headphone amp at all. Those are good quality headphones but the jack output of a laptop is not. The onboard converter is meh' and the audio amp driving the jack is about $1 of crap. I suggest you look for a USB Audio Interface.

The AI will take the digital signal before the PC gets to mangle it and deliver much better quality to your cans. Almost any AI is going to be better than the laptop's sound card but I don't have that information to hand. Someone here surely will.

N.B. You can buy USB headphone amplifiers which do not have the other facilities of an AI but they probably only use the same converters and amps as full fat AIs and don't pass on the cost saving.

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Re: Headphone preamp suggestions

Postby John Willett » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:53 am

mammy wrote:Hi guys .I bought ollo audio s4 headphone.I use it in computer and I think pc output is not enough to give the real heahphone capacity.So I decided to buy a headphone amplifier.Which one is best for me ? Should I buy solid state or tube amplifier ?

What's your budget?

I use a Grace m903 normally, but that is around the £2k mark.

At an affordable price I use the Audioquest DragonFly. :thumbup:

These are USB DAC headphone amplifiers and are excellent - they are good enough to power top end headphones well, like my HD 800. :thumbup:

I use the new "Cobalt", recently upgrading from the "Red". Both are excellent, the Cobalt is better and about £100 more. The "Black" is the budget option, but still very good.

I use mine with a short USB adaptor cable so as not to accidently strain the USB connector should the headphone cable be tugged.

The bonus is that they will also work with smartphones and iPads. :thumbup:

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Re: Headphone preamp suggestions

Postby Glenn Bucci » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:47 pm

I have heard the Rupert Neve headphone amp and was really impressed by it. Detail and clarity was improved in two different situations.
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Re: Headphone preamp suggestions

Postby Zukan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:05 pm

There are loads of good headphone amps that won't break the bank. You don't say if you have a sound card, which would help as some sound card preamps are good enough for most headphones.

I have my personal favourites but this by Martin The Myth Walker should help you get started on your way to finding the right headphone amp.

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... dphone-amp
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