Little Dot Headphone Amp? Jan 27, 2019 22:51:26 GMT -5
Post by garbulky on Jan 27, 2019 22:51:26 GMT -5
Are you saying for certain the A-100 would make a killer headphone amp ?
I'm very new and green to this headphone thing but in the last week I have given myself quite an education and spent too many hours researching today.
I finally ordered a set of the Massdrop HIFIMAN HE4XX, In a previous thread we discussed the dismal headphone output on my XSP so I have been shopping
inexpensive $100 Headphone amps. Going between the Mani 3 and the Monolith Liquid Spark I'm now leaning heavily towards the Spark.
If the A-100 can suffice and even surpass the performance of the two Im looking at I'd be glad to get on, I'd love to keep it in the
"family". I plan on running whichever headphone amp I choose from the line output of the XSP.
Well I'll get two things out of the way - the distortion measurements aren't going to be close to the Liquid spark whose noise floor is very good. The a-100's noise floor is higher, no getting around that. But the A-100 does have a whole lotta muscle behind it. The other is that I'm not certain if this is the right amp for you because I haven't heard the hifiman's with this headphone amp.
There's two modes to this headphone amp. There is the regular mode - which still has a whole lotta power (but nowhere near as much as the other mode) and no noise. This mode is nicely compatible with most headphones. There is a slight hitch - the stock mode has a resistor to soak up the power to make it compatible. But this resistor increases the output impedance to 220 ohms. Your Hifi man is 35 ohms - so this mode though it would be compatible may result in frequency volume variations due to the output impedance being higher than the headphones impedance.
Then there is the jumpers engaged mode which pushes ALL The power of the speakers amp. This also allows the amp to function at its regular impedance of less than 1 ohm. Bypassing the resistor using the jumpers in this way increases the noise floor so only certain headphones work well in the jumpers engaged mode. Two such headphones is the 150 ohm HD6xx and the 300 ohm HD600. The HE-4xx has a different impedance and power requirements so may work AMAZINGLY well with the jumpers engaged or it may be too noisy or too touchy to work with the jumpers engaged in which case you will have to just use it in stock mode.
The He-400 has a 35 ohm impedance which means the jumpers engaged mode produces a ridiculous power output of 12,000 milliwatts at 35 ohms. Most headphone amps produce between 10 and a few hundred milliwats of power with some going up to a 1000 milliwats. So as you can see this kind of power is maybe too much at those impedances if you engage the jumper.
So you would most definitely need a volume control upstream of your A-100 to attenuate the volume before it gets to the A-100 as the knob will be insufficient to properly control that volume by itself.
I haven't heard the units you've been talking about or the headphone in question. Think of it like this the A-100 is the best headphone amp I've heard but it's not necessarily meant for every headphone. I think I recall some people having good results with the HE-400 but I don't know for sure. I did hear of people buying the amp specifically for hifi man products due to some of their headphones requiring godly amounts of power but I don;'t know if that applies to your specific headphone.
I will tell you I love the heck out of it and I can't wait to see what Sennheisers upcoming balanced class A headphone amp is going to be like.