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What is the best audiophile headphones that don't need a amp to drive them

Con-Z-epT

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Dec 3, 2019
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Not everyone is able to put the time in. It’s a lot of work and effort. Most people just want to have something they can plug in and play.
Its realy simple to buy an amp and to plug in a headphone.

To find the perfect matching pair takes time.

But it is also not science. The more time you invest searching, the better.
 
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Pedro Motta

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May 19, 2020
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I'm looking to buy a pair of Hifiman Sundara, anyone tried those yet? Do I need an amp to drive them perfectly?
 

FrankWza

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Feb 14, 2013
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I'm looking to buy a pair of Hifiman Sundara, anyone tried those yet? Do I need an amp to drive them perfectly?

yes. I have the 5xx and they’re supposed to be low impedance and they need a ton of juice to sound right. Compared to my x2 they sound awful until I amp them. When it comes to planars theratings are meaningless. They need amplification to reach full potential.
 
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Chromanticore

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I tested my HD598s on the Dualsense and XSX controllers and they power it just fine, so I'd recommend the 598s or 599s.
 

FrankWza

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I tested my HD598s on the Dualsense and XSX controllers and they power it just fine, so I'd recommend the 598s or 599s.

try a small portable fiio or similar amp and you’ll open them up even more. You can place it in-line if you get a small one since they so light weight. The dualsense tempest narrows things too much and an amphelps open it up.
 

Chromanticore

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try a small portable fiio or similar amp and you’ll open them up even more. You can place it in-line if you get a small one since they so light weight. The dualsense tempest narrows things too much and an amphelps open it up.
I use a FiiO amp, but the OP said he didn't want to. It definitely provides more volume and more control over the bass, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the Dualsense at least power it to OK volumes, because the DualShock 4 couldn't. The audio stream from the PS5 is also improved over the PS4's. It's now almost on par with Xbox's audio stream.
 
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KaiserBecks

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Philips Fidelio X2 offer crazy value, I still use them every now and then. Currently I‘m rocking the Denon ah d5200. Similar profile but a bit more sophisticated. Next up is the Beyerdynamic DT 1770. Got them yesterday but haven’t had a chance to try them.
 
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FrankWza

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I use a FiiO amp, but the OP said he didn't want to. It definitely provides more volume and more control over the bass, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the Dualsense at least power it to OK volumes, because the DualShock 4 couldn't. The audio stream from the PS5 is also improved over the PS4's. It's now almost on par with Xbox's audio stream.

Unfortunately powerful portable amps are non existent at this point. Everything is a dac amp and don’t output the same as they used to. the dac I linked a few posts up allows you to output tempest over optical if you have a wired amp you want to try it with since the usb out on the ps5 is so underpowered. I have it connected to a mixamp that I have amped and I can swap between tempest and the mixamp vss whenever the game calls for it. Some games are not great with tempest.
 
Jun 1, 2016
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True but a 300ohm headphone will always be 'easier' to drive than its 600ohm sibling.
Assuming everything else is the same yes. Most people just see 30 Ohm and think easy to drive. While usually true with budget headphones, not really the case with more "audiophile" grade headphones.
 
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regawdless

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Sep 21, 2020
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I mean, if you don't really care about budget.... The Focal Clear are truly amazing and comparatively easy to drive at 55ohm. They'll cost around 1k though.

Of course, will sound even better with a 100 buck amp already. They are very....clear.
 
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