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Driving a 600Ohm headphone is easy?

The DT880 are fairly sensitive (96dB SPL), even though they have a high impedance. This means you will need around 0.4mW or 0.489V to drive them to 90dB or 12.58mW and 2.74V to drive them to 105dB, which isn't that much.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, I'm pretty much an audio noob who just bought his first set of headphones and I seem to have either misunderstood something or I've been scammed.

The thing is, I bought a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880 600Ohm headphones and ordered a Schiit Magni + Modi at the same time. Now the headphones arrived a few days ago while the company that imports the Schiit stuff is still processing my order, so I thought my 600Ohm headphones would be useless until then.

Of course I couldn't resist trying them on and just plugging them into my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad E520) just to see what would happen if I tried listening to stuff without an amp and how impedance would effect the experience. Now, from what I read online about 600Ohm impedance I expected to hear nothing or a very soft sound at best, but to my surprise they worked just fine... Even when plugged into my old MP3-Player the only complaint I have is that the sound is a bit distorted, I believe some cheap Sennheiser headphones I have sound less loud than the DT880's do at full volume.

I immediately thought they send me the wrong version of the DT880's, but the box says '600 Ohm' everywhere. There is even a big silver "600 Ω VERSION AUDIOPHILE MODEL' sticker on the box. Then I checked the headphone-jack and there is definitively '600 Ω' ingraved in there.

tl;dr: My 600 Ohm impedance headphones sound just fine even when plugged into my laptop audio-port or old-as-F Sony MP3-player.

So now my question: Is this very strange and have I been cheated somehow or am I just a huge noob who doesn't get impedance?

Thank you in advance for putting up with my audio-noobness, I ask this question here because I wouldn't dare ask it over at head-fi.

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I hade a similar experience with my ITT SKH 400 which have 400 Ohm impedance


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How audible are the headphones though? If you need them to be louder you will typically need an amplifier to deliver the necessary power to do so.


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That laptop uses the Conexant 20671, but it's pretty hard to find info about it.

 

Is the sound too low?

Can you hear any noise?

Do you notice any distortion?

 

If not then just return the dac/amp, but compare it with your on-board solution first.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Tnx for the quick replies guys!

 

The audio sounds just fine, no distortions. The volume is just fine as well. This is what baffles me, I seem to have no need for amplification at all. I will listen to the difference between my laptop and a proper Amp/DAC combo when my order finally gets processed and they ship the stuff out to me. I have read respected audio reviewers that say all Beyerdynamic headphones benefit from being hooked up to an amp and I do plan on getting some other headphones in the future so I will probably keep the set, but this is just kinda weirding me out. :huh:

 

Anyone else care to weigh in? The more replies the better! :)

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How loud are you turning up the volume? Maybe Lenovo put a more bad-ass audio solution in there than the marketing/spec sheet would suggest.

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Tnx for the quick replies guys!

 

The audio sounds just fine, no distortions. The volume is just fine as well. This is what baffles me, I seem to have no need for amplification at all. I will listen to the difference between my laptop and a proper Amp/DAC combo when my order finally gets processed and they ship the stuff out to me. I have read respected audio reviewers that say all Beyerdynamic headphones benefit from being hooked up to an amp and I do plan on getting some other headphones in the future so I will probably keep the set, but this is just kinda weirding me out. :huh:

 

Anyone else care to weigh in? The more replies the better! :)

Weird, when i plugged my DT990 into on board didn't get loud.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

How loud are you turning up the volume? Maybe Lenovo put a more bad-ass audio solution in there than the marketing/spec sheet would suggest.

I do have to put it a bit higher then normal, I maxed out the windows volume (I always do) and then 125% on VLC Player or 75% on Spotify. But the weirdest thing is (I will put this in the OP) I can even put these in my really old Sony Walkman MP3-Player:sony_nw-a002.jpg

It's not perfect, it sounds a bit distorted but the volume is fine. This is really messing with me. xD

 

Edit: If it wasn't for the marking on the jack I would have thought they send me a 32Ohm version or something. The finish on all parts is too good to be a knock-off, unless it's a very high-end one...

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Posted · Best Answer

The DT880 are fairly sensitive (96dB SPL), even though they have a high impedance. This means you will need around 0.4mW or 0.489V to drive them to 90dB or 12.58mW and 2.74V to drive them to 105dB, which isn't that much.

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With high impedance headphones, in my experience, you usually will hear them at a reasonable volume even without an amp, but they'll not sound very good.

 

My Sennheiser HD650s (listed as 300 ohm, but they peak at 500 ohms) could be driven at a reasonable volume on an ipod or my unamplified Xonar DX, but they sound about as good as my Sennheiser HD558s, unless I plug them into my amp. They sound amazing on an amp, compared to them unamplified.

 

If you want a decent low priced amp, the Schiit magni is the cheapest one that I've seen recommended.

 

Alternatively, you could return them and get the 32 ohm variants.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The DT880 are fairly sensitive (96dB SPL), even though they have a high impedance. This means you will need around 0.4mW or 0.489V to drive them to 90dB or 12.58mW and 2.74V to drive them to 105dB, which isn't that much.

That would explain it, thank you, I was getting worried! They sound alright, much better than my crappy skullcandy's (I was young when I bought them, but they lasted me for a very long time) but I can't wait to hear them with an Amp!

 

With high impedance headphones, in my experience, you usually will hear them at a reasonable volume even without an amp, but they'll not sound very good.

 

My Sennheiser HD650s (listed as 300 ohm, but they peak at 500 ohms) could be driven at a reasonable volume on an ipod or my unamplified Xonar DX, but they sound about as good as my Sennheiser HD558s, unless I plug them into my amp. They sound amazing on an amp, compared to them unamplified.

 

If you want a decent low priced amp, the Schiit magni is the cheapest one that I've seen recommended.

 

Alternatively, you could return them and get the 32 ohm variants.

Ordered the Magni+Modi combo already, should get them somewhere in the next two weeks. :D

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I had the Modi for a while, pretty decent DAC, especially for the price. I have no idea how the Magni performs, but if it is anywhere near the performance of the DAC, it is a very nice combo you are getting there :)

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