Headphone amplifier for MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by krillin, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. krillin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #1
    Do you think I should buy a USB DAC + headphone amplifier, or use the headphone output, and buy an (a bit more) expensive headphone amplifier?

    I'm using Akg k702
     
  2. peterja macrumors regular

    peterja

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #2
    Probably a DAC, I have a CA Dacmagic and it makes a big difference over the analog of my MBP. I don't think they have put any fancier stuff in the later MBAs.

    I don't use it for headphones though, i just plug my HD650 in the headphone jack :)
    In case your not familiar with it, you could check out www.head-fi.org as well.
     
  3. double329 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #3
    This is really depends on your taste. I do use Pica amps/DAC with my Senn HD 650 and AKG 701 setup. I am still searching for a good player for the Mac. Its' my first Mac and I am still Mac virgin. I came from Windows with FooBar2000. Using Songbird/iTunes for the moment.
     
  4. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #4
    im planning to get actually for my MBA 11" but i bought Bowers & Wilkins P5 and they are fantastic! the sound separation is very good. no need to have an amp.
     
  5. peterja macrumors regular

    peterja

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #5
    What's wrong with iTunes?
     
  6. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #6
    Agreed about the B&W P5's. I have a pair. Wouldn't trade them for anything else in this price class. Certainly don't need any type of amplifier. I use them on my MBP and my 27" iMac, very powerful headphones and the sound is amazing.
     
  7. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #7
    just curious if you have listened to other headphones in the p5's price range...
     
  8. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #8
    You mean other than the horrible interface and laggy performance? How about the horrible handling of networked folders and inability to play flac and ogg?

    iTunes is absolutely horrible. Songbird can at least work, but it has basically the same interface design and it is even more laggy. Really hoping someone recommends a nice alternative.


    Anyway, you really do need an amp for your headphones since I have heard that they are some of the more power hungry ones around. I would recommend the uDAC/uDAC 2, but you might want something even more powerful.
     
  9. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #9
    i have also beyerdynamic T50p same price with P5. they sound nice too but the P5 is more balance. i have the popular sennheiser HD25 cheaper than P5 but P5 still is the best..

    they worth the money. build is outstanding, sexy looks and amazing sound.
     
  10. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #10
    I have, however for the price, size, build quality and audio quality I haven't found anything else that I was satisfied with. I have tried out the Sennheiser HD 555's, (Too Big and not much bass), Monster Beats by Dre Studio's, (Not good for music genre's outside of hip hop) and the Bose QC 15's which I actually purchased at the Apple store and liked them a lot but didn't love them due to a lack of bass and the noise canceling feature (while it was second to none) was so powerful that it plugged up ears and gave me headaches so I returned them and went for the Bowers & Wilkins and have never looked back.
    The B&W's don't distort no matter how low the frequencies are and they are made of only aluminum and sheep's leather unlike the Bose, Senns and the Monster Beats.

    My next set of headphones will be for high end audio so I'll be checking out the Denon AHD 7000's. :)
     
  11. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #11
    guys - stay away from dre's and bose. you know, they are just purely marketing. dre's headphones are crap.. bass is too strong. mids and highs are missing. bose has a fake bass.
     
  12. drews macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #12
    Headphone amp is highly recommended. A better choice might be to sell them and get something easier to drive and more enjoyable (I've owned the K701 and K702 and ultimately gave up on them)...

     
  13. The Final Cut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #13
    itunes FTW flac is an absurd format.
     
  14. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #14
    Honestly I just use a pair of in-ear V-Modas and the sound output on the MBA is actually pretty reasonable. I was just on a plane and at half volume the sound output in the earphones was TOO loud, even with the plane noise.

    Are you finding the built in jack to be that measily?
     
  15. aberrero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #15

    The K701s and the VMODA Vibes are totally different. The AKGs are some of the hardest to drive headphones around. They pretty much require a dedicated amplifier with a decent power source to sound good. I would take the advice of another poster and sell them and buy something more laptop friendly. Or maybe just get some cheap IEMs to use alongside them.
     
  16. ozziemo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #16
    The MBA 11" drives my Shure SRH840 reasonably well. But hey, they're low impedance phones ..
     
  17. krillin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    #17
    [​IMG]

    If it were so simple that I could sell them, I would have done it right away.

    I had no choice, had to make them more comfortable
     
  18. peterja macrumors regular

    peterja

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #18
    I could only disagree, the interface is great and reasonably snappy. Networked folders though are terrible from my experience as well, you need to have it local or use home sharing.

    You can import flac-files with an app called Fluke, from there I usually convert to Apple lossless which is just a click in iTunes. (because flac is not compatible with airtunes, tag editing etc).
     
  19. The Viking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #19
    I picked up the NuForce Icon UDAC-2. For around $100, it's a very nice, small USB DAC/amp. Made a big difference in my Beyerdynamic DT-770s (though the 770s went back to the store while I wait for DT-250s).
     

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