Necrox

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 250 ohm - Do I need an amp?

7 posts in this topic

I've just about had it with how garbage my mixes are; after (finally) getting serious about mixing and trying to learn mastering, I've realized that my headphones (Sennheiser HD202s) are the main limiting factor (other than my ears, but I've just about given up on that). 

I'm looking at these headphones as they seem to be excellent for critical listening, but I've read that I'll probably need an amp as well. I can spare $200 but $480 is too much.

So, do I really need the amp? I'm at the point where my low-mid-heavy cans are simply not doing it anymore and I want something that I can use forever; is it worth taking the plunge?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have these headphones and I run them directly connected to my soundcard (NI Komplete Audio 6), no headphone amp. While it doesn't go that loud (but still at a comfortably loud enough level), it works great for my music creation things. Not going too loud might actually be a benefit, because you won't damage your ears that way. $0.02.

So, no, I don't think you'd need an amp, it's usable without one. You could always get a headphone amp later though, if you so wish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use mine with a headphone amp, and they ARE the 250 ohm version (btw, I got them for 51% off at Sweetwater iirc). It's nice to have, but I don't think you need the headphone amp for the loudness. I would still suggest getting one sometime though, so that you can re-balance the low-end and high-end to reference tracks (I calibrated my low-end with "Vessel of the Void" by zircon, my high-end with "Go Ninja Go" by bLiNd, and my loudness with "Level Bounce" by zircon on soundcloud). Without an amp, it still feels bass-light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a fantastic deal! Most other suppliers are saying >$400. I actually haven't ever used the A20 amplifier, but it looks good; I like the 0.01% total harmonic distortion, since you'll hear a more accurate playback. I tend to enjoy products made in Germany (NI is centered in Germany), and it will work for up to 600 ohm resistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://storeus.sonarworks.com/products/reference-4-headphone-edition

This is the best investment you can put into a headphone setup. They have EQ profiles for common pro headphones (including the 880 250ohm premium) and you can load it systemwide (and as a vst on your DAW master) to apply the exactly counter EQ contour to make your headphones as even and rounded (flat, yes, but I stopped using that term because it implies the music would sound lifeless) as possible. Systemwide is super great because I can listen to reference songs on my computer from music players or in the browser, or like play games/movies, and still have the sound correction.

You can also simulate other headphones and stereo systems with their stored profiles, instead of just going flat. And if you personally don't LIKE the completely flat response, you can also apply minor treble and bass adjustments to suit your tastes.

It also has a linear phase option, with some additional latency, to ensure there is absolutely 0 change to the sound outside of the spectrum's range of loudness.

Once I did it for my DT 880's I've sworn never to go back. The difference is actually pretty dramatic; as soon as I toggle the calibration off, the life is sapped out of the mix, the sound of the headphones themselves is pretty tinny and boomy by comparison, and hearing the difference explained basically all of my common mixing mistakes that people point out to me. Weak low mids, excessive bass, harsh upper mids, which were all unknowing compensations for the 880's actual frequency response. Listening to my older stuff on this, it was pretty clear.

Here is the DT 880's average freq response:
 

image.png.414abf35d2d6104d2b9bfd3d19bee892.png

 

As it says in the legend, the BLUE is the headphone's average response, the GREEN is the EQ it applies to counter it, and the PURPLE is the end result (mostly flat, with some bass rolloff that doesn't matter too much in practice, and is necessary because of physics and whatnot).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/11/2018 at 5:52 PM, Nabeel Ansari said:

https://storeus.sonarworks.com/products/reference-4-headphone-edition

This is the best investment you can put into a headphone setup. They have EQ profiles for common pro headphones (including the 880 250ohm premium) and you can load it systemwide (and as a vst on your DAW master) to apply the exactly counter EQ contour to make your headphones as even and rounded (flat, yes, but I stopped using that term because it implies the music would sound lifeless) as possible. Systemwide is super great because I can listen to reference songs on my computer from music players or in the browser, or like play games/movies, and still have the sound correction.

You can also simulate other headphones and stereo systems with their stored profiles, instead of just going flat. And if you personally don't LIKE the completely flat response, you can also apply minor treble and bass adjustments to suit your tastes.

It also has a linear phase option, with some additional latency, to ensure there is absolutely 0 change to the sound outside of the spectrum's range of loudness.

Once I did it for my DT 880's I've sworn never to go back. The difference is actually pretty dramatic; as soon as I toggle the calibration off, the life is sapped out of the mix, the sound of the headphones themselves is pretty tinny and boomy by comparison, and hearing the difference explained basically all of my common mixing mistakes that people point out to me. Weak low mids, excessive bass, harsh upper mids, which were all unknowing compensations for the 880's actual frequency response. Listening to my older stuff on this, it was pretty clear.

Here is the DT 880's average freq response:
 

image.png.414abf35d2d6104d2b9bfd3d19bee892.png

 

As it says in the legend, the BLUE is the headphone's average response, the GREEN is the EQ it applies to counter it, and the PURPLE is the end result (mostly flat, with some bass rolloff that doesn't matter too much in practice, and is necessary because of physics and whatnot).

 

This looks awesome; thank you for posting. I'll definitely save up for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now