Hd800 fans often ask questions about the best amplifier that would make the listening experience top-notch.
It mostly depends on your budget, preferences, and availability.
So, what is the best HD800 amp pairing?
Bryston BHA-1 is a solid-state amp that is best for HD800 headphones. Provided that you’re willing to spend a fortune on this amp. It’ll provide a rich and solid tone along with lower resonance. If you’re looking for something cheap the Schiit Asgard 3 is a great option. It’s not incisive but it’ll soften the edge of the HD800s. I wouldn’t recommend using tube amp for it’s slow and thick output. However, you can look at closed-system amps to pair with HD800s.
The suggestions above are enough for you to try out some amp pairings. But if you’ve got time, why not find out the differences between these pairs?
Shall we begin?
HD800 Amp Pairing: Knowing the Basics
According to various reviews of the hd800, it’s one of the most perfect speakers to exist till now. Especially in the world of audio experience.
This experience has led people to set hd800 as the ideal structure and function of a headphone. The reason is that hd800 has an amazing way of producing music in the most natural state possible.
However, hd800s are not always as golden as they may sound. To a lot of people (surprisingly!), hd800 amps are too boring or too bright.
That’s why amp pairings are required for enhancing the almost top-notch experience of hd800.
In case you are wondering, what does an amp pair do?
Simply put, it boosts the low-voltage audio signals to a high-voltage audio signal. These signals are transmitted from a source to the headphones. It converts this voltage into sound waves generated by the headphone speakers.
People use amp pairings for headphones to boost a piece of low-quality music. Turning it into crystal clear and better sounding high-quality music.
Only the people who live for music will understand the significance of a headphone amp pairing.
However top-notch a headphone maybe, to some the beats will never be sharp or crisp enough. Without an amp, their music experience is simply bland.
An hd800 is still the dream headphone of many but like any invention, it might also wear out.
In that case, audiophiles and music lovers alike, look into pairing amplifiers with their headphones. So that they can play the best Blu-ray audio without any issues.
Factors That Depend on HD800 Amp Pairing
When you connect HD800 to your phone for listening to music, you’ll only be using half of the headphone capacity. The headphone will be using the limited built-in amplifier of the phone.
Which will not do justice to this beautiful headphone and its capacity.
The same goes for using HD800 with a laptop or a desktop computer. Listening to music from your laptop means using half the capacity of HD800.
If you want a full music experience, you’ll need to pair the headphones up with an amplifier.
Similarly, there are many factors that affect the amplifier pairing with HD800. Some of the important factors are explained below-
The Device You’ll Be Using
Connecting an amplifier depends on the device you’ll be using your headphones with.
The quality of sound varies when using the HD800 headphones with a laptop or phone.
If you use your headphones with your phone, you might need a portable amplifier such as Chord Hugo 2. This is a DAC/amps and do not have separate amp sections. It drive headphones directly from the DAC output stage.
If you use it with the laptop, then you have other options as well. The Schiit Vali 2+ Tube Hybrid Headphone Amp is the one that performs really well with this (laptop + HD800) combo.
Music Source Connection
This factor depends again on the device you’ll be using. It’s mainly about the connection of the music source with the headphone amplifier.
This is important because you need to make sure your device has the right inputs. You’ll need to connect wires to the amplifier according to the input of your device.
There are two types of inputs in any device. It’s either digital or analog. For analog input, you’ll need to connect the music source using a stereo RCA cable or mini-to-RCA cable.
If the input is digital, connect the amplifier to the music source using an optical, coaxial, or USB cable.
Now there are some amplifiers that have DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). In this amplifier, you’ll be able to connect both the digital and analog cables.
Analog and digital cables are very handy. There are many available options out in the market. We have curated a list of the cables that we think are perfect for you-
- Amazon Basics 3.5 mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable
- AudioQuest Tower 1.5m RCA Analog Audio Interconnect Cable
So, if you’ve got your cables, you’re one step ahead in pairing amps. Now let’s look at what else we have to consider.
Impedance is a crucial topic when it comes to pairing headphones.
To put it simply, impedance is the amount of force required to enhance the quality of the headphone sound. Headphones with a low impedance rate require minimum power/current to drive them.
Headphones with a high impedance rate require a lot of power/current to drive. Make sure the amplifier you choose is up for the task.
In case you’re wondering- how much power does it take to drive a hd800s?
HD800 requires a lot of power, around 300 ohms. So pairing an amplifier with HD800 needs to be capable of feeding a high impedance.
Some amplifiers have a gain switch or selectable impedance dial that helps to match the power of your headphone’s impedance.
This allows the headphone to give optimal performance.
Amps That Can Be Paired with HD800
Solid-state amplifiers aren’t the best amps for headphones in general. But there are a few solid state amps that goes great with HD800s.
- The expensive one : Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Liquid Carbon X Amp pairs really well with the EQ’d HD800 for ultimate smoothness.
- The Sub $500 Category: Schiit Vali 2+ is the OG below $500 amp for your HD800s. This is a amp and preamp merged into one.
With solid-state amplifiers, the sounds have fewer chances of getting distorted. Also, while talking about solid state amps you might hear some questions about the cadence amps’ quality.
Pairing this amp with HD800 gives the sound a rich tone, with lots of spaciousness. It’ll give you a complete audio experience. Plus, they don’t necessarily hurt your wallet.
Tube Headphone Amp
Although most of the amplifiers for HD800 are solid-state. Some tube amplifiers can work their magic on the headphones.
So, to answer your question- can you pair a headphone with an HD800 tube amp-
The headphones will give you a rich and lush texture when paired with a tube amplifier. The sound will be certainly louder than the solid-state amplifiers. However, tube amplifiers take a lot of time to heat up the power tubes and start their effect.
Then there’s the issue of the tubes getting ruined due to wear and tear. As a result, you’ll probably have to get matching power tubes. Which is another hassle on its own.
But if you are a fan of clear and detailed music then it’s worth the wait. I would say Garage1217 Project Horizon 3 is the way to go if you’re going for a budget tube amp.
But if you have a budget around a grand then Woo Audio WA6 can be an option. This is considered a no man’s amp as it sits between over $500 and sub $500 amps.
Transport-ability is big for this generation. People now prefer being able to use a headphone such as HD800 on the go.
If you pair your HD800 with your phone, you’ll need a lightweight amplifier. So that it’s easy to carry around.
So are you looking for an HD800 portable amp-
There are a lot of amplifiers that are portable and driven by rechargeable batteries. These are high-end headphone amplifiers with DAC. You’ll be able to hear the best of music experiences on the go! The only thing that can be an issue is that they are not quite budget-friendly.
Closed-system Headphone Amps
If you’re a big fan of Sennheiser HD800 headphones, you’ll love these amplifiers as well.
Closed-system headphone amplifiers are a special type of amplifier made specifically for one kind of headphone.
Like a lot of other companies, Sennheiser also has a list of amplifiers made especially for their headphones. Sennheiser Consumer Audio HDV 820 Headphone Amplifier DAC is their go to AMP-DAC which nonetheless will provide you with proper.
This will not only ensure the right power for the headphones. But it’ll provide the best listening experience one can imagine.
Suggested HD800 Amp Pairings
We’ve gathered quite a few choices of amp pairings for you to pick.
Starting from the low budget to premium quality amplifiers, a comprehensive review of each type of amp pairings.
Affordable Amp Pairing
This budget-friendly category includes:
Say you’re looking for some way to lower your budget for headphone amp pairings. These amplifiers are definitely a life-saver.
If you love soulful music these affordable amps are a perfect match for your taste.
The audio in Woo WA6 or in Violectric V200 is smooth and yet so detailed. That’s why they are the most popular choices for hd800 tube amp pairing.
A lot of people don’t prefer crisp treble and tight bass. If you’re one of them, you’re on the right track.
You can try out all the mentioned amps to find a smoother sound experience and good resolution. Ideally, we would want you to spend 20-30% of the price of your headphone on your amplifier.
Really, what else do you need at such an affordable price?
High-End Amp Pairing
If you want to spend a little extra on your listening experience then you can choose any of the high-end amplifiers. This luxurious listening experience includes:
- DNA Stratus
- SPL Phonitor
- Questyle CMA Twelve DSD Headphone Amp DAC (Black)
- Taurus’s Balance Mode
These amp pairings are for those who would love to rediscover music. This music is more clear, rich, and detailed when you use any of the mentioned amp pairs.
Unless you need amp pairings for professional reasons, there’s no need to buy these luxurious and out-of-budget products. You might have to lose an arm in order to buy one!
Amp pairings like Questyle and SPL Phonitor make the audio more liquid and vibrant.
The peak trebles of Questyle are less smooth than the Woo WA6. Though their bass is a bit tighter, they have amazing soundstage and clarity.
But what if you have to use HD800 without amp?
Don’t worry! HD800s are already a great speaker that produces audio with the most natural and clarified state. You can easily listen to their great audio quality without pairing an amp. Adding a vibrant pairing on top of it would not make too much difference.
However, we can assure you, all the features and benefits of these amp pairings are worth the money.
What is a headphone amplifier used for?
Boosting low voltage sound signals! An amplifier converts the low signals from the source and converts them to a suitable sound wave. Which is what we hear in our headphones in high quality.
Does a headphone amp make a difference?
Of course! Headphone amps make a significant amount of difference! Over-ear headphones create clearer and better sound when used with an amplifier because the poor-quality sounds are enhanced. And thus, we hear high-quality audio.
How do I match my headphones to my amp?
You need to take out your calculator for that. If you want to match your headphones with an amp, you need to find out the impedance rate. For that, you need to find out the total current and voltage. By dividing the voltage by the current, you’ll be able to find the impedance. This helps to pair the right amplifier.
It all comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and availability. Using amp pairings not only enhances your listening experience. But it also points out all the errors and flaws in audio.
Do let us know which hd800 amp pairings are you going for in the comments.
Until then, stay safe!