Budget Amp/DAC for Sennheiser hd 660s

In a moment of madness after blitzing a couple YouTube reviews and seeing the Sennheiser HD 660s on offer on Amazon I snapped it up without thinking if I need a expensive amp to even use them.

Luckily reviews I’ve seen have suggested they’re relatively easy to drive.

At the moment I’m probably just gonna buy https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009WN7QT4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_lXabGb6CD3SP1

Which is only £35. My question is, Is there anything out there for like under £80 which would be noticeably better? Or is it only £200+ that yields anything worthwhile?

I’t would be worth spending a tad more imho…maybe something like iFi Zen Dac that would work well with the Senns :+1:



Seconding this opinion for zen dac… more worth while as syba sonic is barily stronger than a weak motherboard and honestly doesn’t sound that good. :+1:

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i run my hd 600’s off of the zen dac. its a good pairing. the bass boost can help senn’s a lot for bassy music.

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Would this be an all-in-one solution? I don’t need a separate Amp?

Shame it doesn’t have a Mic line in like the Syba Sonic, I wanted to see if plugging my mic into one of these ‘combos’ instead of straight into my PC would improve its quality.

I’m a complete layman to this world incase it’s not glaringly obvious.

Nope an all in one, just plug and play…as for gaming etc and mic attachments then @Falenkor is the man to advise for that :+1:

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Yeah, I really like them for the sennheisers. They do real well

nope, no separate unit required… it also comes with a balanced port incase you need more power… just remember that balanced ports need a special cable being used in that units case the headphone needs a balanced 4.4mm pentaconn cable. Only headphones with a 4 pin mini xlr or duel sided cables plugging into the headphone can be balanced.

If you want a dedicated amp later down the road for more power, you can get it’s amp that stacks ontop of the zen dac called the zen can, which is a straight amplifier but is quite a bit stronger than zen dac.

Can remark on these, no… they do not do a whole lot for audio sound quality through mic ports especially Syba, the only two that had improvements worth noting were the Soundblaster G6 or X3, Schiit Fulla or Hel, and Mayflower ARC. With the Mayflower and Hel having the best in that regard.

love how this has become a thing lol

Thanks for all the input I think I’ll go for the iFi Zen DAC, I hate the thought of significantly bottle-necking the Sennheisers.

For a Mic input would you recommend a dedicated unit then or is plugging straight into the pc motherboard an just tweaking it through software the way to go?

I mean, you could go with the dedicated XLR mic route if you want… its a bit pricey though as that involves an audio interface. In your budget though this doesn’t seem fully feasible. Other ways are just USB mics which do fine as long as your environment isn’t loud and modmics work fine as well, granted uni isn’t that good so I would say go with USB for those as well

plugging straight into the motherboard is typically just fine… as a gamer not like we need recording studio quality anyway

Hey Falenkor, I’ve gone with the consensus and the iFi Zen Dac is arriving today. I’ve seen nothing but raving reviews about it.

Can you elaborable abit more on the ‘balanced’ port? As a complete audio noob I have no idea what it is or the signifcance. Everytime I google about it I’m met with a plethora of results just explaining the wiring for the requisite cables but not actually explaining why I may want to listen balanced/versus unbalanced.

Yeah, so if you look at the front of the zen dac you will see two ports for headphones, the small balanced port and the larger unbalanced port. The balanced port is where the fully power of the Ifi zen dac comes from as the unbalanced isn’t as powerful, it’s like this in essentially any amp that has both balanced and unbalanced ports.

In order to balance your headphone, first off it has to either use duel sided cables or a 4 pin xlr. If it has one of the two, you can purchase a special balanced cable that allows you to use the balanced ports, these cables can come from amazon or higher quality from places like Hart Audio and Periapt. Note that these cables aren’t particularly cheap.

In some cases these balanced ports will give a much better sound to the headphone not to mention much more headroom(power). Ifi zen dac, it’s mainly just a lot more power from that port… and in it’s case you would need a balanced 4.4mm pentaconn cable

Something to note, do not under any circumstances try to use an adapter on an unbalanced cable to the balanced port… this will cause damage to the amp as well as the headphone, you need a cable that’s balanced to make use of such a port. Balanced plugs will typically have either an xlr connector or something like 4.4mm, 3.5mm, or 1/4" with 4 black rings on the end seen like this

that’s a sennheiser HD600 balanced cable

Ahhhh facinating so theres no downside to using the balanced port, it’s just weather you can actually get hold of the cable.

Does it have to say pentaconn in the cable discription or will all 4.4mm connectors be pentaconn?

This looks a decent price shame about the colour and materials. I love how after just dipping my toe into this world for 5 mins I’m already obsessing over fucking cables.

Just a heads up before you go and spend a lot on a cable, 660s come with two cables - a 6.35 trs and a 4.4mm balanced.

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^ this here. No worries on this issue if your grabbing 660

Holy shit thanks you saved me £40 :sweat_smile:

Lol no worries. I hope you enjoy your new headphones, I’m a big fan of my 660s :slight_smile: