No amp required

Hey all! I’m brand new here and to headphones (about 6 months). Loving the hobby so far. I’m looking for a list of headphones that not only do not need a dedicated amp but also do not suffer greatly from not having one (I realize ALL headphones benefit to various degrees from a dedicated amp).

What I have: porta pro, kph30i, shp9500, fidelio x2.

Budget: unlimited

Sound signature: any (I’m still exploring)

Source: galaxy s10 plus (flac and tidal)

Use case: home and mobile so open or closed apply

Music taste: mainly rock in various forms and some hip hop

Thanks! I look forward to contributing here!


Whats been suggested
Sennheiser hd58x
Focal stellia
Akg k371
Audioquest nighthawk carbon
Koss ksc75
Campfire audio cascade
Meze 99 classic
Audeze lcd-1
Audio technica m50x
Sivga sv006
Grado sr60e
Grado sr80e
Grado sr325e
Audeze sine on ear
Oppo pm-3
Focal elex
Creative aurvana live!
Sennheiser hd660 s
Audio technica m40x
Akg k240 55 ohm
Hifiman he4xx
Dt770/880/990 32 ohm
Focal listen professional
V-moda 100 master

Blon bl-03
Tin t2

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I personally think the 58x would be something you may enjoy


You did say Unlimited budget… so… Focal Stellias?

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I do want to try a sennheiser headphone and hear what that midrange hype is all about. Also curious if the hd598 (the open ones) would make this list as I’m not opposed to buying used.

I personally think the 58x is a step up quality wise over the 598, so if you can, I would recommend the 58x more

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I had no idea something that high end would make a list like this lol

If you wanted something closed, the akg k371 might be up your alley

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haha… :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m certainly not against closed… seen these on youtube a bunch… be nice you hear what the Harman target sounds like.

Yeah, both the k371 and 58x are great imo. I think it depends on your use case and what you like to listen to

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Added that to the initial post. Thanks I knew I’d forget some things.

I know you want another headphone so cool. But if you want another IEM in the future too I recommend the blon 03, personally found it pretty good for rock and hip hop of course

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I wish I could get into iem’s as it seems theres some serious bang for the buck there but the in ear thing is really bothersome to me… I’ll put them on the list incase I feel adventurous lol thanks!

Your budget is unlimited as long as you don’t have an amplifier? Well then… that’s a lot of options! :smile:
I personally would recommend the Audioquest Nighthawk Carbon if you want something that has a very unique sound. Not hard to drive at all. They are very comfortable, semi open-back.
They really have a unique sound. They sound like you are listening to giant speakers in a huge hall or auditorium in a way, yet somehow detailed at the same time. The sub-bass is pretty good, not huge but nice and tight. They sound wider than anything I have tried so far. They are very hard to describe lol, they are just a unique experience that you have to try for yourself. They used to sell for about 700 USD but now only 250 USD on Amazon. They run off my phone (galaxy s10e) very easily so no amp is needed.
Another I would reccomend trying in the low price range would be the Koss KSC75. They are what many people call SHP9500 ‘killers’ or ‘replacements’, with better detail. Don’t let the funky ear clip design throw you off, Koss just makes weird looking stuff lol. Really worth a try since they are so cheap.
Another I would recommend for a super unique headphone are the 1More 1More Triple Driver “Over Ear” (actually on-ear). What these do is they have 2 active drivers, a regular one and a tweeter, like speakers, and also a passive bass reflector. What this does is it gives a very V shaped sound, with incredible sub bass and amazing treble detail. They do however, kind of need an amplifier to sound good and make the 2 drivers work properly, so they may not work for you. $150 USD on Amazon.
Another one that is an incredible portable closed back that has some of the best bass possible for a closed back are the Campfire Cascade. They are described as being ‘portable bass monsters’, but they still have good sound throughout the range I believe. Campfire is a good company that usually makes very expensive IEMs. About $800 on Campfire’s website. Definitely a consideration for higher end.

Those are some of my recommendations. I think the others are very good choices too.

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For closed back, the Meze 99 Classic’s are Really easy to drive and sound great out of my phone (LG V30). And I don’t feel they scale particularly well, but that might just be me.
On a higher end I would second the CFA Cascades suggestion. They are on my list.

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Dangerous that Elon lol.

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Audeze LCD 1, Audeze LCD X, Audio Technica M50x (no balls, do it)

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The LCD x does need an amp imo

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Isn’t it like 15 ohms ?

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It doesn’t sound good without an amp, it can get loud but sounds pretty not great imo

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