Headphone amp with NAD320BEE & Sennheiser HD 600


New member
Sep 29, 2010
These last couple of days I've been preoccupied with a headphone amp-issue, which by the way is something that has never been on my mind before. As of now I am skeptical as to possible improvement. Skeptical mostly because NAD 3200BEE, according the opinions or reviews, has a high quality headphone jack at it is.

Nevertheless, I've been investigated the issue somewhat at depth and at least it seems that you have quite a price range in order to get clear sound improvment or any uimprovement at all. For instance I have heard statement to the effect that Rega Ear is lateral movement compared with NAD 320BEE, i.e. no improvement but basically the same quality. Now, if that is correct or not I wouldn't know since I suppose you need to give it a listen if you are to decided for yourself. However, I have no real reason to doubt that call, especially not in light of testimonies on the quality of the headphone jack on the NAD.

My question here is therefore. Would a purchase of a dedicated headphone amp improve sound quality in a noticeable way using my Sennheiser HD 600, compared to the quality I already have with NAD 320BEE?
If you think yes (1) Do have an experience of you own that indicates this? (2) Which headphone amp would you suggest?

Indeed, Sennheiser HD 600 is quite an amazing headphone so naturally I would be interested if further improvements can be made.

My stereo: NAD C320BEE, NAD C521BEE, Rega P3-24 + rega phono preamp, med Goldring 2300. NAD 6325, NAD AM/FM Stereo Tuner 4020A, Audio tronic CM3, QED Performance Audio Cable 1, Aragon 5055


Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
This is a question which gets asked over and over again, there are going to be posters who say angels fly from your system when you add a headphone amplifier and they are a must, others will say you don't really need one. I fall into the second category, I have tried numerous headphone amplifiers and while they 'may' change the sound very slightly whether it's an improvement is subjective to say the least. IMO it's just a typical HI-Fi fad which satisfies an urge to always want more from your system. Most people think they do when they get there shiny new toy, in reality it's mostly placebo effect, not that that's a bad thing if you get more enjoyment from your listening experience. The argument is usually that integrated amplifiers have poor headphone outputs, my opinion is that the headphone output is dropped straight off the powerstage used to drive your speakers, if this sounds poor then most likely your amp isn't much cop to start with.

You may find a preferred match of headphone amplifier over your C320BEE to go with your HD600's but, do you feel that you are currently missing out on anything ?


as much as i like my NAD 326 driving my speakers i had Sennheiser HD598 that i used to listen with xonar STX card and one day i try the headphone out from NAD and xonar stx was much better than NAD .


New member
Jun 26, 2010
A lot (most?) headphone amps now come as a DAC + Headphone amp. If you used one of those it almost certainly would sound different. Better is a different question.

As always - see if you can demo before you buy



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