Help with Headphone Amp recommendations please

johnny 99

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2016
3
1
10,525
Hello. I have an Astell & Kern Kann MP3 player which I use with AKG 712 Pro headphones. I am fairly happy with the sound quality although it is slightly on the rich and warm side for me and I am therefore thinking about experimenting to see whether the addition of a headphone amp would tighten things up and make it a bit more transparent, percussive and dynamic. Also, I am having to set the Kann well towards full volume to drive the headphones so an amp would give a bit more headroom.
Can I ask 2 rather stupid questions please - forgive my ignorance as I have been out of the Hi Fi world for a long time.
1. A lot of the headphone amps out there feature a combined DAC and amplifier. The Kann has a built in DAC, so do I need to find something which is an amplifier only or can I use a DAC/AMP machine without any problem ie does it not matter if a second DAC is added in the chain?
2. Where would the new headphone amp be plugged into the Kann - would it run from either the 3.5mm Unbalanced or 2.5mm Balanced Line Out port?
I only use the Kann at bedtime before going to sleep and never take it out of the house and it stays permanently on my bedside table, so size and portability of a headphone amp is not an issue.
Would anyone have any recommendations for a cheapish headphone amp worth investigating, something up to £300 new or pre-owned?
Thankyou if you can help.
 

Gray

Well-known member
.....slightly on the rich and warm side
I reckon that describes the 712 Pro sound (with the emphasis on 'slightly')
I bought a pair, naively hoping to improve on my Sennheiser HD560S. They didn't.
If you can try the 560S with a return option, I reckon you might like them.
They will give you less of the warmth, but still a well-balanced and detailed sound.
Don't make the mistake of thinking they might sound inferior due to price.
Personally I prefer their sound to the 'legendary' HD600.
 

johnny 99

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2016
3
1
10,525
In answer to Friesiansam I have been away from home and my computer and unable to check in until today. Get a life pal. I would thank the 2 people for their replies.
 

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