I finally got my hands on the new Headstreamer DAC headphone amplifier. I’ve been looking for a while for a DAC/headphone amplifier that works with both my Mac and iPad. The CEntrance DACport, but it’s a bit too expensive. So the Headstreamer DAC looked like a good compromise.
My walk around headphones right now is a pair of Sennheiser HD 25 1 II. They are rugged, comfortable and sounds excellent. I used to favor in-ear headphones but got tired of continually having to remove and insert them, something not quickly done. But now Sennheiser has released a new set of headphones that tickles my fancy, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM, with a model matched for use with iPhone. There’s a forum thread on Head-Fi about them. With only 18 Ω impedance and designed to work with smartphones, they should be easily driven to insane sound levels. Something I miss with the HD 25 1 II which needs an amplifier to shine because of the 70 Ω impedance. And let’s face it, it gets tedious to carry around a headphone amplifier with your phone and need to unplug to answer.
Building the venerable CMoy DIY Headphone Amplifier
The last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking of building a small headphone amplifier. I want to tap into the line-out of my iPod to get better sound. I also have a problem with my headphone jack on my pod. After fighting with my friend Hermans dog, he managed to get his paw entangled in my headphone cables and destroyed the cable jack. So I have searched the net to try to find a good amplifier to build (I don’t have the money to buy one right now), and I found the Cmoy headphone amplifier. But I used another build page that has some upgrades to it. Unfortunately I could not find the bread board they used, so I had to make my own design. So after a couple of hours of soldering and using a drill it was time to try it out. And it worked! No debugging or anything. This must be a first.
This is a great way of learning electronics. Just read the articles at TangentSoft about audio amplifiers and you will learn a lot on how audio and amplifiers work. And you’ll find ways of improving or even building better headphone amplifiers as well. You’ll even learn how to improve manufactured headphone amplifiers by modding them.
So how does the CMoy amplifier sound? Loud! And I think the quality is very good. I have tested them on my Shure e2c, Koss MX100 and my Sennheiser 600. I didn’t do a lot of listening with the 600, but the Koss MX 100 get a big quality improvement. Will continue to test it out tomorrow.