Topic: USB Sound Card for Sennheiser HD 600

I own the HD 600 and the Yamaha CP33 and I want to experiment with software pianos such as Pianoteq, Ivory, Hauptwerk and so on. For this, I need a quality sound card / audio interface that works well with Windows (10, at the moment).

I would like it to be something that I can use on various computers, so I guess USB is the only way to go, unless you have good reasons why I shouldn't choose a USB card.

I am considering the Scarlett Focusrite 2i4 gen 2.

I read that the 2i2 didn't have external power supply and doesn't get enough power from USB2. I also read something about them not handling high gain inputs well, such as from some guitar pickups. Not a first priority, but I do own an electric guitar, and who knows what I might use the audio interface for smile

But I also read that the 2i4 (or 2i2) doesn't have a very good headphone amp built in and that it wouldn't match the HD 600 very well? Is this true? Also, would it be possible to get the signal right from the DAC of the 2i4 and bypass the builtin amp to feed an external headphone amp?

I am very interested in experiences, suggestions, recommendations etc.


Re: USB Sound Card for Sennheiser HD 600

I use HD580s which are very similar. Actually, I replaced the drivers with HD650 ones when one broke, and I could not tell any difference.

Anyway, they do have rather high impedence (300ohm). It doesn't mean they need more "power", just that they need a higher voltage to drive them at a certain power (and therefore listening volume). That's a problem because a lot of devices (especially USB powered) have limited voltage range. My old Edirol UA5 interface had to be on full volume and was still too quiet. I could have used an additional headphone amp but wanted a simpler arrangement. After some research, I replaced it with a Presonus 44VSL which is absolutely fine with the headphones.


Re: USB Sound Card for Sennheiser HD 600

The HD 600 can deliver 0,2 watts in 300 Ohm, which is a voltage of 7,745 volts....!!!

It then produces 115 dB.

I advise, for all quality headphones, NOT to use the phones output of audio devices, as they are merely for control purposes. Use a normal 2 x 40 Watts stereo amplifier, or eventually a dedicated headphone amp.

But with 300 Ohm phones, specially look for the maximum output voltage the latter can give.....




Re: USB Sound Card for Sennheiser HD 600

Audioquest Dragonfly is all you need.

Pianoteq 6 with Blüthner Model One / Steinway Model D / Vintage Electric Pianos & Hohner Collection