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Recommend Receiver for CD Player through Headphones

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jon Owens, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Jon Owens

    Jon Owens Auditioning

    Oct 2, 2017
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    Jon Owens
    I am looking for help selecting a receiver for listening to CDs through headphones. I have tried researching this online and, as usually happens, the more I learn the more confused I get (impedance, RMS, SPL per milliwatt vs. volt, Ohm's law, etc.).

    I don’t use speakers. I have an Onkyo C7030 CD player and Sennheiser HD 598 headphones (impedance is 50Ω and SPL is 112 dB).

    I was using a big old 2002 Denon 5.1 receiver until it went bad. I then dugout my old Kenwood KR-A5080 receiver from 1996 until I could get a new one. The problem is I mostly listen to film scores, which are typically mastered at a lower volume than, say, rock music. When I listen to certain CDs, the loud parts can be distorted as if it simply can’t handle the full depth of the sound.

    I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that my old Kenwood is the weak link. I doubt I spent much on it, but the specs are better than I expected:

    100 WPC into 8Ω
    Frequency: 20Hz to 20kHz
    THD: 0.03%
    S/N: 75dB (MM), 93dB (line)

    I'm hoping someone can recommend a good but not outrageously priced model that will work well with my headphones, or at least suggest what specs I should look for in terms of compatibility. Or I should get a headphone amp?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Aug 18, 2001
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    Seems your Onkyo player actually has a headphone out. Do you not like its output to your headphones?

    IF the player's headphone out isn't satisfying, I'd suggest looking for a dedicated headphone amp (maybe one that also includes a better DAC) instead. You might try checking head-fi.org for a good recommendation to match your headphones in that case.


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