Headline 2 vs V1 Dac

So I would like to upgrade my headphones and possibly system. Currently have a HL 2 with HC and Sennheiser 660 S. Really fancy the Sennheiser 800s so which would be the better headphone amp. HL 2 plus HC or the v1 DAC?
Also will be sending the HL to Naim in a couple of weeks for a service along with the HC with possible DR upgrade before any purchase.
Any views or recommendations.
Many thanks

I was almost at the point of abandoning my Headline for another (any other) headphone amp as it was terribly disappointing with my AKG q702 phones. Instead, I tried a different set of headphones and got some Focal Clear Mg. The pairing is fantastic and I am really enjoying listening via headphones again.
I can’t comment directly on the Sennheisers but I am sure someone with experience will be along soon but I guess what I can say is with the right headphones the Headline is a very good amp so don’t throw it away too quickly. If you do though, I’m sure the Atom HE would be a better ( if more expensive) way to go.


Thanks that is some good info on the Focal…I would prefer the 800 merely because the lead is longer and they have had some fantastic reviews. I could get a longer lead for the focal but that’s another £200 or so….

The headline and 800s aren’t the best match as have been there
The 800s like an amp that can add some warmth without losing any of the fantastic sound stage and detail, with that I got myself a nice secondhand v281 and it’s in a different league altogether compared to the headline.
I would certainly look at this route rather than spend money on a service and Dr.


Ah yes. It did give me the opportunity to design a nice custom cable to match from Arctic Cables….
It’s a terrible scourge this hifi thing isn’t it?

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So that would make the Focal clears plus a decent lead more viable….

Was that lead form Artic cables for the Focal Clears? And can I be rude and ask how much they were and how long they were?
I do like the 3m lead I have with the had 660s phones I have and the flexibility it brings with positioning of the amps etc. My room is compromised as it is and moving stuff around is limited.

Uh… the Atom HE is better than the V1. The V1 is only worthwhile using the USB input. I’ve used both with the older hd800 headphones. V1 doesn’t have an analog input so it’s different than the headline.

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Concur that HL2/HCdr isn’t the best match with HD-800. Not the worst either. At the time it was certainly my end game and saw off a long list of headphone amps.

Then I put them on a Luxman SQ-N150 tube amp and was blown away. It was like I’d never heard them before.

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Yes, for the Focals.
I got a 2.5m cable and kinda wish I had gone a little longer tbh.
The one I got was called Ion+ but it doesn’t seem to be in their store anymore. I went for a decent weight cable with the finish on the coating I wanted that wasn’t “too” expensive. You can define your own spec with connectors etc.

I know there is a lot of debate about the value of expensive headphone cables but this one is clearly better sounding than the stock cable and the balanced cable.
I found them to be very responsive over email and happy to offer advice without upselling.
It was around 300USD all up.

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