I hope you had a nice start into 2024.
i am thinking more and more to buy myself a decent headphone setup for my system.
naturally naim headline is the first one i am looking at.
i guess i can use my flatcap to power it ?
and i wonder what your experiences are ?
and also if someone has suggestions for nice headphones that pairs well with the headline, i would love to look into that.
btw. the headphone cable would probably need be quite long ( 4-5 meters) to allow me sitting on the couch… would that be a problem?
looking forward to your thoughts and all the best !!
I owned Naim Headline powered by Hicap non DR for many years and got a lot of enjoyment from it . It is a good combination the only problem is that you can’t remotely control the volume. Maybe you can pick up the combination for under £1k now but the Headphone amp market is very competitive so you should think about what else you can pick up for the same money.
I have a naim headline I use with a flatcap. I find it enjoyable, although I would like to try a hicap on it. As @delft mentioned, there are a lot of headphone amplifier options out there.
Extension cables are available from many manufacturers, so that should not be an issue with your seating. I have a 4m extension cable myself.
I’ve use headphones from AKG, Grado, Beyerdynamic, and Dan Clark Audio with my headline. But when it comes to headphones comfort goes along with sound presentation when picking one (for instance, a lot of people don’t like the on-ear Grados).
I had the old Headline amp and a separate power supply but was very underwhelmed. It was 2 boxes (really who needs more boxes) no remote and I didn’t enjoy the sound that much. I’ve just purchased a DAC V1 to use instead, one box sounds great and it’s multi purpose it can be used as a DAC anda pre amp if required.
Difficult one. If you have a spare power supply (and the FlatCap is great in this respect as the only supply that can feed two boxes) then a HeadLine2 makes a lot of sense. Out of production and going second hand for not much, it makes a serious high end headphone amp… Or it can when fed by something like an HCdr.
Compared to the price of a new HeadLine2 with a new power supply, there are better amps for the money without a doubt. But if comparing the cost performance of a second hand HeadLine2 added to your existing power supply, with anything else at the same price, (I’m guessing a second hand HL2 can be had for $150) then I don’t think the other options will come close.
FWIW, I used the HL2/HCdr combo for six years and was delighted with it’s performance. But I then got another amp (which admitedly cost far more) and now my HL2 is in a box in the garage. I’ll never go back.
I ran a 252/Headline/Hicap/HD800 combo for a number of years and found it hugely enjoyable, The Grado 1000s that preceded the above didn’t work so well for me.
I used the Headline and NAPSC, but previous to that used the Rega Ear, which did a good job and only one box. So another one to consider if you don’t mind non Naim.
Regarding headphone cables. Instead of an extension, you could always have one made up to the required length, that way, no joins.
I’ve just recently got one from Cxxnected and it’s a very good cable.
I bought Grado Hemp 'phones a few months ago. Very good indeed, working from the headphone socket of my new Nait50. They were claimed to be a limited edition, so I have no idea if they are still available. Strongly recommended, in any event.
The Ear, like the HeadLine, is discontinued and can be had for pocket money. It’s a superb headphone amp and can also be upgraded with an after market power supply. I actually found the Ear preferable to the HeadLine/NAPSC combo, but the HCdr really made the HeadLine into a different beast.
Naim headline and power supply is quite expensive and not sure it really cuts it in the 21st century. In addition do you really want a 2 box solution just to drive some headphones and all the cabling that goes with that.
I use HIfiman xs edition headphones and a Lehmann audio headphone amp. I don’t use them that much as I find headphone listening quite restrictive but I like to have the option.
Probably worth going to a dealer (high street dealers like seven oaks / richer sounds have a decent selection these days) and listen to a few - sound and comfort that suits you is king here
Once you have decided on HP’s you can chose an amp to match after that. I remain unconvinced you have to spend a lot and I have head headline with ps’s up to a hicap and Sennheiser amp/800’s in the past and prefer my current set up which was sub £750 with a deal on Amazon on the HP’s and the amp of eBay.
Wow, thank you all for the swift and thoughtful response and insights. very appreciated and thank you all !!
i guess my next step is to get some listening at a dealer and then look into either a 2nd hand headline2 to power with my fc or investigate how the lehmann audio work into my system. as i am running a lehmann decade phono pre amp, i think the psu that comes with it can power a second amp as well. not sure if it can be a headphone amp, but will find out.
the great thing about headline is that i could still upgrade later with hcdr….
but one comment is also truely important:
the one that you can not remote control volume with any of these….
again, thank you all for the great help, as always in this super forum !
Please let us all know what you hear and what you decide. You will probably hear new headphones and headphone amps that are new to us all , so give the rest of us some new ideas.
Headphone listening can be wonderful and achieve a far higher level of detail and accuracy than is possible from a loudspeaker system for a far lower cost. I use my headphone listening as a reference to check the quality from my loudspeakers and to see if i am closing the “gap” in terms of high fidelity.
will do !
hope to start with
it next weekend!
have a nice week everyone and all the best!!
i am curious, how have you integrated the dac v1 into your system.?
are you running your streamer through it ?
like NDX - DAC - NAC - NAP - LS ?
and how do you need to connect it to your pre amp, if you would like to listen through the headphone out from all kind of sources
( particularly phono, streaming, CD )?
and last but not least:
do you feel a sound improvement when streaming through the DAC instead of connecting ndx directly to nac ?
thank you and all the best !!
I run my CD transport into the V1 then into my 525. I also run a digital connection to the V1 from my NDX2 this gives me access to all my music and streaming for listening via my headphones. The V1 is then connected to the pre amp via the analog output (RCA at this point until I get the appropriate din cable).
Hope that’s not too confusing.
As for the sound the V1 was brand new, it’s not as good as the NDX2 but I’d be pretty upset if it was. The reason I run the cd through it was to give me a different sound just for variety sake.
So far all is working as it should and it’s nice to have a decent option for headphone listening. Cheers.
Get yourself a mojo 2, no long cable problem, fully portable and fantastic sounding.
Plus much cheaper than a headline with a power supply.
I use a Mojo with a Poly and Roon over Wi-Fi I still gravitate towards it over other choices as it sounds good put simply.
The one niggle is at night the control button backlights are a bit of a distraction, otherwise a top bit of kit and quite flexible/capable (and portable even when required)
If you press both volume buttons together the lights dim
I know, even that is bright in a dark room, what you can’t do is turn them off completely when inactive.
I tend to just stuff it under the bed buttons faced to floor as a solution!
I have not, in the past, been much of a headphone listener, that is until now. I upgraded from a pair of Sennheiser HD600s to Audeze LCD2 closed backs. I have to say I am completely blown away! I understand now what many people have said that a good pair of headphones is the best way to showcase the SQ of your system. The bass response and the clarity I have never experienced before.