Sennheiser HD600, Objective2 AMP & SMSL M8 DAC
The decision over what headphones, soundcard, DAC or AMP to use is normally daunting task. Over the past few months I’ve been using a fantastic combination for my audio at home – for Gaming, Music & Movies.
Let’s start with the AMP & DAC combination. This was definitely no quick decision, but needed to fit my needs.
The AMP: Mayflower’s Objective2 AMP is highly recommended and raved about by many. All started by a chap called NWAVGuy and can be purchased as a DIY kit or pre-assembled. Mayflower (who build and supply parts/pre-assmebled kits) have multiple videos on how to build the kit from the printed circuit board and even completed modifications to the design to suit more needs of their customers. The model I have received features the ability for two 9v batteries to be installed for portability (when using a mobile device). There have been no further improvements to this design since NWAVGuy disappeared over 4 years ago.
The sound coming from the AMP is crystal clear, whether from an on-board soundcard, aftermarket soundcard (in my case, the SoundBlaster Zx) or via the SMSL M8 DAC. I also use the low-gain setting on the AMP as it cuts out and does not enhance noise anymore than it should.
The DAC: SMSL is a Chinese company that charge top dollar for their kit – and you can definitely see why! The SMSL M8 DAC I had purchased included a full aluminium body design, OSD (display) and various output options ranging from USB (to enable 32-bit/382kHz functionality as well as a plug & play soundcard) as well as SPDIF/Optical, of which I primarily find myself using due to Gaming requirements – I can’t really tell the difference (true story)!
The headphones: I received this as a Christmas present from my wife and have fallen in love with her all over again because of it. The Sennheiser HD600 open headphones are incredible, punch out very good treble and bass. The result is a large soundstage and overall quality – whilst keeping my ear drums intact. I generally feel that the bass distorts the gaming experience, but these headphones are perfectly balanced!
I would highly recommend this combination to anyone – quality products that will last for years to come.
(Photos to come soon!)