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What setup should I get for under 300$?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone I'm new to these forums and am a general newbie with this stuff so any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to get a setup for around 300$, nothing too crazy. A mp3 player, an amp, and some headphones, and maybe a cool dock cable or something. Looking around myself I've come up with some ideas but I'm not sure. I was looking at maybe a sansa fuze then buying a sd card which should run my about 75$. I saw a Fiio e7 amp for around 100$. And then I was looking at maybe getting a pair of sony mdr-v700 headphones for like 90$. Any suggestions for comments?

post #2 of 30
Chances are you won't need a amp nor a "cool cable", don't get sucked into the "they look cool and professional I want one" trap. It gets a lot of unsuspecting new Head-Fiers ;)

With $300 (I'm assuming US?) I personally would first decide what source you are willing to live with. You could go something cheap like a trusty Sansa Clip+ or Fuze, even the S:flo2 if it takes your fancy, a big touch screen for movies which would be something like a Cowon J3 or S9 or something with a higher capacity like a 7th or 5/5.5th generation iPod.

Second, put the rest of your budget towards headphones/IEM's. (In Ear Monitors if you were wondering). An investment in headphones will give you the biggest audible improvement per $ so keep that in mind when deciding how much you are willing to spend on a source.
Keep in mind you have to decide if you want headphones for portable use, or home use. Then you have to decide if you want actual headphones, IEMs or Earphones.

There are a lot of decisions and a lot of things to be sucked into. Try not to fall for the first trap I mentioned. When buying a new set up it's the easiest to fall into.

I hope I helped, keep us informed! :)
Edited by Hero Kid - 6/28/10 at 1:21am
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advice,  for headphones I wanted over the ear headphones not in the ear ones, I would like something that doesn't leak a lot of sound and I would like them to have some good bass.  As for the source, I'm not too picky I don't really need touch screen, videos are a plus but not needed, I rather something that sounds good and play flac. I would like it to be reasonably portable, and yes by 300$ I meant U.S dollars. So basically whats the best setup I can get for under 300$. I've seen those little Fiio E5 for 20 bucks but I wonder how much it really does. Any other opinions?


Edited by fcpchop88 - 6/28/10 at 11:25am
post #4 of 30
In my opinion if you want to enter the realm of portable set-ups the best DAP to start you off would be something like the Sansa Cip+ or Sansa Fuze. They are both fantastic players and I mean that. They are cheap, have a great neutral sound, both have native FLAC support, expansion slots, slot and normal FM radio not to mention you can rockbox them. For me I chose the Clip+ over the Fuze because I didn't need a big screen and valued the small size over a bigger screen and larger battery life. There are other great players out there but on a limited budget looking for a new player and 'phones you are better getting better 'phones like I said before. Hence why I keep saying the Clip+/Fuze is the way to go.
Other members may think differently but this is my opinion.

Ok moving on, if you want headphones that don't leak much sound you definitely have to look at the Sennheiser HD 25 -1 II. I recommend you look into it but when I did research into what portable headphones to buy they came up as the best for me. You should certainly read this thread http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-36-portable-headphones-compared-beyerdynamic-dt235-added-05-29 by |joker| who compares 36 portable headphones. It's a brilliant place to start, but remember there are more headphones out there then what he has reviewed.

You may consider me bias as I own both the Clip+ and HD 25's but I did my research before buying either, so I know where you are coming from. Ultimately I can only point you in the "right" direction but the decisions are yours to make. After all it'll be you using this stuff and not me.

I don't really know what would be the cheapest you could get any of this stuff in the US, but I'd think it should squeeze into the $300 mark.

As for the Fiio E5 it's largely just a toy. It has a nice bass boot feature but besides that you are probably reducing the SQ of most sources by adding one.

Hopefully you'll get some more opinions other than just me...
Just be warned, you will come up with more and more options so if you keep coming back to anything, you should probably just get it. People can suggest new things till the cows come home and it can all get a bit confusing. Try not to get bogged down ;)
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your advice. yea I was leaning towards getting a Fuze, It seems pretty good way to get started for the price. I like the idea of longer battery life and possibly videos over the clip but I read somewhere that it can't take the same sdhc card which confused me. I also like that it has a LO, but apparently not a "true" one. I could get that for around 75$ so that leaves me another 200$ or so. What are some good headphones options for around 100-150$ that wont leak much?  finally an amp around 100$ as well, something like the Fiio E7, ibasso t4, nuforce icon mobile, or mabye a Garys PA2V2 amp I seem to hear a lot about on these forums, anybody have some insight to which is better? Thanks again any and all opinions are welcome :)


Edited by fcpchop88 - 6/28/10 at 7:42pm
post #6 of 30
I keep telling you, spending that $100 on better headphones rather than an amp will give you the best SQ improvements per $. Amps come into play when you are trying to get more power to drive higher impedance headphones or you are trying to squeeze the last sonic details from your source.
Don't fall for the trap that they look cool and professional! Put the money towards better headphones! Trust me.
post #7 of 30

^I agree with hero kid.  Get a quality IEM with high sensitivity and great isolation, you will not need to carry an amp, and carrying amp get tiresome after awhile.  Forget about an amp,  pour all the doe toward an excellent IEM, you will not regret it.

 

Edit:  Didn't realized you were looking for over the ear, I still highly recommend IEMs, they are great for portable use.


Edited by High_Q - 6/28/10 at 9:20pm
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero Kid View Post

I keep telling you, spending that $100 on better headphones rather than an amp will give you the best SQ improvements per $. Amps come into play when you are trying to get more power to drive higher impedance headphones or you are trying to squeeze the last sonic details from your source.
Don't fall for the trap that they look cool and professional! Put the money towards better headphones! Trust me.


Yup, forget the amp.

post #9 of 30

I second what Hero Kid said. Very good advice :)

 

Those shiny looking amps definitely catch people's eyes...

 

If you plan to use your computer as source then a soundcard or a DAC is good though.


Edited by KLS - 6/28/10 at 9:48pm
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

I  should have mentioned I would be using the amp/dac for my computer as well if I got it, quite a bit actually when I'm home, then take it with me to go with my mp3 player, I would probably end up listening to it more from my computer then anything now that I think about it. But either way any suggestions on headphones then? Like I said I'm willing to spend more than 100$ U.S on a set, nothing too expensive though. I read so many reviews but always seem to get mixed results. Definitely think I'm going with a fuze, so that much I have decided. I'm about to order one then get the headphones next, I just don't want to get an expensive pair of phones that won't live up to their expectations without an amp then I gotta go buy an amp and I just end up spending too much. But like I said all advice and opinions are welcome. I was hoping to hear from some people who have tried various headphones and get their opinion on them, that link to thread comparing the headphones was helpful but I didn't quite find a pair that fit into my genre.


Edited by fcpchop88 - 6/29/10 at 10:51am
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcpchop88 View Post

I  should have mentioned I would be using the amp/dac for my computer as well if I got it, quite a bit actually when I'm home, then take it with me to go with my mp3 player, I would probably end up listening to it more from my computer then anything now that I think about it. But either way any suggestions on headphones then? Like I said I'm willing to spend more than 100$ U.S on a set, nothing too expensive though. I read so many reviews but always seem to get mixed results. Definitely think I'm going with a fuze, so that much I have decided, I'm about to order one then get the headphones next.


Headphones.. I would recommend the Shure 440s although they might be a little too big for you. The 840s are better all around but they're a little more expensive than the price you gave...

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 

Yea I should mention I am small and have a small head so I don't want anything too large and it needs to be semi-portable, thanks though I'll look into them.

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

I've been looking into ath-m50s which I seem to hear good things about and can be found for a pretty good price, I wonder though is it worth it to go for something just a little more expensive like the hd-25 II mentioned before?

post #14 of 30
I too was first set on getting M-50's but opted for the HD-25's after months of research. They are far superior headphones, and for the price it's well worth going the next level. You may think otherwise and so be it, that's just my opinion.
Also, can I ask you fcpchop88, what (if anything) is it that you don't like about the HD 25's?
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

honestly I don't see much not to like about them at all, they along with a few other pairs fit my needs pretty well. I just wonder if there was any another pair for cheaper that had better or equal sound quality for less money before I commit to buying. I'm really starting to lean towards the hd-25s to be honest. How are they in terms of comfort? Are there any cons you can think of? Out of curiosity exactly what setup do you currently have Hero Kid? Thanks again for your input BTW.


Edited by fcpchop88 - 6/29/10 at 10:09pm
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