I'm sure all of you are very tired of answering basically the same answers, but I'll try my luck!
So, I listen to music for hours almost every day, directly from my iMac. I don't have an amp, I just have the HD598's which I actually really like, but I'm going to give them away either way.
Now I'm looking to upgrade, with a budget of about 300$-500$ for the headphones and then I guess I need an amp (and/or DAC as well?).
The models I've been looking at more closely are the following: AKG Q701, Sennheiser 600/650 and Beyerdynamic DT880. Any other suggestions, for over-ear headphones in that price range more or less?
I have listened to them all, except the DT880.. And so far I really like the Q701, except that they have really little bass and I do occasionally listen to music that requires a bit more bass than that.. I also watch a lot of movies. I also listened to the 600/650, but only briefly so I'm not sure about these.
Then about the amp and DAC thing.... Will an amp alone make a noticeable difference? Will a DAC alone make a noticeable difference, more so than just an amp? And will a DAC and amp together make an even more noticeable difference? I was looking at the FiiO desktop models and also this one: LINK which someone recommended because they apparently compete with amps much more expensive..
I'm having a really hard time choosing, so any help is much appreciated!
BTW: Anyone know where I can test some headphones like these in Switzerland? Somewhere in the middle.
The iMac you have been using your HD-598s with already has a DAC in it.
You could plug an external headphone amplifier into your iMac and us it's built in DAC.
You can get a better (external) DAC then what your iMac has, which will improve sound quality.
You will need a new headphone amplifier to go with the new external DAC.
The Senn HD-598s (50-Ohm) can work decently without a headphone amplifier, but sounds better with one.
The AKG Q701 (62-Ohm), Sennheiser 600/650 (300-Ohm) and Beyer DT880 (250-Ohm?) will require you to buy a headphone amplifier for them to work.
The link you has go to a well like portable headphone amplifier, the Objective 2 portable headphone amplifier, hopefully in a month or two, there will be a new Objective 2 headphone amplifier that is a desktop model (AC powered) and comes with a built in DAC of it's own.