Alright well I'm ready to take the dive and buy some new headphones. But I can't do it without the help from you guys! I have been doing some research around Head-Fi and found that for my price range, the Sennheiser HD650's, Hifiman HE-400's and Grado SR325is' seem to be the best available. So my first question is what are your takes on these cans?
- I currently have a pair of Ultrasone HFI-780's and Etymotic HF5's which I use with a Fiio E11 amp
- I listen to a pretty wide range of music, but it mainly comes down to rock and alternative with occasonal electronic (but I can use the Ultrasone's for electronic music)
- I play the bass guitar, so having a headphone that I can fully experience the bass in other songs is very important to me, but I do not want it to be too over powering that it takes away from the music
- I mainly listen to music off of my iPhone 4S
I will also be planning on buying an amp and possibly a DAC, which leads me to my second and third questions as well.
So I am thinking that I will need a portable amp, so based on your recommendation for the pair of headphones, what portable amp should I get in the $300 price range? I've read that the HD650's require a pretty good amp, so will that price range be able to showcase their sound?
And lastly because I use my iPhone as my main player, should I invest in a DAC that is compatible with the iPhone? If so, what do you recommend that is either an amp/DAC or just a DAC that works with the iPhone?
Thanks guys so much for the help! And you have any other suggestions aside from what I mentioned, please do tell!
I'd scratch the 325s of your list (Grado woodies have much better bass and treble). And if you're going to put $300 towards an amp I'd scratch the others off too and get HE500 and the cheapest amp that will work out the line out of your ipod. The sound difference between different amps and dacs are tiny compared to headphones, and the HE500 sound noticeably better than any <$1000 headphone I've heard. Then go steal your uncle's vintage amp and use that for home.
I agree that the Grado RS line has better bass, but the 325is, that sits on top of the Grado SR line, does quite well. It's a full step up from the 225i in the bass department.
The HE-500 is a great can, but much more expensive than anything on the list. Is there a portable amp/dac that will properly drive the HE-500? If so what does it cost? I don't know of any, but I am not a portable amp expert and don't know all that is out there.