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Using non-audiophile headphones a sin?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm addicted to this forum, even though I'm really new to the whole audiophile concept. I love music, and some of my friends do too, but most survive on $20 earbuds whilst appreciating my interest in a polite way. I really want to take the plunge into Audiophilia. At the moment I'm using some Able Planet sound clarity's, which are not audiophile by anyone's standards, but I got them for cheap. Not sure where they scale, but I feel a coming of age upgrade into something gateway is necessary...

I'm willing to spend around 0-$300 (with emphasis on that 300 limit. ie the cost of used senn hd650's probably my cap) for some new/used headphones.

 

have looked into the senn series, from hd500's to 600's

the ATH-AD700's, beyer's dt880/990, denon d2000

 

and in-ears (dba-02, SM3's, IE8's)

 

tried some bose qc3's at the apple store a while back, and I thought they were alright, dare I say nice, compared to my current phones.

If anyone has gone through my phase/still is going through such a phase, please shed some light in this general direction.

 

opinions such as "you don't need to upgrade/buy a cheap amp first" are also a great heads up for me, because I'm at the very foundations of knowledge here, and money is always an issue for us uni students.

 

Speaking of amps, i just ordered a Fiio E5. Yep, cheap as it gets.

also, if there's any other information you want me to include, I'd gladly add that in. for now:

 

age: 20

headphone STYLE preference: generic/mainstream atm (enjoy shiny smooth things like senn's atm, but would like to develop a broader appreciation)

music preference:

-instrumentals and classical,

-mainstream stuff you have on your average phone (base thumping r&b, ne-yo, t-pain, jpop & kpop sometimes)

-some alt (the fray, the script, the killers, simple plan),

-love older stuff too (mj, savage garden, b-52, bloodhound gang)

*I listen to almost everything

 

current setup: E5 amp when that arrives, phone/laptop/$400 sony hifi system bought from the good guys (can I use that as a home amp/DAC? I have no idea...), cx300-ii's and able planet's

 

thanks for your time guys!

 

oh and, if you've got something to sell, hit me up. I live in Sydney.

post #2 of 24

For your music genres I would probably cross off the ad700s even though they are a great headphone their bass impact is quite low and it is more analytical than you would like with mainstream music.
Are you looking for portability or where are you going to be using these? In a dorm with someone you don't want to disturb, a library or at home where it doesn't matter if others can hear you?
I currently have the 880s 600 ohm version and they need an amp even the 32 ohm version need an amp because of very low sensitivity.

Is the sony HiFi system you are talking about a receiver? If it is then it should power the dt880s as I just plugged mine into a 15 year old crappy receiver and it powered them better than my Fiio e7.

Sennheisers would probably do pretty well for your genres although someone who has used them more than I have can probably help with that.

Another headphone that you should most definately consider are the Shure 840s they are a closed headphone and would sound great with the mainstream music. Also they are 140 at amazon right now compared to their normal 200.

I am absolutely loving my dt880s right now and compared to the 990s the dt880s/770s would be a much better choice for your music preferences as the 990s are really not that great.
Whatever you do be happy with your choice and make sure you search around on the FS/FT forum before buying new and post a wanted thread, as buying your headphones used can save you quite a bit of money and they will come burnt in!

Good Luck,
Lane

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the contribution Lane!

 

I'll try be as succinct as I can:

1. I'll be using these in my apartment, but for the sake of my gf I'd prefer something that doesn't disrupt people around me (unless they sound considerably better, in which case I'll just schedule my listening)

2. Yes, my HiFi is a receiver, although the port for headphones is 3.5mm. would adding an adapter to the circuit be disadvantageous to headphones with a natural 6.5mm jack (senn 650's)?

3. I will add the shure's to my potentials list :)

4. I'm also very keen on the dt880's because I think they are the most aesthetic overall. i'll be going to a sydney meetup sometime soon to give all the aforementioned phones a go, although time restraints with each may lead to a slight bias..

5. Yes, too right you are. I have been searching on the FS/FT forum section, just to get a gauge of pricing.

 

once again, thanks for your time. didn't think I'd get replies after a day :)

post #4 of 24

If you want a good cheap introduction into audiophile quality headphones check out the Grado Sr60is or Sr80is.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post

If you want a good cheap introduction into audiophile quality headphones check out the Grado Sr60is or Sr80is.



Oh yeah?? Could you describe what they're like? I think i'm leaning towards the dt880's atm :)

post #6 of 24

I was going to suggest the AKG K271's (They work pretty well with classical for a closed headphone, and I love them for alternative. But they won't have enough bass for most.) to save some money, but if you can stretch for a used DT880, yeah, get that. Your receiver will have a decent amount of power. Oh, and adapters don't really degrade the sound enough to clearly hear, at least if you don't strain to hear it.

post #7 of 24

I have no suggestions to you because I am slowly upgrading my gear too like you. Just thought I should say hi because I live in Sydney too.

post #8 of 24

See if you can get to a local meet or a dealer who will let you audition some stuff. In the meantime, the cheapest possible transition into much better sound quality comes with the Koss KSC75.

 

I bought my gf a pair of these as I couldn't stand seeing her using those white ibudz and they still surprise me how good they sound when I put them on every now and then - even compared to some of my best stuff. They aren't "high end" and won't win awards for clarity or speed or soundstage but their basic sound is very fun and enjoyable; particularly for mainstream music.

 

I've since given her the ATH-M50 but she doesn't listen to them much at all, preferring the humble KSC75, so they'd definitely be a great budget stop-gap while you research your first big buy.

post #9 of 24

Well what do you know -

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/549400/sydney-meet-10-07-2011-unique-melody-schiit-jaben-australia-and-twisted-cables-to-join-us

 

Looks like a good opportunity for you if you can hold off until July.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

I was going to suggest the AKG K271's (They work pretty well with classical for a closed headphone, and I love them for alternative. But they won't have enough bass for most.) to save some money, but if you can stretch for a used DT880, yeah, get that. Your receiver will have a decent amount of power. Oh, and adapters don't really degrade the sound enough to clearly hear, at least if you don't strain to hear it.


Sweet,

 

since I'm still a newbie in the audiophile world, bass is appreciated, and I'm willing to fork around 200-300 bucks for a used set of cans. i think i'll attend the sydney meetup first before deciding.

 

thanks for your input!

 

 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrAdrian View Post

I have no suggestions to you because I am slowly upgrading my gear too like you. Just thought I should say hi because I live in Sydney too.



chyeahh headfi neighbours!

 

are you attending the meetup on 10/07/11? I'll be there. plenty of time to post http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/549400/sydney-meet-10-07-2011-unique-melody-schiit-jaben-australia-and-twisted-cables-to-join-us Hope you come along!!

 

what have you got atm? I'm keen on learning from someone in a similar position!

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

Heyo EddieE,

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

See if you can get to a local meet or a dealer who will let you audition some stuff. In the meantime, the cheapest possible transition into much better sound quality comes with the Koss KSC75.

 

I've since given her the ATH-M50 but she doesn't listen to them much at all, preferring the humble KSC75, so they'd definitely be a great budget stop-gap while you research your first big buy.


 

Oh wow. I just searched the koss' online, and they're a steal! I was considering getting the M50's too. This changes things a bit.. What would you compare the KSC75 to, in terms of performance? I may get a pair just for when I go outside, but I've also got the sennheiser cx300 ii which I bought for a similar price. is that comparable?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

Well what do you know -

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/549400/sydney-meet-10-07-2011-unique-melody-schiit-jaben-australia-and-twisted-cables-to-join-us

 

Looks like a good opportunity for you if you can hold off until July.

 

haha yeah, I posted to em the other day. Not sure if i'll be able to resist the temptation for a month though - will need to stay away from the fs/ft section of the forum.

 

thanks for the input, and feel free to add more recommendations as you seem quite experienced in the field

 

post #13 of 24
You can check my profile for my set of gears but most of them are second hand and I am still learning to appreciate them. I bought the koss as a present for someone lol but have not listened to it extensively. Maybe I should borrow it and ab it with the ms1.
post #14 of 24

I'd look for deals in the forums.  I think everyone should have a set of grados at some point - they sound very different then any other phone in the price range - a lot of poeple think they sound too bright but for me they make everything else sound boring and dark.  Though grado's may be hard to come by in Australia?? I have and like the HD650's and though they are not too hard to power (and they scale well) I really don't think they'd pair very well with the low powered e5.  e11 maybe but if it was for your apartment the e9 powers any normal HP and sounds amazing at it's price.  But the important thing is the headphone and that's totally up to you.  I think all the Senss with a number <600 (so not including the hd600) are much easier to power than the higher number ones. I like the 880s too but I'd obviously not recco the higher impendance models. The m50s are VERY popular on here but I didn't really care for them at all. I've never paid attention to how active the forums are for Australia but if you get a popular pair from there you should be able to resell them just as easily and then try something else.  Going to a meet should be a priority.

post #15 of 24

Just starting out myself, I find that I like "side-grading" rather than upgrading for the time being. I know that there won't be an "ultimate headphone", at least not anywhere near what I can afford. With this in mind, I'm conceding the fact that some headphones are better for some genres than others. Since I listen to lots of genres (and it seems like you do too), I use several mid-fi headphones for different types of music, rather than trying to get a hi-fi all-arounder. 

 

For Hip-Hop and Electronic-based music, I go to my Ultrasones. 

For guitar-based rock music, I immediately reach for my Grados.

For jazz, classical or folk rock, I'm putting on my AKGs. 

 

I find that all of them excel more than the others at certain aspects, so it's nice to have different flavors. 

 

Instead of blowing your $300 budget on one pair of headphones, can I suggest spending about 100-150 on complimentary sets of headphones? 

 

I'm thinking the Ultrasone DJ1 or HFI-580 (135ish on Amazon) would be a great set for your j-pop and mainstream music. The bass is fantastic for the price, and since it's a closed-back design, you can use them whenever you require some noise isolation.

 

For a complimentary set, I'd recommend either the Audio-Technica AD700 (95-ish on Amazon) or Grado SR60/SR80 (79 or 99). Both are open-backed so you'll get a more airy sound. The AD700 will have a laid-back signature and expansive soundstage. The Grados will be engaging and in-your-face with lots of treble and detail. 

 

Just my two cents. 

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