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need some help choosing my new pair of headphones

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi. since I'm new here, I don't no where to ask question (whether in full size or portable headphones), so i'm just posting in both forum. (excuse me :)) 

 

 

I'm a student who loves listening to musics. 

 

I've been using bose OE series. (I no it's not good headphones after all but considering the fact that I'm just a student and I'd been using apple's earbud til 3 yrs ago, buying bose headphones were a significant improvement XD)

 

But I think it's the time for me to purchase new pair of headphones. When I purchased bose for the first time, I was amazed, but it's been like a yr and I'm quite disappointed on their performance. 

 

I'm happy with my bose oe headphones when I listen to electronic and full bass musics but not classicals and vocals. 

But sadly 99% of musics I really enjoy listen to is all classical(piano & orchestra) and vocals (esp musicals and soundtracks). 

 

I've NEVER tried other headphones before, but I'm pretty sure the sound is not wat I want to hear on bose oe... it seems just wrong...esp classical sounds(I guess it's called treble..) so flat and when I listen to musicals(vocals), the bass is just covering up the entire music and the treble is so sharp and flat.  I felt that from the first... -_- 

I'm no audiophile but every music teachers have been saying I have good ears (playing the piano for 15 yrs). So I guess my ear's okay... at least... :-)

 

 

Anyway, I don't mind whether it's closed type - opened type ; portable or full sized. But I need some great sounding headphones especially for classical musics, musicals and other vocals. 

 

my budget is $600-700 max(live in aus so if it's in the us +$33 for delivery fee). unfortunately... I've heard that with high end headphones I need an amp to produce the full sound... so I would be appreciate if someone could answer how much "okay" amps are... 

 

I don't no anything about headphones. So I'm planning to test out some headphones - sennheiser's and grado's (I believe my ears XD)... 

But I DO NEED your help. 

 

 

Thanks guys. 

 

Oh and my music source is my macbook pro & iPhone unfortunately... I've purchased all my musics from iTunes store T.T since 2006. so got like 30GB of music library... i've heard that the sound quality of musics on iTunes is poor. - this worries me buying new headphones... 


Edited by daniel1406 - 7/22/11 at 5:59am
post #2 of 10

HD600+AMPs like Matrix M Stage or Nuforce Icon HDP, AKG K702, AD1000, W5000, SA5000, DT880 and DT660.

post #3 of 10

Heya,

 

You like classical and vocal and you definitely are into piano. This makes it easy. You can go with and without amp options. Your budget is more than enough for what's needed.

 

First, to enjoy music, you need a quality DAC to feed your headphones. I will recommend one that is a great DAC with tons of inputs and has a built in amplifier that is going to be every bit as good as a separate $200 amp. The Matrix Cube DAC. I have it and blind tested against my Little Dot MK III and it's hard to impossible for me to tell the difference in most circumstances. That's how good it is. The DAC is also a significant upgrade over my portable and soundcard DACs. I could tell right away, blind test revealed a much tighter and more clear and detailed mid/high range across the board for me. Probably the most significant upgrade that I've had in a while that effected all my headphones. I can't recommend it enough. It will satisfy your need for quality source and give you a very decent AMP for a good entry price. It will allow you to grow your headphone collection too; it easily pushes all headphones. It pushes my 600ohm headphones no problem even though it says up to 300ohm. So take that as you will. Not that impedance is a good measurement of power need anyways. Regardless, the thing is powerful and has great source.

 

As for headphones, two headphones immediately come to mind. The AKG 701. Which will be very good for classical and vocals, very detailed, great sound stage, very comfortable for long listening, very light on the bass so that you can hear everything and pick out instruments and hear all the little things that your ears can pick up, it will render them and reveal them so long as your recordings are high quality and lossless. The other headphone I'll suggest is the Grado SR225i. It's got great bright forward mids/highs and still has enough bass to satisfy and not seem as light as the AKG701 for example in that department, so it's good for a more wide variety of musics (though I will say the AKG701's are more comfortable for long listening). The Grado is more portable too, if that matters at all. Since you already like your Bose OE's for electronic and bassy music, no need to change that up, so stick with those for that genre unless you plan on upgrading later (in which case, I suggest you look at the Ultrasone Pro 900's, or on the cheaper end, DT990 600ohms, and then AudioTechnica Pro700 MKII's or Ultrasone HFI 580's).

 

Above all else, before you waste your money, you need to get high quality // lossless source audio. It's imperative. So start borrowing CD's. If you haven't ever done this, I also have another method for you, go to the local library and get an account. Start renting/borrowing CD's. You'd be amazed at how many good CDs are there, for nothing. What you do with that is your business. But it's a great way to enjoy some lossless audio. Also, I cannot recommend enough HDtracks.com; you can get great music for good prices, watch for deals/specials. And of course, another great way is to simply borrow CD's from friends/family and even join CD-swap-groups here on the forum if you can find one. Either way, you must get high quality source or you will not like having spent $700 on some gear to listen to some junk compressed stuff that will sound worse than what it sounds like to you now when everything starts being obvious in terms of congested compression and loss of frequencies to said compression. You want lossless. No exceptions. I can hear the difference between 320kbps and FLAC (lossless), so again, go lossless or you may not like what you hear. I can't stress that enough combined with having a good DAC/source.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 7/22/11 at 11:07am
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

thx for the tips !!

 

I really appreciate it. 

post #5 of 10
Denon.
post #6 of 10

The AKG K701 with a nice matching amp will probably be your best bet.

post #7 of 10

I'm going against the grain here, but I thought the K701 was pretty boring and lacked involvement. No, it's not b/c they were underpowered. I heard them from a friend who had those and the Valhalla. DAC was something from Audio-GD.

post #8 of 10

I think you'll be happier with open headphones. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Croozer View Post

Denon.


 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi. thx for the tips guys. 

 

I've got one more questions which would sound really dumb to u guys... 

 

1. so say I bought a pair of headphones, I need to connect an amp to my macbook pro? so like macbook pro or iPod --> amp---> headphones?

2. is grado rs-2 okay without an amp? (directly connected to macbook pro)

3. if I bought a pair of HD600 or 650, can I use them without an amp (I mean til I get an amp). without an amp, would they sound worse than my bose oe?

 

4. If I wanted to buy a good pair of portable headphones (preferably closed type as I would use them outside), wat would u recommend? (budget $500) 

 

5. I've tried beats by dr dre at a local apple store. It sounded ok but unfortunately I couldn't try any classical musics from my iPhone. - I no it's overpriced, and the bass is somehow too exaggerated as well. But in terms of the sound quality, is that "okay" for classicals? I no it sounds stupid but IF I was going for a closed type cans, they gotta be good in both design and sound quality (sound quality is more important btw). 

 

I'm afraid I'm asking so many questions(stupid qs actually) but I would really appreciate if u guys can help me out. I'm a noob but I love musics. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel1406 View Post

Hi. thx for the tips guys. 

 

I've got one more questions which would sound really dumb to u guys... 

 

1. so say I bought a pair of headphones, I need to connect an amp to my macbook pro? so like macbook pro or iPod --> amp---> headphones?

2. is grado rs-2 okay without an amp? (directly connected to macbook pro)

3. if I bought a pair of HD600 or 650, can I use them without an amp (I mean til I get an amp). without an amp, would they sound worse than my bose oe?

 

4. If I wanted to buy a good pair of portable headphones (preferably closed type as I would use them outside), wat would u recommend? (budget $500) 

 

5. I've tried beats by dr dre at a local apple store. It sounded ok but unfortunately I couldn't try any classical musics from my iPhone. - I no it's overpriced, and the bass is somehow too exaggerated as well. But in terms of the sound quality, is that "okay" for classicals? I no it sounds stupid but IF I was going for a closed type cans, they gotta be good in both design and sound quality (sound quality is more important btw). 

 

I'm afraid I'm asking so many questions(stupid qs actually) but I would really appreciate if u guys can help me out. I'm a noob but I love musics. 



1: It depends on the headphones. You don't ever need an amp since any source you use (computer, iPod, etc) will have an amp built in. Some headphones will require more power though, so an amp can potentially make them sound better. A DAC will also be something to consider, it's a digital to analog converter. In short it takes the digital signal (1s and 0s) the computer sends, decodes it to an analog sound (to the music waves), and sends it to your ear. Any source you use (MBP, iPod, etc) will have one (soundcards have DACs) but they aren't the best quality. There are many good entry level-mid-fi level Amp+DAC combos for a good price, or you can buy them separate, it all comes down to preference.

2: The RS-2 are rather high end headphones. They don't particularly need an amp because they are easy to drive, but most who own them would recommend an amp I'm sure.

3: You certainly can use them straight into your MBP. As for sounding better than your Bose, only you can decide that. You may hate the HD600/650 because you're used to Bose. If you don't like your new headphones at first then listen to them for a bit to get used to the way they present music.

4: Check this thread.

5: You should really avoid the Beats, you can find better for cheaper.

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