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Recommendations for headphones, , approx $250-300

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

First time here; I'm looking to upgrade my current audio setup to a set of full cans (looking at AKG 701/2, Senn 598, 600, 650, Grado 325is, Beyer 880/990 so far; I've tried the AKGs and the 598s, both of which I liked, but didn't have a ton of time to try them, so didn't form any major opinions). Basically, I'm just looking for recommendations as to what you guys prefer, both paired with a DAC/Amp (I'd be playing music off my macbook pro), and on their own. I know that the best way to pick headphones is to actually try them for myself, but there are very few opportunities to do so where I live; I'll probably order two pairs and return one, but I need to narrow down my list some first. Also, any DAC/Amp suggestions would be great, for something in the $150-200 range.

Thanks!

post #2 of 8

$300 for cans

$200 for DAC/amp also

 

Hd598 with FiiO E7+E9 combo

 

call up J&R to get the HD598 for $180 shipped states

 

Go Grado SR325i is you can't afford a amp with them because you don't need a Amp, but I recommend getting a DAC that will make your SQ better. NuForce if pretty good, but it's not needed at this EXACT moment so you can wait

 

HD598 are like Grado, Great Highs, Great mids, ENOUGH lows and great detail and clarity. But they differ since they have more soundstage (which isn't always a good thing. This is a preference) recessed mids a bit due to the bass

 

Grado on the other hand are the same but more forward so the listening sounds personal. If you liked the HD598 but found it kinda boring, Grado would be way better. 

 

 

I would go Grado even if you can afford the amp because they just get better. I always say this: Buy as much Grado you can afford.

post #3 of 8

Heya,

 

Shure 940 with a TubeMagic D1.

 

Sub in Grado SR225i for Grado. Sub in HD598 for Sennheiser. Sub in DT880 for BeyerDynamic. Sub in HFI 2400 for Ultrasone. Sub in K701 for AKG.

 

Hard to recommend a headphone since you didn't list what you're planning on listening to. Some headphones are great for one thing, but bad for another.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help. I was looking at the FiiOs, but was a bit confused: the e7 appeared to me to be both a DAC and an Amp, while the E9 is only an Amp (I think), yet they're supposed to be paired. Am I wrong about the e7 also being an amp, or is the E9's amp just better? And in that (latter) case, why not buy a dedicated DAC instead of the E7 (along with the E9), and not spend money on two amps?

As for what I listen to; my tastes are pretty eclectic, but I can give you an idea: Favorite artists include Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, Rush, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Chili Peppers, Pink Martini, and lots of others. So... I guess I would say rock, some sort-of pop, mostly older music. I'm also a cellist, so I listen to classical music quite frequently. I generally do not listen to rap, hip-hop, electronic, or jazz. I like bass, but it doesn't need to be overpowering.

Hope that helps!

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerborg View Post

Thanks for the help. I was looking at the FiiOs, but was a bit confused: the e7 appeared to me to be both a DAC and an Amp, while the E9 is only an Amp (I think), yet they're supposed to be paired. Am I wrong about the e7 also being an amp, or is the E9's amp just better? And in that (latter) case, why not buy a dedicated DAC instead of the E7 (along with the E9), and not spend money on two amps?

As for what I listen to; my tastes are pretty eclectic, but I can give you an idea: Favorite artists include Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, Rush, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Chili Peppers, Pink Martini, and lots of others. So... I guess I would say rock, some sort-of pop, mostly older music. I'm also a cellist, so I listen to classical music quite frequently. I generally do not listen to rap, hip-hop, electronic, or jazz. I like bass, but it doesn't need to be overpowering.

Hope that helps!



synergy

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerborg View Post

Thanks for the help. I was looking at the FiiOs, but was a bit confused: the e7 appeared to me to be both a DAC and an Amp, while the E9 is only an Amp (I think), yet they're supposed to be paired. Am I wrong about the e7 also being an amp, or is the E9's amp just better? And in that (latter) case, why not buy a dedicated DAC instead of the E7 (along with the E9), and not spend money on two amps?

As for what I listen to; my tastes are pretty eclectic, but I can give you an idea: Favorite artists include Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, Rush, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Chili Peppers, Pink Martini, and lots of others. So... I guess I would say rock, some sort-of pop, mostly older music. I'm also a cellist, so I listen to classical music quite frequently. I generally do not listen to rap, hip-hop, electronic, or jazz. I like bass, but it doesn't need to be overpowering.

Hope that helps!


Heya,

 

The E7 specifically docks into the E9, it's built to compliment. It's not required. Any DAC can feed the E9. It's just one of those kind of things where the E7 feeds the E9 when you're at home for more power. And when you're ready to go portable, you pick up the E7 and go. So it's two amps, one portable, one desktop, and one DAC to feed them both. It's a great synergistic product, good amps, and a decent enough DAC for the total cost and it's ability to power nearly any headphone you plug into it (E9 that is).

 

Your tastes would sound great on a Grado SR225i (open) if you want some energy behind the mids/highs. Otherwise, the Shure 940 (closed) would be excellent too.

 

Very best,

post #7 of 8
You can get an akg q701 and a used schiit valhalla.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, that makes sense, thanks MalVeaux. Is it possible to run the E7 as a pure (no-amp) DAC with a different headphone amp (like a schiit), or is that functionality only available when paried with the E9? Also, are you recommending the 225is instead of the 325 for budget reasons, value reasons (they're not worth the extra $100), or because they would actually perform better than the 325is with my music?

Just read a review of the Valhalla, looks good; do you have a recommendation for where to find used audio components like that? I've looked some on ebay, but haven't had much success. Also, I believe that the Valhalla is just an amp, so since my source is a laptop, I assume that the valhalla's abilities would be wasted without a decent DAC, is that true? In that case, my budget for that DAC wouldn't be great; would the streamer II be an ok choice?

 

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