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One of many...

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

 

 

Sorry if the post is deceiving, but hear me out. I am a month- 2 month long lurker of these forums that needed some questions answered. The reason I'm making this thread is to get suggestions and thoughts on what to gear to get for my needs. Which brings me here. I need headphones, I don't really care how they look. So much so that I don't care if kids go around sticking signs on me that say "kick me cuz I look funny with these on". I care only for sound quality and then maybe looks. 
 
So far I was able to narrow down my choice  to the HD 650 solely on what I have read and understood for the price point. I understand that because of the "amazing" (I have no way of confirming this personally) bass it makes it a "dark" sounding set of cans that require a headphone amp. (And perfectly honest because of my occupation I'm mostly a bass head. But I love Sennheiser products even If I can't spell the campanies' name half the time. Because, be it in the studio or on stage, it hasn't failed me.). This is all fine and dandy but in reality I have somewhat specific needs. 
 
First and foremost, I am a performing musician, then composer and producer. (Basically I like my music from beginning to end ^^.) And I know how all of the instruments that I listen to sound like on a venue, hall, heck even a classroom. So I need something that will stay true to the sound but wont leave me broke. And another thing that should be mentioned, because of the lifestyle of a musician/computer guy requires me to leave my house in the morning and only come back at night time. I need something somewhat portable in respect of the amp. Someone in the forums said they had results by pairing their HD 650's with some head stage arrow portable amp. Again I am open for suggestions. 
 
I plan on having this rig be: 
 
-Headphone
-portable amp
-source 
 
In all 3 areas I'm open for suggestions. But please keep the above in mind. My budget would be up to $400 on the headphones, and up to $300 for the source player and amp respectively. By doing this I'll be able to hold off long enough on a sound system set up for the studio/personal listening space that don't involve headphones (not that there is anything wrong with them ^_-).

 

As for "expensive listening experience" unfortunetly the best I've heard were the Dr.Dre beats full size headphones that for some reason run for like $300-400.

 

post #2 of 48
First of all I hope you won't be disappointed when buying headphones. as you must know that they are not at all good for most studio work. For that you would need speakers.

Since you want to use a portable amp I'd suggest not getting an HD650. This is because an HD650 is fairly hard to drive, and I don't know any battery operated portable amps that can do this. However that is talking about battery operated amps, but from what I understand you only need a movable rig. That is one you can put in a back pack and carry around from place to place, but only listen to with a wall wart available.

And since you were asking about a source as well I take it that you have no source what so ever? In that case are you looking to buy a digital audio player (e.g. an iPod)? Or are you looking more towards a laptop.
In the latter case I suggest getting a laptop and a DAC/AMP combo, such as the cheap but excellent NFB-12.
post #3 of 48

If you want your headphone portable, HD650 is horrid

 

Basshead

 

Go Pro900

Lots of bass, good bass btw. Without distorting the rest of the sound. Great sound, great soundstage with great bass without changing anything and portable to the point of fullsized.

 

Get a FiiO E7+E9 combo and a Clip+ with a Micro SD card with the rest.

 

That is you will ever need.

 

The portable:

Proo900

E7

Clip+

 

Home:

Pro900

E7+E9

Computer/receiver/any source.

post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies keep them coming. I will look into what you guys have given me on my next stop currently on the road and post accordingly. I forgot to mention that I usually do carry a laptop, and my phone which serves as my FLAC player at the moment. (EVO 4G) Not the best but it is something.

 

Note that although Im a basshead my genres of music do range from classical, jazz, rock, some metal, techno. Think of a genre and I probably have something, heck I think I even have some bluegrass around. ^^

post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenjuku View Post

Thank you for the replies keep them coming. I will look into what you guys have given me on my next stop currently on the road and post accordingly. I forgot to mention that I usually do carry a laptop, and my phone which serves as my FLAC player at the moment. (EVO 4G) Not the best but it is something.

 

Note that although Im a basshead my genres of music do range from classical, jazz, rock, some metal, techno. Think of a genre and I probably have something, heck I think I even have some bluegrass around. ^^

Think of any genre, huh? What about lolicore?

Anyway in your case a semi-portable usb DAC/amp would be ideal. And I would choose something easier to drive than the HD 650.
You can get something like the Icon HDP, or the FiiO E7/E9 combo.

A headphone that comes to mind would be the Alessandro MS-2. It shouldn't be too difficult to drive, and I have been hearing great things about it recently.
I think Grado has some good cans that would fit you're requirements, but I think Grado usually makes slightly bright headphones that might lack bass. Not %100 sure about all headphones though.
post #6 of 48

Alessandro MS-2 or MS-Pro - they're a working man's Grado, some may say they are colored but they are sold as a working headphone nonetheless.

 

And I have heard of guys mixing with a Grado 325i. Bound to cause some controversy, but there you go.

 

 

post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

Alessandro MS-2 or MS-Pro - they're a working man's Grado, some may say they are colored but they are sold as a working headphone nonetheless.

 

And I have heard of guys mixing with a Grado 325i. Bound to cause some controversy, but there you go.

 

 



IOHFopind;fuahjp'jnciuwnwec

 

Ok whatever

 

Alessandros are more mids and a little less clarity IMO

 

I just like Grado.

post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 

hmm well I guess really hard to be factual with headphone. I have heard of a decent amount of the aforementioned headphones. So just to be clear. None of these headphones are "flat" per say because of the companies sound signature and or personal opinion? If so, I think Im starting to understand why I've read that many people have a collection of headphones. But a point was made earlier, what is it that makes the HD 650 so hard to drive? In the mean time now that I have internet I'll look around with what you guys have given me so far. Really appreciate it.

post #9 of 48

Heya,

 

Hrm, let's see. Do you really need to spend $700 for this?

 

Check this out:

 

AKG K272 HD (Headphone)

FiiO E7 (Portable AMP/DAC)

Source: Whatever has large storage, can play lossless, and can output to an amplifier with good battery life. iPod? Fuze?

 

Inexpensive way to do that.

 

Very best,

post #10 of 48
I think it would be fairly difficult to say in technical terms why the HD650 is so hard to drive.
Partly due to the high impedance, but sensitivity of the drivers also plays a large role. Anyway they are rated for 500mW at 300Ohm, which is more than you're average headphone needs.
As a rule of thumb the more expensive the headphone gets, the more dependent it is on being properly amped. While not applying to all cases, it is true that most high end (what I call >$250) headphones benefit greatly from an amp.

And it's true that all the headphones have a different sound signature, and usually a company picks the same sound signature for most of their cans.
E.g. Grado tends to be slightly bright, while Sennheiser tends to be veiled. Some people like one sound over the other.
Getting used to a certain sound signature is also important. You may hate a headphone first, but as you listen to it more and more you might be able to appreciate it's (hidden) qualities.
This is why some people may prefer a $300 can over a $1500 can, despite the latter greatly outperforming the first on technical aspects.
post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Hrm, let's see. Do you really need to spend $700 for this?

 

Check this out:

 

AKG K272 HD (Headphone)

FiiO E7 (Portable AMP/DAC)

Source: Whatever has large storage, can play lossless, and can output to an amplifier with good battery life. iPod? Fuze?

 

Inexpensive way to do that.

 

Very best,




Yeah, I know the numbers are pretty high, but its just that I dont want to pay for equipment that ill need to upgrade anytime soon. After all I am I guy that believes that overkill is highly underrated ^_^. But yeah as it stands this is my budget because I need my money for other things and tuition.

 

On another note.

 

Ok guys so far the E7 & E9 rig has me pretty convinced. For what I understood Its a combo set up that can be used separate from each other. And it seems that I can get some good use out of it with headphones until I go ahead and by some studio mixing monitors/etc. For the sourse I will stick to my phone and laptop that both hold my FLAC ripped collection.

 

So now that those are both out of the way now I need to decide on are the headphones. As Tilpo mentioned very early on, I do understand that not all of these headphones are recommended for studio use. And I also came to the understanding that I will have to compromise between studio flatness and basshead preferance. I'll go ahead and go for the studio flatness since some EQ adjustment should help if I need more bass.

 

So far you guys are suggesting:

 

Grado (Apperently bright)

Alessandro (mids but not much clarity?)

Pro900

 

Well since I'm new to this and I'm going all out might as well go with something new. But as it stands I am sensitive bright treble. Like I can enjoy a violin solo live but its hard for me say that I enjoy the thought of that being played brighter through headphones. So I think grado might be out of the question (sigh i actually did like the fact that some of them had wood on them). As for the other two I'm looking into them.

 

The above is only my thoughts so far. If anyone feels like convincing me otherwise you are very welcome to do so.

 

EDIT: Ok I guess I skipped a big component here. Open or closed. Sigh. As it stands I honestly dont know the difference. With all the headphones Ive tried out they ended being either in ear earbuds, or closed back headphones. So all I have to compare to in this category would be the things being said online about them. What are your experiences with them? and if possible please state your personal comparisons cons and pros would be appreciated from people that have tried both types. And as always thank you.


Edited by Kenjuku - 9/6/11 at 1:13am
post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 

bump anyone?

post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

<snip>
Since you want to use a portable amp I'd suggest not getting an HD650. This is because an HD650 is fairly hard to drive, and I don't know any battery operated portable amps that can do this. <snip>

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

I think it would be fairly difficult to say in technical terms why the HD650 is so hard to drive.
<Snip>


Uh no.  I just spent 5 days without power (hurricane Irene) listening to the 650s from my portable amps and a Sansa Fuze, and guess what, it was even loud enough right from the Fuze.

 

orig.jpg

 

 

post #14 of 48
Loudness is not the only reason to use an amp.
In my opinion the HD 650 sounds miles better when properly amped than without an amp. Sure you can use it without an amp, but if you really want to reach it's full potential then an amp is a necessity.

Other headphones can be driven to full potential from a portable amp, the HD 650 not so much. But I have to admit that this is not based on personal experience, but rather on opinions posted on this very forum.

Amps I have used to listen to the HD 650 directly:

iPod Classic 6G 120GB - Not very loud, but gets the job done. Highs and lows are suppressed quite a bit, and it sounds no where near as good as on my Little Dot.
Asus Xonar DS - Get's the loudness done, but with relatively high Windows volume. I still feel a lack of detail, especially in the lows.
Audio GD NFB-12 Headphone output - Works fine, no loss of detail. Normal listening levels are at around 12 O'clock high gain.
Little Dot MKIV SE - Works fine, no loss of detail. Sounds better than the NFB-12, but not by large. Hard to describe the exact differences.


The final parts for me building a mini3 will arrive somewhere beginning next week. It might take some time for me to build it, but after that I can comment on how well portable amps work on the HD 650.

But essentially all that I was saying is that the HD 650 is fairly picky on amps (not near as picky as the K701 though). A good amp really is the best friend of an HD 650.
Compared to my HD 25-1 II, which benefits only marginally from an amp. And it doesn't really matter that much what amp. (i.e. I tested it on both my NFB-12 directly and from my Little Dot, but was unable to detect a difference)
Edited by Tilpo - 9/8/11 at 11:19pm
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 

Tilpo's got a point. If I only wanted loudness, I really wouldn't be asking for an amp to properly drive the headphones. So far amp wise I really considering the E7+E9. Very practical in my eyes. But yeah at the moment I was able to decide on close back headphones. Since most of my listening will be done while at school so I really don't want noise bleeding in or out. That way I wont have to crank anything too high to hear it.

 

So so far I narrowed the suggestions to:

 

Headphones : Some $400 or less closed back headphones with no coloring. Sound signiture wise I would like it to not have any frequency drop. If that's not possible I would like it to have outstanding bass and complimenting mids and highs. At the moment if you need reference on what I'm gonna be listening here is a small list. dubstep, Bach violin pieces, red hot chili peppers, weather report, Hiromi, Victor Wooten, Break of reality, Marcus Miller, Han Zimmer.

 

Portable amp: E7+E9 combo.

 

Source: FLAC/CD from either laptop or phone.

 

If anyone has any more suggestions to contribute especially in the headphones department please post. I just ask to give your experience and or specifics on it.

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