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HD650 vs. HD800

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on making my first major investment into Hi-Fi audio, at least full sized ones. I've been doing tons of reading on both the headphones in the title and I understand that the HD800 beats out the HD650 in almost every contestable area but I'm at a serious fork in the road here.

 

I'm willing to invest in the HD800 if it really comes down to it. I understand that I will always need to acquire some serious equipment to go along with it but is it really $1000 USD better than the HD650s (excluding the whole personal preference perspective some mention)? I really need some help deciding because this is some serious cash to drop.

 

And also, if I end up getting the HD650s, what kind of amp should be using with it? I've heard a lot of good things about the ZERO amp mentioned here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/269458/review-zero-24-bit-192khz-dac-headphone-amp-pre-amp

 

but I'm skeptical of it because of it's price even though it has fantastic reviews. I already have the HT|Omega Claro Halo which I understand has if not great at least decent abilities of driving high end headphones. If I went with the HD650s + the ZERO would it be an improvement upon just my sound card and HD650s? I would really appreciate any input on this.

post #2 of 53

You better like classical music

 

It's the only thing I found them good for.

 

IMO

post #3 of 53

What about a cheap electrostat system? Some people prefer that to the HD800 properly amped.

post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyPuppy View Post

What about a cheap electrostat system? Some people prefer that to the HD800 properly amped.



Well I always say:

 

If you're going to buy a flagship, spend the regular price or more on the system to run them. Otherwise, you're not getting what you paid for.

 

OP, anyone would be happy with a HD650. Get a FiiO E7+E9 to drive them and enjoy.

post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response BoyByte, I see the FiiO  E7 + E9 name used a lot in combination with each. I'm assuming they are some sort of trade staple in the Head-Fi community? And also would the E7 also work to improve the SQ on my SE535s which I use for commuting?

post #6 of 53

Both are great cans. And yes, properly amping the HD800s will get pricey.  (Note: the HD800s are awesome with everything i've heard when amped properly)

 

If it's between those two cans i'd suggest getting the HD650, saving yourself some money that way, and get an AMP and a DAC.

 

Suggestion for the amp would be a Schiit Valhalla.

 

I have never heard the Zero amp you linked so can't comment on how it powers the HD650.

post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSquirt View Post

Thanks for your response BoyByte, I see the FiiO  E7 + E9 name used a lot in combination with each. I'm assuming they are some sort of trade staple in the Head-Fi community? And also would the E7 also work to improve the SQ on my SE535s which I use for commuting?



Amps don't improve sound

 

And they are a good starter set of DAC/Amps that are useful while being versatile.

post #8 of 53
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the amp suggestion PanamaRed, but the Vahalla seems to be quite the price jump from the E7 + E9 suggestion. But it is a tube amp which I'm given to understand is often better than digital ones. I see you personally own both the HD650s and the Valhalla, do you have personal experience using those two in conjunction you can share? Also I see that the Valhalla includes no DAC component and the E7 + E9s do which leads towards that combo rather than the Valhalla. Have you had experience with the E7 or E9?

post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSquirt View Post

Thanks for your response BoyByte, I see the FiiO  E7 + E9 name used a lot in combination with each. I'm assuming they are some sort of trade staple in the Head-Fi community? And also would the E7 also work to improve the SQ on my SE535s which I use for commuting?


Neither are optimal.  They are often purchased as starter amps when just foraying tentatively into the hobby or for low impedance cans.  Neither would do the 650 or the 800 justice.  I've you're not willing to invest at least a grand in your source/dac/amp + the price of the HD800, then just get the 650 (and use the thousand bucks you saved on the rest of your chain.  Also, there are many who prefer the 600 to the 650 so you might want to research that as well.

 

Or you can avoid this hobby altogether and save a lot of money down the road.

 

post #10 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post




Neither are optimal.  They are often purchased as starter amps when just foraying tentatively into the hobby or for low impedance cans.  Neither would do the 650 or the 800 justice.  I've you're not willing to invest at least a grand in your source/dac/amp + the price of the HD800, then just get the 650 (and use the thousand bucks you saved on the rest of your chain.  Also, there are many who prefer the 600 to the 650 so you might want to research that as well.

 

Or you can avoid this hobby altogether and save a lot of money down the road.

 


What would be some of your suggestions, assuming the HD650s were my purchase, for the rest of the chain?

 

post #11 of 53
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 

Sorry I'm still a little confused when it comes to terminology. If by source you mean what kind of audio files I listen to: It's mostly ALAC and MP3 320Kbps. If you meant something else then I'm a little lost. The consensus on from I've read from the posts is Eddie Current/Graham Slee Solo/Dark Voice 332, which all seem to be great but I was thinking something in the $300 - $400 range for an amp. Also, is a DAC necessary for a good listening experience on the HD650 or is it something I can afford to skip on until I can get a good one.

post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSquirt View Post

Sorry I'm still a little confused when it comes to terminology. If by source you mean what kind of audio files I listen to: It's mostly ALAC and MP3 320Kbps. If you meant something else then I'm a little lost. The consensus on from I've read from the posts is Eddie Current/Graham Slee Solo/Dark Voice 332, which all seem to be great but I was thinking something in the $300 - $400 range for an amp. Also, is a DAC necessary for a good listening experience on the HD650 or is it something I can afford to skip on until I can get a good one.



You choose a headphone to your music tastes and your price range

Then, if it needs a amp, you buy one. It's best to NOT buy an amp if this is your first time out.

DAC convert digital signal to analog. Which some headphones need, but most don't.

 

Let's start over. Give us your:

Price range (everything)

Music Genre/uses

Portable or just home.

Possible sources you have (PC soundcard, Ipod, Turntable, etc.)

post #14 of 53
Thread Starter 

Okay, newly define parameters:

Price Range: 370 for HD650 from Ebay. I'm willing go to up to $500 USD for Amp/DAC or both.

Music Genres: Rock/Metal (Mostly)/Some Classical/Some Jazz/Pop/Country

Just for home use.

Will be used on my PC with a Claro Halo Soundcard from HT|Omega. I also have an iPhone 4 but I won't really be playing from that.

Thanks for the advice

post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSquirt View Post

Okay, newly define parameters:

Price Range: 370 for HD650 from Ebay. I'm willing go to up to $500 USD for Amp/DAC or both.

Music Genres: Rock/Metal (Mostly)/Some Classical/Some Jazz/Pop/Country

Just for home use.

Will be used on my PC with a Claro Halo Soundcard from HT|Omega. I also have an iPhone 4 but I won't really be playing from that.

Thanks for the advice

 

Grado SR325i

Shure 940

 

Senn HD598

 

You've already got a soundcard. That works as a DAC and a Amp.

 

HD650 would be a little dar(bassy) for your needs.

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