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Best system for under $400.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey all, I have a grand limit of $400 to spend on a headphone system, I just want the best i can get for that money. 


I've been looking at the HD600,K701,SRH940 to use with possibly a Fiio E17, also some electrostats.


I've read  the HD600 require a powerful amp to really hear what they're capable of, HD650 is a bit out of my budget, now if I get the HD600 it'd leave me with less than $100 for the rest of the system, And from what I've read DAC/Amp's combination at that price just won't cut it, while the srh940 is supposed to be much easier to drive and leave me some more headroom for a better DAC/AMP. I could also get the HD600 now and a good DAC/AMP later, but I'd have to wait quite a long time ( 6 months to a year).


I've found on the for sale section Some used Stax lambda's with accompanying amp for under $400, which are supposed to outclass pretty much any dynamic headphone in the market short of monsters like the HD800/beyer T1's. The amp is sufficient to drive them well from what I've read and I can live with the not-so-horrible onboard dac for some more months. 


What would you guys do in my situation?

post #2 of 7



Senn HD600 + Fiio E10


It will do it justice.  Upgrade later. The HD600 will scale.


Alts: DT880 250ohm, AD900, FA-002, HE-400.


The sub-$400 Lambda's with amp are not going to outclass dynamics. You have to actually like the stat sound to say that. It's not for everyone.


Very best,

Edited by MalVeauX - 2/5/12 at 3:14pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Between those alternatives which you think would be best with a decent DAC/AMP like E17 compared to HD600?

post #4 of 7

I really enjoyed starting out with with LDMKIII + sr80i.


Though agree with malvauex. If you are on a budget - rather than buy average headphones and average amp buy a good headphone like k70x hd650 hd600 and get a cheaper amp - fiio, ldmkii.


$300 headphones will scale up when improving amp and source and not as prone to upgrading.


i found myself upgrading the sr80i for k702 leaving the ldmkiii needing upgrading! 

post #5 of 7

Go for the O2 DAC/AMP combo when the design is finished. For the time being you can put the seperate DAC board into the amp enclosure replacing the batteries. I am not sure if anyone sells it prebuilt yet. Then you have the best in source component, and can scale to any headphone in the future.

post #6 of 7

I'd really try to stretch and get HE-500 (used) if you will get some decent money later to upgrade amp and source. The HE-500 brings price/performance to high end, which is truly rare in audio.

post #7 of 7
Fiio E10 appears to me to be the most cost effective solution on a budget, especially if you play music from a computer like I do.
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