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Headphone + DAC combo under 300$

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Greetings fellow Head-Fiers!

 

I've been wanting to upgrade my equipment for some time and finally I've got a chance. I want to get an over-ear headphones but considering all I've got right now is my PC with a crappy sound card (Creative xtreme music), It would be stupid to use them with my current setup. So I need to get a best possible combo of headhones and  DAC for 250$ - 300$. I was thinking of using a DAC with an USB or coaxial SPDIF input so I could use it with my PC without PC being the bottleneck. 

 

I'm thinking of Sennheiser HD558 + Fiio E10 for 175£ (300$) which is the absolute price limit. There are good reviews about HD558 but they don't seem to be so popular. E10 looks fine but I don't like the fact that it hasn't got SPDIF in (not absolutely essential though). This is a big deal for me so I'd like to know What would you recommend for the price?


Edited by kulakovs - 2/10/12 at 7:33am
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

hmm.... I found some articles about common cracks on Sennheiser 5xx series. Is this problem fixed? The last thing I want is for my headphones to just break like some cheap chinese cr*p, couse that would make me look like an idiot.

post #3 of 11

The e10 is a good amp. These headphones, if you don't mind shelling out the extra cash, will be much better though.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ULTRASONE-HFI-2400-Professional-Open-Back-Headphones/dp/B002W37ESY/ref=sr_1_17?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1328922974&sr=1-17

 

post #4 of 11

Op, are you into gaming? music preferences? 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
The ULTRASONE ones are too expensive. I've also considered studio monitors like DT770 (80ohm) or ath-m50.
I mostly listen to vocal music, all kinds of rock music and sometimes something house like.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulakovs View Post

The ULTRASONE ones are too expensive. I've also considered studio monitors like DT770 (80ohm) or ath-m50.
I mostly listen to vocal music, all kinds of rock music and sometimes something house like.


Its hard to go wrong with the m50. I've never seen anyone not say they were good, if that makes any sense :P

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

After a lot of research I've decided to go with ATH M50. According to "wiki" section these should sound good without amp.

The question is will there be a lot of difference if I connect them to E10 or directly to my soundcard? 62£ seem quite a lot for me if the difference is minimal.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kulakovs View Post

After a lot of research I've decided to go with ATH M50. According to "wiki" section these should sound good without amp.

The question is will there be a lot of difference if I connect them to E10 or directly to my soundcard? 62£ seem quite a lot for me if the difference is minimal.



I don't recommend getting the e10 right off the bat. I currently am just running my 780s from the sound card on my toshiba. I'll probably wait till the e17 is available on amazon, then maybe, the e10 will drop in price.

If you like the sound your sound card gives you, don't upgrade right away.

post #9 of 11

Heya,

 

You want some audiophile grade neutral headphones that are excellent for everything. Getting the Fiio E10 is an excellent choice for the cost. Definitely go with that. Here's some options:

 

Beyer DT800 250ohm (get this Amazon warehouse one, every bit as good as new, for a nice discount). Excellent neutral headphone for all genres. Does it all.

Sennheiser HD598 (check out the first one on the list, or call up J&R to compare prices). Does most everything well, not a very bassy headphone for house, but otherwise excellent for vocals and the like.

Audio Technica AD900. Excellent airy headphone for all things, not overly bassy, very neutral, superb for vocals, huge sound stage.

AKG Q701. Excellent, huge sound stage, all around neutral, warmer version of the series AKG. Excellent for your needs.

 

Overall, I'd put you on the DT880 or Q701 primarily for all needs at this cost tier.

 

Very best,

post #10 of 11

Oh wow yeah you can get the AKG Q701! Here in the UK that is a much more expensive headphone and still highly regarded at that. I would go for them if you can live with the open sound (no isolation). I also agree to stick with the Fiio E10. I have the E7 which is not quite as good and I can't live with plain PC sound any more, although I am talking about motherboard sound mind you.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Since I can only order from EU shops (to avoid tax) from your list I can only afford HD598 + E10 combo.

It's unfortunate there aren't any  shops near me where I could actually hear how they sound. I want a HUGE improvement from my current HARX700 (have heard they come close to A700) otherwise it would be a waste of money if my new gear was just a little bit better than my old one.


Edited by kulakovs - 2/14/12 at 10:22am
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