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Lookin to buy new headphones and need help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

So I'm off to college and am looking to buy new headphones to listen to music, watch movies, and play my electric guitar with. I care a lot about sound quality and listen mainly to classic rock. So headphones with big bass and nothing else will not cut it.

I would like over the ear head phones that I will mainly be using with my custom built computer. I will be upgrading my sound card soon, which leads me to my first question. What is up with headphone amps? Will I need one to get good quality despite a nice sound card?

My budget is about $350. Which headphones would be best? I also hope to use these 'phones with a record player and my classic rock vinyl collection that I hope to expand in the future.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbjluke View Post

Hey guys,
So I'm off to college and am looking to buy new headphones to listen to music, watch movies, and play my electric guitar with. I care a lot about sound quality and listen mainly to classic rock. So headphones with big bass and nothing else will not cut it.
I would like over the ear head phones that I will mainly be using with my custom built computer. I will be upgrading my sound card soon, which leads me to my first question. What is up with headphone amps? Will I need one to get good quality despite a nice sound card?
My budget is about $350. Which headphones would be best? I also hope to use these 'phones with a record player and my classic rock vinyl collection that I hope to expand in the future.
Thanks in advance!

As you want to watch movies, a low cost sound card like the Asus Xonar DG ($14-$24) sound card might work for you.

it comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier should be good with headphones up to around 150-Ohms

and has Dolby Headphone surround sound 5.1.

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80-ohm (closed) headphones is good for someone that likes bass

If you bought a used DT770 Pro 80-Ohm, total price for DG and DT770 could be around $150-$170.

 

Not sure what to do about the record player, does it come with analog outputs (like RCA)?

post #3 of 8

Heya,

 

You don't need an amp if you use a specific kind of sound card with an internal amplifier (like Xonar STX or Xonar DG on the cheaper side of things). Alternatively, you can get great function from something like a Fiio E10 for an external USB DAC/AMP which functions the same as a sound card does, for less money than the STX even, and will do everything you need as well. I suggest the Fiio E10 in general. STX if you must, must, must have a sound card (I generally don't see a reason to use a sound card for audio unless you just must have something for 600ohms and gaming in which case the STX is the way to go).

 

As for headphones, sounds like you want something neutral. You didn't specify open or closed back though, which matters, since you may or may not be in an environment where you are around others.

 

Suggestions:

 

Open air (no isolation):

 

Beyer DT880

AudioTechnica AD900

AKG Q701

HIfiman HE-300

 

Closed (isolation):

 

Beyer DT770

AudioTechnica A900

AKG K550

Denon D2000

Brainwavz HM5 (or Fischer Audio FA003)

 

If using a record player, depending on how it outputs sound, if you use a sound card you can input to the sound card and listen to everything via that. Otherwise, you can also just get an old receiver or a new but inexpensive one and hook everything up to it and play to your headphones from a basic AV receiver just fine by the way.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by Sbjluke View Post

Hey guys,

So I'm off to college and am looking to buy new headphones to listen to music, watch movies, and play my electric guitar with. I care a lot about sound quality and listen mainly to classic rock. So headphones with big bass and nothing else will not cut it.

I would like over the ear head phones that I will mainly be using with my custom built computer. I will be upgrading my sound card soon, which leads me to my first question. What is up with headphone amps? Will I need one to get good quality despite a nice sound card?

My budget is about $350. Which headphones would be best? I also hope to use these 'phones with a record player and my classic rock vinyl collection that I hope to expand in the future.

Thanks in advance!

 

If you get a quality sound-card you won't really need a headphone amp, as that money will be better spent on the headphone itself.

 

The Denon series has been discontinued, so you should be able to sell it for the same price later if you change your mind.  They have good sound quality and are pretty decent for monitoring too - http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AHD2000-Performance-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B000MVEC0Q/

 

Audio Technica A900X comes to mind too - http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-A900X-Audiophile-Closed-Back-Headphones-Black/dp/B006V386UG/

 

...and finally Sony MDR-7550 (for studios and live monitoring) - http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-7550-Monitor-Headphone-Standard/dp/B006JUM6H0/


Edited by kiteki - 7/11/12 at 5:13pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Audio Technica A900X comes to mind too - http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-A900X-Audiophile-Closed-Back-Headphones-Black/dp/B006V386UG/

 

Yeah I was going to suggest these, or I guess the A900. I have the A900 (pre X) and I don't really know the differences between the two. I like them with pretty much all styles of music. You mentioned you play guitar, and if you're planning on playing along with recordings I'd recommend closed cans. That's just me though. When I play bass along with recordings I'd much rather have closed cans than open.


Edited by BrownBear - 7/11/12 at 5:19pm
post #6 of 8

grados...but u gotta get over the sponge on your ears, tot i hated it,

but once i hear the band in my living room, i forgot the spongesss....:P

 

there is a d2000 with an aftermarket cable up for sale now...

i think thats gonna rock !

post #7 of 8

You didn't specify if you already have or just planning to buy record player but this days some affordable players already have built-in phono preamp (phono stage) which will let you connect your player to line input of your sound card using RCA cable while others will require you purchase phono preamp separately but be aware that even $40 external phono preamp sounds better than the one built-in into the player

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks a ton guys! I've been soon research as well and am thinking about the akg 550. I will o to the store and check out your other suggestions too. Thanks so much!
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