First up, apologies if I'm posting in the wrong place. I've been trying to research what I can for a while now but this site is still rather overwhelming!
So right now I have nothing. I have an ipod, a PC using the mobo for sound and some cheap generic headphones.
I should point out that I am a musician by trade so I consider myself to have a moderately good ear in general, I've spent time in studios and can hear the difference between what I like and what I don't. That said I'm not intending to use any of this equipment to make music, purely enjoy it. It's about time I had something to truly enjoy listening to music and finally have the (limited) funds to do something about it.
I'm running a budget of around £500 (yup, I'm in England) with less always being better. I'm aware this is nowhere near the budget of what many users here are willing to spend however I feel it should be enough to begin my journey into better listening.
Everything I listen to is from the PC, either downloaded or ripped, I try and keep all of the files at the highest quality.
Honestly I'm completely confused by all the terms/names and other language used around here and thus totally lost as to what I actually need. A headphone amp? a DAC? upscaling? I really have no idea what any of it even means.
I was looking at the asus items, the essence one. Also the internal soundcards ST and STX? Would one these combined with some decent headphones (more on these later) be suitable as an entry setup? Is something missing from this setup for it to function?
The other items I currently have on my radar are the Fiio series of E7/E11/E17 etc etc, I can't tell what's what between them other than picking by price. Same deal as the asus, combined with headphones is that a full rig or do I require something else? How do they compare to the asus items (they're cheaper than asus), they have the advantage of not being internal and I could potentially use them for my laptop / ipod also.
I've looked at some other options but really it means nothing to me, I'd purely be picking based on cosmetics and price. I'm sure I've already made myself look enough of a fool with my above comments.
As for headphones.... pretty much the same ones seem to crop up wherever I look. the HD650, the K702, the HD595, DT770, DT880.
That order also seems to be the order I'm rating them at right now based on what I've read only.
I value comfort very highly, I spend extended periods of time wearing headphones (pretty much all day - sometimes longer!), almost to the point I'd value comfort above sound quality if it's a small difference. I'm not looking for massive bass or anything, I listen to a variety of music often favouring more relaxed to aggresive. Classical / Jazz / pop etc
I'm sure you folks here get these questions often, I do apologise I just seem unable to process all of the information here fast enough, coherently.
Really just looking to be told what to start out with since the options seem limitless without any kind of basis to make my own opinions.
Thanks in advance - Jake.