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First time buying new headphones. HELP PLEASE :)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello! This is my first post ever on this forum.

I'm only 19 years old so I wouldn't consider myself old enough to be an audiophile, but I do have an affinity for good quality music. I have a decent Onkyo/Focal stereo setup back at home but I'm back in college now, and it's not practical for me to bring my entire receiver and speaker setup to my dorm. So, I am in the market for headphones for a budget around $250 (give or take $50) and an amp/dac for around $50.

I'm a headphone noob so I have been researching headphones for about a month and the more I read, the more I get lost! There is such a wide variety of headphones out there for different genres and I'm just very confused right now.

So here I am, asking the pros.

 

In the classical realm, I listen to classical piano, orchestral soundtracks and brass orientated band music. 

For pop, I listen to a lot of ABBA, Earth wind & fire, beatles, men at work, duran duran, basically just a lot of 70's to 80's bands.

I also listen to jazz and lots of OST's.

Once in a while, I might turn on R&B to show my friends that I don't have an antiquated taste in music.

 

I narrowed my search down to Sennheiser 558, 598 and Beyerdyanmic DT 990 Pros 250 ohm.

I was very close to jumping for the 598's but then I read about Beyerdynamic and now I am interested in the DT 990 Pros 250 ohm. 

I was planning to buy a Fiio E10 to use with my computer and an E7 for a Sony turntable for LP's.

 

Which one of those headphones or others would you recommend for my taste in music? 

Is the Fiio E10 good enough to drive the 598s and DT990?

 

Thanks for your time!

post #2 of 26

Heya,

 

Some suggestions:

 

Beyer DT880 (250ohm)

Sennheiser HD600

AudioTechnica AD900

Fischer Audio FA002

AKG Q701

Ultrasone HFI 2400 or PRO 2500

Hifiman HE-300 (revision 2)

 

On a Fiio E10.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response!

Can you let me know if there are any significant differences between a Beyer DT880 and a Beyer DT990?

Also, how are the Beyers compared to the Sennheiser HD 598?

Thanks!

post #4 of 26
1. You are not "too young" to be an audiophile if you want to call yourself an audiophile.

(Or at least Mirriam Webster doesn't think so):

Definition of AUDIOPHILE

: a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction

First Known Use of AUDIOPHILE: 1951

2. +1 on the DT880

Mal makes really spot on recommendations and I agree it is a better fit. I have the DT990's and the DT770's and enjoyed trying the 880's and will eventually also add them to my collection but I think the 990's emphasis on bass and sparkle in the highs won't be suitable for your style of music taste. IMO you will be very happy with the 880's. In terms of comparrison to the 598's, 880 will be closer of the 3 but im told the 598 is darker. I don't know because I don't own a 598.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ok, I'm definitely set on the Bayer DT 880.

However, I'm a little confused over the 250ohm version and the 600 ohm version. Are there dramatically different sonic differences between the two versions? The 600 ohm version is listed for about $60 less than the 250 ohm version. Also, would the E10 be enough to drive the 600ohm version or would I need to look into buying a better amplifier/dac combo?

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by xspiritdannyx View Post

Ok, I'm definitely set on the Bayer DT 880.

However, I'm a little confused over the 250ohm version and the 600 ohm version. Are there dramatically different sonic differences between the two versions? The 600 ohm version is listed for about $60 less than the 250 ohm version. Also, would the E10 be enough to drive the 600ohm version or would I need to look into buying a better amplifier/dac combo?

 

Slight sonic differences between the 2 versions, not a big deal. Get the 600 ohm version because it's cheaper. The E10 is alright, far from ideal, but it should do the job for the price. Dynamics and such won't be as good as a nicer dac and amp, but volume will certainly be adequate. 

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by xspiritdannyx View Post

Ok, I'm definitely set on the Bayer DT 880.
However, I'm a little confused over the 250ohm version and the 600 ohm version. Are there dramatically different sonic differences between the two versions? The 600 ohm version is listed for about $60 less than the 250 ohm version. Also, would the E10 be enough to drive the 600ohm version or would I need to look into buying a better amplifier/dac combo?

No DO NOT get the 600 ohm version if you are running the E10. Check the specs it is only rated to handle a 300 ohm max load.

There is no reason to get the 600 ohm and you will always need a pretty hardcore amp to run those. Stick with the 250. You can run it with the E10 (with high gain setting on) or an inexpensive portable like the E11.

Please tell me where you will be listening and from what source. PC desktop?
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response!

I was planning to listen from my 13in. Macbook Pro and possibly a Blackberry Playbook.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post


No DO NOT get the 600 ohm version if you are running the E10. Check the specs it is only rated to handle a 300 ohm max load.

 

I agree that the E10 isn't designed to handle the load of Beyer's 600-Ohm headphones all of which want a lot of power. They don't need a Mega-Amp, but they need more than small, low-power portables.

post #10 of 26
What kind of audio outputs does the playbook have? Are you going to try to use these for portable use or mostly in the house? If you are going to use a playbook you will need a portable amp for that.

Does your macbook pro have an optical out? I'm pretty sure they do but I can't remember.
post #11 of 26

I don't think it's that big of a deal to run the 600 ohm beyer from the E10. It's unusual, but if the OP is gonna get an E10 and not a considerably more powerful discrete amp, nothing wrong with using it with the 600 ohm version. Dynamics might suffer some, but it's probably not really gonna be noticeably better with the 250 ohm, as the issue is more of sensitivity than resistance.

 

 

 

Quote:
Are you going to try to use these for portable use or mostly in the house?

It doesn't seem like he'll be using these for portable, he's using these with his computer and turntable. Not to mention the DT880 really isn't suitable for portable use.


Edited by lpan - 10/5/12 at 7:17pm
post #12 of 26
Apparently Mal agrees with you too on that. I honestly have never even tried it I just base my statement on the product information stated on the Mfgr's website and my experience with running the 770 250 ohm with the e10.

If it works great I stand corrected.

I get a very noticeable difference in a lot of ways from using my onkyo txnr509 HP-out so my e10 has kinda gone out of use. Don't know if it's the 192khz vs. the 96 or the dual burr brown dacs but I enjoy my little receiver a lot.

I think he will be more than satisfied with either version.. Thanks.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ok, maybe I can flex my budget for an amp/dac a little higher to suit the 600ohms. Any good suggestions for an amp/dac combo?

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post

Apparently Mal agrees with you too on that. I honestly have never even tried it I just base my statement on the product information stated on the Mfgr's website and my experience with running the 770 250 ohm with the e10.
If it works great I stand corrected.
I get a very noticeable difference in a lot of ways from using my onkyo txnr509 HP-out so my e10 has kinda gone out of use. Don't know if it's the 192khz vs. the 96 or the dual burr brown dacs but I enjoy my little receiver a lot.
I think he will be more than satisfied with either version.. Thanks.

 

No prob, I agree and think he'll be satisfied regardless of which version he gets.

 

I've tried the 880/600 with the E10, it was acceptable, volume more than enough at low gain, other stuff like soundstage was acceptable. I've tried them with other smaller amps, and it was a bit of a step up, but not a huge difference I guess. Though I must say I really liked them plugged into a receiver, seemed to really make them sing. 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by xspiritdannyx View Post

Ok, maybe I can flex my budget for an amp/dac a little higher to suit the 600ohms. Any good suggestions for an amp/dac combo?

I have heard many great things about a nice Dac amp combo called the Fire PHoenix. The problem is you can only get it from this seller on ebay and you have to wait for it from Japan or something. Takes over a week, not too long.

THere is one guy that swears by the DAC-02 model which similarly is rated to handle 300ohm phones. The DAC-05 is a more powerful version says it can handle up to 600ohms.

They run 110 dollars and 160 respectively.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FIRE-PHOENIX-DAC-02-CS4398-LM4562-MINI-USB-DAC-Headphone-Amplifier-/180738679826

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FIRE-PHOENIX-DAC-05-OPA2604-CS3310-CS4398-192K-24BIT-USB-DAC-Headphone-Amplifier-/380468008371

Other than that the ODAC+O2 amp/dac combo is very highly regarded on here but it runs almost 300 dollars. Check it at JDS Labs.

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=48

I own the E10 like I said and use my Onkyo and I am happy with those so I can't really help you much more than that in that department but this fire phoneix is supposed to be killer for the money.

If you don't mind letting us know how you enjoy your choice of the 880 that would be apreciated. I think it was a good pick. Good luck.
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