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My Current Setup:

 

Currently I am using the onboard audio from my motherboard (Asus Maximus V Formula NO THUNDERFX). 

This is usually hooked up to my speakers (Logitech X-540) as well as my headphones (Sennheiser HD280 Pro's). I hook up the headphones to the front panel usually, and never through the speakers.

 

What I am looking for:

 

Right now I am looking at buying a pair of Sennheiser HD598's as I listen to a very wide variety of music and they seem to have a rather neutral response (as do most Sennheiser's, if I am reading correctly), and because they are pretty efficient and low impedance (quoted at 50 Ohms, iirc). This means that I don't NEED an amp (yes, it would be nice to have one, anyway, but it isn't necessary) which makes my budget much more palatable. 

 

I don't only listen to music, though, I also play some guitar and do a little singing, so I am looking at a USB DAC that also has input (I guess it would be called an ADC?), which severely narrows my options (if I look for a combo device which I am because I would imagine it is cheaper). Right now I am looking at the M-Audio Fast Track Pro. This is a nice device because it has phantom power for a nice mic, guitar input, and XLR input and output.

 

I am also considering buying a cheap(er) amp to use with this setup and to take with me to use with my phone (since using an Android phone seems to more or less preclude using a DAC I'm looking more for a standalone amp). The Fiio E11 seems to be a good choice in this area.

 

What I listen to:

 

I listen to a very wide variety of music but I would peg most of my interest in the rock/alt rock category. I also listen to a good bit of country and pop, a little bit of electronic (D&B, Trance, and House. Mostly anything other than Dubstep, although there is some of that, too xD), and a lot of classical and musicals.

 

I would like any suggestions people have for parts for the setup, whether it's a new DAC/ADC combo, a standalone DAC with an ADC, different headphones, grab an amp, whatever. My total budget is around $500, but I could be persuaded to move up a little bit, it would just take me longer to get the money :)

 

Other things I've looked at:

 

I've also looked at Beyerdynamic DT880's (which would pretty much require an amp) and HD600's (which are a little high for my price range).

 

As for amps/DACs/etc. I've looked at quite a few but I'm not very sure how to choose them. They all seem to be pretty much out of my price range or to perform similarly and I can't seem to differentiate between them. 

 

Thanks:

 

Any help you guys have, words of wisdom, suggestions, etc. are very, very much appreciated. Thank you all for looking and helping me out. From what I've seen this is a really great community and I love it here so far.