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You're my only hope...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

So I've been looking up headphones and soundcards all day to gather information on what's good and bad.

I haven't bought a headphone for about 7 years so I'm kinda out of the loop.

What I have now is "Sony MDR-V700" (which I really loved when I bought them) and a Creative Fatal1ty X-Fi card.

I'm not enterily sure on what card I'm getting but it's between "Asus Xonar Essence STX", "Asus Xonar D2X" and "Creative SB X-Fi Titanium HD".

 

I'm mostly gonna use the headphones with my computer so I need an all around headset/soundcard.

 

Anyway, after all the hours of looking up phones I found this site and realized that this is the website to get a proper suggestion.

 

The headphones I'm picking between is:

 

Sennheiser Momentum

Sony MDR-1R

AKG K 550

 

I really love bass and clarity.

 

Please help me.

 

Best regards.

post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 

No one? I'd really appreciate your opinions :)

post #3 of 26

What are your listening habits? Music (which genres?), gaming (immersive or competitive?), movies?

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

What are your listening habits? Music (which genres?), gaming (immersive or competitive?), movies?

 


Hi!

 

I listen to everything, but I do enjoy listening to electronic music at the moment, I like stuff with bass, but I also like metal/rock/pop, whatever really. I also work in ProTools.

 I can tell you what games I'm playing at the moment, they are "DayZ,L.A Noir, Saint's Row the Third", the only competitive game is DayZ, other then that it's just games for fun and immersion, I'd really want to try Battlefield 3 with a pair of decent headphones since it has amazing sound. Movie wise I like action, thrillers and drama, series wise I watch stuff like "Breaking Bad,Walking Dead,Treme,Sons of Anarchy,Boardwalk Empire,Dexter,Fringe,Game of Thrones" and stuff like that.

 

I also watch lots of stuff on youtube, mostly gaming releated with commentarys.

 

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.


Edited by Dhanijel - 11/28/12 at 7:21pm
post #5 of 26

Well, given that you work with DAWs, that puts a lot of options to the side since you will require a modicum of neutrality. Balancing that with your preferences, you should consider a few headphones:

 

Ultrasone Pro 550

Ultrasone Pro 750

Ultrasone Pro 2900

Beyerdynamic DT880

Beyerdynamic DT990 (less balanced than the DT880, but much more fun and impactful)

Sennheiser HD 25-1 II (on ear, rather than over ear)

Sennheiser HD598

AKG K550

AKG Q701

 

Given that you do more than casual gaming, I recommend you to skip Asus soundcards since they have partial gaming audio support and no positional cue improving algorithms. Get the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD, it has a very high quality DAC and components, which provides stellar performance in gaming due to full gaming audio support, as well as handling music and movies quite well. The soundcard has a headphone output up to 330 Ohm, which is acceptable for most headphones, but I do recommend you add a headphone amp like an O2 or a Schiit Asgard.

 

You haven't specified your budget, so some headphone options might be beyond your budget, but they're something to consider, regardless of that, if you can stretch your budget enough.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post


Beyerdynamic DT990 (less balanced than the DT880, but much more fun and impactful)

AKG K550

AKG Q701

 

Thank you so much for all the suggestions, I should have specified that I'm looking for closed headphones, I don't need the world to hear what I'm hearing.

But with that said I went trough your list and I must say that the Beyerdynamic DT990 does seem very interesting, but I'm really not sure about them being open, is

it really worth it? because the K550 also seem really nice and they seem to fit my taste, but they are a lot cheaper so I don't know how much of a difference they are between  the DT990?

Also, the Q701 also seemed kinda interesting being semi-closed, is there a big difference between closed and semi-closed?

What is your opinion on the Sony MDR-1R? they seem really interesting to me and I have really liked the MDR-V700 that I have had.

 

Which one would you say is the best one given my taste and what I'm gonna use them for?

 

Also, thank you so much for your opinion on the soundcard, I have really been torned but now I'm sure that I should get the Creative one.


Edited by Dhanijel - 11/29/12 at 6:05am
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post


 

Given that you do more than casual gaming, I recommend you to skip Asus soundcards since they have partial gaming audio support and no positional cue improving algorithms. Get the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD, it has a very high quality DAC and components, which provides stellar performance in gaming due to full gaming audio support, as well as handling music and movies quite well. The soundcard has a headphone output up to 330 Ohm, which is acceptable for most headphones, but I do recommend you add a headphone amp like an O2 or a Schiit Asgard.

 

 

 

I'm really not a gamer, so that's not what's most important, it's mostly for movies/series, does that change anything?

Also, would love to get your reply.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhanijel View Post

 

Thank you so much for all the suggestions, I should have specified that I'm looking for closed headphones, I don't need the world to hear what I'm hearing.

But with that said I went trough your list and I must say that the Beyerdynamic DT990 does seem very interesting, but I'm really not sure about them being open, is

it really worth it? because the K550 also seem really nice and they seem to fit my taste, but they are a lot cheaper so I don't know how much of a difference they are between  the DT990?

Also, the Q701 also seemed kinda interesting being semi-closed, is there a big difference between closed and semi-closed?

What is your opinion on the Sony MDR-1R? they seem really interesting to me and I have really liked the MDR-V700 that I have had.

 

Which one would you say is the best one given my taste and what I'm gonna use them for?

 

Also, thank you so much for your opinion on the soundcard, I have really been torned but now I'm sure that I should get the Creative one.

 

The DT990 are more geared towards entertainment listening, not so much critical listening which is something you'll want when working, making the DT880 a more worthy purchase over the DT990.

 

It seems you can get good prices on the K550, as the last time I checked its price, it wasn't that different from a DT990. I'd recommend the K550 over the Q701 as well.

 

Closed headphones provide the best isolation, and many semi-open headphones don't have as much isolation as the name might imply, with a good example being the Ultrasone HFI-2400, which is an open set that has more isolation than most semi-open headphones.

 

Narrowing things down, let's limit suggestions to the Ultrasone Pro 750, AKG K550 and Beyerdynamic DT880, the first two are closed (AKG K550 seems to be hard to get a proper fit, which can significantly alter sound for the worse) while the third is open. All three are valid options for your usage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhanijel View Post

 

I'm really not a gamer, so that's not what's most important, it's mostly for movies/series, does that change anything?

Also, would love to get your reply.

 

Like I pointed out previously, despite the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD having full gaming audio support, it's an audiophile-grade soundcard that handles music and movies very well, providing excellent quality for all your needs with no comprimise whatsoever. Also, do check whether you're getting a Rev. A or a Rev. C card, the Rev. C cards are slightly improved.

post #9 of 26

I'm wondering though; I have an Essence and its headphone amp is more than adequate. However, does the Titanium have a headphone amp of its own?

 

Please keep in mind that with the Essence, there is the option of switching between headphone and RCA through software. The Titanium does not allow for this. This may be of importance to you if you're ever going to bother with an external integrated amp or receiver.

 

I have no further experience of my own with the Titanium and therefore can't comment on how it sounds in comparison to the Essence.
 

post #10 of 26

Also, entertaining the thought that the soundcard you currently have would serve as at least a decent DAC (which I am pretty sure it would), you might want to consider foregoing another soundcard and just going with an amp immediately.

The Essence solves the amp + dac issue simultaneously, which might be another thing to consider.

 

Just trying to help you out by complicating things :P.

 

How much money would you be willing to spend anyway?


Edited by Nirvana Woman - 11/30/12 at 12:34pm
post #11 of 26

Essence what, ST or STX?

 

The X-Fi Titanium HD has a headphone output up to 330 Ohm, yet my recommendation of adding a desktop amp like the O2 or Schiit Asgard stands, amps that are better than the amp integrated on the Essence ST/STX.

 

Also, the X-Fi Titanium HD's DAC is a noticeable step above the current DAC Dhanijel is using.

 

About switching between RCA and 3.5mm, it's as simple as using RCA to 3.5mm cables, joined to a splitter, which then allows for independent gear usage.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Essence what, ST or STX?

 

The X-Fi Titanium HD has a headphone output up to 330 Ohm, yet my recommendation of adding a desktop amp like the O2 or Schiit Asgard stands, amps that are better than the amp integrated on the Essence ST/STX.

 

Also, the X-Fi Titanium HD's DAC is a noticeable step above the current DAC Dhanijel is using.

 

About switching between RCA and 3.5mm, it's as simple as using RCA to 3.5mm cables, joined to a splitter, which then allows for independent gear usage.


Essence ST or STX would be another matter entirely. Depending on availability, probably the ST if he has no pci express 1.0 slot and cares about the jitter correction (which is not included on the STX).

 

I am however wondering on what grounds the Titanium would be a better choice than the Essence (if this were the only choice OP had) if gaming is not a real consideration.

 

The Titanium may have an output impedance of up to 300 Ohm, but the 300 Ohm on a HD600 for instance is a nominal value and the headphone will regularly impede on higher levels (as well as lower) than 300. It makes me ask to myself if that is something the OP has to take into account if he were to settle on a high impedance model headphone.

At any rate, the Essence has no trouble at all driving any headphone ranging from 0 to 600 Ohm (so to speak). I am also not quite convinced that the Essence's headphone amp is to any degree inferior to for instance an O2 - they both measure very well; I have used the Essence's headphone amp myself with my hd650's and can say that it holds its own very well against a Little Dot amp that I have running here.

 

Please keep in mind that I'm not advocating the Asus card or anything; I would like for the OP to make the best choice possible in his situation.

 

Something I would hold against the Essence is that there is a common problem with it - of which I don't exactly know how widespread it is - where the card may malfunction and produce a loud beep after some time of operation. One may possibly end up with such a problem, which could prove problematic depending on the possibilities for warrantee that are available.


Edited by Nirvana Woman - 11/30/12 at 1:58pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana Woman View Post


Essence ST or STX would be another matter entirely. Depending on availability, probably the ST if he has no pci express 1.0 slot and cares about the jitter correction (which is not included on the STX).

 

I am however wondering on what grounds the Titanium would be a better choice than the Essence (if this were the only choice OP had) if gaming is not a real consideration.

 

The Titanium may have an output impedance of up to 300 Ohm, but the 300 Ohm on a HD600 for instance is a nominal value and the headphone will regularly impede on higher levels (as well as lower) than 300. It makes me ask to myself if that is something the OP has to take into account if he were to settle on a high impedance model headphone.

By contrast, the Essence has no trouble at all driving any headphone ranging from 0 to 600 Ohm (so to speak). I am also not quite convinced that the Essence's headphone amp is to any degree inferior to for instance an O2 - they both measure very well; I also have used the Essence's headphone amp myself with my hd650's and can say that it holds its own very well against a Little Dot amp that I have running here.

 

Please keep in mind that I'm not advocating the Asus card or anything; I would like for the OP to make the best choice possible in his situation.

 

Indeed, the Essence ST is a better option over the Essence STX.

 

Read the whole thread, you'll see gaming is done beyond casual (read, Flash content), which benefits from full gaming audio support, something Asus cards only partially support.

 

About amping, the headphone amps posted are very much recommended, regardless of soundcard chosen. And measurement wise, the TPA6120A2 doesn't measure as well as the O2, however they are relatively close.

 

Overall, a X-Fi Titanium HD paired with an O2 or especially a Schiit Asgard is of much better value, considering Dhanijel's needs and preferences.

 

But you do make a good point regarding budget, something the OP hasn't stated.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirvana Woman View Post

Also, entertaining the thought that the soundcard you currently have would serve as at least a decent DAC (which I am pretty sure it would), you might want to consider foregoing another soundcard and just going with an amp immediately.

The Essence solves the amp + dac issue simultaneously, which might be another thing to consider.

 

Just trying to help you out by complicating things :P.

 

How much money would you be willing to spend anyway?

 



Well the card I have now doesn't really support Win7, there's a beta patch that's absolutly terrible, it was great when I had XP but now it makes me cry hahaha.

On headphones I'm willing to spend somewhere between 375 and 450 dollars.

I could get the Creative card for about 200 dollars, if I get the amp I could spend around 150-300 dollars, but that would be a later purchase.

I'm pretty set on getting the creative card though, I loved my old Creative card so I think I'll just stick to an upgrade that I can run in Win7.

post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 


 

Narrowing things down, let's limit suggestions to the Ultrasone Pro 750, AKG K550 and Beyerdynamic DT880, the first two are closed (AKG K550 seems to be hard to get a proper fit, which can significantly alter sound for the worse) while the third is open. All three are valid options for your usage.

 

 

 

So it's between the PRO750 and AKG550 I guess, but I'd really like your opinion on the MDR-1R also if you have any.

I also have a big head so I don't think that the 550s would cause any problems.

 

Which one of those 2 have the best sounding bass? I also heard that the 550s have problems with their mids, is that something you've experienced? also, i'm not a total audiophile to sort out what information is important for me.

I just want a pair of headphones that's good all around and that I can enjoy listening to all kinds of music/protools and really feel the bass if I EQ them, also great for watching movies and last sound good while playing games.

 

But I feel like we are at the home stretch now, just need those extra words to tip me over.

Thank you for the help, also to Nirvana Woman.


Edited by Dhanijel - 12/1/12 at 4:47am
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