I know very little about audio equipment so help me out. I currently listen to Koss Pro DJ 100s with a Fiio E5 amp, and a Mac or an Ipod Touch as my source. It sound's fine, but I wouldn't mind a nicer setup. I have about a $300 budget. Would it be a better investment to improve my headphones, then get an ok amp, or should I keep my current headphones and get a good amp and dac? Basically, given my current setup, how would you best improve it with my budget? Thanks.
How to improve my setup
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Tell us about yourself!
Grado's arent best suited to those who like rap
XB700 wont do for those who love classical
and so on and so forth.
Also does it have to be portable?
tell us about your musical tastes.. that will help in the long run :)
I mainly listen to indie folk (Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, etc), indie rock (Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, The Shins), classic rock, some punk rock, and some reggae-rock (Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, Iration).
Im not really sure what portable means in these parts. I'm not going to be taking this rig with me wherever I go, but I would like it to be portable enough to take from the computer on my desk, to my iPod in my room, and occasionally in the car with me when I travel. It doesn't need to fit in my pocket, but I don't want something that can't move around with me.
Also, Im a bit skeptical about my 3G iPod touch. I've heard some bad things about it's DAC. If I bought an external DAC, would that fix all quality problems of the iPod, or are there other quality problems with it that I am not aware of? Also, if I did buy an external DAC, it wouldn't be compatible with my computer would it? Or is there can I use different adapter cables for the same DAC (i.e. be able to plug a usb cable into the same DAC I would plug my iPod cable into)?
On the subject of DAC's some you would be able to use for both portable and computer usage(USB in the computer case)
some of the most popular DAC's around here is the Objective DAC (ODAC) from JDS labs. (which you could combo with a fiio E11 Amp) (these two are around $200 for the both)
or the famous Fiio E17 Amp/DAC combo which is also pretty good bang for the buck. at $139
which gives you a bit of money for some headphones.
given your remaining money and musical taste. some open backed Grado SR-60i would go pretty well I'd say
I'm into a lot of rock myself, and metal.. I Love the grado sound for that application. for EDM i will swap headphones though.
I honestly advise although Head-fi a lot of stuff, your ear is what is better than any advice anyone gives.
go try find this stuff for yourself on demo and listen to it all yourself.
if you like it... well that's great! if not you can take your time and explore the weird audio world.
Ok, so this is what I'd want http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46 along with an E11. Objective also o2 + ODAC in one box (ODAC with a built in Objective amplifier). How is that system? Would I be better off with just the ODAC and pair it with the E11? I'm thinking if I spend >$150 on amps/dacs ill just keep my Koss headphones. Would this be a good combination? Also, my music description might have been a bit description. I like rock, but I mainly listen to acoustic, folk type music (e.g. Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, etc.). And the rock I do listen to is pretty soft (i.e. Death Cab for Cutie). So would this change your recommendation at all? Thanks again.
O2+ ODAC would exceed your budget though, although that would be better than ODAC+E11.. but E11 is fully portable :)
and my recommendation wouldn't change. Grado's for me, i also listen to a lot of ligher rock, and acoustic (yellowcard, lifehouse) etc. I find the Grado's really add emotion to a lot of music its quite musical :)
It would make more sense to spend most of the $300 on good headphones (which make the most difference), and get a FiiO E10 for less than $80, than to spend almost all of it on the ODAC+O2 and not have money left to upgrade the headphones.
Edited by stv014 - 12/2/12 at 11:05am
E10 is only an amplifier. but for its price its a very good one!
its fairly natural and will power HD598's quite well. and will be able to power the koss's well :)
i cant comment on the HD598 sound though
ive never heard them myself.
How come on the title of this http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B005VO7LG6 it says it is a DAC also? Would the quality of the DAC in my iPod 3G touch be something I should be worried about?
- 1,906 Posts. Joined 12/2011
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So maybe Senn 598s and E11?
- 175 Posts. Joined 10/2012
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Looking at your music preferences, you might want to look for reviews that or people who compare the 598 to Grados of the same priceclass (sr225i or sr125i, depending on budget).
I have the 598's and I know they're great, but I also know how much people enjoy their Grados with the music you mentioned :).
Edited by Nirvana Woman - 12/2/12 at 12:23pm