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desktop amplifier and headphone recommendations ($750 budget)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'd like to improve my computer audio listening experience.  I listen to music via my computer using IEMs and an Altec Lansing 2.1 system.  I'd like to upgrade to full size headphones and also upgrade the external speakers.  After researching for the last few days I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Frankly, just to be done with it I was almost ready to go to Best Best buy last night to buy the following:

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Klipsch+-+ProMedia+2.1+Speaker+System+(3-Piece)+-+Black/9382232.p;jsessionid=0CD07551FC6B2E53ABDDEFE76BF29162.bbolsp-app02-42?id=1218095770265&skuId=9382232&st=klipsch%202.1&cp=1&lp=1

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Bose%26%23174%3B+-+AE2+Audio+Headphones+-+Black/1117121.p?id=1218222410544&skuId=1117121&st=bose%20ae2&cp=1&lp=1

 

 

Budget is $750.

 

Here are my requirements

 - Desktop amp to drive closed full size headphones, two passive speakers and a active sub.

 - Closed headphones that are comfortable for hours at a time.  Wish I could tell you what headphonesI have tried, but there aren't any place to audition a wide variety of headphones.  I've read that the Beyers are comfortable.  I've tried the Bose AE2 and they are comfortable, but from I've read  I don't think they would be much of an upgrade over the klipsch x10 I currently use.

 

Basically, I am asking if you had a $750 budget, how would you,  how would you spend it on the above items (excluding the speakers and sub)?  

 

Thanks for you help.

 

Tim

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Neglected to mention that I did own the AKG K550 headphones for a few days last year.  I liked them overall, but returned them because I didn't want to purchase an amp.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Let me know if there is any further information I need to provide that would help elicit a response.  Looking forward to a reply. bigsmile_face.gif

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #5 of 21

While I can't speak too much about the speaker setup as I don't have much experience with them...I would say the O2 amp or Asgard 2 (while it is not out yet...many people speak highly of the Asgard 1 so i'd assume the Asgard 2 is a improvement over the 1). The O2 can probably be had at less than $150 while the Asgard 2 is less than 300.

 

For your listening purposes,maybe try the Denon D2000 or Ultrasone Pro900?

post #6 of 21
HE-400 and a used amp. Maybe a Schiit or A-Gd product. Or a Pico DAC/amp with a used phone. What is your musical preferences.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

HE-400 and a used amp. Maybe a Schiit or A-Gd product. Or a Pico DAC/amp with a used phone. What is your musical preferences.

Was thinking of the HE-400 as well but he did mention closed.

 

If he doesn't mind open back then for sure HE-400s all the way.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the recommendations.  Listen to pretty much all genres of music, but mostly classic rock and hip-hop.  I've never used or been around anyone using open headphones, when listening at high volumes is it audible to someone sitting 6 -10ft away?  My wife and I share our home office.

 

Also, when buying used, what do you look for?  Do you replace the pads normally?  Obviously, I'll research the amps, but since I am here, do you know if you can connect passive speakers to any of the recommended amps and possibly a powered sub?

 

Thanks again!

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jono454 View Post

Was thinking of the HE-400 as well but he did mention closed.

If he doesn't mind open back then for sure HE-400s all the way.
He did say closed, my bad.

A lot of the newer gear is tried for taste and moved on so shouldn't be too badly used. If the pads are pleather, a sanitary wipe is usually good enough. If velour, you can wash if concerned. Us geeks are pretty good with our gear.
Edited by Happy Camper - 2/24/13 at 12:15pm
post #10 of 21
And yeah, they'd play loud in close quarters.
post #11 of 21
as for driving a passive speaker with a headphone amp, not very likely. You need to step up more in your budget for an amp that does both speakers and headphones. It can be done though.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the help.  I will research the amps and will look into used headphones.  Also, for desktop speakers I am considering the Audioengine5+.  

post #13 of 21

I've used and can recommend the NFB-12 (now NFB-15.1) and Swan m200mkII together as a good system in this price range. The headphone amp on the Audio GD can also drive almost any headphone short of the HE-6 or K1000.


I also like my DT770 Anniversary, but I don't have any other closed headphones on hand to compare it to.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim34 View Post

Thank you for the help.  I will research the amps and will look into used headphones.  Also, for desktop speakers I am considering the Audioengine5+.  
I've not heard them but have been getting some great reviews. A friend is getting the A2s for their computer. The W-3 wireless DAC dongle and those should be a very nice upgrade
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

I was looking at the Swan M50W, but the m200mkII look appealing as well. However, do you know where can you purchase them?

 

For powered speakers like the Audioengines, how would you connect headphones?  soundcard -> external DAC -> amp -> Audioengine (pre-out).  Would plugging in headphones terminate the sound to the speakers?  If I didn't have a amp/dac and only the Audioengines plugged into the headphone jack on the soundcard, how would that work with headphones?  Sorry if these seem like stupid questions.  I'v only used 2.1 desktop speakers and a soundcard.  My overall goal to improve the listing experience at my computer via headphones and speakers. 

 

Also, does any of this make any sense to pursue if my entire music collection is ACC,MP3 256kbps?  Everything has been purchased through online music serivces - mostly iTunes.

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