I‘m very new here and I‘m also new to headphone world.
I‘ve always loved good sound: I used to participate in car audio (EMMA – European Mobile Media Association) shows/competitions with my car, once was 2nd in my class in my country (not bad, huh? ), helped my parents to build a decent home theater/audio system at their house (higher range DENON cd/dvd player, DENON receiver, Triangle speakers, Pioneer and Panasonic Plasma TVs, etc.), however, I have never had a good audio/video system myself. I surely will, but now I live in a flat which sound isolation is so poor, that my neighbours wake me up or annoy/tease me every time they have sex (2-3 times per day, LOL), that is why I don’t want to spend much on hi-end home audio/video system, especially keeping in mind that I live here temporarily. That is the reason I decided to go with a decent headphone ‘system’ first.
I have just bought Etymotic Research HF3, Shure SRH840 and FiiO E07K for portable use. Thought, it would be enough for an entry-level kit. However, after reading this forum for about a week I decided to get good home-use headphones – Sennheiser HD600 (ordered yesterday). I can afford almost any of the flagship headphones, but I don‘t think this would be a wise decision to buy best of the best right away. You don‘t buy a Ferrari or Bugatti, when you haven‘t driven a car yet. On the other hand, I have many hobbies (traveling, photography, collecting vintage and modern watches, cars, motosport, etc.) so I do have where to spend my money.
To make a long story short, I need an amp/DAC to power my headphones. The more I read here, the more confused I get (I‘ve been reading this forum for almost a week before I decided to go with HD600), that is why I do need and advice regarding amp/DAC.
Some relevant info:
- I listen to all kinds of music, but mostly pop/r&b/hip hop (~40%), chillout/lounge (~30%), instrumental/vocal (20%), other (rock, house, classic, etc.; 10%). Percentage changes from time to time.
- I do love bass.
- I always buy gear that I can keep for a long time.
- My current music sources are Samsung 9-series Notebook, iPad 2 and iPhone 5 (FLAC and 320kbps Mp3) - I know, lame... However, I‘m planning to get a good source this year (I have quite a collection of music CDs and Blu-rays).
- I live in Europe (different voltage).
- Aesthetics is very important to me, I love the looks of the tube amps.
- I think I will get some more headphones in the future (bass heavy closed for portable use, home use ‘flagship’ one’s), so the amp/DAC should be suitable not just for HD600.
- I haven‘t decided on a budget yet as I have no clue how much I should spend in order to get a good amp/DAC, that I can use many years. I guess it should be at least 500$.
- I‘m not familiar with the pros and cons of having separate units (amp and DAC).
Your suggestions/thoughts are welcome based on the provided info.
Thanks in advance!
P.S. Sorry for my English – I totally lost it..