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Help Selecting Headphones and DAC/Amp!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the repost, but I didn't get too many responses in the recommendations thread...
 

I've been a silent reader on these forums and am looking for some help as I'm far too confused at this point!

I'm looking for a set of headphones within the $300-400 range.  I have a marantz pm5003, which I'm pretty sure I can use as an amp at home, but I'd need something portable that hopefully would be included in that budget that would work well with my iPod/iPhone.

In terms of how/where I'd be using the headphones, I will use them more on-the-go while on the train, walking to class etc, etc.  That being said I'll also want something great for home listening, particularly for vinyl through my pm5003.

I've had Bose QC3s, QC15s, and a set of Beats Studios, hated the Beats liked the Bose stuff, but still haven't found "the set".  I still have my klipsch s4is which I like, but looking for some full sized headphones.  I listen to a pretty diverse set of music from The Beatles, to Metallica, to Radiohead, to Bhangra music, to Daft Punk, to acoustic John Mayer, etc.  Definitely more rock orientated, but I'd like a set that can handle a wide variety of music...this was the main problem with the headphones I've previously owned.  A good soundstage is also important.

 

Thus far, I've gone to some local stores here and got some advice.  I was told a closed pair of headphones would be better if I'm not listening at my house.  Of the headphones I've tried so far (B&W P5, PSB M4U2, Grado 2/325i) I liked the Denon AH-D1100, but wasn't completely sold because they felt a little flimsy to me.  It should also be noted that I tried the Grado headphones without an amp and I felt they needed to be driven, so perhaps I should try them again?  The guy at the store I went to said he'd only recommend them for home listening.

 

Clearly, I still have a lot to learn and try...I've read great things about the Mad Dog headphones and am considering those combined with a DAC and Amp (I've heard the Schiit ones pair well), but alas I can't test any of that stuff before I buy it.  Others I've read good things about are the V-Moda M-100 and Sennheiser HD 598..but I'm really open to anything, any thoughts?  Would really appreciate some suggestions, thanks guys!

post #2 of 19

No open headphones(HD598 and Grado's) Don't get M100's as they are bass-monsters. I'm going to say Mad Dogs, can't think of a $100 portable amp right now, look around for a $100 amp. Maybe a FiiO E17.

post #3 of 19
Well seeing you listen to a nice variety of music (similar to what I listen to) I would recommend getting some ath-m50's and a nice portable amp that could future proof you for higher end headphones incase you upgrade your setup. My current setup is - V-MODA Crossfade Lp ($110-$150 on Amazon) and a Fiio E12 ($150 on Amazon). They suit me well for listening to anything from Swedish House Mafia to Led Zeppelin.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

No open headphones(HD598 and Grado's) Don't get M100's as they are bass-monsters. I'm going to say Mad Dogs, can't think of a $100 portable amp right now, look around for a $100 amp. Maybe a FiiO E17.


I was thinking the schiit magni and modi combo, but of course it'd be a bit over the budget...


Edited by soadspecialk - 4/30/13 at 6:26pm
post #5 of 19

$300-400 range, I'd be looking at Hifiman HE400, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Beyerdynamic DT880, Sennheiser HD600/650.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limniscate View Post

$300-400 range, I'd be looking at Hifiman HE400, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Beyerdynamic DT880, Sennheiser HD600/650.

Those are all opentongue.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soadspecialk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

No open headphones(HD598 and Grado's) Don't get M100's as they are bass-monsters. I'm going to say Mad Dogs, can't think of a $100 portable amp right now, look around for a $100 amp. Maybe a FiiO E17.


I was thinking the schiit magni and modi combo, but of course it'd be a bit over the budget...

Thats not a portable setup, you were looking for something portable, right?

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Those are all opentongue.gif

 

Thats not a portable setup, you were looking for something portable, right?

 

My thoughts exactly about: Hifiman HE400, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Beyerdynamic DT880, Sennheiser HD600/650.

 

I haven't seen the schiit products yet so I thought I'd just be able to throw them in my backpack or something, but yes to answer your question it needs to be something that has good portability...need to find some sort of good mix of quality and sound vs size/portability.  So far still seems like Mad Dogs might be the way to go???

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by soadspecialk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Those are all opentongue.gif

 

Thats not a portable setup, you were looking for something portable, right?

 

My thoughts exactly about: Hifiman HE400, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Beyerdynamic DT880, Sennheiser HD600/650.

 

I haven't seen the schiit products yet so I thought I'd just be able to throw them in my backpack or something, but yes to answer your question it needs to be something that has good portability...need to find some sort of good mix of quality and sound vs size/portability.  So far still seems like Mad Dogs might be the way to go???

The Schiit Magni has to plug into a wallwart, is that fine?

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

The Schiit Magni has to plug into a wallwart, is that fine?

Ahh didnt realize that, so yeah I will definitely need something more portable that wont need to be plugged into a wall.

Also how do you guys think the mad dogs would do w/ my marantz pm5003?
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by soadspecialk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

The Schiit Magni has to plug into a wallwart, is that fine?

Ahh didnt realize that, so yeah I will definitely need something more portable that wont need to be plugged into a wall.

Also how do you guys think the mad dogs would do w/ my marantz pm5003?

Not sure on the PM5003. Anyways, pick up an O2 then. Can be used with a wallwart and be portable. Has about a 9 hour battery life I think. I have one and an ODAC, also, I have used the O2 with the Mad Dogs(used to own the MD's, returned them due to personal reasons) I loved them while I had them with the O2, and will buy them again most likely next year.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Not sure on the PM5003. Anyways, pick up an O2 then. Can be used with a wallwart and be portable. Has about a 9 hour battery life I think. I have one and an ODAC, also, I have used the O2 with the Mad Dogs(used to own the MD's, returned them due to personal reasons) I loved them while I had them with the O2, and will buy them again most likely next year.

Does the odac make a big difference or would I be ok with just the o2? Looks like an o2 is the better option compared to a fiio from what I'm reading.
post #12 of 19

u game for UE9000?

since u hv a stomach for noise cancelling cans.

i hv been walking around town with this bluetooth 9000 paired to my ipad, loaded with AIFF songs,

the sound is very clear, the bass thumpy, every energetic sound up and down.

good for all genres...cept classicals?

 

If u are at home, u can wire it up for an even better sound.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by soadspecialk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Not sure on the PM5003. Anyways, pick up an O2 then. Can be used with a wallwart and be portable. Has about a 9 hour battery life I think. I have one and an ODAC, also, I have used the O2 with the Mad Dogs(used to own the MD's, returned them due to personal reasons) I loved them while I had them with the O2, and will buy them again most likely next year.

Does the odac make a big difference or would I be ok with just the o2? Looks like an o2 is the better option compared to a fiio from what I'm reading.

For home use, I would recommend using a DAC(A DAC only applies if your using a computer or a CD transport) I would say the O2 only compares to the E9 and the E12 in the FiiO line, one of which, the E9, can't be used portably. I would recommend the O2 over the E12 though.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

u game for UE9000?
since u hv a stomach for noise cancelling cans.
i hv been walking around town with this bluetooth 9000 paired to my ipad, loaded with AIFF songs,
the sound is very clear, the bass thumpy, every energetic sound up and down.
good for all genres...cept classicals?

If u are at home, u can wire it up for an even better sound.

I don't necessarily have a thing for noise canceling the Bose sets were gifts, sound is most important
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

For home use, I would recommend using a DAC(A DAC only applies if your using a computer or a CD transport) I would say the O2 only compares to the E9 and the E12 in the FiiO line, one of which, the E9, can't be used portably. I would recommend the O2 over the E12 though.

So no dac out of an iPod/iphone would be ok?
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