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the search for the final frontier (hopefully) headphones and dac for 1000$

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

well i've been roaming the forum for the past month learning as much as i can about headphones and dacs.

 

what i learned so far is that the SQ of the headphones is more important then the source, but you need a good source to drive the headphones and to support high def files.

 

i saw the tera player and loved it, really loved it, it has everything i need, but i have the X10 as my portable IEM and they wont do the player any justice.

it may sound good but i wont get the best for my money's worth.

 

so here i am again with the 3rd (hopefully) last thread for the long search.

 

currently i own a dying cowon S9 and my X10 headphones, and let me tell you this combo is really bad.

 

the highs are way too high (even if i set the player EQ to 9Khz narrow at -2)

the mids are a bit too clear 

the bass is really good

 

 

so, what can i get for 1000$ headphones and DAC wise.

 

i listen to:

- advance rock

- rock

- jazz

- pop

- a bit of RNB

- classic music

- blues

- a bit of metal

 

my demands for the player:

- at least 64GB of storage

- shuffle 

- if there is a UI i would love it to be simple but i really don't need any UI i shuffle

- physically controllers for next rewind and volume

- if possible small

- if there is an sd card slot the songs needs to show in the same folder as the internal storage

 

headphones:

- i would love it to be IEM

- if full size it should be as less warm to wear as possible ( i live in a warm country)

 

thanks in advance FP581


Edited by fp581 - 5/22/13 at 11:51pm
post #2 of 10

The Samsung Galaxy 4.2 MP3 player to me is the best of the 'affordable' players out there.

 

For 2 reasons

1. SD slot

2. Most imp: Removable battery.

 

The sound that comes out is clear and not so bassy, so it wont work well with the x10. Unfortunately its hard to get now from retail stores. But to me beats out any player for the price.

 

Spending $1000 or more ain't reasonable for me, cause I dont produce or record music.

 

Fiio & Ibasso are coming out with some great players for the price and should satisfy you.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for the help.

 

the price is for headphones and player together, so no need to worry about the headphones :)

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fp581 View Post

well i've been roaming the forum for the past month learning as much as i can about headphones and dacs.

what i learned so far is that the SQ of the headphones is more important then the source, but you need a good source to drive the headphones and to support high def files.

i saw the tera player and loved it, really loved it, it has everything i need, but i have the X10 as my portable IEM and they wont do the player any justice.
it may sound good but i wont get the best for my money's worth.

so here i am again with the 3rd (hopefully) last thread for the long search.

currently i own a dying cowon S9 and my X10 headphones, and let me tell you this combo is really bad.

the highs are way too high (even if i set the player EQ to 9Khz narrow at -2)
the mids are a bit too clear 
the bass is really good


so, what can i get for 1000$ headphones and DAC wise.

i listen to:
- advance rock
- rock
- jazz
- pop
- a bit of RNB
- classic music
- blues
- a bit of metal

my demands for the player:
- at least 64GB of storage
- shuffle 
- if there is a UI i would love it to be simple but i really don't need any UI i shuffle
- physically controllers for next rewind and volume
- if possible small
- if there is an sd card slot the songs needs to show in the same folder as the internal storage

headphones:
- i would love it to be IEM
- if full size it should be as less warm to wear as possible ( i live in a warm country)

thanks in advance FP581

The Tera-Player does do justice to the X10. Don't underestimate the pairing until you try it.

I have both.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

but dos the x10 do the same for the tera?

 

i want to get the best for my money, i am not saying its not a good combo, i just want to see other options :)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

well any suggestions? 

post #7 of 10

I don't agree with this, source first is the #1 golden rule of audio. For me anyway.

Rubbish in, rubbish out.

If you have $200 source and $800 headphones, you are only hearing a small percentage of the 

headphones capabilities, if the cheap source has any flaws, the superior headphones will just expose that 

and produce a mediocre sound.

I would look at 60/40 split, that way you are hearing nearly all the capable performance of the headphones.

 

This of course is theory, but in 30 years of building systems, selling hifi and getting into Head-Fi, it has never let me down.

Current system of HM-801 and DT1350 is a superb example, and I believe it sounds much better than 

a Clip+ and HD700s

Quote:
Originally Posted by fp581 View Post

well i've been roaming the forum for the past month learning as much as i can about headphones and dacs.

 

what i learned so far is that the SQ of the headphones is more important then the source

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for the help.

 

the 801 has really low battery life, i will have to charge it every day and in a year to buy a new battery (probably).

and the charge time is really long one.

plus, i saw that there are tons of bugs in the player, the shuffle is problematic and the interface freezes constantly.

 

i want a player that just works, no bugs, can shuffle, long battery life and excellent SQ with headphones that can show the best of the player's Q.

 

that is why the tera or hifiman-801 are out of the game.

the tera will take all the budget and the x10 wont show what the tera is capable of

and the hifiman 801 is way too buggy to work with everyday (not mentioning the button freeze).

 

so if its 60/40 the player is up to 600$ and headphones up to 400$

 

the players for 600$ +- that i found are:

Astell & Kern AK100

sony walkman z 

ipod 5.5 with 128 GB

there is the c3, x3 and x5 later that year.

 

well so the player is pretty easy to choose from, the ak100 is the best (except the x5 witch did not come out yet)

 

and the headphones for the choice are: (from the Head-FI guide)

IEM

  • 1, 2 - Monster Turbine Pro Copper : Great dynamic range, sound stage, presence with incredible bass presentation. Mid foward. Very cool looking.

 

Portable

  • DC, 1 - Audio Technica ESW10 : Warmish natural sound. Great looks and good comfort. Only little isolation, good in the city but not for subway use. Considered one of the best portable headphones around but is overpriced when you consider the fact that the M50s provide similar sound for around 120 dollars.
  • 1, 2 - Audio Technica ATH-ES10 : Strong visceral bass, neutral mids, smooth and sparkly highs (though not grado-ish). So-so isolation, comfy (not so much as denon d1001), big soundstage, simple but elegant design. Good build quality. One of the best portables present to date (2010)

 

Closed Full-size

  • 1, 2 - Bose QC15 [$299]: The best active noise canceling headphone by far. Good sound stage and presence. Light on the bass. The noise cancellation might distort the music though.
  • 1, 2 AKG K550 : Neutral headphone, similar to the Denon D2000 but with better mids and less bass. Very comfortable, great isolation. Best with Vocals, however is a good all-rounder. May need to mod (stuff cotton and bend headband) to get a tighter fit. Large soundstage. 

 

Open Full-size

  • 3 - AKG K701 or 702 : Extremely detailed with a large soundstage. Some feel anemic bass dependent on amping. 
  • 3 - Beyerdynamic DT880 : Very flat, neutral sound. Excellent and accurate soundstage. Very good for gaming.
  • 2 - Audio Technica AD2000 : Open, airy soundstage with very lush forward midrange and great speed. One of the best for female vocals.
  • 3 - Beyerdynamic DT990 : Semi-Open, great soundstage, natural sound especially when paired with tube amp, present but controlled bass.

 

 

 well the guide is pretty old so the prices are probably way cheaper now and there are plenty of new headphones out there.

post #9 of 10

You are aware of the high output impedance of the AK100, and that you've only listed one IEM despite saying that's the only option due to heat?  Open headphones outside are a bad idea because of outside noise so I'd take them all off the list even without having heard them, unless your commute involves a walk across a deserted desert...

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

i just copied the list of recommended headphones 

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