Nope. It's your thread. OK that it changed
- 9,017 Posts. Joined 12/2011
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Nope. It's your thread. OK that it changed
The only AKG I've ever tried was one my friend who got me into audiophile had. At the time I was not an audiophile, so I can't really recall its sound or even the model as a matter of fact. I don't want to come off as I'm trying to deter you from getting anything outside of the Sennheisers. It's just that I personally have experience and own the HD 598 and HD 700. With that said, I really only use my HD 598 at work since it does not require an amp and does not bleed as much as my HD 700. After listening to the HD 700, the HD 598 come out as flat, but that's due to relativity. My first pair of audiophile headphones was the ATH-M50, and when I got the the HD 598, I immediately fell in love with them. It really opened up a new dimension of sound for me since they were my first pair of open headphones. So from that first impression standpoint, the HD 598 are hardly flat or boring. In fact the HD 598 impressed me so much, that I got the HD 700 the following week because I wanted more and the HD 700 are like the HD 598 in that it is more "fun" than the HD 800.
You play bass guitar? Man, the HD 700 has that bass that the HD 598 is missing. It's not a boomy, harsh bass like Beats, but a smooth bass. The bass guitar on the HD 700 is ooohhh sooo smooooth <3. If I had to say what was the greatest strength of the HD 700 it would be how it does bass guitar. The greatest strength of the HD 598 would be acoustic guitar for me. But I digress. The HD 700 is out of your listed $400 price range and it needs an amp, but to me it is totally worth it. Before, I listen to music while I'm doing something else to help pass the time. Now I listen to music as its own task for hours each day with my HD 700
I think what I'm going to do now is get the AKG K550 and the Fiio E17, with the idea that they'll be a good step-up from my icky Bose and V-Moda, and that the E17 may not be totally necessary for the AKG, but that it will add a little something, and that later I can get some higher-ohm beauties like the HD700. That DOES sound nice, Sonido...
A solid choice I'm sure. It looks like we convinced you to get an amp after all haha. I went through the same thing sort of in my audiophile path. I did not want an amp because I thought it was bulky to have another piece of equipment. Also, I played music from my smartphone mostly in the path, and I happened to also been in the market for a new smartphone at the time. I kept looking up info on how good the HTC One DAC was compared to the DAC in the Galaxy S4 with the apparently "godly" Wolfson DAC in the European models, but the European ones couldn't run LTE, etc. I went M50 -> HD 598 -> HD 700. By the time I got the HD 700, I finally decided I needed an amp after a listening session at Best Buy where they did not have an amp. I got the HTC One because it had a dedicated amp built in, but really it was not enough to drive the HD 700 properly. While the volume was sufficient, at higher volumes, the sound wasn't smooth and had peaks in sound that gave me a headache. I ended up getting the O2+ODAC for my HD 700 and I can listen for hours now on high volumes without a problem. In fact, I just finished a 5 hour listening session
The thing I find with amps is not about the volume, but more about the amp outputing a smoother sound even on higher volumes. The HD 700 is 150 ohms. I tried my friend's HD 600 which is 300 ohms and even at that, my HTC One could drive it fine volume-wise, but again, it's about the sound quality.
Ordered the K550s yet?
Indeed I have, and a Fiio E17. Should be here Thursday, and I'll write with impressions then. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions! I would have gone down a very different road if it were not for you all!
Sick!! So happy you went with those (you will love them).
The amp is a good choice, because if you want to get headphones that are harder to drive, you have an amp already... The K550 will benefit ever so slightly from an amp.
I would like to see an ABX test of that..
I'm actually going to be getting almost the exact same setup (e07k for the dac with my GS3 instead).
As a fellow bass player the 10's vs 15's is what sold me, excellent argument and from what I read the K550's are very well regarded. Will be a big change from my TMA-1's.
First off, my wife is a high school science teacher, and even when I'm doing 16 hours a day 7 days a week finishing a book, she always works harder than me. So you deserve something good.
1) A general point, first off. I've got set of Grados I bought in 1995. If they were a human being they'd be a freshman in college. They still sound great, and work perfectly. I've also got a pair of Yamaha YH-1s I got when I was in high school. WIth reasonable care, full-size phones will last almost forever. So shop carefully and buy the right thing once, even if you have to save another $100 to get just what you want. Where this hobby gets expensive is the buying/selling/buying again/selling again cycle.
2) My personal suggestion would be to prowl the classifieds for a Grado RS-2 or even an RS-1. You should be able to find an RS-2 for that money without too much effort, but RS-1s do pop up for under $500. I love the Grado sound. The other huge advantage is that they work great without an amp. Which not only saves you money, but gives you all kinds of physical flexibility. You can drive them straight from your laptop or even your phone, so you're not tied to the amp. (I use an Audioquest Dragonfly which gives me that advantage plus a nice boost in sound quality.) You can plan for an amp down the road, but you won't feel deprived without one.
3) With some pocket change, I'd buy a decent pair of IEMs. I like the Etymotic MC-5s for $55, although the HP-5 ($99) is a worthwhile upgrade. IEMs are perfect for those times when you need isolation, and once you get the right seal, the Etys are ideal.