Hello head-fi. Looking for some new headphones and my friends recommended me this forum. I'm lost and overwhelmed by all of the options available and hoping someone can help out!
I'll cut to it:
Budget - $250-500AUD.
Source - PC - soundcard: Auzentech X-FI Forte
I honestly don't know how this sizes up vs. dedicated amps (whether it's junk or adequate) but the it has an in-built headphone amp. I can say without a doubt that my current headphones sound compleeetely different and significantly worse when it's not connected via my soundcard. I try with sound and electrical theory but it's hard for me to grasp for some reason.
Requirements for Isolation - At home on PC. Infrequently used on mobile phone for music (not a focus really).
Preferred Type of Headphone - Full-size, open. Time for a change from closed headphones. No IEMs.
Preferred tonal balance - Clarity, smooth. True sound? Mids-to-highs over bass however I am looking for a bit of a bassy punch over what HD-25s provide (which I think I will achieve out of open headphones anyway).
Past headphones - Unfortunately haven't had exposure to many different headphones. HD-25's and a cheaper variety of Audio-technica headphone which weren't that impressive.
Preferred Music - At the moment I listen to quite a variety of stuff but mainly electronic, experimental, indie, lounge / ambient, chilled slow music but also listen to hip-hop, rap and rock from time to time. Pretty much everything and only on here: http://www.youtube.com/user/majesticcasual
Main use - Gaming then music. Both are equally important though. Currently playing DotA 2 and if I was to ever play any other game it would be Battlefield 4 and probably nothing else. Movies from time-to-time not a big deal. Must not have a microphone - I'm using an desk mic (Yeti Blue).
I've checked guides and searched other people's threads but can't accurately relate to anything I've come across.
So far I seem to be frequently looking at the models: Sennheiser HD598 or HD600, AKG Q701 and ATH-AD900. A friend of mine suggested Beyer DT990 which seem quite appealing (but have heard conflicting reviews that its very bassy and others suggest it's very good in mid-highs) or Grado Alessandro but like I said at the start - lost.
My only related question is how does my soundcard weigh up vs a dedicated amp? I really don't want to have to buy a separate amp...
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post and consider helping me! I hope I've provided enough useful information.