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Please recommend open headphones for Xonar Essence STX sans additional devices

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I have read many threads about STX and headphone recommendations galore (including link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, and link 6), but I have not found a match for my needs.  I'm new at this, so please speak as simply as possible without sacrificing crucial details, though I like to hear about the mechanics of things (when phrased elegantly).

 

For now I want to invest in the best headphones possible to match the STX and my needs, without additional amps/etc.  I say this because I feel I can always add equipment later, but the best headphones possible should come first, from what I've been hearing you all say.  Maybe a day will come when I have money sufficient to experiment with adding things on, but it's probably in the quite distant future, so I need the best open cans that can stand alone. 

 

 

Summary:  Maybe I need "a generalist" because I listen to all genres, and my favourites are artists that cross several genres within the same song, and I don't want to fiddle with EQ halfway through their songs.

 

- Open cans for a quiet home environment

- Source: Almost exclusively FLAC from STX

- For a wide range of music types

    -- Allows especially dark tones for forboding, crushing pieces à la Rachmaninoff

    -- Can play delicate and whispy solo piano or shamisen type pieces at the same EQ as deep, epic or flowery wide-spectrum orchestral sound

    -- Can allow raspy sounds to be pleasingly scratchy, as with horsehead violin, shakuhachi, throat-singing, and various crunchy fiddle sounds... without sacrificing sweet high notes when they come, even when the high notes are dominant

    -- Very respectable bass punchiness for electronica, timpani, industrial, rock, metal, taiko, reggae, dubstep violin, etc.  Perhaps it needs to have extra bass punchiness, since it sounds like some people found STX lacking in this respect?

    -- Plays acoustic (e.g. guitar) as lifelike as possible

    -- Will allow high-pitched girly vocals to stay girly and pleasant (e.g. not mechanical and steely), still allowing warm, bright mid-tones

    -- Will be somewhat okay for all those other genres I neglect to mention

- Budget of < $700 USD, with a special emphasis on "bang for the buck"

 

Do I ask too much?

 

 

... And please forgive me if I have broken some forum etiquette, since I'm doing my best.

P.S.  My hours of looking at different models have made me think the Sennheiser 650 does this job, but I want a broad set of recommendations.


Edited by rabidfox - 9/4/13 at 9:58pm
post #2 of 4

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X open headphones, $200.

Get Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

If you like tinkering, replace the op-amps (operational amplifiers) in the STX.

You could spend from $10 to $60 on replacing the three op-amps.

You really only need two op-amps for the headphones, but down the line you might try an external headphone amplifier, hooked to the STX RCA (line-out) jacks.

 

Technically a Schiit Magni, $99 or O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifier, hooked up to the RCA outputs on the STX, would be slightly better for driving the 40-Ohm AD900X headphones.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/4/13 at 10:00pm
post #3 of 4

Heya,

 

Look into:

 

Hifiman HE500* (may require an external amplifier for best performance, but hard not to consider in your price range)

HIfiman HE400

Sennheiser HD600

Sennheiser HD650

Mr Speakers Mad Dog

Mr Speakers Alpha Dog

AKG K702 Aniv.

AKG Q701/K702

Beyer DT880

Philips Fidelio X1

 

Very best,

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys!

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