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Need help choosing headphones $300 budget for electronic music and gaming

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My budget is $300 (willing to pay a little more if I have to), I will be using them for electronic/house music and for gaming (Starcraft 2), they will be run mainly through an Asus Xonar DG headphone amp/sound card. I am currently using Sony MDR-ZX700s and they sound average, not particularly exciting. The bass is present, but overall sound is not very clear or impressive. I actually like the sound from my Shure 215 IEMs better, but I would like nice over-ear headphones for use at home. Comfort is important to me as I will be wearing these for a couple hours at a time. I am currently between the Audio Technica MT50's, Beyerdynamic DT770's 80ohm, or Ultrasone HFI 780's.

 

What headphones would you recommend and why? Thanks for your help!


Edited by rutger413 - 10/18/13 at 8:32am
post #2 of 18

V-MODA M-100 + BoomPro Mic.

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rutger413 View Post
 

My budget is $300 (willing to pay a little more if I have to), I will be using them for electronic/house music and for gaming (Starcraft 2), they will be run mainly through an Asus Xonar DG headphone amp/sound card. I am currently using Sony MDR-ZX700s and they sound average, not particularly exciting. The bass is present, but overall sound is not very clear or impressive. I actually like the sound from my Shure 215 IEMs better, but I would like nice over-ear headphones for use at home. Comfort is important to me as I will be wearing these for a couple hours at a time. I am currently between the Audio Technica MT50's, Beyerdynamic DT770's 80ohm, or Ultrasone HFI 780's.

 

What headphones would you recommend and why? Thanks for your help!


ATH-M50 are not consider good headphones for surround sound.

The DT770 Pro 80-Ohm should out do the ATH-M50s in every catagory anyway.

Not sure how the HFI-780 compare to the DT770s.

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


ATH-M50 are not consider good headphones for surround sound.
The DT770 Pro 80-Ohm should out do the ATH-M50s in every catagory anyway.
Not sure how the HFI-780 compare to the DT770s.
Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Agreed. M50s are not very good on soundstage.

I like the HFI-780s better than DT770s for the surround effect created by SLogic technology, but prefer the overall SQ of the DT770s.

Since you are using these at home--if you don't need isolation--you might also add the DT990 Pro 250 ohm to your list for consideration. Quite a bargain for $154 at the moment on Amazon.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions. They can be open or closed back. Style does not matter either, just looking for the best all around sound, fun to listen to, good bass and comfortable to wear.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rutger413 View Post

Thank you for the suggestions. They can be open or closed back. Style does not matter either, just looking for the best all around sound, fun to listen to, good bass and comfortable to wear.

DT 990s are similar to 770s although open back with better soundstage from what I have heard. They are also known as the 'fun' headphones because of the eye-catching treble and bass.

 

Amazon has an exceptional price on the DT 990s pro for only $150, http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-DT-990-Pro-250-Professional-Acoustically-Applications/dp/B0011UB9CQ/ . Which leaves money to buy an amp such as the Fiio e10 to drive these.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rutger413 View Post

Thank you for the suggestions. They can be open or closed back. Style does not matter either, just looking for the best all around sound, fun to listen to, good bass and comfortable to wear.

Well, definitely the DT900s a try. Bigger soundstage than closed headphones. And then the velour ear pads, which most people find comfortable. And every have your headphones get warm on your ears? Open headphones help reduce that because of being open to the air. smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 18
Yeah, id go with the dt 990 or Fidelio x1. Theyre open and have the bass youll need.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have done some more research and I think I am sold on the DT 990 Pro.  I can't believe that they are only $154 on Amazon... The same "non-pro" version is listed for $379 which does not make sense to me :confused_face(1):  And why is the 32-ohm version so much more expensive? 

 

Will the Xonar DG sound card http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_DG/#overview be sufficient for driving the headphones? Is there any advantage to having a USB portable amp vs. dedicated sound card w/built-in amp?

post #10 of 18
Youll need a little more power than that. The fiio e11/e12 or schiit magni will do fine.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rutger413 View Post
 

I have done some more research and I think I am sold on the DT 990 Pro.  I can't believe that they are only $154 on Amazon... The same "non-pro" version is listed for $379 which does not make sense to me :confused_face(1):  And why is the 32-ohm version so much more expensive? 

 

Will the Xonar DG sound card http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_DG/#overview be sufficient for driving the headphones? Is there any advantage to having a USB portable amp vs. dedicated sound card w/built-in amp?


The $379 DT990 Premium 32-Ohm will not have to make sense to you, just buy the DT990 Pro 250-Ohm.

The Xonar DG built in headphone amplifier is fully maxed out try to drive 250-Ohm headphones.

You could get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99 or replace the Xonar DG with the Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $100.

post #12 of 18

I'd buy some used HD650 or HD600's and then worry about upgrading your amp down the road.

 

You can always get an inexpensive tube amp for them if you feel you need it, like the Bravo Ocean or V2. Even run straight out of your Xonar they'll sound better than most of the headphones mentioned in this thread. Plus down the road you can build a OTL amp like a Bottlehead Crack and they'll sound even more marvelous!

 

BTW I have or have had all this gear mentioned and have been through alot of headphones, so it's not just speculation :)

post #13 of 18

Also another combo to check out that would be a bit cheaper would be a Bravo V2 amp with some Beyerdynamic 32ohm DT880's

 

A friend of mine uses this combo with a uDAC and it sounds almost as good as my setup that costs 3X more. Probably the best bang for the buck rig I've heard yet.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

This is all very helpful. So just to clarify/summarize, I have a couple options: Simply add a portable amp (fiio e11/12 or Schiit Magni) to a cheaper sound card like the Xonar DG or just go with a more powerful, capable soundcard (Asus Essence STX or Creative Sound Blaster Z)?

post #15 of 18
To me, it's worth the extra money for the better built in DAC, too, over just getting the headphone amp to hook up to the Xonar DG.

My suggestion would be use the DT990s for a few weeks with your Xonar DG. Get used to them and let them break in. Then get either the Creative Titanium HD or Xonar STX from Amazon. Try it out. If you don't feel the difference is worth the price, RMA it. If you buy from Amazon or Fulfilled by Amazon (not 3rd party vendors who do their own shipping), probably not more than $10 or $12 to send back with Amazon's prepaid shipping.
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