Hello people of Head-Fi.
I have been looking around on these forums for some time now, but haven't posted anything myself yet. I tried to provide as much information in this post as possible, so that i can really get some useful advice out of this. I hope the size of this post wont put anyone off, i would really appreciate some help.
Here is the situation:
A couple of months ago my previous headphone, a Grado SR60i broke down.
Since then i've been looking into a new (and better) headphone setup to use for long periods of time at my desk.
I will mostly use them to listen music, but occasionally to play some video games.
I started off with absolutely no real understanding of how this stuff works, but i feel like i've gotten a decent amount of knowledge of what i'm going to need.
However, there is a lot i still do not understand.
I'm looking to buy comfortable, full-size and open headphones(aswell as everything i need with it) with a budget of around 500 euros (680 dollars).
So far two specific headphones have gotten my interest, the Beyerdynamic DT880 (250ohm/600ohm) and the Sennheiser HD650.
Both of these seem to be very popular and solid headphones at their price range.
From what i've found the DT880 is available for around 250 euros in my country (the netherlands), where as the HD650 goes for about 350 euros.
However, these are just the headphones i've looked into for a decent amount of time, other suggestions are welcome.
From wat i've read both of these headphones need, or atleast benefit from a good headphone amp.
Since my main audio source will be my pc (FLAC/mp3), I would like to get a DAC too.
I don't know a whole lot about amps and DACs, but from what i've read on Head-Fi these two seem to be fairly good entry level solutions: the JDS Labs' O2+ODAC (220 euros) and the Schiit Magni+Modi Stack ( 180-200 euros). I've also looked at the bottlehead crack DIY tube amps, but they are too expensive for me right now (if i were to get either of the headphones listed above).
Here is what I'm not quite sure about:
Both headphones seem to have positives and negatives, so i guess i will list my thoughts on both cans seperately.
They have a nice and clean sound, a good soundstage (making them nice for gaming etc), great comfort and fantastic build quality (Which i can confirm having used my father's DT990s a couple of times). Overall they seem to be very nice headphones except for a few things. You cannot remove the chord from the headphones (although that seems minor, I'm really not a big fan of that since all my previous headphones had problems with chords, including the Grados) and Some people have said that they are not particularly exciting/enjoyable to listen to. Furthermore, they come in three version: 32ohm, 250ohm and 600ohm, I don't if i should go with the 250ohm version or the 600ohm version. I find independance kind of confusing, but i know that 250ohm+ stuff usually needs some kind of amplification, and that 600ohm headphones generally do much better with something like a tube amp. However, I feel like i would be wasting potential if i were to go with the 250ohm version. And with that I mean, if I eventually were to get a better (tube) amp, I will be stuck with a limited 250ohm version. And it seems that getting the 600ohm version with some mediocre amp like the schiit magni, would not do the listening experience any good either.
A lot of people seem to swear by these headphones. From what I have read they have amazing sound quality for their price, and you would have to spend an astronomical amount to get improvement over it. However the sound is also colored instead of neutral (I'm not sure if I like that) and personally i have never been very impressed by Sennheisers build quality, but i have never tried an HD650 either. They do have a removable Chord, but they cost a full 100 euros more than the DT880s.
Out of the two I've names previously I think i would prefer the Magni+Modi. This is because of two reasons. firstly, they're cheaper. Secondly, they're two seperate units. The latter might be considered a downside for some, but i'm not intending on moving around with this setup anyways.
The ability to just replace the magni with something like a Bottlehead amp if I ever want to is nice.
Two other solutions i've read about are the cheaper Fiio amp/dacs and the Maverick audio tubemagic.
Lastly I would like to consider the posibility of getting a Xonar Soundcard instead of a standalone DAC. Although my main priority is to get a setup that provides the best music listening experience, good surround sound support with something like the DT880 sounds pretty cool to me.
That's it. To anyone who has read through the whole post, thank you very much. I really hope to be able to make a decision based on the response to this post, and order my new setup ASAP so that I can stop using these damned HD201 headphones :S
PS: if I forgot any important info or said something extremely stupid in my post, please tell me, I'm still a huge noob at all of this.
Edit: Maybe I should also add something about the music genres I tend to listen. I listen to a large variety of genres, Including Classical, Metal, Rock, occasionally some electrical etc. Metal/rock are definitely are definitely genres I listen too more frequently and I'm aware Grado does a very good job with those, but I want something that works well all around.
Edited by AMN7 - 10/19/13 at 2:42pm