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$200 budget, give me some advice.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I busted my headphones, and have decided to upgrade. I've allocated $200 for the hunt on eBay.

What should I get?

 

I'm looking for open, clear sound. I fell in love with the Sennheiser 800HDs the first time I heard them, but that's long out of my reach.

I need something that can be driven by my iPod.

I need something that looks classy.

I generally listen to electronic and rock, but I also enjoy classical and orchestral music, so nothing bass-centric please.

I'm a fan of detachable and replaceable cables.

 

What can you guys tell me?

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at a pair of sennheiser 518s. any comment?
post #3 of 13

AKG K550/K551 have a pretty spacious soundstage for a closed headphone, and they can be driven by an iPod. Should be about $200. A used Q701 or HD600 can also be found in the $200-$250 range, but they need an amp and are open so you can't use them outside.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kontakt View Post

I'm looking at a pair of Sennheiser 518s. any comment?

AKG K550s would be a little easier for the iPod to drive and they are closed and blocks outside noise.

HarmanAudio (AKG) sells refurb K550 with a manufacturers warranty, on eBay, winning buds are usually between $150-$180.

 

Current bid, $132.00

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AKG-K550-Reference-Class-Hi-Fi-Headphones-Closed-Back-Design-/190940428351?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item2c74efb83f

 

Current bid, $1.04

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AKG-K550-Reference-Class-Hi-Fi-Headphones-Closed-Back-Design-/390686402630?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item5af6b96846

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't want the isolation. I spend a lot of time longboarding and in places where hearing my surroundings is ideal. That's why I felt that going for open headphones would be a better choice.

Am I wrong about this? I am not a pro at audio.

 

Also I am open to buying a headphone amplifier. I was considering one of those anyways, just to improve sound from my desktop.


Edited by Kontakt - 10/25/13 at 12:49pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kontakt View Post
 

I don't want the isolation. I spend a lot of time longboarding and in places where hearing my surroundings is ideal. That's why I felt that going for open headphones would be a better choice.

Am I wrong about this? I am not a pro at audio.

 

Also I am open to buying a headphone amplifier. I was considering one of those anyways, just to improve sound from my desktop.


Sennheiser HD558s are $130 at Amazon, should offer better mids, sound stage and treble, over the more bassy HD518.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I ordered a second hand pair of the 558s. Can you recommend a low budget amp that would go well with them, preferably with optical-in?

post #8 of 13

What would the optical signal be coming from? If you want to use it with a computer/console, then I'd go for the Fiio E10.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

You'd recommend the usb over optical? I would be using it for gaming, so I'm not sure how much of an effect the latency mentioned in many reviews might affect me.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kontakt View Post
 

Alright, so I ordered a second hand pair of the 558s. Can you recommend a low budget amp that would go well with them, preferably with optical-in?


Just get an Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $26.80 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

My onboard sound card (VIA Vinyl VT1708/A - 8-channel HD Audio) claims

 

  • Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz DAC Independent Sample Rate
  • All ADCs Support 48K/192KHz Independent Sample Rate
  • Built in High Quality Headphone Amplifier

 

I figured that it would provide the quality, but I'm less certain about the strength.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kontakt View Post
 

My onboard sound card (VIA Vinyl VT1708/A - 8-channel HD Audio) claims

 

  • Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz DAC Independent Sample Rate
  • All ADCs Support 48K/192KHz Independent Sample Rate
  • Built in High Quality Headphone Amplifier

 

I figured that it would provide the quality, but I'm less certain about the strength.


I believe the VT108 might be a slightly older audio chip set (maybe?).

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's from ~2008 so yeah, gettin up there. It's still good though.

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