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Going to start saving for a $400+ headphone. Looking for some recommendations

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all. I've recently gotten a job (my first one :D), and, of course, I plan to save up for some expensive cans. Now, which, though, is my dilemma.

 

My current favorite headphones are my DT770 Pro. I use them all the time for just about everything. I personally wish they had a little less warmth, but just a tiny bit. 

 

I primarily listen to EDM, alternative rock, jazz, and orchestral

 

I don't know if I plan to use these out of the house. It honestly doesn't matter. I think the headphone would determine if I'll be using them as a portable or not.

 

What I've been looking at

 

Mr Speakers' Mad Dogs ($300). A legend in the entry level of planar magnetic headphones. I've heard so many great things about these, but I'm not sure if these would really be that much of an upgrade to my DT770.

 

Bowers and Wilkins P7 ($400). After reading that one review of these on Head-Fi, I've basically lusted after these headphones. 

 

HiFiMan HE-400 ($400). I've heard tons about these, but some people advise me to just go straight for the HE-500 over these. Would anyone mind explaining the main differences between these headphones?

 

HE-500 ($700).

 

Mr. Speakers' Alpha Dogs ($600). I really like how these look. Plus, they're closed back, which I do find myself preferring. Jude's comment on how they sounded open was really something that caught me. But, I'm not sure if I should just settle with the Mad Dogs instead of these.

 

 

Any suggestions? 

post #2 of 19

What source are you plugging the headphones into?

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

What source are you plugging the headphones into?

 

I've got a Bravo Ocean for my desktop amp, and a cMoy BB V2.03 for my portable amp that I use with my iPod Touch and iPhone 4S

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pro1137 View Post
 

 

I've got a Bravo Ocean for my desktop amp, and a cMoy BB V2.03 for my portable amp that I use with my iPod Touch and iPhone 4S


So, I'm assuming your plugging the Bravo Ocean straight into the computer, using on-board audio?

(The on-board audio will have a very low costing DAC feature)

The Schiit Modi USB DAC ($99) should improve the audio quality of your DT770s (used with the Bravo Ocean).

 

Also might ask here if there are any adjustment that can be done to the Bravo Ocean.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/444400/bravo-audio-funny-looking-little-tube-amps

post #5 of 19
You should definitely include a ~100 dollar dac like the modi in with your budget. I don't think you can really appreciate the sound of an upper tier headphone if you're just plugging your amp into a headphone jack.

I have the HE-400 and enjoy it greatly. The overall sound signature is similar to the DT990 I used to have -- meaning bass and treble are slightly emphasized over mids, and similar size soundstage -- but just better. The bass is deeper and more controlled, the imaging is more 3D and layered, there is more detail, and more speed and texture to the sound.

I haven't heard the HE-500, but I hear that it is smoother and more neutral (vs a more "fun" bass and treble oriented sound from the HE-400). I got the HE-400 because I like bass and didn't think the HE-500 would be worth the extra money. The HE-500 also needs a beefy amp. The HE-400 is easier to drive, but even it makes my CMOY clip at moderately loud (ie loud, but at a level I could reasonably listen to for a whole sitting) volumes. Idk if the dogs are easier or harder to drive than the HE-400, but I wouldn't be surprised if a CMOY isn't enough for them either. Bravo ocean is probably enough for the HE-400, but doubtful for the HE-500... there are people who use 50 watt speaker amps to get the most out of the HE-500.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

A DAC is on my list to get, but to me, I don't find myself hearing that much difference between my onboard and the iFi iDAC that I reviewed. When I sent it back to them and began using my onboard again, I truly didn't hear much difference except for transparency. What should I expect to hear with a better DAC?

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pro1137 View Post
 

A DAC is on my list to get, but to me, I don't find myself hearing that much difference between my on-board and the iFi iDAC that I reviewed. When I sent it back to them and began using my on-board again, I truly didn't hear much difference except for transparency. What should I expect to hear with a better DAC?


I would assume with an add-on external DAC you would have a noticeable improvement in over all sound quality.

Strange that the on-board sounded almost as good as the external DAC?

A week ago I switched from a sound card, over to an external DAC and now have no "background noise" at all.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'll still be looking at the Modi for certain. I do miss the transparency that the iDAC had. Is it better than the E07k? 

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pro1137 View Post
 

I'll still be looking at the Modi for certain. I do miss the transparency that the iDAC had. Is it better than the E07k? 


The Schiit Modi "should" be a better DAC then the E07K.

post #10 of 19

I auditioned both the HE-500 and the 400, and ended up buying the 500, b/c the 500s were a lot more refined.   The 400s sounded more fun initially, but I could see myself getting tired of that sounds after a short listening session, whereas the 500's sound is something i can listen to for a longer time.  

 

I also auditioned the 400 vs the Fidelio X1s yesterday, as I was looking for cans with a different sound palate, and got the X1s.    They arent as accurate as other speakers, but if you are looking for slam and impact, they've got it in spades.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

I auditioned both the HE-500 and the 400, and ended up buying the 500, b/c the 500s were a lot more refined.   The 400s sounded more fun initially, but I could see myself getting tired of that sounds after a short listening session, whereas the 500's sound is something i can listen to for a longer time.  

 

I also auditioned the 400 vs the Fidelio X1s yesterday, as I was looking for cans with a different sound palate, and got the X1s.    They arent as accurate as other speakers, but if you are looking for slam and impact, they've got it in spades.

 

I don't think I'm looking for slam and impact. I like it sometimes, sure, but I don't see myself dropping a lot on a truly bass-heavy headphone any time soon.

post #12 of 19

^^ I'll recommend you get the 500s, then - although the X1s are not basshead cans, they definitely have a bit of a V-shaped curve.  

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

What about the Mad Dogs/Alpha Dogs? I would personally prefer a closed back.

post #14 of 19
I haven't heard them. I did listen to the unmodded Fostex TRP50s and they are quite bad.

While I am sure modding helps them, I am not sure it would make that huge a difference (unless Fostex the company, with its staff of engineers, is absolutely clueless).
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post

I haven't heard them. I did listen to the unmodded Fostex TRP50s and they are quite bad.

While I am sure modding helps them, I am not sure it would make that huge a difference (unless Fostex the company, with its staff of engineers, is absolutely clueless).

According to people here, it does

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