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Newbie looking for first quality headphones

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I work at a computer and have my headphones off and on all day long.  I've always just used apple earbuds and junk like that, but I'd like to take a big step up.

 

I'd like to stay under $200 USD.  I'm pretty sure I want open, not sealed.(correct me if I'm wrong)  I do need to hear people that walk up to me to ask questions and hear the phone ring and what not.  I don't listen to music at a super high volume.  I'm not concerned about people around me hearing the music leak out at all even though we work in a fairly quiet environment.

I listen to a wide variety of music.  Lots of rock such as Muse & The Killers up to Metallica.  On the flip side, I listen to a lot of acoustic music as well.  I play bass in a bluegrass band.  I love listening to classical/spanish guitar and even full fledged classical music.  And every now and then some techno/dance/electronica.

 

So far I've been thinking the Phillips L1, but people say it's really warm and bass heavy.  I'm also looking at the Sennheiser HD 598.

 

Yell at me if I didn't include any key information.  Again, I'm a total noob here and trying to learn!

 

Also, browsing around I've seen tons of references about portable amps.  I never knew such a thing existed... Please educate me on the need for these if they're important to my situation. I'll just be plugged into my work computer or iphone 5

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

Get the cheaper HD558 ($130)

Also get an aftermarket cable ($16-$19) that has the 3.5mm (1/8") plug, for use with the HD558.

 

If possible to add a internal sound card to your work computer, get the Asus Xonar DG sound card ($27).

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Are you saying to get the 558 so that I have room in my budget for the cable and sound card or because the 598 isn't worth the extra money over the 558?

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

Are you saying to get the 558 so that I have room in my budget for the cable and sound card or because the 598 isn't worth the extra money over the 558?


The HD558 and HD598 use the same driver, but different cup designs.

Also the HD558 has some black rubber tape on the inside of their cups. that you can remove to open them up more.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Out of curiosity, what would be the next step up?  And at what point do you need an amp?  How good is the playback from apple products?

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulahey View Post
 

Out of curiosity, what would be the next step up?  And at what point do you need an amp?  How good is the playback from apple products?


The Audio Technica ATH-AD900X ($225) should provide a warmer sound, over the Sennheisers.

Also the AD900X would be easily driven, by portable (Apple) products.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
If I was to plunge deeper for say the HD600's. Is that overkill for work? Being a noob and not really knowing what high quality headphones can do I'm trying to get a feeling for the future here.

For home use I also plan on getting a new record player soon to listen to vinyls. That's a whole other subject I gotta research, but should I let that affect my choice at all? Should I just stick to 598's for work and then plan for something better later at home?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
btw I apologize for my thoughts and questions kind of being all over the place.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Also, would a Fiio E10 do more than the sound card?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay so after reading through the forums all day today, I just purchased the 558's from Amazon for $129.  I also got the aftermarket cable off Ebay.

 

Now about the soundcard...  I'll have to check, but I probably shouldn't put hardware in my work computer.  I'm definitely willing to pay more for something from Fiio or equivalent. But which one?

 

I guess e7 if I want portable and e10 for desktop?  I don't think I need portable because iphone should power the 558's just fine from what you all have told me.  So is e10 what I should be looking at? 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulahey View Post
 

Okay so after reading through the forums all day today, I just purchased the 558's from Amazon for $129.  I also got the aftermarket cable off Ebay.

Now about the sound card...  I'll have to check, but I probably shouldn't put hardware in my work computer.  I'm definitely willing to pay more for something from Fiio or equivalent. But which one?

I guess e7 if I want portable and e10 for desktop?  I don't think I need portable because iPhone should power the 558's just fine from what you all have told me.  So is E10 what I should be looking at? 

Yea, FiiO E10, read reviews.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your time, Purple.
post #13 of 13

if it's not too late you better cancel your hd558 and go Frys buy hd598. $50.00 off NOW! I just got one yesterday for $149.00. Offer ends 11/7. See if you can reserve on at their website. I am so willing to add $20.00 more and buy HD598.

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