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HD650 and an amp... or not

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello there, thanks for giving this post a read. I'm obviously new here, I came across this site due to the Geek/Light Harmonics thread. More on that later though. Currently I own a HD515 plugged straight into on-board audio of my motherboard, an ASRock 990FX Extreme4.


I'm a regular to Kickstarter, which is where Light Harmonics had their first campaign for the Geek Out. It looked rather interesting and I thought, why not, so I backed it and I'm looking forward to receiving mine early next year (if everything goes according to plan)


A few weeks later they launched another campaign, this time in Indiegogo, for the Geek Pulse. Kickstarter backers get a discount on it so it'd be $240 in total for me. That got me thinking, I'd been meaning to get some better headphones for a while and with the discount it seems like a good value deal. The only problem with getting it is that I would spend close to $400 on DAC/amps, to drive a pair of $40 headphones.


Putting aside the question of whether or not it's worth it to get a desktop and mobile DAC/amp without even knowing if it's any good, I went looking for a pair of better headphones. Budget is a bit of an issue, it's not like I don't have the money, it's more of a question whether or not the improvement warrants the cost. I'd also like it to be future proof in a way.


I'll be using them for music mostly, just about any music. A bit of gaming as well. I don't really need a headset for that since I already have a Samson C03U microphone.


Currently I'm looking to get the HD650, which I can get new for around €340. I've heard great things about it and even though they're older cans they hold up pretty well. The problem is that with delving rather deep into the headphones scene got me quite excited about getting better headphones, but I won't be getting my Geek Out until January at the soonest.


Is it worth it to get a HD650 now? Will they sound crap with on-board audio, will they even be listenable as far as volume and quality goes? If it's going to sound worse than my HD515's or close to it I might as well hold out for another few months. Also, is it worth it to get the Geek Pulse in my situation?


Thanks in advance,



post #2 of 2



I wouldn't even consider the `Geek Pulse' considering what you're coming from. I would worry more about getting the right headphone, rather than worrying about a discounted hyped up dac/amp that you can't even get yet so there's no telling if it's worth it's cost or not. For $200, you can get all you need, high quality, and no wait for some even or need a discount (schiit modi & magni, or JDS labs O2 and ODAC are good examples).


The HD650 out of your motherboard is not worth the cost. You would definitely need something to drive it, for it to be a worth while purchase. But you can get a simple sound card or an entry level usb dac/amp (like Fiio E10) to power it in the mean time while you either work out your budget, or figure out what dac/amp you really want for the "future proof" of it.


Very best,

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