post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, first time posting on head-fi.

I’m fairly new to the audiophile world and I’ve been researching as much as I can and have been looking into some high quality headphones for quite some time now. 

I'm not very experienced with high end audio equipment, I’ve been a lurker in a few forums, I have read up on a lot of comparisons, reviews and recommendations for headphones and things to go with it, but haven’t had the privilege of playing around and trying things out for myself.  


I think I'm struggling with options for DACs and AMPs the most.


I’ll get out of the way of what I ultimately want first.     

I need to easily switch between speakers, a pair of high quality headphones and a PS4 ( I've yet to purchase a PS4, I plan to get one when I see a price drop or as soon as an anticipated exclusive releases).      
The PS4 will be displayed on a monitor. This will require an audio output from its s/pdif that will most likely stay plugged into a DAC. Problem is I’m not sure if I should get a DAC solely for the PS4 and an AMP for headphones, or if I should get a DAC/ AMP combo, I'll be ok with going  with either.

I'm not sure how the connections work with each other either, as I've never setup a DAC or an AMP before.      
I’ve had a suggestion about getting a receiver before, I haven’t looked much into them or wether they might be a better option, let me know if this is maybe what I could or should be using.     
Please disregard home theatre setup possibilities, although from what I understand this is what receivers are mostly used with, I haven't much of an interest in them. 

For headphones, I was considering just buying 2 or so from amazon to try out for myself, but i'd like to try them with the proper amplification or whatever gets the most out of headphones, and that's where I'm stuck.     

I'll just keep whatever I feel is best and return the other(s).  I don't want to try them without whatever the headphones should be paired with, and I want to make sure I get the right AMP or whatever.     
I have drawn an interest to the following headphones, but by all means I am still open to recommendations and other suggestions;


* Beyer DT 770 pro – 80/ 250 Ohms


* Beyer DT 990 pro - 250


* Sennheiser HD 598


* Philips Fidelio X1


* AKG K/ Q 701


So that's pretty much the jist of it all.     

Below I have tried to write out the details in hopes to anticipate more common questions I've noticed people asking the poster around here and other forums.

I’ll explain what I currently have, my needs, a budget and the type of music I tend to listen to.




I am in the UK. I mostly use a desktop PC, and when it comes to a point where I need to use some headphones, I can find myself using them for up to 3-4+ hours.

My headphones now **(Gamecom 780 headset)** are USB based.     
I find this annoying, not so much the quality, but because every time I want to switch while listening/ watching/ gaming, I have to restart whatever it is I’m doing as the sound doesn’t transfer (Otherwise I have to go into audio settings and change things around which will mess things up when I’m not using headphones) and if I just unplug them again, there will be no sound at all until I’ve closed and opened whatever it was.

They are also not very comfortable.






Headphones will be used mostly for home entertainment (Music, films and games). 

I have thought about using them on the move, but I’d like to disregard this possibility for now, if I end up getting closed backs, then there's a plus, but if it's open backed headphones with a desktop DAC/AMP setup, I will either use current in ears that I have or just get a different set of closed backs, and if required, a portable AMP.

Comfort for long hours is important to me. I have a relatively small head, but the Gamecom 780 feels tight and clamps onto my temple area.    
My ears stick out a little too and currently the top of my ears towards the front (on the Helix) can start to feel slightly sore or numb after a while.






All together I want to limit myself at  ~£350, this fluctuates a bit though so if there's some kind of better way you guys recommend and it goes over, I'll be happy to know about and consider it as another option.    
This would be for this time buying though, so if i end up buying only an amp and a headphone within that budget, I'm happy to wait until much later to get something to add on, maybe along with the PS4 if need be.


Headphone usage


I have a very broad taste for music, I’m the kind of person that enjoys finding new things to listen to all the time.     
If you still need more specific details of what I generally listen to, then I’ll leave a list at the end of this post and include bands I tend to find myself listening to. 

I’m not much of a basshead, but obviously I don’t want the bass to be lacking, I like it where it’s appropriate.


I play a lot of video games, I am not competitive so I’m not exactly looking for “which headphones will let me hear footsteps the best”.    
Like my music, I have a broad taste in my games, but I immerse myself the most in simulation games, I currently play the “ARMA” series a lot with a realism clan.    
It would be great to be able to use my headphones with my future PS4 too.



If you've made it this far, thank you so much for taking your time to read through and to help a stranger out on this.    

Here is the list of bands, I’m not very good with stating what genres certain artists and bands fall into officially, this isn't a list of everything, but i was hoping it would cover most of what I like to generally listen to.

* Alkaline trio
* Anamanguchi


* Arcade Fire


* Beat Crusaders


* Coco Rosie


* Credence Clearwater


* Dead Meadow


* The Dears


* Edward Sharpe


* Electric Light Orchestra 


* Frank Sinatra


* Gorillaz


* Jimi Hendrix


* Meat loaf


* Metric


* Slayer


* Stevie Wonder


* Wu-tang