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Help buying new over ear headphones & Sound Card/Amp/DAC setup!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey all

 

I'm relatively new in terms of the audiophile world and my current collection of headphones and IEMs include an Audio-Technica ATH-ES7, Hippo VB's, and Vsonic GR02 Bass Edition (You can probably guess that I like my bass from that sort of lineup). I am looking to purchase a new set of headphones (Over ear preferably) of between the $100-150 sort of price range that deal well with rock/orchestral/pop and electronic styles of music but mainly electronic (Trance/House/Melodic EDM not dubstep). These headphones will be used for mainly gaming/music and for extended periods of time.

 

I've been looking at many threads on head-fi over the past week and have come to the conclusion that most people recommend the Ultrasone DJ1's or Beyerdynamic DT 770's for this type of music however the Beyer's are a bit out of my price range. I was wondering if anyone else had any suggestions of comments on this front as I am still not 100% sure of which direction I should go in terms of purchase. As a side note I really love a big punchy sort of bass on most of the electronic songs. Also I live in Australia which can make shipping from Amazon and some other places a bit of a pain.

 

Examples of the type of music I listen to are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfJfyvpXcjE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BPu5m63_go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqI78S14Wgg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOMQxVtbkik

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FWRT9C9XMQ

 

Currently I do not have an AMP/DAC on any of my sound systems and just use the onboard audio on my computer and my phone. My motherboard on my comp is an AsRock 970 Extreme4 with ALC892. I am wondering how much of a difference adding a DAC/AMP or sound card would add to this setup and what I should get. I've been looking at something like the Fiio E10 or Xonar DX + a Fiio E11 so I can use the E11 on my phone as well. My budget for this is around the $100 mark as well but of course the lower the cost the better if the improvements are marginal. Overall I would like recommendations on things that you would think improve the type of music I listen to and the headphones I have (and will buy) using the examples and information above.

 

Any help would be absolutely fantastic and I would very much appreciate it!


Edited by Subrising - 11/29/13 at 4:19am
post #2 of 27

Asus Xonar DX with the FiiO E11 amp sounds like a good combo.

Order the E11 with an extra battery.

On eBay they sell low cost batteries (BL-5B) for the E11, they might not hold as much charge for a given rating (mA) but the price is so good they are still the best value.

post #3 of 27

I would strongly recommend NOT buying the E11. Many users report that after some time of use it starts to produce scratchy sound interference.

EDIT:
"As for your comment about the E11 I haven't seen anyone really complain about the interference apart from iPhone users which I am not and will never be. If you could show me some comments of people that have I would gladly read them as the more knowledge on the subject the better." -Subrising
 

"Oh, thank you. I didn't notice that until now but it does seem to only be iPhone users! That's really good news for me actually, because besides those users complaining of static, I really liked the E11." -Zokharafi
 


Edited by ZokharaFi - 11/29/13 at 2:27pm
post #4 of 27
Consider the Fiio E7 for it is both an amp and a DAC in one small box, and has good reviews. For your price range I can recommend you from personal experience the Sennheiser HD 280 pro's. They are great headphones that produce well rounded, clear sound. For the more punchy bass-type I once owned a pair of Sony MDR XB500's that were really great. Not only did they produce strong bass that would literally vibrate, they produced good volume, are very cool looking, comfortable, and a good price.

Hope this helps, Sincerely
ZokharaFi
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

I took a look at your suggestion of the Sennheiser's and have found a few reviewers here on head-fi saying that they are more neutral orientated which is exactly what I don't really want in a pair of headphones. As for your comment about the E11 I haven't seen anyone really complain about the interference apart from iPhone users which I am not and will never be. If you could show me some comments of people that have I would gladly read them as the more knowledge on the subject the better. 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Asus Xonar DX with the FiiO E11 amp sounds like a good combo.

Order the E11 with an extra battery.

On eBay they sell low cost batteries (BL-5B) for the E11, they might not hold as much charge for a given rating (mA) but the price is so good they are still the best value.

Thanks for the comment mate. Have you had experience with an E11 vs an E10, E07K/E7 or the E6? I'm unsure as to whether or not the price differences are justified by each model up. I'll probably end up buying the Xonars at some point as I am an avid gamer and I've heard that it is great for both music and gaming. I'm don't really know of other DACs that are good for both at a similar sort of price range but there may be some. 

 

I'm also unsure as to if I need an amp with my current headphones and for the new one I am going to get. Would a DAC be good enough just for PC use and the headphones alright by themselves when used with a phone or does an AMP improve the sound quality of both the phone and PC as well rather than just increasing volume or EQing.


Edited by Subrising - 11/28/13 at 2:14am
post #7 of 27

I have the E17 and there is not much difference in SQ when paired with GS3 but there is a difference when I connect it with my laptop via USB.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zamorin View Post
 

I have the E17 and there is not much difference in SQ when paired with GS3 but there is a difference when I connect it with my laptop via USB.

Thanks for your input zamorin. Is that cause of the drastic improvement of the DAC in the E17 from your laptop onboard? I would assume so.

post #9 of 27

I assume that when I'm connecting via USB then it bypasses the Laptop DAC and is handled by E17.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrising View Post
 

Thanks for the comment mate. Have you had experience with an E11 vs an E10, E07K/E7 or the E6? I'm unsure as to whether or not the price differences are justified by each model up. I'll probably end up buying the Xonars at some point as I am an avid gamer and I've heard that it is great for both music and gaming. I'm don't really know of other DACs that are good for both at a similar sort of price range but there may be some. 

 

I'm also unsure as to if I need an amp with my current headphones and for the new one I am going to get. Would a DAC be good enough just for PC use and the headphones alright by themselves when used with a phone or does an AMP improve the sound quality of both the phone and PC as well rather than just increasing volume or EQing.

I own the FiiO E6 and E11.

For the computer you might get a Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card.

Takstar Pro 80 (Gemini HSR-1000) closed headphones are really good for the price.

Plug the Takstar/Gemini straight into the Xonar sound card.

 

Not sure about what to use with the phone?

post #11 of 27

Oh, thank you. I didn't notice that until now but it does seem to only be iPhone users! That's really good news for me actually, because besides those users complaining of static, I really liked the E11. 

 

Best regards,

ZokharaFi

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I own the FiiO E6 and E11.

For the computer you might get a Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card.

Takstar Pro 80 (Gemini HSR-1000) closed headphones are really good for the price.

Plug the Takstar/Gemini straight into the Xonar sound card.

 

Not sure about what to use with the phone?

That Takstar headphone what type of sound signature is it and what would it most similarly compare to? I haven't heard anything about that brand before so I am curious as to how it holds up against something like the Ultrasone DJ1.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrising View Post
 

That Takstar headphone what type of sound signature is it and what would it most similarly compare to? I haven't heard anything about that brand before so I am curious as to how it holds up against something like the Ultrasone DJ1.

I know zero about the Ultrasone DJ1, so have no idea on how to compare.

If Sony put their name on the HSR-1000, they could easily sell for over $100.

To me the HSR-1000 are just good all over sound quality, maybe like the DT770s?

 

As an update, maybe get the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500, retail box), on sale at Newegg for $75.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I know zero about the Ultrasone DJ1, so have no idea on how to compare.

If Sony put their name on the HSR-1000, they could easily sell for over $100.

To me the HSR-1000 are just good all over sound quality, maybe like the DT770s?

 

As an update, maybe get the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500, retail box), on sale at Newegg for $75.

I'm from Australia and unfortunately Newegg does not ship to here.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

If anyone else has any other suggestions I would love to hear them!

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