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Looking to upgrade my audio setup.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

Clarification::

 

Ideally I would want a headphone that I could use in multiple scenarios. eg, Something I could use and be happy with on my pc, but also something that I could use with an Ipod or laptop if need be -- preferably without disturbing anyone around me. And of-course, then the ideal Dac/Amp would be able to move with me, as-well as be used stationary at a pc.

 

That being said, I understand that that is a pretty extensive request, that is why I was curious if getting an open phone -- that would be tied down to my pc -- and just picking up something just for portable use later would be a better option. But I'm not really sure how these headphones stack up against each other, as audiophiles don't like to agree. :wink:

 

 

So basically would:

 

    Portable(kinda):

  •         AKG550+ 100-150$ dac/amp = 300-350
  •         Momentum(used?) + 100-150$ dac/amp = 300-350

 

    Not:

  •        dt880s+ 100-200$ dac/amp = 300-400$
  •        hd598+ 100-200$ dac/amp =250-400$
  •        hd600+ 200$ dac/amp = 500$
  •        he400+ 100-200$ dac/amp = 400-500$

 

My view::

 

Wondering which would provide me with the best value, while I'm sure the hd600/he400 would provide the best sound, they would also be very, very not portable while being more costly -- also the he400 may require headphone mod, and the hd600 may not be adequately amped by a cheaper(ish) amp, and I'm not looking to drop huge money amping a headphone. But again, if they were that superior sound-wise the cost extra cost may be worth it in the long term.

 

Where-as I'm sure that I could use the Akg/Momentum in a portable way. I'm concerned about the audio quality of both as they are only 100$ish cheaper than the other options, and of-course comfort is a concern with the momentum.(which is why I was leaning towards akg )

 

Then the dt880/598 are the middle ground, again not being sure how these stack up, I thought there might not be a huge difference between the he400/hd600 and the dt880/hd598, and with the cost difference I might be able to pick up a 100-150$~ IEM/on-ear, to make up for the fact they are not portable.(would still cost more than a multi-use headphone though)

 

 

Other::

 

 

General notes:

  • I've tried out portable phones like the M50 and was quite disappointed. Didn't really enjoy the sound and they weren't terribly comfy.
  • I would like to use these as pretty much all-around headphones, movies, music, other misc audio(speech). I tend to learn towards rock, but i listen to everything from piano heavy classical up to metalish~ type music, and everything in between.
  • Also open to alternatives, assuming they meet the criteria and aren't horrible offensive aesthetically.

 

General concerns:

  • I've seen the momentum can be quite small/uncomfortable for some people
  • the 550 may lack a bit on the bottom end.
  • I've seen people say the 598 uses the same drivers as the 558 so there is not a big difference between them?
  • I've heard the he-400 isn't exactly comfortable -- due to the weight and the headband.
  • No clue about the differences in beyer models.
  • the cost of amplification of the hd600 might push it to being far less cost effective than the other headphones.

Edited by WTFGoD - 12/7/13 at 3:24am
post #2 of 22

If you are not satisfied with M50, you may not see much improvement from Momentum and K550, unless you prefer bass-lean sound (if that's the case, K550 will be a big improvement). 

 

There are some good dac/amp combo like Audioquest Dragonfly DAC (an amp is integrated), which older version should cost like 100 bucks right now.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Looks like a little usb stick? I was thinking something from fiio, they seem to be the most popular.

 

 

What headphone would be an improvement over the m50? The m50 was really underwhelming except for the sub-bass.(not sure if that's what its called) Both of those are considerably more expensive and both are well reviewed.

post #4 of 22

I really do not recommend FiiO in general. Their products' measurements are rather poor for the money.

 

Pretty much a lot of decent open-aire headphones (i.e HD598) will destroy M50. After all, there is no compromise to make the headphones portable for those open-aire, home use headphones.

 

Grab any of those 4 open aire headphones you mentioned above plus Dragonfly (preferably with Dragontail USB extension or any short male-to-female USB extension cable, otherwise USB port on your computer might get damaged over time due to the force applied by the DAC/amp and cable weight), and you will get much satisfying result.

 

That said, Momentum (and many other portable fashion headphones like B&W P5) is made as a portable 'premium looking' headphones, and a lot of sacrifice in sound quality was made. It's not a good deal unless you absolutely need a semi-decent sounding headphones with very good portability.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

I really do not recommend FiiO in general. Their products' measurements are rather poor for the money.

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared 

 

this guy says the E12 is good for the money.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginron View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

 
I really do not recommend FiiO in general. Their products' measurements are rather poor for the money.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared 

this guy says the E12 is good for the money.
Yes, and he puts FiiO at the very bottom of the ranking in the end against similarly priced amps. 

Besides, it is subjective test. You can search the internet for measurements for more objective ones.
Edited by wnmnkh - 12/6/13 at 9:01pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post


Yes, and he puts FiiO at the very bottom of the ranking in the end against similarly priced amps. 

Besides, it is subjective test. You can search the internet for measurements for more objective ones.

Tests by their nature are not subjective, opinions are. 

 

that's beside the point though. 

 

if the OP wants a good headphone for portable/home use the Mad Dog might be a good choice.

 

i'm not sure what amp would be best for them though. 

 

i was told that the E12 could drive them well, but maybe wnmnkh has a better suggestion for an amp under 200 that will drive them well.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by WTFGoD View Post
 

Was considering getting a nice pair of headphones and maybe a dac/amp. A bit confused about which direction would be better, on top of of-course the general confusion about trying to quantify the quality of audio equipment..

It would help to know what sources the headphones are going to be used with?

As home use and portable use might mean multible sources.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

It would help to know what sources the headphones are going to be used with?

As home use and portable use might mean multible sources.

that is true.

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginron View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post


Yes, and he puts FiiO at the very bottom of the ranking in the end against similarly priced amps. 

Besides, it is subjective test. You can search the internet for measurements for more objective ones.

Tests by their nature are not subjective, opinions are. 

 

that's beside the point though. 

 

if the OP wants a good headphone for portable/home use the Mad Dog might be a good choice.

 

i'm not sure what amp would be best for them though. 

 

i was told that the E12 could drive them well, but maybe wnmnkh has a better suggestion for an amp under 200 that will drive them well.

 

Yes, tests are not subjective. I meant to say they are objective (the original post had been heavily modified by a mod of this forum, hence the whole paragraph is broken)

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

Yes, tests are not subjective. I meant to say they are objective (the original post had been heavily modified by a mod of this forum, hence the whole paragraph is broken)

No problem. :beerchug:

 

what do you think about the Mad Dog for the OP, and if you do think its a good match what amp would you suggest besides the E12?

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginron View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post


Yes, and he puts FiiO at the very bottom of the ranking in the end against similarly priced amps. 

Besides, it is subjective test. You can search the internet for measurements for more objective ones.

Tests by their nature are not subjective, opinions are. 

 

that's beside the point though. 

 

if the OP wants a good headphone for portable/home use the Mad Dog might be a good choice.

 

i'm not sure what amp would be best for them though. 

 

i was told that the E12 could drive them well, but maybe wnmnkh has a better suggestion for an amp under 200 that will drive them well.

Actually, I read the some papers about E12 and it seems FiiO finally got it right after E11. Only problem is it costs rather high ($129) probably due to being portable with rechargeable battery. And it is an amp only; USB port is only used as power charging.

 

Better choice would be Schiit's Magni for 99 bucks, but it is also an amp only.

 

I am not sure about OP's budget. Regardless of the choice, a good DAC/amp combo usually costs around $200. Only other stuff I heard and know good is Audioquest's Dragonfly DAC (I remind you this is not just DAC only despite its name. It is DAC/amp combo integrated solution) or FiiO's E17 but I did not hear it. I did hear its original version, E07 and it was... well.. terrible at best.

post #13 of 22

Yeah i would recommend the Schiit Magni over the E12, but i don't know if the OP wants a portable rig or one for home use. :confused_face_2:

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginron View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

 

Yes, tests are not subjective. I meant to say they are objective (the original post had been heavily modified by a mod of this forum, hence the whole paragraph is broken)

No problem. :beerchug:

 

what do you think about the Mad Dog for the OP, and if you do think its a good match what amp would you suggest besides the E12?

 

Well, Mad Dog is orthodynamic. It requires a powerful amp.

 

I conjure, from seeing spec, E12 would have no problem driving it, and any other amps with similar/more power will work fine unless output impedance is too high. For a second I was confused it as Alpha Dog with 6 weeks of waiting time. :P

post #15 of 22

Alpha Dogs look really nice, wish i had the cash for them. :(

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