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Advice needed from experts on buying new headphone - first 'good quality' head phone

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I have been fond of listening to music for a long time, but never invested much in it. I have always preferred listening to music with earphone from mp3s stored in my phone. But now I'm planning to upgrade my music listening experience.

 

Here is what I use for listening to music right now:

 

[+] Macbook Pro 13" = I listen to music at home from my mac. I sometimes listen to the stored mp3s (mostly 128 kbps, some 256 kbps) and most of the times from youtube.

[+] Bose Companion 2 Series II = This is what I mostly use with my Macbook to listen to.

[+] Phone = Earlier I used to have an iPhone 4, then I switched to Nokia Lumia 920. I listen to my Lumia a lot via Samsung EHS49AS0ME (one of the cheapest ear bud in the market) a lot - while traveling and also while in my office. I have my phone and my mac mp3 collection in sync.

[+] iPod nano 7th gen = I recently got this during thanksgiving (this was the first upgrade I made). So I kind of replaced my Lumia with this iPod for listening to music. I use it with the Apple ear pod that came with it.

 

Here is what I am planning to upgrade to right now:

 

[+] Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones = I wanted to get a decent headphone for quite a long time. I have been researching for some time and going through a lot of posts in this forum as part of my research. Initially I zeroed down to Audio-Technica ATH-M50 as my first headphone. But after going through a lot of pages in internet and this forum, I decided to go for Sennheiser HD 598. Comfort and music quality (as it was recorded) is preference for me.

[+] Fiio E17 = I want to use this DAC + Amp with HD 598 hoping it will substantially increase the 'quality' of music.

[+] JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones = This is the ear bud that I chose. Bluetooth is not a preferred option for me, but I would like to get something to wear during my workouts too. Two pairs of ear buds (one for general outdoor use and one for workout) seems a little too much for me. So I need to get one good ear bud which I can use for work out as well as general outdoor use. If I get to use it to make and receive call, that would be preferable for me.

 

I decided to get these items without listening to a single of them. I don't think I have option to do that for each one of them. That is the reason I wanted to give a back ground of my music listening experience as well as what I am planning to upgrade to. I want to know the opinions from the experts so that I can get some guidance. Any opinion or criticism will be highly appreciated from novice like me.

 

Thanks a lot for your time. :)

 

- Biswajit

post #2 of 9

Hey :)

 

My first suggestion to you is to move away from 128kbps. No use in having good headphones if the music quality is poor right?

 

The fiio E17 will be a good start for a budget dac/amp.

 

Only real question is what type of music do you listen to? And do you plan to use the Sennheisers strictly at home?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Cotnijoe,

 

Thanks for your response.

 

Quote:

My first suggestion to you is to move away from 128kbps. No use in having good headphones if the music quality is poor right?

 

Yes, that is obviously correct. I have already started working on it. But it will definitely take some time to replace my library with higher bit rate files. I am definitely on for it.

 

Quote:
The fiio E17 will be a good start for a budget dac/amp.

Okay, so I'll stick to that choice.

 

Quote:
Only real question is what type of music do you listen to? And do you plan to use the Sennheisers strictly at home?

This is a difficult question for me to answer as I am not much familiar with the classification of the genres in music. Yes, I'm am truly not able to categorize my music due to my less knowledge of the genres. I will strictly use the Sennheisers for home use as I do not like to wear those over the ear headphones while traveling or in office.

post #4 of 9

There are quite a few decent options you can look into for a headphone at the 200 price range.

 

The 598 are certainly an option. akg K550 could also be an option. Philips Fidelio X1 (if you can find it used) is a wonderful headphone (And super comfy) that i previously owned and adored.

 

Just throwing a few more ideas for ya.

post #5 of 9

The 598 and E17 are definitely good ideas. But stay away from bluetooth. It kills audio quality, is a major pain to pair and unpair and having to worry about charging the battery sucks. As much as I hate Bose, their earbuds sound decent and are great for workouts. You won't get the best sound quality as other pairs of earbuds for the price, but it will probably beat those bluetooth earbuds and will still be great for working out. Certain versions of them come with a mic to let you make phone calls.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by biswajitdey13 View Post
 

This is a difficult question for me to answer as I am not much familiar with the classification of the genres in music. Yes, I'm am truly not able to categorize my music due to my less knowledge of the genres. I will strictly use the Sennheisers for home use as I do not like to wear those over the ear headphones while traveling or in office.

In the future, you should try to figure out which genres your music corresponds to because it will help to figure out which speakers and headphones will sound good with your genres of music. The combination of the FiiO E17 and Sennheiser HD 598 will be a large step up from your Companion 2 and you will probably love the sound. The Companion 2 were the speakers that first got me interested in sound quality actually. As previously stated though, you should upgrade the sound-quality of your music files to get the most out of your DAC. I hope you enjoy your new setup :D. You can also use a line-out from your DAC to your Companion 2 to make them sound even better as well, just make sure that the FiiO's amplifier isn't double-amping the signal because it is not good for the signal quality and may damage the input stage of the speaker amplifier.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy205100 View Post
 

The 598 and E17 are definitely good ideas. But stay away from bluetooth. It kills audio quality, is a major pain to pair and unpair and having to worry about charging the battery sucks. As much as I hate Bose, their earbuds sound decent and are great for workouts. You won't get the best sound quality as other pairs of earbuds for the price, but it will probably beat those bluetooth earbuds and will still be great for working out. Certain versions of them come with a mic to let you make phone calls.

 

despite it being bluetooth, which i agree pretty much with what u say, i feel like it does what its meant to do. and that's for giving you some tunes when you're working out.

post #8 of 9

I use a cheap bluetooth headband when I'm working out, but I wouldn't spend more than $50 for one. The jaybirds are $150. For that price OP can get some extremely nice IEMs and/or a bluetooth headband. I just think he's better off without the bluetooth. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your inputs on this. I have placed an order for the HD598 and E17. I'm still confused about the earbud though.

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