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Help choosing my first (decent) over-ear headphones for home use (my first post!)

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi all.

 

For reasons I really fail to understand :veryevil:, my wife and neighbours are not always keen to listen to the fantastic sound delivered by my new Audiolab 8200DQ/P+ B&W CM9 HiFi system.

As such, I'm forced (and excited) to take my first step into the world of HiFi headphones, and I need your help.

 

here are some details to help you point me in the right direction:

- Where: I will use them 100% at home, in a quiet environment 

- What: I am quite eclectic, but I mainly like Classic Rock, Alternative Rock, Electronic (Moby & similar) and Classical (mainly Opera).

- Amp: Audiolab 8200DQ (Pre-amp/DAC). Based on the answer of my local Audiolab support center, the 8200DQ will work well with headphones having impedance between 50 and 100 Ohm.

- Source: Mac mini connected via USB 2.0 to the Audiolab 8200DQ

- Track quality: many ALAC 16bit/44.1KHz (ripped from CDs) and many AAC 256kbps

- Budget: I would like to stay below 200/250 Euro for this first step

 

TARGET:

1) enjoy good music

2) learn how to distinguish and describe the differences in sound reproduction I ear with different setups and settings. I can tell what I like best, but I can't describe it. I need a pair of headphones that help me discern the different sound characteristics.

 

I am actually looking at the AKG 612 Pro which should match my needs, based on my actual (poor) understanding of the headphones world... but I ask your help to make a wise choice.

 

I hope I didn't write any typical newbie mistake/idiocy! :p

Thanks in advance for your help!


Edited by doraymon - 12/16/13 at 2:55am
post #2 of 33

Given you like opera and I like classical, you might be interested in my initial review (and request for help) on this post. The long and short of it is that I fell in love with the Sennheiser Momentums but can't bring myself to spend the money. There were 3 cheaper alternatives that you might want to consider too.

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/695492/sennheiser-momentum-cheaper-alternative

post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfd View Post

Given you like opera and I like classical, you might be interested in my initial review (and request for help)...
http://www.head-fi.org/t/695492/sennheiser-momentum-cheaper-alternative
Thanks andrew, I will follow your post!
Edited by doraymon - 12/16/13 at 12:52pm
post #4 of 33

I know it's more than you want to spend, but consider buying a very good open over ear model. You'll feel that you've made less of a compromise; it will give you a fair comparison; and it'll last for years.

 

Your amp rules out some models, such as Sennheiser HD6x0. For your music with its emphasis on smaller string ensembles, I would rule out K70x. The choices include Beyerdynamics DT880-32 ohms (and maybe DT990-32), and Hifiman HE400.

post #5 of 33

I would go for the Audio Technica AD900/2000 seeing your musicpreference and setup! 

post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 

The DT880 32Ohm could be an option.

 

The HE400 and AD900 are both almost twice my max budget... out of range.

 

Still I would like to consider the AKG K612 Pro, which are rated 120 Ohm, so a bit higher than the recommended value for my amp (between 50-100 Ohm).

I've been reading a lot about this lately, and I have the impression that impedance is not the only parameter to judge if the amp will drive the headphones properly...

Ideally I should borrow them and test them with my amp, but I don't see how at the moment.

 

Any thoughts on how to anticipate if the AKG 612 will fit my system?


Edited by doraymon - 12/17/13 at 7:38am
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 

Well, having received no reply I decided to buy the AKG K612 Pro.

 

I would really appreciate some help in doing some tests. Is there any guide so that I can then post objective results for the benefit of all readers?

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by doraymon View Post

Well, having received no reply I decided to buy the AKG K612 Pro.

I would really appreciate some help in doing some tests. Is there any guide so that I can then post objective results for the benefit of all readers?

Burn it in for a hundred hours, and try it with records you know well so you can easily notice the differences. Happy listening!
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks claritas.
In the meantime I already did some quick tests and I have a doubt.
I posted them in an existing thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/216596/akg-k601-k612-pro-owners-unite/885#post_10147917
Would you give it a look?
post #10 of 33

You like to listen at very low volumes?

post #11 of 33

When you say 0dB, is that max volume for your amp?

So you're saying you can't get them loud enough?

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post
 

When you say 0dB, is that max volume for your amp?

So you're saying you can't get them loud enough?

sounds like it, you may want to look into an amp, such as the Fiio E11 which should sell for like $50 or so Euros, granted the price I posted is in US dollars, but the Fiio Amps usually sell for the same numerical Monetary value in each country 

post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

You like to listen at very low volumes?
No, but it looks strange to me that I have to push the volume knob to almost full scale to get decent sound pressure from the headphones...
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post

When you say 0dB, is that max volume for your amp?
So you're saying you can't get them loud enough?

Yes, 0db is almost the max volume of my amp. The point is, if I set this volume with the speakers, the sound I get is very loud!
I am just wondering if it's normal that I have to push it so hi. At 0db the headphones are loud enough, but, how can I say... No headroom.
Sorry guys, I'm quite a newbie with headphones as you might have understood...
Maybe it's just that I'm not used to listen through headphones.
I miss the effect of sound on the body that speakers give you... If you know what I mean.
Edited by doraymon - 1/11/14 at 9:09am
post #15 of 33

If you have turn the volume up to max just to get to acceptable listening volumes, that is a sign that you need some kind of amp. I'd recommend a CMOY amp, because I used one with an AKG Q701 and it had plenty of power. This was the JDS Labs CMOY version -- make sure to read reviews if you buy a different version, as there are many variations. 

Fiio amps are also quite popular. 

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