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Looking for first decent headphones - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

the example i like to use is that you can usually taste the difference between a $300 steak vs a $200 steak. However, adding $100 of seasoning onto a $200 steak doesn't make any sense as the $300 steak will always taste better than the $200 steak no matter how much seasoning you add to the cheaper steak.

 

amp/DAC are just seasoning for headphones. they can improve the sound quality by maybe 10-25%, but headphones+source is always the primary factor that depends your sound quality. your money goes farther if you put it into a better pair of headphones.

No the Dac and amp are not seasonings, the Amp and Dac are like the cooking methods for your headphones, 

 

The Dac and amp supply the raw signals that allow your headphone to play music, going to steak. Would you rather have a $200 steak cooked on a $100 grill or a $300 steak cooked in a $20 mircowave... I'll tell you now mircowave steaks is terrible

 

if anything Equalizers are like teh seasonings of Audio. Take a good EQ and you can make a $100 headphone sound really epic! But that's assuming you running it through a good dac and amp. No matter what you do mircowave steaks tastes BAD. 

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

You apprently didn't read my post... I had both the DT 990 and the HE 400, and the he 400 did not out perform the dt 990 out of my oDac and M Stage, it took about  $800 in gear for the HE 400 to reallly outshine the DT 990, when I got my NFb 10ES2 and a balanced cable for the HE 400, only then running fully balanced did it out perform the Dt 990, other wise out of my M Stage and oDac which cost me liek $300 total, they perfomed very much on par. THe differance being sonic presentation. Better mids on the dt 990 better sub bass on the HE 400 

 

 I have actually listened to higher end headphones like the HE 400 [for months as well mind you], so unless you have heard a $400 don't make assumptions about them. Headphones in the upper teir of mid fi, such as the W1000x, the HE 400 they need high end amps and dacs to perform at the expected level. Without higher performance Dacs and amps to feed them they are sonically on par with low model Mid fi gear like the UE 6000 and the DT 990. 

 

Now going to the UE 6000 whats makes it SO good is it's sound! But the UE 6000 does NOT scale well. So for the $100 it is an EXCELLENT headphone, it doesn't need a high end dac or amp. So an E17 would be a good step above on board sound. And it would be more than enough for an UE6000. I find it best to get your self some intro gear. A simple Dac and amp. Then once you have that, then work into headphones. Don't feed a $400 headphone out of your On Board pc audio that's a waste. Spend $200 and at least get a Schiit Modi and Magni [or Vali now] and then from there with that intro dac and amp, you can run all the way up to an HD 800. THere are guys enjoying the HD 800 out of the Modi and Vali, so the intro dacs and amps are a wise invest when you have nothing. The E17 is a good palce to start if your really on a budgetm from there I recommend keeping the E17 for portable use [at school in the library at your friends hours ect...] and investing in about $300 to get a Dac and Amp. Such as the mentioned Schiit Stack. Those intro units can last you for a while! I know guys Running a $1000 Beyerdynamic T1 out of a oDac and M Stage, and there is nothing wrong with that, but investing in headphones should come after you at LEAST has some intro gear, a quality dac and amp [or a single combo unit] as those compents make a noticeable differeance over what ever Basic Onboard configuration your have on your PC. 

 

With headphones, you get what you put into. Feed your headphones crap the will out put crap. Again the E17 is a great starting point. It will nicely run almost all of the $200 headphones. When you can upgrade to something on par with a Schiit Modi/Magi[Or Vali] or even something like the Audio GD NFb 15.32 Which is a dac/Headphone amp for $235 [about $300 total with shipping] and with that intro dac and amp, your good to start trying the nicer high end headphones.

hahaha... i did take the time to read your while entire post.

 

i didn't comment on he400 vs beyer dt990 as i have never had the pleasure of listening to the dt990. however, in my experience, my he400 did beat all the closed/portable headphones from the $100-300 range that i've tried & I've tried a ton of headphones in the $200-$300 range. (he400 has much better detail, resolution, and clarity). I also like the he400 better than the $275 open K701 (bass is much better in the he400).

 

I do have an amp/dac for my he400. from my personal experience, the amp/dac does not really improve mid-fi headphones that noticeably. for the he400, an amp/dac does give it a noticeable sonic boost. So yes, for $400+ headphones, I think spending $100+ on an amp/dac is worthwhile. however, for mid-fi headphones, I think your money goes farther upgrading your headphones over getting more equipment. this is just my own lil humble opinion :) cheers

post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

hahaha... i did take the time to read your while entire post.

 

i didn't comment on he400 vs beyer dt990 as i have never had the pleasure of listening to the dt990. however, in my experience, my he400 did beat all the closed/portable headphones from the $100-300 range that i've tried & I've tried a ton of headphones in the $200-$300 range. (he400 has much better detail, resolution, and clarity). I also like the he400 better than the $275 open K701 (bass is much better in the he400).

 

I do have an amp/dac for my he400. from my personal experience, the amp/dac does not really improve mid-fi headphones that noticeably. for the he400, an amp/dac does give it a noticeable sonic boost. So yes, for $400+ headphones, I think spending $100+ on an amp/dac is worthwhile. however, for mid-fi headphones, I think your money goes farther upgrading your headphones over getting more equipment. this is just my own lil humble opinion :) cheers

Good stuff, and yea the HE 400 is a really awesome headphone. Sadly the DT 990 is also a great headphone! And HANDS down for Bass there is nothing better than the HE 400 in the $300 category.  But it found it very much lacking in the mids, the low mids are great but the upper mids where lacking :/ 

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

No the Dac and amp are not seasonings, the Amp and Dac are like the cooking methods for your headphones, 

 

The Dac and amp supply the raw signals that allow your headphone to play music, going to steak. Would you rather have a $200 steak cooked on a $100 grill or a $300 steak cooked in a $20 mircowave... I'll tell you now mircowave steaks is terrible

 

if anything Equalizers are like teh seasonings of Audio. Take a good EQ and you can make a $100 headphone sound really epic! But that's assuming you running it through a good dac and amp. No matter what you do mircowave steaks tastes BAD. 

I like your creativity & your analogy certainly has merit as the dac/amp processes the audio signal prior to the headphones. However, since you always have a dac albeit lower quality (in your computer/smart phone/CD player), I feel that the bump isn't as large as jumping as from microwave to grill. Rather just basic grill to an upgraded grill. Certainly you cannot taste the difference of between grills no matter how great of a food critic you are.

 

In terms of the effect of dac/amps on the sound, I have only noticed a small sonic improvement while using it w/ mid-fi gear (like 10% max). My point w/ the analogy was simply that the headphones/source are the most important factor determining your sound. No matter how much you dac out or amp up your headphones, your headphones are inherently limited by their drivers. A good amp/dac does not change the sound signature, rather improves things like clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage... however, those things are dependent on by your headphone driver design. You can never achieve the clarity & sound stage of the K701 no matter what amp/dac you add onto the UE6000. Choosing between different headphones you can find improvements to sound signature to fit your tastes & also certain headphones have drivers that natural have better clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage. That's why I think focusing your money on headphones in your search for the best possible sound is the wisest investment. Sure, when you jump to $500+ to $1000+ headphones, the amp/dac become very important pieces. However, in the mid-fi range, I think carefully researching & picking the best pair of starting headphones for your tastes is better than throwing more equipment onto entry level pair of cheaper headphones.

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Good stuff, and yea the HE 400 is a really awesome headphone. Sadly the DT 990 is also a great headphone! And HANDS down for Bass there is nothing better than the HE 400 in the $300 category.  But it found it very much lacking in the mids, the low mids are great but the upper mids where lacking :/ 

Sadly?!? you mean awesomely!!! hahah... maybe I'll try to go demo a DT 990 next time I have the chance. At $250 if it can compete w/ the HE400, then it is a very good price. I think for headphones it is always hard to make generalizations about prices, because if you do your research you can always find a steal at a lower price :)

 

really? the mids is what you find lacking? I love the mids on the HE400. I find the treble to be the area of concern for me. A tad bit bright for my tastes... or it might be the slight silibance that I had during my initial listening that is coloring my perception as the generally the HE400 are thought to be on the darker side right? I guess my starting background as a basshead w/ the M100 as one of my favorite headphones also colors my bias hahah. tho I do love the treble on the K550 & K701!

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions, without dac/amp my source will be creative xtrememusic not onboard sound card, and also sansa fuze.

 

Tomorrow I'll try to demo Grados and write what I think.

 

To be honest I want to try dac/amp just to feel the taste of it, as I never heard one.

 

If they are great for my listed genres(rock/indie/synthpop/some electro and classical), I'll gladly go for HP100 or K701, as I can stretch my budget a bit.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

Sadly?!? you mean awesomely!!! hahah... maybe I'll try to go demo a DT 990 next time I have the chance. At $250 if it can compete w/ the HE400, then it is a very good price. I think for headphones it is always hard to make generalizations about prices, because if you do your research you can always find a steal at a lower price :)

 

really? the mids is what you find lacking? I love the mids on the HE400. I find the treble to be the area of concern for me. A tad bit bright for my tastes... or it might be the slight silibance that I had during my initial listening that is coloring my perception as the generally the HE400 are thought to be on the darker side right? I guess my starting background as a basshead w/ the M100 as one of my favorite headphones also colors my bias hahah. tho I do love the treble on the K550 & K701!

at $150 new xD 

 

the upper mids of the HE 400 are dipped pretty bad, female vocals sound wonky. And my point was with the DT 990 vs HE 400 debate, clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage are really dependant on your dac and amp, through a e17 the DT 990 and HE 400 have very simmilar clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage. And it's those mirco details that the HE 400 has over the DT 990. The two share a very simmilar sound signiture, only the HE 400 has better clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage. IF how ever your running it out of a low end dac and amp you won't hear any of that improved clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage

 

Ofc an open K701 is going to have more clarity over an UE 6000, don't compare open and closed together. Apples to oranges quiete literally. 

 

My only suggestion is before you invest in headphones 100% get your self a decent amp and Dac, there are plenty of great options under $300 [for both]  

 

and when comparing the $300 headphones to the $200 headphones, like DT 990 vs HE 400. Or better yet, Sound Magic HP 100 vs AKG K550, the K550 is $300 yet the HP 100 at $200 has every bit of clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage as the K550. THe differance between the two is sound signiture, and comfort

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

 

the upper mids of the HE 400 are dipped pretty bad, female vocals sound wonky. And my point was with the DT 990 vs HE 400 debate, clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage are really dependant on your dac and amp, through a e17 the DT 990 and HE 400 have very simmilar clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage. And it's those mirco details that the HE 400 has over the DT 990. The two share a very simmilar sound signiture, only the HE 400 has better clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage. IF how ever your running it out of a low end dac and amp you won't hear any of that improved clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage

 

 


+1

I've owned both the the DT-990 Pro and the HE-400. The DT-990 Pro is a pretty killer deal at $150, but the HE-400 walks all over it if your DAC and amp are above entry level. Even with a really basic DAC and amp, the HE-400 is still better IMO, but the difference is smaller and perhaps not worth the money if you don't intend to upgrade your DAC and amp somewhere down the line.  The two share a similar sonic flavor, but the HE-400 has more detail, better layering in the soundstage, deeper bass, and more texture in the mid/upper bass and the midrange. But the extent to which these differences shine through depends on what you are plugging the headphones into.

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


+1

I've owned both the the DT-990 Pro and the HE-400. The DT-990 Pro is a pretty killer deal at $150, but the HE-400 walks all over it if your DAC and amp are above entry level. Even with a really basic DAC and amp, the HE-400 is still better IMO, but the difference is smaller and perhaps not worth the money if you don't intend to upgrade your DAC and amp somewhere down the line.  The two share a similar sonic flavor, but the HE-400 has more detail, better layering in the soundstage, deeper bass, and more texture in the mid/upper bass and the midrange. But the extent to which these differences shine through depends on what you are plugging the headphones into.

Thank ya sir.

 

Yea the HE 400 is an upgrade, but that's only evident when you have the gear to bring out the best in the HE 400. Otherwise for an intro headphone the DT 990 is great choice. 

 

So OP I'd recommend you get the DT 990 and an E17. From there when your able to upgrade your amp and Dac, then the HE 400 would be a worth while upgrade at that time. 

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art13 View Post
 

Thanks for all the suggestions, without dac/amp my source will be creative xtrememusic not onboard sound card, and also sansa fuze.

I personally think that is fine for mid-fi headphones.

 

To be honest I want to try dac/amp just to feel the taste of it, as I never heard one.

If you want to try it, go for it! :) but I would be wary of sacrificing your headphone budget for an entry dac/amp as your sound quality is more dependent on your headphones over your dac/amp.

 

If they are great for my listed genres(rock/indie/synthpop/some electro and classical), I'll gladly go for HP100 or K701, as I can stretch my budget a bit.

Yay! lol I don't mean to make you spend more money, but there are a lot of amazing headphone options in the $200-300 range. I would suggest doing comparisons though to see if the more expensive ones improve the things you are actually looking for. If you are getting an dac/amp, the K701 will definitely technically outperform most other headphones in this price bracket. Just a question of whether you like its sound signature.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

IF how ever your running it out of a low end dac and amp you won't hear any of that improved clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage

Personally, I disagree. I have found that you can hear a noticeable improvement on the HE400 vs. other mid-fi headphones even on low end dac/amp. Of course, if you upgrade your dac/amp, the improvement becomes even more obvious. But the HE400 is pretty easy to drive so you don't need a super fancy amp to make it shine.

 

Ofc an open K701 is going to have more clarity over an UE 6000, don't compare open and closed together. Apples to oranges quiete literally. 

Exactly my point. OP is considering both closed & open headphones. Open headphones in the $200-$300 range will kill all headphone offerings under $200.

 

My only suggestion is before you invest in headphones 100% get your self a decent amp and Dac, there are plenty of great options under $300 [for both]  

hahaha... my suggestion would be the opposite. Headphones first. I would consider a budget up to $300 able to get you the "best-in-class" mid-fi headphones that can check off all your requirements in sound signature, comfort, etc. Of course, you may find something cheaper that suits you. If you are definitely investing in a dac/amp, I personally would stretch my headphone budget to $300 as there is no point in amping/dacing cheap headphones. I feel like an amp/dac often magnifies the deficiencies of lower-end headphones.

 

and when comparing the $300 headphones to the $200 headphones, like DT 990 vs HE 400. Or better yet, Sound Magic HP 100 vs AKG K550, the K550 is $300 yet the HP 100 at $200 has every bit of clarity/resolution/detail/speed/sound stage as the K550. THe differance between the two is sound signiture, and comfort

I haven't heard the HP 100, so I can't comment. But the K550 sounds amazing just plug & play without a dac/amp. Sound signature & comfort are very important factors when looking at a headphones purchase. While I haven't compared to the HP100, I know the K550's sound stage is unrivaled compared to the other closed headphones I've tried even up to the $300+ range, so I am a bit doubtful that the HP100 can compete on that front. Personally, I am also a bit skeptical that there is no difference in clarity/resolution/detail/speed as from my comparisons of the K550 w/ other $300 offerings such as the MDR-1R vs M100 I found there to be a noticeable difference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

I've owned both the the DT-990 Pro and the HE-400. The DT-990 Pro is a pretty killer deal at $150, but the HE-400 walks all over it if your DAC and amp are above entry level. Even with a really basic DAC and amp, the HE-400 is still better IMO, but the difference is smaller and perhaps not worth the money if you don't intend to upgrade your DAC and amp somewhere down the line.  The two share a similar sonic flavor, but the HE-400 has more detail, better layering in the soundstage, deeper bass, and more texture in the mid/upper bass and the midrange. But the extent to which these differences shine through depends on what you are plugging the headphones into.

+1. This is what I think as well. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Yea the HE 400 is an upgrade, but that's only evident when you have the gear to bring out the best in the HE 400. Otherwise for an intro headphone the DT 990 is great choice. 

I personally disagree with that statement. Of course, the HE400 scales up very very well & significantly improves on better equipment, but I personally feel that on entry-level gear the sonic improvements are noticeable as well.

 

Cheers! Hope all this information & opinions are helpful for OP :)

 

Edit Note: when talking about scaling up the amp/dac, you can find a good sonic improvement just jumping from $100 to $300 mark. To get really noticeable improvement on your dac/amp after that requires doubling/tripling the price. However, note that the impact of jumping in price for the dac/amp is less noticeable vs. scaling up your headphones. (imo)


Edited by money4me247 - 12/19/13 at 12:58pm
post #26 of 30

If what you're listening for in your main genre--rock--is the guitar, Grados will do that best. I concur that they're not for EDM.

 

Unless you've already heard 80i and know you like it, I recommend 60i instead because it's easier to like. You might want to use L-cushions though for openness and slightly more bass. If you want to increase the bass, try tape-modding the L-cushions.

 

Overall, you consider buying two headphones for $100 each: 60i + L-cush for rock and another for EDM. "Horses for courses."

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

If what you're listening for in your main genre--rock--is the guitar, Grados will do that best. I concur that they're not for EDM.

 

Unless you've already heard 80i and know you like it, I recommend 60i instead because it's easier to like. You might want to use L-cushions though for openness and slightly more bass. If you want to increase the bass, try tape-modding the L-cushions.

 

Overall, you consider buying two headphones for $100 each: 60i + L-cush for rock and another for EDM. "Horses for courses."

$100 EDM headphones wld be the V-Moda LP hahaha can be found sub-$100 if you're willing to look/wait for it.

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 

Friday listened to Grado sr80 and sr225, after 25min left the shop with 225 in my bag :)

So far I'm really happy with them, just need to wait for E17 now.

 

Thanks everyone for suggestions.

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art13 View Post
 

Friday listened to Grado sr80 and sr225, after 25min left the shop with 225 in my bag :)

So far I'm really happy with them, just need to wait for E17 now.

 

Thanks everyone for suggestions.

 

Enjoy! Those are solid. They really don't need an amp, but will sound even better with. :beerchug:

post #30 of 30

Of all my headphones, the ones that need amping the least are the Grado SR225i. Not that an amp doesn't help, it's just not as big of an impact.  They are a thing of beauty for Rock and Roll. EDM, not so much, but with a little EQ they're OK. Congrats on the purchase, hope they bring you hours and hours of listening joy like mine have.

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