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*Pulls Hair*; too many headphone decisions; help!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, and thank you for viewing my thread.

 

This evening I've been sitting for hours on end doing tons of research, and reading reviews of tons of products but cannot come to a final conclusion.

 

Price isn't a huge worry here.  In my scenario; I doubt I'll need to spend more than $500 for a good pair of cans, but perhaps I'm wrong.  Moving on; I currently own a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50's.  I absolutely love them—the sound has great depth and very healthy amount of bass.  I don't feel the bass pushes my Mids and Highs out of the way either.  There's a huge deal breaker though; comfort.  After wearing these for hours at a time (even now as I type this thread), I feel achy pressure building up over time causing me to shift/re-position the headphones commonly throughout my sessions.  If I could find these headphones with velour ear pads (albeit it would probably be semi-open), I would praise hallelujah!  On another note, the main reason I'm looking to move on is because I've had these babies for about two years now.  The padding isn't as.. well as padded as it once was.  Definitely used a lot!

 

Now as one audiophile once told me; no headphone can do everything.  Therefore I began by looking for headphones that would suit my needs best.  Basically I use headphones for the computer a lot.  Music tastes are quite wide, but I tend to lean towards drum and bass, trance, rock, and disco (?).  I put the question mark there because as I look through my music list, it's quite vast with very sporadic choices.  Best example is the song I'm listening to right now is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eT8KUy98w0  — modern disco perhaps?

 

Music choices aside, I am a gamer.  I also use Skype a lot to openly communicate with teammates and/or friends.  Throughout the time; music is constantly running of course, but my gaming sessions can go for around four hours at a time (womanly discretion) sometimes.  I broadcast live on a gaming website as well.  While I'm using the microphone for that, or to chat in general; I always have one earphone off so I can hear myself to make sure I'm not half-shouting.  Therefore I learned that semi-open or open headphones would be ideal so I can keep both cans on, and still have a sense of ambience.  Back to the computer part, the audio drivers in the PC are quite high offering tons of channel control as well.  I haven't used Torent or anything of the sort since Limewire was a thing years ago in fear of quality loss, so anything to kinda "boost" sounds isn't ideal.  Would you believe I actually buy music?!

 

Anyway, lastly I feel Audio Technica set some standards I never thought I'd have for headphones before.  I recently attempted my local Bose store, and boy was that a mistake.  Thank god they have return policies.  A few pairs I'm looking at possibly purchasing are Sennheiser HD 558 or 598, and Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro.  These aren't sold in local stores for me, or if they even did; I doubt return policies would participate with "testing" them all.  I buy it but don't like it?  Have to resell.

 

A quick recap in case I missed anything (mind is quite sore from all the information seeking (TL;DR)):

 

I'm a gamer, who uses his headphones exclusively on the computer.

I listen to tons of types of music; doesn't want "added" bass, but healthy amount.

Does a lot of talking via VoIP and like to hear myself speak while both cans are on.

COMFORT.  Something very lightweight, soft, and not "pleather" (plastic leather).

Price; I don't mind spending more for quality as long as it's not "talked up".

 

Thank you so much for reading, and hope perhaps this website (which I got linked to a ton of times via Google when I was getting all the information) will be a great help for me personally through this thread.  It's truly appreciated if any of you leave a comment behind, and I highly look forward to it.  Have a great day/evening in the meantime

 

~ Yujiza

post #2 of 13

I'd say go for the HD598 and a tube amp, perhaps a cheaper Little Dot. Be warned though, they won't have nearly as much bass as you're used to.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey!

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I managed to find a place with a decent return policy; and picked up 598s.  To my surprised, I don't find the bass that weak at all!  It's quite healthy, and balanced.  I feel as if my Technica's have an unfair advantage however because they have been broken through compared to the Senn's having only 2 hours of use now.  The one thing I notice is these headphones are slightly quieter, but that's probably because I'm used to sound bouncing back into my ears versus being very open and wide.

 

This may sound a little silly, but what's tube amp, and how would it improve the performance?

 

Also, everyone is constantly talking about the Beyerdynamic Semi-Open 880-Pro's 250/600 ohms, and what amps to get with it.  Would going from a simple pair of headphones plugged into my tower to an amp plugged in with higher ohms give it that much more oomph?  I can't imagine the difference right now—how many levels, how much bass there would be; or what have you.  Albeit I could possible like a bit more bass from the 598's.  However, as I mentioned; I feel the bass would loosen up more if I put it through extensive white noise duration.


Edited by Yujiza - 12/23/13 at 6:47pm
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yujiza View Post
 

Hey!

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I managed to find a place with a decent return policy; and picked up 598s.  To my surprised, I don't find the bass that weak at all!  It's quite healthy, and balanced.  I feel as if my Technica's have an unfair advantage however because they have been broken through compared to the Senn's having only 2 hours of use now.  The one thing I notice is these headphones are slightly quieter, but that's probably because I'm used to sound bouncing back into my ears versus being very open and wide.

 

This may sound a little silly, but what's tube amp, and how would it improve the performance?

 

Also, everyone is constantly talking about the Beyerdynamic Semi-Open 880-Pro's 250/600 ohms, and what amps to get with it.  Would going from a simple pair of headphones plugged into my tower to an amp plugged in with higher ohms give it that much more oomph?  I can't imagine the difference right now—how many levels, how much bass there would be; or what have you.  Albeit I could possible like a bit more bass from the 598's.  However, as I mentioned; I feel the bass would loosen up more if I put it through extensive white noise duration.

You're welcome, sorry I couldn't reply back sooner as I was in the emergency room getting my hand bandaged up (I pierced a tendon in my hand while I was opening the packaging for a pair of Bose headphones with scissors).

 

The best way I can explain it is that amps increase the voltage going into a headphone, that's why yours are so quiet, they just don't have enough power (and from what else I hear, not having an amp can damage your drivers because it causes them to work harder on less power, kinda like having a leftover piece of cake for breakfast the day you run a marathon), and it will make them sound better as they are probably running at about 40-60% power right now. As for your AT's, they require less power to run and can easily be driven out of most computers or media players.

 

A tube amp usually gives a warmer sound compared to a different type of amp, and they are (in my opinion) more fun as they are customizable in terms of which tubes you put in them. I can't quite explain what they are per say, but if you look up Little Dot on Amazon you should get a pretty good Idea.

 

I can't answer your question about the Beyers, as I've never owned or listened to a pair.

post #5 of 13

I can answer the question about the Beyer's. Yes, you will definitely need an amp, the higher the ohms, the more power it needs. For example, I plugged in a pair of DT 880 250ohm directly into my Galaxy S3, pumped up the volume to 100%.. and waited.. and waited.. and I couldn't hear much at all. They definitely need amplification, especially the 600 ohm.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThickGlasses View Post
 

You're welcome, sorry I couldn't reply back sooner as I was in the emergency room getting my hand bandaged up (I pierced a tendon in my hand while I was opening the packaging for a pair of Bose headphones with scissors).

 

The best way I can explain it is that amps increase the voltage going into a headphone, that's why yours are so quiet, they just don't have enough power (and from what else I hear, not having an amp can damage your drivers because it causes them to work harder on less power, kinda like having a leftover piece of cake for breakfast the day you run a marathon), and it will make them sound better as they are probably running at about 40-60% power right now. As for your AT's, they require less power to run and can easily be driven out of most computers or media players.

 

A tube amp usually gives a warmer sound compared to a different type of amp, and they are (in my opinion) more fun as they are customizable in terms of which tubes you put in them. I can't quite explain what they are per say, but if you look up Little Dot on Amazon you should get a pretty good Idea.

 

I can't answer your question about the Beyers, as I've never owned or listened to a pair.

 

Thank you so much for the reply once again.

 

I'm not sure if you're joking about the Bose situation, but hilarious none the less. :P

 

Although I mentioned I found the 598's a little more quiet, not significantly because when I put my hands up and cover the 'open' part of the headphones, it's as loud as I normally hear it.

 

I keep hearing "warm" term very often and rather curious what it means.  Also, someone I'm speaking to about my questions in this thread, and he mentioned to get a sound card instead.  I thought that my audio driver is fine since it's 24 bits @ 192000 Hz, but I doubt a sound card would push my voltage up higher.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post
 

I can answer the question about the Beyer's. Yes, you will definitely need an amp, the higher the ohms, the more power it needs. For example, I plugged in a pair of DT 880 250ohm directly into my Galaxy S3, pumped up the volume to 100%.. and waited.. and waited.. and I couldn't hear much at all. They definitely need amplification, especially the 600 ohm.

Yeah, it makes complete sense—for sure.

 

I'm curious what it really does besides increase the volume.  Would the bass become more booming, or would the range increase?

 

Best example; would a 38 ohms headphone sound just as good as a 250 ohms headphones with amp?

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yujiza View Post
 

Yeah, it makes complete sense—for sure.

 

I'm curious what it really does besides increase the volume.  Would the bass become more booming, or would the range increase?

 

Best example; would a 38 ohms headphone sound just as good as a 250 ohms headphones with amp?


Arguably, yes if they were the same headphone. The DT880's are a good example, as the 32 ohm, 250 ohm, and 600 ohm sound (arguably) the same with an amp.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yujiza View Post
 

 

Thank you so much for the reply once again.

 

I'm not sure if you're joking about the Bose situation, but hilarious none the less. :P

 

Although I mentioned I found the 598's a little more quiet, not significantly because when I put my hands up and cover the 'open' part of the headphones, it's as loud as I normally hear it.

 

I keep hearing "warm" term very often and rather curious what it means.  Also, someone I'm speaking to about my questions in this thread, and he mentioned to get a sound card instead.  I thought that my audio driver is fine since it's 24 bits @ 192000 Hz, but I doubt a sound card would push my voltage up higher.

Sorry, I had assumed most people didn't have a good soundcard and would opt for an amp instead.

 

I am also sadly not joking.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThickGlasses View Post
 

Sorry, I had assumed most people didn't have a good soundcard and would opt for an amp instead.

 

I am also sadly not joking.

Yikes, I'm sorry to hear that; pardon me rudeness.

 

I guess I'll be sticking with the 598's for now! :)

 

However, what tube amp would you guys recommend for it?  It does have 50 ohms.

post #11 of 13

Actually I think you don't need a tube amp for the 598s. The 598s in fact is a low impedance, high efficiency pair of headphones while cheap tube amps usually have relatively high output impedance, which is not good for low impedance headphones at all. It will make the 598s' bass become very slow or bloated. http://www.head-fi.org/t/607282/headphone-amp-impedance-questions-find-the-answers-here

 

If you dont have a good source right now and just want the 598s sing louder without changing its tonality, you should just try the ODAC and O2 combo.

 

Just my 2 cent though.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StubKidDtd2512 View Post
 

Actually I think you don't need a tube amp for the 598s. The 598s in fact is a low impedance, high efficiency pair of headphones while cheap tube amps usually have relatively high output impedance, which is not good for low impedance headphones at all. It will make the 598s' bass become very slow or bloated. http://www.head-fi.org/t/607282/headphone-amp-impedance-questions-find-the-answers-here

 

If you dont have a good source right now and just want the 598s sing louder without changing its tonality, you should just try the ODAC and O2 combo.

 

Just my 2 cent though.

I'm sorry once again for my lack of knowledge; but what's the ODAC and O2 combo?

 

Thank you for the reply. :)

post #13 of 13

http://www.head-fi.org/products/jds-labs-o2-odac

http://www.head-fi.org/t/616331/o2-amp-odac

 

Again, if you just want your 598s sound exactly how they should without spending too much money for a DAC/amp combo then I think this is an excellent choice within the $500 range.

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