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Headphone $250 - Upgrading from HD202

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I've been looking for a mid-range headphone for a while, at this point I'm just searching, because even if I find a nice one, I would have to find someone to buy it in the US.

My budget is around $250 for the headphone and $150 AMP/DAC, I could go over it, but not by a lot (If it's possible to buy a better headphone without an amp, that would be better, but anyways...). I did some searching on my own and at first I thought the DT770 250 + Fiio E10 would be nice for me, however they seem to have recessed mids and the bass could be a bit too much, besides the fact that I read that some people were having issues with it after about 5 months, and there is no way I could send them back for warranty.

I currently use a HD202 II, it's not amped, as I'm not 100% familiar with audiophile terms I will just describe how I feel about them: Comfort-wise they are ok, I wear them 6~8h/day and they don't really bother me, bass is nice, however I feel it could be a tad more of it, and it seems to lack a bit of quality. The only problem I can pinpoint about it, is that sometimes when I'm listening with it everything seems to be thrown together, it lacks a bit of separation, I also feel that the vocals could be better.

I listen mostly to instrumental music, pop, k-pop and some random stuff once in a while, I tend to like the vocals more than the overall song if you ask me, but still, it needs to be balanced. Most of the time I'm listening to female vocals.

I was initially looking for a closed-back (full-sized/over-the-ear) but it seems that I can't really find one to my liking, the reason I was leaning towards closed-back is privacy, isolation is a plus, I just don't want people hearing what I'm hearing, and complaining that it's too loud just because it leaks, I don't need it to be portable, it'll be for home use. So, I'm fine with open/semi as long as what they leak can't really be completely understood after a 5/6 feet range. They will be plugged on my computer.

 

I've been doing some reading on a lot of headphones, I found 5 that are probably the most recommended here, thing is I can't test them, if I do decide to buy some headphones I will order them on Amazon and someone would bring it to me, I would like to know what I'll gain/lose with those headphones compared to the HD202, I don't think it is bad at all, I like its overall presentation, just looking for something better, at some point I thought the HD600 would be the best ones for me, however they cost fairly more $359 (amazon) and I would need a good amp for them.

HD598 (The other ones are said to be better)
DT880 (I read they're too neutral and boring)
A900X
Q701
K550 (I wear glasses, so I read they wouldn't fit well)

There is also the Momentum(I wouldn't need to buy a AMP/DAC), didn't really search on it.

Also if you guys have any other recommendations :P

 

Thanks and Merry Christmas!


Edited by rlm75 - 12/24/13 at 3:31pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Bump!

post #3 of 8

Hi,

 

You should also consider Shure Srh-840, which are pretty natural sounding, with good bass and separation. Also detailed highs. They come with extra pads and detacheable cable. Isolation is good thanks to its closed design and this are also confortable headphones. Good all rounders in my opinion.

 

They don't need extra amplification.

 

I've read good things about Soundmagic HP100. Maybe you should also read about them.

 

Merry Christmas!

post #4 of 8

Just FYI, this forum is designed for your question, not the headphones forum.

 

I'd definitely go for better headphones over paying what you intend for an amp and DAC, unless you are using a notebook that has horrendously bad sound output (which is not entirely implausible).  

 

Once you've found headphones you like, see if someone isn't selling an inexpensive USB-based DAC/amp system in the classifieds IMO.

post #5 of 8
I moved from the hd202 to the akg k550 and sennheiser hd598.
I love to listen to female vocals too, and the hd598 really excels at that.
The amperiors/hd25 should also be considered as I find them to be good for vocals and have good separation.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlm75 View Post

 

My budget is around $250 for the headphone and $150 AMP/DAC

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

I'd definitely go for better headphones over paying what you intend for an amp and DAC, unless you are using a notebook that has horrendously bad sound output (which is not entirely implausible). 

 

I'm with currawong. At this price point, that extra 150 that you're willing to spend on an amp is better off spent on a better headphone. Many people will argue that an he-400 is definitely better than a q701+amp. (like me! :tongue_smile:). 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I see, so going for a HD600 without an amp/dac won't be as bad as people make it seem? :P Since I never listened to them amped, I shouldn't think they are bad right? Still better than my HD202 I guess.

post #8 of 8

yes. An amp/dac will not turn your headphones into a completely different sounding pair. If you don't like how a headphone sounds while not amped, you will likely not like them even if paired with the best possible matching amp/dac.

 

Think of the amp/dac as the device that squeezes out the last 10 percent of a headphone's true potential. You may ask your self is it worth it? Well this is head-fi, so for a lot of people, it definitely is :biggrin:.

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