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AMP or DAC for ATH M50 less than $100 for fuller sound

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am currently using the ATH M50 headphones, and while I like them, there are some regards they lack that I am hoping an AMP or DAC could improve. Or possibly an upgrade for less than $200 even, but I would have to wait a lot longer to be able to get that.

 

I like the clarity in the ATH M50, and the amount of bass is pretty close to what I want, though the sub-bass can be lacking in some songs. What I am really worried about is that the lower mids seem pretty lacking, making music such as classical music that has lows but not very powerful bass not kick in with the slight bass feeling and impact like cheaper headphones can. The headphones sound good but they don't really have a "full" and impactful sound especially around the mids. I'm hoping there is an AMP or DAC under $100 than can make these sound fuller, mostly with the mids.

 

Note, I haven't really had burn in with these. Does the sound get fuller and mids a bit stronger with burn in? I'm hesitant to upgrade headphones because these are already revealing enough of the low quality music I listen to most.

post #2 of 10

I am not sure, if M50 is the right headphone for classical music!

E10, if you are looking for non portable dac/amp. E 07K, if you are looking for portable dac/amp.

However, do you listen music tracks of flac files or mp3 files or something else?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Portable would be preferred, unless the non-portable are significantly better. Sorry for not mentioning that. The ATH M50 are general headphones. I listen to a huge variety of music, from bass heavy to classical, and don't really have money for multiple sets of quality headphones. But not matter what type of music I am listening to they still lack that full sound. I mostly listen to mp3 files, I only have a few FLACs. Still need to find a place to get free classical music FLACs.

 

Thanks for the recommendations. Any others for a good price that are good for making the sound fuller?


Edited by adisib - 12/25/13 at 10:31am
post #4 of 10

if you listen from computer or laptop, a dac/amp can improve the sound quality rather than onboard soundcard. For a budget of less than 100 $, E 07 K dac/amp is good. It works as dac/amp while connected to computer and as amp when connected to ipod or mobile phone.

Besides this, if you improve the quality music files such as 320 kbps mp3 files (at least) or flac, you will notice improvement in sound quality.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I guess I should be asking, will a DAC/AMP combo actually improve the sound a lot to the level I want it?

post #6 of 10

a dac/amp improves SQ significantly. But I am not sure, if it would be like the SQ of your preference. Like I already said, upgrading music files to flac or 320 kbps mp3 and dac/amp, you will notice improvement in SQ.

 

However, I hope that you read this review before buying M50, http://www.head-fi.org/t/386819/audio-technica-ath-m50-review

post #7 of 10

i have my M50s connected to a fiio E12 and they don't sound too much better than they did from my ipod touch.

 

you could still get an amp and dac though, that way you will get a slight improvement in SQ now and then later when you have the cash you can get a better pair of headphones like maybe the DT 770 250ohm. 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

I am currently using the ATH M50 headphones, and while I like them, there are some regards they lack that I am hoping an AMP or DAC could improve. Or possibly an upgrade for less than $200 even, but I would have to wait a lot longer to be able to get that.

 

I like the clarity in the ATH M50, and the amount of bass is pretty close to what I want, though the sub-bass can be lacking in some songs. What I am really worried about is that the lower mids seem pretty lacking, making music such as classical music that has lows but not very powerful bass not kick in with the slight bass feeling and impact like cheaper headphones can. The headphones sound good but they don't really have a "full" and impactful sound especially around the mids. I'm hoping there is an AMP or DAC under $100 than can make these sound fuller, mostly with the mids.

 

Note, I haven't really had burn in with these. Does the sound get fuller and mids a bit stronger with burn in? I'm hesitant to upgrade headphones because these are already revealing enough of the low quality music I listen to most.

What sources are you plugging your headphones into?

 

Your money might be better spend for better headphones.

Audio Technica ATH-A900X with Hifiman Velour ear pads.

Sell off the ATH-M50s

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

What sources are you plugging your headphones into?

 

Your money might be better spend for better headphones.

Audio Technica ATH-A900X with Hifiman Velour ear pads.

Sell off the ATH-M50s

 

My dv6 laptop, unamped. How forgiving are the ATH-A900X for poorer quality recordings? The DT 990 seem like a good deal for the $150 they are on Amazon right now. Do you know how full and clean those sound, or how good the sub-bass is?

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post
 

 

My dv6 laptop, unamped. How forgiving are the ATH-A900X for poorer quality recordings? The DT 990 seem like a good deal for the $150 they are on Amazon right now. Do you know how full and clean those sound, or how good the sub-bass is?

I'm not sure how forgiving the A900Xs are with poor recording, not sure I have any poor quality recording to test.

The A900Xs are 40-ohm and can work without a headphone amplifier, where as you would need to spend cash for an amplifier for the DT990s.

To me the A900X are just really good music headphones.

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