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Choice of headphones (Sennheiser?) - Choice of DAP (Fiio X3/Laptop) On a budget newbie for mixed listening

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

First of all, Hello!

 

As you can probably tell I am a total noob and most likely a tricky customer as I suppose I dont really know what I really want. I have always enjoyed listening to music and been interested in headphones. However I have only just been enlightened to the wonders of lossless audio, digital to audio converters, headphone amps and all other forms of sorcery.

 

So I come asking those much more knowledgeable than myself for their help, in helping me set up my own beginners "rig".

 

To begin with the headphone choice, I have had a look around and thought the Sennheiser Momentum's looked like a good over ear choice, (I will be listening at home), but then saw the Sennheiser HD600's which were also rated really well. This led me on to learning to appreciate quality headphones (well, not in comparison to some of those crazy four figure models I have seen around here!), they usually require an amp and sometimes a DAC.

 

So here's my questions;

 

a) which cans should I go with (open to other suggestions)

b)which "rig" should I invest in?

 

I shall expand on b a little. I don't know if to purchase a Fiio product such as the E17 paired with my iPhone? I looked into purchasing the Fiio X3 DAP purely for music purposes (would this need an amp too?). Another avenue I could go down would be that I have an acer aspire notebook I could dedicate to the "rig", if it would even qualify to be called one haha! So would the smarter option be to dedicate my acer aspire one and buy a decent amp? Or even one of those dragonfly USB products?

 

So hopefully you guys can educate me a little, portability isn't really a priority, but unfortunately I have a budget. I have started to develop a taste for classical music if that's a factor as I found it really helped me concentrate whilst studying, which hence lead me on to wanting to hear the audio in its finest clarity, and here I am now! I also listen to a lot of other genres too.

 

Apologies if it seems I am coming here asking questions ignorantly, hopefully you guys can lead me in the best direction. Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 8
If you listen to music at home, make your PC your 'home base'. Buy the Schiit Modi DAC and Schiit Magni amp if you are buying an opwn headphone that is difficult to drive like the HD600.

If you use portable more, grab something like the Momentum and buy the fiio X3.

The HD600 has stiff competition:

MDR MA900 (doesn't need an amp, just use the Fiio X3)
HD650
DT880 250 Ohm (needs an amp, go with the modi magni combo)
ATH AD900x (doesn't really need an amp, the fiio x3 is great)
Fidelio X1 (doesn't need amp)
and so on


The Momentum has a rediculous amount of competition, all of which only need a Fiio X3, which has a powerful amp:
MDR 1R (darker than the momentum, better soundstage and comfort)
KEF M500 (neutral sound signature, better comfort)
PSB M4U 1 (a slightly darker over ear M500)
ATH WS99 (warmer mdr 1r, slightly smaller soundstage, tighter bass)
and so on...

I personally use an MA900 with an iPod or fiio product.

I also use the MDR 1R (though I switch between a lot) with my iPod or galaxy player.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Wow, what a comprehensive and prompt reply. I cannot thank you enough.

 

After my first review of your reply I get the impression that you regard the X3 quite highly. Your list of alternatives was much use to me, and having a look over the selection you put out in the reply I like the look of the KEF pair of on ears. 

 

Would the X3 with the KEF M500's and FLAC audio files serve a quality audio experience? Granted I won't have a finer tuned ear like yourself. I seem to have an affinity for KEF products due to a past experience with a pair of extremely large speakers I once owned.

 

Thanks again, your help is much appreciated.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncule View Post
 

Wow, what a comprehensive and prompt reply. I cannot thank you enough.

 

After my first review of your reply I get the impression that you regard the X3 quite highly. Your list of alternatives was much use to me, and having a look over the selection you put out in the reply I like the look of the KEF pair of on ears. 

 

Would the X3 with the KEF M500's and FLAC audio files serve a quality audio experience? Granted I won't have a finer tuned ear like yourself. I seem to have an affinity for KEF products due to a past experience with a pair of extremely large speakers I once owned.

 

Thanks again, your help is much appreciated.

Most definitely.  That's about as good a portable setup as you'll get, plus the M500 is great at home.  The X3 will squeeze out every last bit of quality that M500 can produce.  Will you mostly use these at home?

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah I suppose that would be the main use but I like the attraction of portability somewhat. On a second look I like the look of the PSB M4U 1's. What would you say between the M500's and PSB's? Thanks again.
post #6 of 8
They are in the same class actually. The PSB M4U 1 is slightly darker (less treble) and maybe a little bit bassier. They're basically more laid back, but the M500 has a larger soundstage. The M4u is pretty large, while the m500 is small.

I prefer the M4u's vocals (little bit more warmth), but the M500 is really just as good.

In the end, I prefer the M500 for its more neutral signature.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Wow. I really couldn't thank you enough for your help. I have never come to a forum and received so much upfront and selfless help. You are a credit to the forum, and I thank you unreservedly. I think I have decided on the M500's and the X3. Once again, thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

They are in the same class actually. The PSB M4U 1 is slightly darker (less treble) and maybe a little bit bassier. They're basically more laid back, but the M500 has a larger soundstage. The M4u is pretty large, while the m500 is small.

I prefer the M4u's vocals (little bit more warmth), but the M500 is really just as good.

In the end, I prefer the M500 for its more neutral signature.
post #8 of 8
Your Welcome!

Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet!
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