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Looking for SenH. HD280 Pro replacements with Xonar DG soundcard

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Happy New Year's members. I'm new to the forum. This is my first post. After reading through past threads, I've realized that this is the place to go for headphone advice, among other things sound. I trust you guys won't steer me wrong. Thanks in advance. So, my HD280's had been going strong since around 2009. They were originally being used for movies and late night gaming on my PS3. After some PC upgrades to make it more capable of gaming, they're primarily used for that. Everything was fine until earlier this week. I noticed that the sound was off. Bass was not as strong as the night before, and the high's were shrill. After suspecting the Xonar DG to be the culprit, I uninstalled/reinstalled both the card and drivers. Still no difference. I'm thinking it's time for a replacement set. I'd like to spend as much as I did on the HD280's. If that's not possible though, definitely no more that $200.  Thanks to some of the advice I've read on older threads, Amazon reviews and Mad Lust Envy's list, these have piqued my interest.

 

1)JVC HARX900's

2)Beyerdynamic DT-990/770's Pro 250 (Why are the DT-770's Pro 80ohm $70 more? Is it because they're easier to drive?)

3)AKG Q701's

4)Audio Technica ATH-M50 Pro with FiiO E6 Amp (Knowing that the Xonar DG has it's own amp would this be necessary or overkill? For $150 it just seems like a great buy.)

 

I've read a lot about open air headpones, and the quality of the soundstage. I realize that the DT 770's are closed, but after reading great things, I figured they'd be worth the consideration. I'm crazy curious to know how different the sound quality could be between open and closed headphones. If you guys could take comfort into consideration with your recommendations, I'd appreciate it. Please suggest any pair I might be oblivious to. Stay positive. Thanks again.

post #2 of 11

If possible you should look for an audiophile store close to you!  This can be one of the best ways to find the perfect headphones for you.  (Be careful it also a very good way to ruin your budget)

 

 I also know that the Q701's are seriously one of the best headphones in that price range.  Although depending on your style of music they are not the best for deep punchy bass.

 

 If you can stretch your budget a bit the he-300's can be another very good option.  (these will have a bit more of a bass response while remaining fairly neutral).  Of course if you don't care about bass I would really recommend those AKG's.  Overall the choice of headphones can be really influenced on the kind of music that you prefer to listen to.  

 

If you are unsure of what your favorite music is I recommend finding the most neutral possible headphones.  (Also if you a do a significant amount of gaming, bass can be important for immersion and overall enjoyment).  But be careful with this, too much bass is not good, and for music enjoyment too much bass can be extremely defeating and decrease your enjoyment significantly.

 

Best of Luck!

And feel free to PM me with more details.

I will try my best to help out!

post #3 of 11

I've owned both the Q701 and DT-990 Pros, and I've listened to the HD280 before. If you like the HD280 sound, the Q701 will give a similar balance of bass and treble though the mids are more emphasized if I recall correctly. The Q701 is much better though, especially in how large the music sounds. The Q701 is almost like listening to speakers, very spacious. The DT-990 Pro will give you more powerful bass. I haven't heard the M50, but the DT-990 Pro is also $150. Based on comments from people who have heard both, the DT-990 is probably the better choice. 

In general, open headphones have a larger, more spacious sound than closed headphones. IMO the only reason to get closed headphones is if you need to block outside sound or can't have people in the same room hearing your music. 

post #4 of 11
In general, closed back headphones tend to produce more bass - or, perhaps a better way to say it is that a closed-back headphone design makes it easier for the headphone to produce bass. What the headphone manufacturer actually does with the design is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish! wink.gif
post #5 of 11

The only headphones you listed that really pretty much REQUIRE an amp are the DT770Pro 250ohm ones. The ATH-M50 is the closest match to the HD280. The DT770s after that. But the DT770s are head and shoulders better sounding than either of those. For a closed headphone they're quite good. Very strong bass, slightly recessed mids, non sibilant highs.

 

Before you replace your headphones, use a different source, even if it's just a phone, to be sure the problem isn't in fact a hardware failure on your Xonar. If your sound card is failed, fix that first. Note that USB DAC/Amps have come a long way in the last few years, so they're well worth looking into depending on how much you're willing to spend. The beauty of a USB DAC/Amp is that it's portable, so if you want to take it to work etc it's pretty easy to do. Heck there are even moderately prices TUBE Amped DACs out there like the Aune T1. 

 

Once you're sure which is bad (Headphones versus Amp) make your decision on what to buy.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys. Thanks for the responses.

 

@spidert622:There is an audiophile store in the city. I haven't been there in a while, but I'll make it a point to stop in and test their selection. As far as music preference goes, it's a bit of everything, but I do enjoy the bass of piano rock, a la Billy Joel, Fiona Apple, R&B and Hip Hop. But, the headpones would generally be used for gaming. As you said bass can be important for immersion and enjoyment. It would be great to own a pair that can supply that, but not overpower me. As for the HE-300's, a tad out of my price range. But they sure do look good. 'Till I saw those the Q701's were the most stylish of the bunch.

 

@manbear:Thanks for narrowing it down to the two models. The DT-990's are $50 cheaper, that surely will play a part in the final decision. Privacy isn't an issue, and despite my room being connected to the backyard, the only outside noise to contend with is a barking dog. Open headphones sound like the choice to make.

 

@billybob_jvc:"Nuther Kettle of fish". Nuff said.

 

@Sxooter:Thanks for letting me know that the DT770's are the only set which require an amp, and for breaking down their sound quality. They seem pretty balanced. And for $165 not a bad price. Your opinion makes them the only closed contenders so far.

 

I followed your advice and did some troubleshooting with the sound card. I uninstalled both the drivers and card again. It seems like when I did the same last week, I missed the step of selecting which card I was installing drivers for. So far things seem to be back as they were.

 

If you can believe it, I don't own an iPhone or an MP3 player. But, when I do, a portable amp is something that I'll be looking into. If it's not necessary with the Xonar DG, it's probably going to have to wait.

 

Once again, your help is appreciated. I'll keep you all posted. Stay positive.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenHead09 View Post
 Fiona Apple

 

I followed your advice and did some troubleshooting with the sound card. I uninstalled both the drivers and card again. It seems like when I did the same last week, I missed the step of selecting which card I was installing drivers for. So far things seem to be back as they were.

 

If you can believe it, I don't own an iPhone or an MP3 player. But, when I do, a portable amp is something that I'll be looking into. If it's not necessary with the Xonar DG, it's probably going to have to wait.

Fiona Apple fan?

I've always wanted her to do better, but she has not really been coming out with any chart topping hits in the pass several years.

 

Hopefully you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS

Check out the AKG K612 Pro headphones.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey PurpleAngel. I did disable the on-board audio. Thanks for the advice. As for Fiona Apple, I still enjoy her music immensely. But, "Tidal" remains my go to for an Apple fix. Her ability to express herself articulately on the in's and out's of love, helped strengthen my character and to be aware of the type of mind that stimulated me. Patience for her next album won't be a problem.

 

Both the Q701's and the K612's are $199 currently. How to the 612's differ from the 701's? Would you say they're better for gaming? I checked out this thread, but he doesn't really elaborate on why they are good gaming headphones.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/671676/my-new-akg-k612-pro-audiophile-headphone-appreciation/15

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenHead09 View Post
 

Hey PurpleAngel. I did disable the on-board audio. Thanks for the advice. As for Fiona Apple, I still enjoy her music immensely. But, "Tidal" remains my go to for an Apple fix. Her ability to express herself articulately on the in's and out's of love, helped strengthen my character and to be aware of the type of mind that stimulated me. Patience for her next album won't be a problem.

 

Both the Q701's and the K612's are $199 currently. How to the 612's differ from the 701's? Would you say they're better for gaming? I checked out this thread, but he doesn't really elaborate on why they are good gaming headphones.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/671676/my-new-akg-k612-pro-audiophile-headphone-appreciation/15

A lot of people really like their AKG 7XX series headphones for FPS gaming, but a few have commented the 7XX series surround sound it too wide, more like an oval shape, then a circle, where as the K612 surround sound is a little more conservitive then the 7XX series.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

A lot of people really like their AKG 7XX series headphones for FPS gaming, but a few have commented the 7XX series surround sound it too wide, more like an oval shape, then a circle, where as the K612 surround sound is a little more conservitive then the 7XX series.


That sounds interesting. I'll keep an eye out for them at the audiophile store in the city. I never knew buying headphones could be so intricate.

 

I noticed no one commented on the JVC HARX900's. Is it because none of you guy's had a chance to test them? The reviews I've read so far have been pretty good. At $60, the price is right, and would allow me to invest money elsewhere. A road bike was recently gifted to me, that needs some work to be ride-able.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenHead09 View Post
 


That sounds interesting. I'll keep an eye out for them at the audiophile store in the city. I never knew buying headphones could be so intricate.

 

I noticed no one commented on the JVC HARX900's. Is it because none of you guy's had a chance to test them? The reviews I've read so far have been pretty good. At $60, the price is right, and would allow me to invest money elsewhere. A road bike was recently gifted to me, that needs some work to be ride-able.

The JVC HA-RX900 were well liked several year ago, seem they were a good choice for someone that was into modifying headphones.

I bought some several year ago, but never got around to doing mods.

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