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Which headphones/sound card should I buy?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, it's my first post here.

Recently I felt like moving a step towards... higher level of audio quality, if you will.

At the moment I have the SteelSeries Siberia V2 (http://www.head-fi.org/products/steelseries-51100-siberia-v2-headset-white) for when I'm on my PC (Which are amazingly comfortable!) and the Monster VEKTR In-ears for when I'm on-the-go (Great sound isolation, awesome sound. Got them on sale.). And I feel like my In-ear VEKTRs sound better for music than my old Siberia V2.

I'd like to purchase new over-the-ear headphones for my home use - my maximum budget would be around the ATH-M50's price point at most (not too much, but that's all I can do for now). I don't have any option to listen to the headphones before getting them, so I'm asking for your professional opinions.

 

I don't like heavy bass in my music, and I mostly listen to female vocals in different genres (pop/rock/acoustic/electronic) therefore I'd like the headphones to produce live and clear vocals.

Which headphones in my price range would perform the best for these needs? (Even if you consider the M50s to be the best option, I'd like to hear about alternatives. I've read about the Koss ProDJ 100, but the only retailer I can get it from have those listed for about 115$ in my country, if I am to add the M50 pads it would be around 150$ . Any Sennheisers I should check, maybe?)

 

Also, another thing - I currently use the small usb sound card which I got with my Siberia V2's (while my main speakers are plugged to the normal audio port in my PC).

I understand that in order to unleash the full potential of more expensive headphones, I might have to buy additional equipment. That's where I'm confused...

Do I need to get a new sound card or an amp? I only intend to use it to listen to music, and not record anything. 

 

Phew... I hope I made myself clear enough. Thank you in advance for you opinions!  :smile: 


Edited by Birghtest - 1/29/14 at 7:15am
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also, if I'd like to use the headphones to listen to music on my iPod when I'm on the go, what maximum impedance should the headphones have in order to work well?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

bump...

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

bump!

post #5 of 13
So - if you want to spend about the cost of the ATH-M50, then how about the ATH-M50? Other options might be something like the Logitech UE6000 or the Creative Aurvana Live. Or, maybe the Sennheiser HD449
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

First of all, I really appreciate someone answered! Thanks.

Secondly, I don't like much bass, and I read a few opinions about the M50 being heavy on bass - is that true? 

I'm afraid there aren't any retailers selling the Logitech and Creative headphones around here. 

I'll read about the 449, but the Sennheiser authorized dealer here sends them for about 175$ after tax...

What about the Ultrasone HFI-450 or the Shure 440? Would they be good for me? :) 


Edited by Birghtest - 1/29/14 at 8:29am
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

bump

post #8 of 13
I haven't heard them, but based on the charts they probably would. Both of those are considered light in bass.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I haven't heard them, but based on the charts they probably would. Both of those are considered light in bass.

Thank you once again for replying.

What charts are you talking about? Are there charts showing the bass levels of headphones?

post #10 of 13
http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

Tyll is a VERY experienced audiophile that was the founder and former owner of HeadRoom (http://www.headphone.com ) and is now the Editor-in-Chief of InnerFidelity.com

Another place for charts is: http://www.goldenears.net/

Please note: Do NOT compare charts across two different sites. You can't compare Headphone #1 measured by Tyll against Headphone #2 measured at GoldenEars. The test stations and method of testing are different and your should always compare tests only from the same tester.

Also - do not misunderstand me - the charts are only ONE part of the equation - they cannot really tell you how a headphone will sound - they can only tell you how a headphone will *tend* to sound. IMHO, charts should be only one of the tools used to evaluate headphones - NOT the only tool.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks a lot! I can finally compare all the models I read about!

 

Now I just need someone to answer about the sound card vs DAC. Do I need something special for M50 or Shure 404 (for example) or would the small USB card I have be enough ( http://steelseries.com/products/audio/steelseries-siberia-usb-soundcard ) ? 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

bump?

post #13 of 13

i would say get a DAC over a sound card because you get more for your money, and since the DAC is outside of the computer you won't get any static from the computer.

 

for headphones i would look at the HD 598/558. 

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