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Taking my first steps into (open) headphones

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've long been a fan of cheap earbuds (Skullcandy ink'd, Monoprice 8320, Klipsch S4i II, and most recently Sennheiser CX 300 II's) but a friend recently convinced me to look at headphones. I picked up a pair of Shure SRH440's and SRH940 earcups. They were a lot different than I was used to at first (all the cheap earbuds these days seem to focus on bass and the in-ear sound is very different from that of headphones) but I've grown to like them quite a bit. Like so many people say, I'm hearing things I never noticed in songs before, the clarity is great, etc.

 

They did however also lack the in-my-head sound that earbuds have, and I'm not such a fan of it. However, a good set of open headphones (the complete opposite concept I guess?) I'm thinking might be even better: part of the reason I loved the earbud sound was that some of the more trippy music I listen to (e.g. Infected Mushroom) sounded really good because of the way the bass seemed to move around me. My thought is that open headphones might counter the lack of this feeling by providing a larger soundstage.

 

So... I'm looking for a good sound stage, more-than-lacking bass and very comfortable open headphones. That is to say, I don't necessarily want overpowering bass, but I'd rather have a little more bass than perfectly clear mids/highs. If I'm listening to music that sounds especially good with mids/highs, I can swap over to my SRH440's.

 

I am considering purchasing the Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250's, but I'm a little bit nervous... I was hoping someone could tell me whether this would be a good fit for me, or whether they would suggest something else. Finally, I'm wondering whether these headphones would require an amp. That is to say, I know I will get better sound quality with a good DAC/amp combo, and I plan to get one eventually, but will it be necessary for me to purchase an amp if I get these headphones?

 

If it is, indeed necessary, what would be a good portable headphone amp? I'd like to use it at home on my desktop, on my laptop at work, and on my phone if I'm out and about, if at all possible.

 

Sorry for all the text, and thanks for any responses!

 

EDIT: I'm looking for something in the price range of $100 to $200. The AKG Q 701 and Sennheiser HD 598 were some other headphones I was looking at, in case anyone has information on those.


Edited by JohnMaguire - 2/12/14 at 7:37pm
post #2 of 5

i don't think the HD 598 or the Q 701 are what you are looking for since they lack the bass you are looking for.

 

I would say save up another $100 and get the HE-400 before it is discontinued (the HE-400i is coming out soon).

 

it has everything you are looking for. 

 

if 300 is too much then the DT 990 250ohm might be a better bet but it will NEED an amp to get to a decent volume.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginron View Post
 

i don't think the HD 598 or the Q 701 are what you are looking for since they lack the bass you are looking for.

 

I would say save up another $100 and get the HE-400 before it is discontinued (the HE-400i is coming out soon).

 

it has everything you are looking for. 

 

if 300 is too much then the DT 990 250ohm might be a better bet but it will NEED an amp to get to a decent volume.

 

$300 is a little steep, as I'm still not quite sure headphones (and specifically open headphones) are my thing. :) If I decide they aren't, I don't want to have spent so much money I can't get a really nice pair of IEMs.

 

If I did go with the DT 990 250ohm (which I'd like to do before that Amazon sale ends), do you have a suggestion on a good portable amp?

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

In regards to an amp, I was thinking maybe a FiiO E7, FiiO E11 or Nuforce MMP-Black as an entry-level portable amp? Would one (or all) of those suit the DT 990 250ohm's? Is one better than the others?


Edited by JohnMaguire - 2/12/14 at 10:04pm
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMaguire View Post
 

 

$300 is a little steep, as I'm still not quite sure headphones (and specifically open headphones) are my thing. :) If I decide they aren't, I don't want to have spent so much money I can't get a really nice pair of IEMs.

 

If I did go with the DT 990 250ohm (which I'd like to do before that Amazon sale ends), do you have a suggestion on a good portable amp?

 

well what do you want to use your new headphones for? 

 

if you are going to use them for home use then open cans will always be better than closed in every way except bass slam (HE-400 still has some of the best bass of any headphone while still being open).

 

The E7 probably won't give the DT 990 enough power so the E11 would be what you want. 

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