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Recommendations: $450 budget audio setup for electronic music and gaming

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Supra-aural or Circumaural but leaning towards the latter.
Overall budget is $450 for home use on my desktop PC.
(includes mic, cans, and required hardware to drive them)
Main purposes are music, movies and gaming 60% - 10% - 30% respectively.
I listen to a variety of music, mainly electronic stuff.
this ranges from downtempo, ambient, synth, and alternative. To more heavy drum & bass.
Suggestions of both open and closed models are welcome
*note: aesthetics are a big factor for me


Big thanks in advance,

Lynchie.

post #2 of 25

The Sennheiser 598 ($200) open backed headphone alongside the Schiit Modi DAC ($100) and Schiit Audio Vali amp ($120) --- $440 total, good starter set up, all the necessary components you need to begin. 

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchie View Post
 

Supra-aural or Circumaural but leaning towards the latter.
Overall budget is $450 for home use on my desktop PC.
(includes mic, cans, and required hardware to drive them)
Main purposes are music, movies and gaming 60% - 10% - 30% respectively.
I listen to a variety of music, mainly electronic stuff.
this ranges from downtempo, ambient, synth, and alternative. To more heavy drum & bass.
Suggestions of both open and closed models are welcome
*note: aesthetics are a big factor for me


Big thanks in advance,

Lynchie.

AKG K612 Pro headphones, $160-$200

Creative labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $70.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

AKG K612 Pro headphones, $160-$200

Creative labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $70.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattAnthony1990 View Post
 

The Sennheiser 598 ($200) open backed headphone alongside the Schiit Modi DAC ($100) and Schiit Audio Vali amp ($120) --- $440 total, good starter set up, all the necessary components you need to begin. 


Cheers guys, i will have a look into that stuff. my one question is regarding dac & amp vs sound card. will one perform better than the other for my specific use? and benefits of each option?
I will also add that i live in Australia and that my budget is loose, wherein if spending an extra $50 will really make a difference then spend away. 

post #5 of 25

Based on your criteria, the headphone must have these qualities:

 

Electronic music = bass heavy headphone

Gaming = wide soundstage, therefore it has to be an open headphone.

 

The only two headphones i know that can fulfill those criteria within your price range is the beyerdynamic dt990 and the Philips x1. But since aesthetics is important, x1 all the way. I also would personally stay away from the dt990 because of its bright treble.

 

microphone = vmoda boom pro, which can conveniently attach to the x1 because it has a removable cable.

 

As for the amp, the x1 doesn't need them since it was designed for the general consumer, therefore it won't really scale up that much. You could get a soundcard with a headphone sound processor like cmss 3d or dolby headphone instead.

 

Also i seriously don't think you should even consider the k612 or the hd598, because they don't have enough bass to make electronic music satisfying.


Edited by b0000 - 2/23/14 at 9:33pm
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

thanks for the detailed reply b0000, you say theres nothing that fits my requirements within my price range. just wondering what the next level up would be?
and i agree that those X1's look nice, was looking at general aesthetics of cans and Grado brand stuff seems to agree with me, wondering if any of there stuff comes close to what im looking for?
(yes i know its probably unorthidox to consider looks before but please bare with me :o)

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchie View Post
 

thanks for the detailed reply b0000, you say theres nothing that fits my requirements within my price range. just wondering what the next level up would be?
and i agree that those X1's look nice, was looking at general aesthetics of cans and Grado brand stuff seems to agree with me, wondering if any of there stuff comes close to what im looking for?
(yes i know its probably unorthidox to consider looks before but please bare with me :o)

Philips X1 Fidelio headphones.

Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Philips X1 Fidelio headphones.

Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card.

+1 on the philips x1

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Awesome, so reading reviews it seems like the X1 might be the winner, ill have to research somewhere that i can give them a test drive before i pull the trigger though. Now all i need to know is how im gonna run these guys.

I think i'd rather go the external dac/amp route seeing as im just used to having that volume adjustment on the fly. Open to suggestions, however theres only $130 left in my budget

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchie View Post
 

Awesome, so reading reviews it seems like the X1 might be the winner, ill have to research somewhere that i can give them a test drive before i pull the trigger though. Now all i need to know is how im gonna run these guys.

I think i'd rather go the external dac/amp route seeing as im just used to having that volume adjustment on the fly. Open to suggestions, however theres only $130 left in my budget

If you want an external amp and dac $130 won't suffice. 

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattAnthony1990 View Post
 

If you want an external amp and dac $130 won't suffice. 

^Not too worried about these parts being brand new, if that makes a difference?

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchie View Post
 

^Not too worried about these parts being brand new, if that makes a difference?

You might be able to get a FiiO E17 with in your budget.

Connect to the computer using S/PDIF (optical or coaxial), this way you can still use the feature of your motherboard's on-board audio.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

You might be able to get a FiiO E17 with in your budget.

Connect to the computer using S/PDIF (optical or coaxial), this way you can still use the feature of your motherboard's on-board audio.

hmm, possibly, but i feel like im then paying for the portable functions which i do not require. whats the general view around the fiio E10?

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchie View Post
 

hmm, possibly, but I feel like I'm then paying for the portable functions which I do not require. whats the general view around the Fiio E10?

The $75 Fiio E10 uses the same WM8740 DAC chip as the $130 Fiio E17.

The E10 has more then enough power to drive the 30-Ohm Philip Fidelio.

But as the E10 is USB, it bypasses the sound card, which is fine your ok with not watching movies or playing games in headphone surround sound.

Audio will be in basic stereo (it will be really good sounding stereo).

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The $75 Fiio E10 uses the same WM8740 DAC chip as the $130 Fiio E17.

The E10 has more then enough power to drive the 30-Ohm Philip Fidelio.

But as the E10 is USB, it bypasses the sound card, which is fine your ok with not watching movies or playing games in headphone surround sound.

Audio will be in basic stereo (it will be really good sounding stereo).

wouldnt running it through optical (and therefore my onboard audio) just bypass the DAC entirely? meaning it would just be an amp with a pointless DAC attached to it?

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