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Dialing in the headphone iPhone dilemma

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello, newbie here! I know this topic has been talked about several times over the past few years. I've been on the board now for a week researching past threads but a lot of the threads are older & many new headphones & amps have come on the market since. 


I need some "current day" advice on the equipment combination I should pursue. My background on music & the equipment I've had is as follows: 


1. All my music is compressed wave format through iTunes.


2. I started getting into higher end headphones with a pair of Sennheisser HD570's back in 1999.


3. I've only tried one amp/DAC & that was the total bithead. But honestly it cracked & distorted a lot, IMO. 


4.  Recently I've purchased & returned: 


Senn HD595's - disappointed with the overall sound, I purchased these to replace my sold HD570's but then again I listened to my HD570's 100% through CD's back in the late 90's. 


Senn HD650 - I didn't know much about amps/DAC's back then so when I purchased these driven ONLY by the iPhone I was pretty disappointed. I ended up purchasing the total bithead & even after that I was still disappointed.


Beyerdynamic DT990 (32ohm) - once again disappointed but mainly with bass response & of course even though at 32ohms I still think I needed an amp now that I look back it at.


Ultrasone Pro 990 - didn't hear the "spacious" imaged sound that everyone kept bragging about & still not loud enough.


Sennheiser Momentums - I love these for the ease of use, the remote, the looks (black/red) but the cups are too small IMO to be considered true "over the ear". Basically they're just uncomfortable. But I still own them as my main set.


Sennheiser CX880i - I think so far sounded the best probably because they're MEANT to be driven by an iPhone or iPod but in ears tend to give me bad ear aches after a while & I've even had 1 infection that last a week. No fun!


I know a lot of you are probably saying to yourself, "Well what do you want, because you bought & sold many decent brands"? 


I'm in my 40's so I'm not particular bass-centric any longer although I was when I was in my teens & 20's. A lot my music is bass heavy but then again I have a lot that is vocals & acoustic heavy as well. So I guess I"m looking for a good "all around" headphone & a nice amp/DAC combo that can bring the best out of compressed music. 


I believe what I've been longing for by going through as many headphones as I have is to get the experience I had listening to all my CD's through the HD570's but I understand that may be impossible now that all the same music I had is compressed. But maybe I can get close??


I know this is a lot to chew through & I appreciate any advise or experience you guys have gone through finding your perfect setup. 

Edited by oceans22 - 2/25/14 at 5:49pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 8

What's the bit rate of your music?


You want an all rounder that works well with the iphone, right?

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for replying? The bitrate is 256 of my music. And yes I'm looking for a good all around, slightly towards the mid or high end. Like I know a lot of people like Audiotechnique ATHM50 but I'm not sold on them yet but I'm open to try any suggested setup.
post #5 of 8

Hmm, I think you should consider the NAD viso hp50. Generally, a slight upgrade to the momentums and cheaper too, a little more engaging and better bass response and better sound stage as I remember from a short audition. They weren't as natural/smooth as the sennies, but still better IMO. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Interesting?! I would have never even looked in this direction. I read a few reviews and they seem to get very good marks. The only low mark that worry's me is someone saying the over ear is shallow and ears press up against the driver. This is what is happening to me with the Momentums.

But I'm going to keep reading about them and will probably pick them up!!

Thanks again, I appreciate your input!!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just an update I ended up going with a pair of AKG K545's instead of the HP50's. I felt after reviewing and researching both the HP50's seems to universally be lacking the bass I wanted.

I felt lucky when it came to the research because it appears the Momentum, HP50 & K545's are all sort of in the same ballpark in terms of listening enjoyment but from what I've read the K545 best incorporates the desirable qualities of the HP's and Momentums. Although I admit the Mo's are easier to push and get much louder than the K545's without an amp.

However I do admit I think I need an amp with this and will probably opt for the Fioo E12 Mont Blancs.
Edited by oceans22 - 3/9/14 at 6:50pm
post #8 of 8

Nice, good you feel like you got what you wanted!

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