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Suggestions for Headphones + Amp for Portable + Home use.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'd like to start off my first post by saying. I love music and I love playing games with friends.

I'm a student who has been off school for quite sometime and now working full-time.

I'll usually be taking the bus to work so I can definitely get my daily dose of music in :L3000: with whatever headphones I decide to get. Most of the time once work is over I plan on listening to music at home or playing games online as well.

Another thing I am considering in new headphones is to improve my music library with songs from all genres which is why I am considering to get a neutral headphone although I do love my treble and head shaking bass (I prefer a warm or bright sound signature).

 

Would the Head-Fi community make any recommendations besides my current plan? I have been using the Audio Technica M50s for close to 2 years now but I bought them in white and they are really dirty looking so I'm looking for an upgrade which I think might be the Alpha Dogs.

I have also been looking at the ATH-W1000x aswell (The Denon D5000 looked very suitable but it is near impossible to find in Canada).

 

Preference for Headphone:

- Sound that works with almost all genres

- Either a Warm or Bright sound signature

- Able to listen to for long periods of time

- Around the $500 range (less is better)

- Able to use for travelling

- Noticeably better than the ATH M50s

- Nice looking 

- Comfortable for long use (I heard that people complain about the weight of the Alpha dogs but as long as they are comfy on the head my neck can handle it)

 

I'm new to this amp business as well. I've been lurking for sometime and have seen how some amps pair well with other headphones but not much on the Alpha dogs (My eyes are pretty fixed on these pair of phones :smile_phones:). I'd like something that would fit in my pocket with whatever source I get if I even need an amp (I will probably need to get a new portable source like the X5 because the only other source I have is my phone which is a Galaxy S4 and the jack is pretty damaged). I was also reading about how the DX90 is coming out soon. Would the DX90 beable to drive the alpha dogs well?

 

Preference for Amp and/or Source:

- Pairs well with headphones

- Sub $500 total

- Ability to fit into pants pocket (Don't worry I don't wear skinny jeans :etysmile:)

- Ability to use with computer (Usb is the only way?)

- Able to drive alpha dogs (if there is no other headphone)

 

My Total budget I'm willing to spend is $1000 CDN which is a lot for me so I would like for it to last a long while hahaha. And if it sounds better than my ATH 50s that are un-amp'd I will be very pleased.


Edited by Jooce - 3/3/14 at 12:59pm
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

bump

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello?. . . . . . . If this helps this is what I'm looking at.

Alpha dogs + Fiio X5 ---> Final Portable Rig (Might buy a cheap schiit amp for desktop)

M100 + Galaxy S4 ---> Won't be good for some of my genres

T5p + Galaxy S4 ---> Expensive and I think Alpha dogs would be cheaper + better for desktop use

Keeping in closed back for portable use and replaceable parts are mandatory for me.

Not very interested in QC15, momentums, denons(impossible to find for $500 price range), focal spirits, HP50s, H6, P7, MS500.

Hopefully that covers most if not all hp gems sub $1000.

Haven't read anything on the DX90 compared to the X5.

post #4 of 23

Hi,

 

Alpha Dogs seem to be a solid pick. You should also consider Shure SRH-1540.

 

Best Luck!

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Do you know of any good portable amp synergy? I will most likely... no, most definitely need a new source. Any news on the X5, DX90, or something else that is able to take these dogs out for a walk with a bark better than the m50s :darthsmile:?

 

//Edit

Also sub $500.. My wallet is going to be taking a beating and thankfully this beating is not prescribed by Dr. Dre.


Edited by Jooce - 3/4/14 at 7:01pm
post #6 of 23

If you're considering the Alpha Dog, you should also consider the Shure SRH-1540.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post
 

Preference for Headphone:

- Sound that works with almost all genres

- Either a Warm or Bright sound signature

- Able to listen to for long periods of time

- Around the $500 range (less is better)

- Able to use for travelling

- Noticeably better than the ATH M50s

- Nice looking 

- Comfortable for long use (I heard that people complain about the weight of the Alpha dogs but as long as they are comfy on the head my neck can handle it)

 

Actually if you want headphones to work with nearly all genres it shouldn't be warm or bright, but as close to neutral as possible, although for most people it would probably be better to err on the side of slightly warm than slightly bright. This is why the HD600 is very popular among open-back headphones for example, but as much as I love that one, among the portable cans I'm more inclined to go with one that is more on the bright side - the AKG K550. I can sacrifice a bit of deep bass and some warmth in the lower midrange since I find it very comfortable (a lot might disagree with this) and I can hear double pedal bass drums just fine on these. If it's purely on the tonal qualities, among those I've heard I'd go with the Sony MDR-1R or Ultrasone Edition 8, but both are a little tight and warm around my earlobes. Heck I went to a store to review the DX100 and didn't realize I've been standing for an hour using the K550, so that speaks to its comfort. I've listened to one with modifications in the sound dampening inside the cups and for the most part the "plasticky" upper midrange and treble is mostly gone, along with a slight boost in the bass.

One headphone I haven't listened to yet is the Focal Spirit Professional, which according to reviews might be what I'd go with as it seems to be closer to neutral. Plus it doesn't have the looks of the 1R or Ed.8, which is a plus if you're lugging it around. I'd rather have one with a finish that makes it tossable than a fashion statement that will drive me nuts if I get a tiny scratch on it. That goes for the Ed.8 (obviously, considering I wouldn't want to screw up a $1,500 headphone) and 1R, and to a lesser extent, the K550, but it still looks like it'll get scratched easily. However before I got around to buying a portable headphone I got an Aurisonics ASG-1 IEM and considering I'd prefer to use my smartphone instead of a dedicated player (so calls can automatically interrupt the music, instead of my not hearing my phone ringing), I'm sticking with this one.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post

 

Preference for Amp and/or Source:

- Pairs well with headphones

- Sub $500 total

- Ability to fit into pants pocket (Don't worry I don't wear skinny jeans :etysmile:)

- Ability to use with computer (Usb is the only way?)

- Able to drive alpha dogs (if there is no other headphone)

 

My Total budget I'm willing to spend is $1000 CDN which is a lot for me so I would like for it to last a long while hahaha. And if it sounds better than my ATH 50s that are un-amp'd I will be very pleased.

 

Fiio X5 but I haven't heard it; I'd be willing to bet on it driving a lot of headphones well enough but I'm not sure about the Alpha Dogs.

 

 

 

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post
 

If you're considering the Alpha Dog, you should also consider the Shure SRH-1540.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

Hi,

 

Alpha Dogs seem to be a solid pick. You should also consider Shure SRH-1540.

 

Best Luck!

I check them out and well they seem like they are easier to drive the look of the pads are horrendous(imo //sorry if I offended anyone) + it seems like many reviews say the bass overpowers at lower frequencies. 

I am also open to upgrading desktop amps and buying a portable amp if need be but spending around $1k CDN is a lot for me at the moment. I do love the best bang for your buck and I am willing to wait up to around 3 months before I make any purchases.

I am also wondering when new headphones are usually released or announce? 

Thanks again for the considerations. Right now I am still leaning towards the dogs.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Actually if you want headphones to work with nearly all genres it shouldn't be warm or bright, but as close to neutral as possible, although for most people it would probably be better to err on the side of slightly warm than slightly bright. This is why the HD600 is very popular among open-back headphones for example, but as much as I love that one, among the portable cans I'm more inclined to go with one that is more on the bright side - the AKG K550. I can sacrifice a bit of deep bass and some warmth in the lower midrange since I find it very comfortable (a lot might disagree with this) and I can hear double pedal bass drums just fine on these. If it's purely on the tonal qualities, among those I've heard I'd go with the Sony MDR-1R or Ultrasone Edition 8, but both are a little tight and warm around my earlobes. Heck I went to a store to review the DX100 and didn't realize I've been standing for an hour using the K550, so that speaks to its comfort. I've listened to one with modifications in the sound dampening inside the cups and for the most part the "plasticky" upper midrange and treble is mostly gone, along with a slight boost in the bass.

One headphone I haven't listened to yet is the Focal Spirit Professional, which according to reviews might be what I'd go with as it seems to be closer to neutral. Plus it doesn't have the looks of the 1R or Ed.8, which is a plus if you're lugging it around. I'd rather have one with a finish that makes it tossable than a fashion statement that will drive me nuts if I get a tiny scratch on it. That goes for the Ed.8 (obviously, considering I wouldn't want to screw up a $1,500 headphone) and 1R, and to a lesser extent, the K550, but it still looks like it'll get scratched easily. However before I got around to buying a portable headphone I got an Aurisonics ASG-1 IEM and considering I'd prefer to use my smartphone instead of a dedicated player (so calls can automatically interrupt the music, instead of my not hearing my phone ringing), I'm sticking with this one.

 

 

Fiio X5 but I haven't heard it; I'd be willing to bet on it driving a lot of headphones well enough but I'm not sure about the Alpha Dogs.

 

 

 

Thanks for the great info!

The Ed. 8 seem very appealing but the 1.4k price range is really pushing it especially if I felt the need to get an amp on top. I was only considering the T5p because I found one a little bit below the 1k mark. Sorry for being unclear.

The 550s on the other hand I heard they lacked in the soundstage department + some sort of issue in the upper mids?

The lack of sound stage would make me fairly sad when using it for my desktop + classical music but if need be I wouldn't mind too much.

//Edit

I use the Shure Se215s for IEM listening during work on my s4. Do you know how they compare to the ASG-1s?


Edited by Jooce - 3/4/14 at 7:50pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post
The 550s on the other hand I heard they lacked in the soundstage department + some sort of issue in the upper mids?

 

I wouldn't know about their soundstage problem but I mentioned the plasticky upper midrange in my earlier post. Adding dampening materials to control resonance on it is the solution, and in case you're willing to get one used if not modify one, you could probably get one that has already been modified.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

I wouldn't know about their soundstage problem but I mentioned the plasticky upper midrange in my earlier post. Adding dampening materials to control resonance on it is the solution, and in case you're willing to get one used if not modify one, you could probably get one that has already been modified.

Any places you could recommend for shipping to Canada? I'll definitely do some more research on them since I'm liking what I am reading.

//Edit

Sorry again. I was wondering on good reliable sources for modded AKGs that ship to Canada.


Edited by Jooce - 3/4/14 at 8:07pm
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post
 

 

 

I check them out and well they seem like they are easier to drive the look of the pads are horrendous(imo //sorry if I offended anyone) + it seems like many reviews say the bass overpowers at lower frequencies.

The bass dones't overpower the mids on the 1540's.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post
 

The bass dones't overpower the mids on the 1540's.

Great to hear from an owner!

I'm at a 3 way tug off between the Alphas, 1540s, and 550s.  :confused_face_2:

Is there any viable replacement pads for the 1540s? If so it might be a win.

//edit

I got reference to the th50rp ZMF mod and I think they might be replacing the 550s in the 3 way tie.

Thanks everyone for your patience it is helping me tremendously for my choice in my next long lasting headphone!


Edited by Jooce - 3/4/14 at 8:35pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post
 

Any places you could recommend for shipping to Canada? I'll definitely do some more research on them since I'm liking what I am reading.

//Edit

Sorry again. I was wondering on good reliable sources for modded AKGs that ship to Canada.

 

People just DIY-ed the mod, as far as I know. You'll have to check out the classifieds here on Head-Fi and wait around for anyone selling a modded unit, or buy one new from Amazon for example then follow the modding instructions on the thread somewhere here.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooce View Post
 

Great to hear from an owner!

I'm at a 3 way tug off between the Alphas, 1540s, and 550s.  :confused_face_2:

Is there any viable replacement pads for the 1540s? If so it might be a win.

//edit

I got reference to the th50rp ZMF mod and I think they might be replacing the 550s in the 3 way tie.

Thanks everyone for your patience it is helping me tremendously for my choice in my next long lasting headphone!

They come with an extra set of pads and an extra cable in the box.  There's a thread for the 1540's if you do a search.  There's a lot of great information there.  I think you have a great list there minus the 550s.  You should listen to them at your local Best Buy's Magnolia section.  I think you might come to the same conclusion as me and find them a little unimpressive for the price.  All Shure headphones use the same pads from what I've read.  The SRH-1840's use a velour pad that people seem to be liking with the 1540s.  You get more detail from the 1840 pads but you lose some bass impact.  I'm still waiting for mine to come in the mail :D.  Good luck to you regardless of your decision.

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