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Budget PC audio - $150-$300 - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiiX View Post

But as Bobby S said earlier, buying an AMP now kind of "locks" me within a specific range of headphones that is "usable" with the AMP.

A lot of people on head-fi would not agree with Bobby S.

The EHP-O2D will work well with 99% of the headphones out there, and the few that it won't be a great choice, are way above your current spending budget. You'd have to get well into this audio hobby to a point where you wouldn't mind buying another headphone amp/dac.

Even the E17 is going to work well with 99% of the headphones in the under $300 range. The EHP-O2D is the dac/headphone amp to get in your current budget range for something that is easily transportable. You'll find many head-fiers who feel satisfied using it with big headphone collections.

I have the ODAC paired with a different headphone amp. I seen no reason to ever upgrade my ODAC. I used to have the Objective 2. I upgraded to get a headphone amp with a pre-amp for speakers. But otherwise, I don't know that there was much benefit in me upgrading.

Read the reviews for the O2: http://www.head-fi.org/products/jds-labs-assembled-objective2-headphone-amplifier/reviews

Then ask questions in the O2/ODAC thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/616331/o2-amp-odac

Now if you ever get to the stage that some people do of trying to find "the" perfect amp to pair with your favorite headphones, that's another thing entirely. But you are long way from that stage, and a lot of budget away. LOL

smily_headphones1.gif
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
EHP-O2D It is! I think...
Will ask my local retailers of there is a chance of getting it locally instead of buying from the UK.

Of I get the EHP-O2D, what would be a suiting headphone for me/the O2D?

Thanks! Love this forum.
post #18 of 28
Almost any headphone will work well with the EHP-O2D. A 600 ohm impedance headphone might be a little much (I'm not sure). Or something with extremely low sensitivity like the HE-500 (probably way out of your budget range). If you pick a headphone that people here are saying is difficult to drive, you can always ask in that ODAC/O2 thread if the O2 owners think it will be a problem, or in the discussion thread for the headphones itself. The more highly recommended headphones on Head-Fi will almost always have their own discussion thread (I google head-fi plus the make and model to find it).

So what you would want to do is read up on different headphones and see what seems interesting to you smily_headphones1.gif
post #19 of 28

The EHP-O2D looks indeed like a very good choice. I didn't realize, until now, what a huge following these two things (odac and o2 amp) actually have.

The amplifier is, at least on paper, capable of driving most headphones with ease and, based on the reviews, is transparent and neutral enough to avoid unhappy pairings. From the headphones I listed, at least, the most power-critical would be the DT880 600 ohms , but it seems they actually pair quite well. The designer of the amplifier specifically tested the O2 with this headphone, which is a good sign.

 

I would hold back on the purchase for a few days though, until you have a better idea about what headphone would suit your taste better.

This way at least you'll have peace of mind once you pull the trigger on the O2D, knowing they'll match well with whatever you'll have in mind and that is a good choice.

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby S View Post

I would hold back on the purchase for a few days though, until you have a better idea about what headphone would suit your taste better.This way at least you'll have peace of mind once you pull the trigger on the O2D, knowing they'll match well with whatever you'll have in mind and that is a good choice.

It's time to give that up. There's not a reason to unless he wants to spend a good bit more money on an dac/amp. There's not another dac/amp option in this budget range that will work significantly better driving any headphone you care to cite. rolleyes.gif
post #21 of 28

Considering he is just starting into this hobby and got overloaded with new information it's probably best to let it sink in and allow the man to come to terms with his decision.

Who's to say he will not get impressed by a particular headphone- amp combo and regret the choice later.

O2D is an excellent choice, but it's not the only good dac/amp in his budget. 

 

Besides are you in a hurry?


Edited by Bobby S - 3/13/14 at 10:07pm
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby S View Post

Considering he is just starting into this hobby and got overloaded with new information it's probably best to let it sink in and allow the man to come to the decision on his own.
Who's to say he will not get impressed by a particular headphone- amp combo and regret the choice later.
O2D is an excellent choice, but it's not the only good dac/amp in his budget. 

Besides are you in a hurry?

You are busy trying to push headphones on the OP, when he came here to find out how he could get sound as good as his brother's computer. That's a DAC/amp solution.

Headphone/amp combination synergy? That's hardly good advice at all for someone starting out to pursue. I don't even thing it's worth the effort, in my experience. Learn to use EQ instead.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 

Are there any difference from the EPH and JDS unit? They look the same for me...

 

Anyway, I'm going to get a AMP/DAC unit first, I'v read and talked will mates that are into audio, and most say go for a AMP/DAC first, then headphones after due to my current phones and the budget range I'm in.

post #24 of 28
They are the same design. There was an engineer that made the O2 and ODAC design and then open sourced it.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

Awesome, cause it cost least from UK(EPH) than from US(JDS) :P

 

Will talk to a few more stores here in Norway, but it seems like I have to get it from the UK.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiiX View Post
 

@Bobby S / AngryGoldfish

Well, what you guys are saying is making sense after reading a bit more around this. Since a set of headphones will be a longer jump in quality versus the amp/dac, This is the way I will go, as I'm looking for good sound now, and then at a later point I can add a dac/amp to improve the sound of something i already have.

 

Now, if we talk headphones and not DACs or AMPs, what would be a good headphone to start with and at a later point be able to add a DAC/AMP to the setup to further improve sound quality within my budget? Philips Fidelio X1 were mentioned by AngryGoldfish, and this a bit over my budget, but if its worth it, I can always push it a little!

I noticed the ATH-M50's closed, and some headphones are open, are there any advantage/disadvantage of having closed/open headphones?

 

@cel4145 / AngryGoldfish

Well, as I know they are sounding a lot better running of a quality soundcard, I cannot do this due to space limitation and upgrade-abilities later since I want to be able to take my sound with me, instead of the PC and sound, if you get my flow :)

Not sure if the STX were replacing the D2X, but I know it has a better AMP and DAC inside it, but IMO it were mainly for headphone users, where as the D2X were for speakers, etc.

 

I feel like a leech right now, leeching information about everything, but since I'm at it: Why not? :)

 

That's what I intend to do, too. :)

 

As far as headphones, it really is up to your specific requirements. It is almost always worth pushing the budget higher, but there comes a point when you run out of money, so try to balance quality with what you can reasonably manage. The Fidelio X1's are most definitely worth the money if you can find them on Amazon or eBay for less than the RRP.

 

The Beyerdynamic DT 770's are slightly cheaper and just as comfortable. They are closed back and will isolate more noise. They also offer deeper immersion with less detail and narrower, shallower sound stage. If you're looking for 'fun' or immersion, they are excellent. If you want a balance of fun and analytical, the X1's are better.

 

If you are into a very natural and open sound whilst still keeping yours ears enclosed, NAD and PSB make the HP50's and M4U1's that offer RoomSound technology. They are newer, though, and are still a little pricey. They are supposed to be excellent 'phones for a variety of different styles and offer something unique to the palette.

 

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700X (open) and A700X (closed) offer all-round good quality at decent prices. If you need isolation and immersive bass, the A700X are more apt, but you lose airiness, clarity and spaciousness. This is almost the compromise one has to make, it appears, with a few exceptions.

 

If you have smaller ears and want something more fashionable and portable, the AKG K545 and Sennheiser Momentum's are supposedly awesome! I'd love them but I don't know if my ears will fit. I know for sure the Momentum's won't. Plus, they're pretty pricey. Actually, most stylish audiophile 'phones are expensive.

 

If you want value for money, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Beyerdynamic DT 770's and Sony MDR-7506 are favourites. The DT 770 32ohm versions don't need an amp, but most people buy the 80 ohm versions. They do perform noticeably better with an amp and DAC, but it's not necessary.

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiiX View Post
 

Im lost now... Not sure if I want/should/need a AMP/DAC first or Headphone... I dont need a portable amp, as long as I can use it on most PC's. I think "movable" is the right word...

But as Bobby S said earlier, buying an AMP now kind of "locks" me within a specific range of headphones that is "usable" with the AMP.

 

The EHP-O2D is tempting, but it may cost me a lot to get to Norway, not shipping, but taxes and such. I will have to check this a bit. Do you think the Epiphany Acoustics folks my write it down a bit?

 

Thing is, I will buy a AMP/DAC or a pair of headphones now, and the other in 2 weeks time. So whatever I buy now, its not long till I go ahead and buy the next in the line. I taught i should have said this a bit earlier, but diddn't remember to put it in when I posted before...

 

Edit: Seems like the EHP-O2D will be about $370-380 when shipped and everything is paid

 

There should be no reason to mark any value down because VAT and taxes are already included in the price. If you were buying from the States (JDS Labs), Australia, Asia, etc, then you'll have to pay Norwegian taxes, which are very high. Buying from the UK should be more affordable as long as the currency conversion rate is not obscene. At least I THINK that's right. :p

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ended up with Philips Fidelio X1 first, then the Fiio E07K. Traveling a lot due to work, so I was considering a stationary AMP/DAC, but I wanted something that could fit in my pocket when I travel. Im pretty happy with my purchases! In the end, it did cost me a total off $500 including the ModMic, not worse than expected :rolleyes:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

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Edited by MiiX - 9/18/14 at 11:18am
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