Originally Posted by MiiX
@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.