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[Help / Advice] New to all this. Here's what I think I want. Tell me why I'm right or wrong.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So, I'm new to all this, and to be perfectly frank I have no idea what I'm doing.  I'm looking for a really good (not perfect) headset (and amp?) that will last me for a very long time.  If we can say it will last me years then I have no issue spending 600-700 dollars on them (total).  Beyond that is more than I *think* I'm willing to spend.  

 

I love music, and listen to a lot of drum and bass, electronic, alternative, pop, hip hop, and pretty much everything else (just not as much).  I'm also a huge gamer and watch a ton of movies on my computer.  Yes, these need to be headphones for my computer.  Bonus points if they can somehow integrate with Xbox One, but I don't really care about that as a deciding feature.  I want quality, I like bass, I don't fully understand what treble is, and I want an overall good sound for my needs.

 

Also, I don't know anything about amps.  What do I want in an amp?  What's the knob on an amp do?  Yes, I'm that new.

 

Here's what I've been looking at / debating, per recomendation of people on /r/audiophile

Headphones: Beyer DT990 600 ohm 

Amp: O2/ODAC 

 

Anyways, advice is appreciated.  I'm really not sure what would be good for me, and there isn't really a store around here where I could walk in and test any good headphones.

 

Thanks.


Edited by Shammikaze - 4/1/14 at 7:20am
post #2 of 10

lol. I think if you really wanted to know why you would want an amp, or what the knobs do, you could take some more initiative and google around a bit, but I'll take mercy on you.

 

Generally if there is only one knob on an amp its the volume level, just like on a stereo or something. Although some amp's have more than one knob, and if so it can be something like a channel balance (turn left to only hear left channel, turn right for more right channel, etc) or sometimes they're an input selector - it depends on the amp.

 

As for why you would need (or want) one - some headphones need more power than they get from their source player, depending on what that is. Take the Beyer 990 @ 600 Ohm that you mention - if you tried to plug that into your iPhone, the audio will start to distort at higher levels, or depending on the device, not get very loud (i think - i haven't actually heard that particular set). If you fed your line out from your iPhone to an amp, and then plug your headphones into that, the sound will be more powerful & undistorted - or at least it will be more like how it was meant to sound. A lot of headphones don't NEED an amp, but they may benefit from it. A lot of the lifestyle type headphones you see today - like usually the ones that have a iPhone or Android remote on the chord are meant for portable listening and don't generally need amp's, or the Beyerdynamic low impedence models @ 32 Ohm - but the 600 Ohm an amp is pretty much required I think.

 

as for the actual amp / headphone combo you mentioned, I think its a pretty solid combo, and both are pretty well reviewed. As for how it will fit your specific musical tastes, I'm not sure, and I haven't actually heard those phones or the amp. On this site almost every headphone or amp has both its own message board thread for discussion, and its own page in the 'head gear' section that shows reviews from people that have experienced the item first hand. I'd recommend you go looking there, read what others have said and then ask there if you still have questions. Or try and find people with similar musical taste and see what they recommend.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thievesarmy View Post
 

lol. I think if you really wanted to know why you would want an amp, or what the knobs do, you could take some more initiative and google around a bit, but I'll take mercy on you.

 

 

Haha, thanks for the response and the information.  I actually did do quite a few hours of looking at things, and I figured that was a volume knob but wanted to make sure.  You'd be surprised how not newbie friendly the internet is, although I did manage to get some good information from this site and from reddit.

 

My only other question to you would be as follows.  Do you personally think this amp will be able to sufficiently power the 600 ohm headset, or do you think I'd do better with a 250 ohm?  The appeal (to me) of the 600 ohm set is the difference in bass people keep mentioning. 

post #4 of 10

I would get it with 250 ohm instead of 600 ohm.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shammikaze View Post

 

My only other question to you would be as follows.  Do you personally think this amp will be able to sufficiently power the 600 ohm headset, or do you think I'd do better with a 250 ohm?  The appeal (to me) of the 600 ohm set is the difference in bass people keep mentioning. 


The O2 has more than enough power for the 600 ohm DT-990. That said, I'd recommend getting the 250 ohm DT-990 Pro instead, because it's much cheaper. If you want to spend $300 on the 600 ohm version, that money would be much better spent on the Hifiman HE-400. 

I used to own a DT-990 pro, and I now own an HE-400. The HE-400's bass is significantly better--deeper, harder hitting, more textured, the whole shebang. Some of the best bass you can get in an open headphone. The HE-400 also has a really practical advantage. If you're in a pinch, you can plug it right into your iPhone or laptop or whatever and you'll get plenty of volume. A DAC and amp is still necessary to get the best sound quality, but the HE-400 is pretty efficient and will work fine on most devices. Even though I own a nice DAC and amp, I plug my HE-400 into my iPad to watch Youtube videos all the time. It's very convenient. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post


The O2 has more than enough power for the 600 ohm DT-990. That said, I'd recommend getting the 250 ohm DT-990 Pro instead, because it's much cheaper. If you want to spend $300 on the 600 ohm version, that money would be much better spent on the Hifiman HE-400. 


I used to own a DT-990 pro, and I now own an HE-400. The HE-400's bass is significantly better--deeper, harder hitting, more textured, the whole shebang. Some of the best bass you can get in an open headphone. The HE-400 also has a really practical advantage. If you're in a pinch, you can plug it right into your iPhone or laptop or whatever and you'll get plenty of volume. A DAC and amp is still necessary to get the best sound quality, but the HE-400 is pretty efficient and will work fine on most devices. Even though I own a nice DAC and amp, I plug my HE-400 into my iPad to watch Youtube videos all the time. It's very convenient. 

I agree. If you want to spend as much as the DT990 600 ohm, you should get the HE-400s instead. If you want to save some money, get the DT990 Pro 250 off Amazon. I don't think the price difference between those and the 600 ohm version are worth it. But the HE-400s are wonderful smily_headphones1.gif

ODAC/O2 is a good dac/amp set. Schii Modi/Magni are similar in class but a bit cheaper. If you want a tube amp sound, the Schiit Vali combined with the Modi.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I agree. If you want to spend as much as the DT990 600 ohm, you should get the HE-400s instead. If you want to save some money, get the DT990 Pro 250 off Amazon. I don't think the price difference between those and the 600 ohm version are worth it. But the HE-400s are wonderful smily_headphones1.gif

ODAC/O2 is a good dac/amp set. Schii Modi/Magni are similar in class but a bit cheaper. If you want a tube amp sound, the Schiit Vali combined with the Modi.

 

Okay, so maybe I'll get the HE-400s... Too bad I think they're ugly as sin...  I may just go to the 990 pro due to the price.  How big of a hit to my sound will it be to get the pro instead of the premium?  Any idea?

 

New question - I don't know what a tube amp sounds like.  I don't have any music shops around here to find out, either.  I'm literally stuck trusting people.  What is a tube amp?  Yes, I could google it, but I'm tired and probably wont remember tomorrow.  Are tube amps good?

post #8 of 10

I think it's a trade off in terms of comfort and sound: HE400 sounds better but DT990 is more comfortable.

 

Regarding the Pro vs Premium, I trust http://www.head-fi.org/t/551826/beyerdynamic-dt990-pro-vs-premium-price#post_7890820.

 

As to tubes, I just got a tube and tube amp and really enjoy it. But tube amps are all different and I haven't tried the Vali. I wouldn't get a tube amp first because it's more trouble.

post #9 of 10
Then stick with a solid state amp until you have a chance at some point to listen to a tube amp.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the help guys.

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