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Budget (<60$) Headphones and DAC

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hoping to get some experienced opinions on the poor-man's range of headphone options. There's actually quite a few decent ones, doing some research.

 

I own a pair of Monoprice 8323's already, but I'm retiring them. They still sound fine, but I need an extra pair as well as a backup. Picked out the 8323's a year back after googling around and reading some reviews, very impressive save for the serious build flaw I did not find out about until it was too late. I might not have bought them or would rather have been informed ahead of time. Currently they exist as cans strapped in a DIY headband. I'd rather not have my new pair end up like that, and I'd like to buy a different model for the sake of it. I'd actually buy another 8323 in a heartbeat if the drivers on the current ones finally died.

 

For the DAC: What of the Behringer UCA202, 222, etc? Googling around, it's more than I'll need according to double blind studies. Replacing my onboard laptop audio, which is actually pretty good and on par with the Behringer in technical terms for 24/192kHz, the best onboard audio I've ever had with no noise and decent output. The problem is some ****head at HP decided they needed to shave an extra half centimeter off the thickness of the laptop and decided the best way to do this was to not have the audio ports securely mounted on the motherboard. They're suspended, literally floating suspended in a hole cutout in the PCB, suspended in place only by the audio pins with a couple of 90'deg bends in them. No structural pins. The only thing to "secure" them is a paperthin plastic clip that flexes readily. I've had to fully disassemble my laptop monthly, remove the motherboard, solder blob the cracked pins to reconnect/reinforce them, then reassemble the whole thing for it to crack again in a matter of weeks. Yes I know what a cold joint is, and yes I know how to solder. The way it's not secured to anything, the slightest forces torque the pins around like dry twigs. Right now I'm looking at either saying **** it and soldering a lead out of the laptop to a DIY port, or going nuts with hotglue and hoping I don't have to undo that to fix it again, or just buying a USB DAC. I'm leaning towards the USB DAC if it's cheap enough, especially if it works with generic drivers like the 202, just for the sake of having something when I'm not on my personal laptop. 30-40$ for performance at least as good if not better sounds like a happy ending to the kludge nightmares.

 

Something tells me that in a year, no matter what I buy, these new cans will be in a jerryrigged frame with the DAC ziptied to the side running a USB extension to the PC. So it goes.

 

So,

 

Headphones?

-Circumaural

-Closed (or semi-open with decent or readily moddable sound isolation)

-Comfortable for extended use (I work at a computer all day. ALL. DAY.)

-Durable frame

-Less than 60$

-Preferably detachable cable, but I can always solder

-Looking at:
*JVC flats

*JVC Harx700

*Sennheiser 201/202

*Koss UR-20

*Koss ProDJ

*Superlux 661

*Superlux 668b

*etc.

-Any others?

 

DAC: Behringer UCA202 or related...

-30-40$

-50 ohm output impedance

-Guess that should be a consideration when picking out the headphones?

-Or not, because the mod to lower the impedance looks pretty easy...

-Thoughts?

 

Help me slim down my options here.


Edited by CardboardCandy - 4/3/14 at 1:36pm
post #2 of 4
It would be helpful know what kinds of music you listen to.
post #3 of 4
Look into the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC. That's the most popular budget USB DAC/headphone amp on Head-Fi.

Also, consider the JVC HA-S500 headphones: http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread. Some people change out the pads for increased comfort (see that thread).
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
 
Quote:
It would be helpful know what kinds of music you listen to.

 

All kinds. Not terribly helpful, sorry.

 

Quote:
Look into the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC. That's the most popular budget USB DAC/headphone amp on Head-Fi.

Also, consider the JVC HA-S500 headphones: http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread. Some people change out the pads for increased comfort (see that thread).

Both of these look great. Why I didn't find it on amazon where I was already looking I don't know, but I was already prepared to solder the Behringer. Also found the Stoner Acoustics doing a second round of searches.

 

Thanks for the help, still diving into the world of decent audio.

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