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Is it really worth upgrading to more expensive headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 32

The sennheiser hd598 sounded about as good as £60-£100 open cans to me, but then sennheiser tend to add £50 on top just because they can for the brand name.

They are a mid/low budget open headphone but overpriced slightly when the alternatives for £40 cheaper are stuff like beyer dt 770 £99 akg k550 they'd sell a lot more at where they should be around £100 not £160 wouldn't call them something worth throwing much additional money at in terms of amps etc.Any decent amp like the 02 or fiio e09k would be good enough.Expensive amps dacs etc are obviously for headphones that scale well and actually will benefit whereas budget headphones like these the gains are minimal.


Edited by c64 - 4/6/14 at 6:49pm
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by c64 View Post
 

The sennheiser hd598 sounded about as good as £60-£100 open cans to me, but then sennheiser tend to add £50 on top just because they can for the brand name.

They are a mid/low budget open headphone but overpriced slightly when the alternatives for £40 cheaper are stuff like beyer dt 770 £99 akg k550 they'd sell a lot more at where they should be around £100 not £160 wouldn't call them something worth throwing much additional money at in terms of amps etc.Any decent amp like the 02 or fiio e09k would be good enough.Expensive amps dacs etc are obviously for headphones that scale well and actually will benefit whereas budget headphones like these the gains are minimal.

 

Well I partly disagree. Surely they don't scale as much as some other cans (like my Beyerdynamic T90s), but it really depends on your starting point.

 

Imagine you are using the HD598 from an iPod that arguably doesn't have the best amplification or you are using a crappy onboard sound card of your PC. ===> The improvements while adding an amp or DAC=>Amp into your chain, then the improvements in sound quality are massive.

 

I agree with you that the increments are pretty small when you already have a clean, well powered source.

 

Cheers,

K

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by c64 View Post
 

The sennheiser hd598 sounded about as good as £60-£100 open cans to me, but then sennheiser tend to add £50 on top just because they can for the brand name.

They are a mid/low budget open headphone but overpriced slightly when the alternatives for £40 cheaper are stuff like beyer dt 770 £99 akg k550 they'd sell a lot more at where they should be around £100 not £160 wouldn't call them something worth throwing much additional money at in terms of amps etc.Any decent amp like the 02 or fiio e09k would be good enough.Expensive amps dacs etc are obviously for headphones that scale well and actually will benefit whereas budget headphones like these the gains are minimal.

 

I really wouldn't call the HD598 mid/low budget open headphone when its technically almost at the same level as the HD600/650 and with a good enough source and amp it can sound better than both in a lot of aspects, especially in the way it presents sound in terms of imaging and projecting the sound in front of you, something the rest of the Sennheisers (or others) can't really do until you reach the HD800 level.

post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post
 

 

I really wouldn't call the HD598 mid/low budget open headphone when its technically almost at the same level as the HD600/650 and with a good enough source and amp it can sound better than both in a lot of aspects, especially in the way it presents sound in terms of imaging and projecting the sound in front of you, something the rest of the Sennheisers (or others) can't really do until you reach the HD800 level.

 

I don't agree with this, but I suppose it could be a matter of preference. HD555/558/595/598 are good, but HD6x0 is very good. I'm especially fond of HD600 as it has enough similarities to K501. The criticisms of projection don't trouble me, because it's something I'm willing to compromise on.

 

Still and all, it's not clear which upgrade OP will prefer. Making a list of personal sound priorities is the first big step toward improving one's audio system.

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post

Granted, I don't have the money to upgrade now but I will get a job this summer, as I am a college student.

I'm guessing you are a fairly young, then? The audio hobby is a journey, and you have a long time to pursue it. You don't have to try to get all the way right now when your money is limited. Spend the money on enjoying college or other things. Use your current headphones long enough to get a good return on your money. Save some of the journey for pursuing even better headphones for the future, and enjoy listening to your music smily_headphones1.gif

That being said, if you have no DAC/amp, then it might not hurt to get something, depending on what devices you are using with your HD598s. For example, the Audioquest Dragonfly could be a very good cost effective way to upgrade the audio signal quality with a computer.
Edited by cel4145 - 4/7/14 at 4:30pm
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I'm guessing you are a fairly young, then? The audio hobby is a journey, and you have a long time to pursue it. You don't have to try to get all the way right now when your money is limited. Spend the money on enjoying college or other things. Use your current headphones long enough to get a good return on your money. Save some of the journey for pursuing even better headphones for the future, and enjoy listening to your music smily_headphones1.gif

That being said, if you have no DAC/amp, then it might not hurt to get something, depending on what devices you are using with your HD598s. For example, the Audioquest Dragonfly could be a very good cost effective way to upgrade the audio signal quality with a computer.

 

That is a very good suggestion.

 

And Dragonfly 1.0 will be marked down since they released 1.2 

post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

And Dragonfly 1.0 will be marked down since they released 1.2 

Yep. They are only $100 on Amazon. I've been tempted to get one. I rarely use my laptop except for travel. But how nice would it be to have that little miniature USB DAC/amp for when I do smily_headphones1.gif
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 

Sorry guys for not having updating this thread recently. I truly appreciate the thoughts and posts you guys and gals have sent through this thread. I think for now I'll save up for a good amp and DAC that can run better phones later on (hopefully the M-Stage :D) and finally get that short replacement cable Sennheiser recently put up.

 

However, in the future, what sort of upgrades should I be looking at, then? Should I look for more reasonably priced phones, such as the HD 600 or get something more expensive, such as the later HifiMAN series? I want to ensure that my wallet can take the hit but also ensure I will be satisfied with the upgrade for a long time.

post #24 of 32
I would say if you plan on getting a decent amp and DAC now then your future upgrade should be some 400-600 dollars phones, like maybe the 400i if its good, beyer t90, hd600/650, ADs, etc, I'm sure you would be content with phones in that range for a long time.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post
 

As of now, I have the Sennheiser HD 598 with no amp, no DAC, no recabling, etc... I've had these for the past few months and I've been enjoying my music more than ever but something worries me... the upgrade bug.

 

Granted, I don't have the money to upgrade now but I will get a job this summer, as I am a college student. However, once I do have the money to upgrade to say, the Sennheiser HD 600 or the HifiMAN HE-400i and an amp/DAC, should I do so? Many Head-Fier's warn that as one buys more expensive equipment, the returns start to drastically lower. (the law of diminishing returns)

 

I would like to know your thoughts on the matter and why or why not it is worth upgrading. Cheers!

 

Garraty

Bottom line is the higher you go on the upgrade chain the better the music sounds.  If you can find a 300.00 pair of phones you really like and can stay with,  that is wonderfull.   I just have a bad case of upgradeitis, however I have enjoyed the journey.  My wallet hasn't.

post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post

Sorry guys for not having updating this thread recently. I truly appreciate the thoughts and posts you guys and gals have sent through this thread. I think for now I'll save up for a good amp and DAC that can run better phones later on (hopefully the M-Stage biggrin.gif ) and finally get that short replacement cable Sennheiser recently put up.

However, in the future, what sort of upgrades should I be looking at, then? Should I look for more reasonably priced phones, such as the HD 600 or get something more expensive, such as the later HifiMAN series? I want to ensure that my wallet can take the hit but also ensure I will be satisfied with the upgrade for a long time.

It really depends on what music you listen to most and what you how you want the sound to differ from HD598.

For classical, I consider HD600 the best in production model (except for orchestral music with HD800). It's even better on the tube amps I've tried.

For popular genres, you would want to go in different directions such as Hifiman or Grado, again depending on what you listen to.
post #27 of 32

Really depends on if you think the headphones are the limiting factors to you enjoying your music.

post #28 of 32

It's really a question for yourself.  Hence my prior 'No' response.

 

What other types of products do you buy?  Diminishing returns are very real in this hobby and it's possible to get great sound for very cheap IMO. 

 

That's not to say I don't enjoy a variety of pricey headphones, but typically other factors are at play there.  Functionally you do not need to climb the chain too high to get a rewarding experience.  I've found that when someone asks a question like this the answer is already 'No'.

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garraty View Post

However, in the future, what sort of upgrades should I be looking at, then? Should I look for more reasonably priced phones, such as the HD 600 or get something more expensive, such as the later HifiMAN series? I want to ensure that my wallet can take the hit but also ensure I will be satisfied with the upgrade for a long time.

Good chance there is no such headphone for you. The HD558s would be that kind of headphone for many people. I would imagine you want to upgrade because you know there is something better. There will ALWAYS be something better smily_headphones1.gif

Do don't upgrade thinking you won't want to buy again for a long time. That's deluding yourself (lol).

At this stage, what I would recommend is that instead of thinking about what headphones you might buy in the future, find a Head-Fi meetup in your area. You'll get a chance to hear a lot of headphones. And as a college student, you aren't in the position of being able to buy and resell a lot like many people here do to experience different headphones.
post #30 of 32

I my self have recently joined the Headphone upgrade cycle. I realise its an addiction lol but i find this all part of the fun for this hobby (as long as i can afford it).

 

Upgrades in all hobbies is always a problem :) i have a number of other hobbies, Jui-Jitsu been one and although it needs very little things i always have that maybe i should buy a new rashguard or Gi when i visit a forum or look in a magazine. Unfortunately hobbies get expensive but i always keep them under control and normally only upgrade once ive ruled out all my options. 

 

That been said even then you can make mistakes lol i bought some Yamaha Pro 500's and love them but they are bloody uncomfortable after about 30mins use! Not too much i could do with this so they will become my home set and i will start the hunt again lol 

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