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(URGENT) Need advices for portable and/or desktop audiophile set!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi there,:happy_face1:

 

I am new here - even tho I actually checked this forum a lot as a guest. I found a lot of answers, but in the end I still wanted to ask for my personal case.

 

I am looking for a portable set (Ear/Headphones+Amp+MP3/MP4 player) or desktop set (Headphone+Amp). I listen 90% of the time J-Pop, J-Rock and anime songs (Vocaloid, Girls Dead Monster, EGOIST, Nana Mizuki, Kanako, LiSA, azusa, Mizuki Nana etc...). 

 

- I am looking for the something good with the artists I quoted, so I especially care for female vocal being clean. I love having bass as long as voice is really neat.

- My budget is about $800/1200 ($300-500 headphone, $300 amp, $200-300 player if outside) but can vary.

 

It is kind of an emergency. because I made the mistake (or not?) to buy the M-100 based only on the reviews and I have only a few days to return it.

Actually I had a V-80 before (still have it) and I kinda liked it, and this M-100 is good as well. But after some check it seems it's especially for rap, metal, techno etc... and for my type of music AKG or Sennheiser could do better. In other hand it seems M-100 is the best for outside use so I'm confuse.

 

My first "good" headphone was the AKG K701 that I coupled to a macbook years ago... I had to sell it because I was still a student without money, but I'll always remember that eargasm!:k701smile:

Cons is that it's definitely not for outside use. I also bought  some AKG K375 recently, the voices and the bass are really nice inside, but outside the M-100 totally pwned them.

 

What do you people think? And what are your recommendations for both outside and inside?

Is inside giving better sound details?

Is the K701 too old or still fine?

Thank you.:beerchug:

 

P.S: - I got the M-100 for half the price (180).

        - I can get the K-701 for the same price (189 + shipping)

        - For inside I currently have a VAIO laptop, thinking to switch to Macbook air (sound might go better?).


Edited by MasanoVX - 4/9/14 at 7:39am
post #2 of 22
Since you know how much you already like the K701, how about that or a Q701 for your desktop use, and then get you a separate closed headphone for portable use? Open headphones just have that unbelievably good soundstage that is just hard to compete with for indoor use. Innerfidelity has a good list of portables to choose from on their Wall of Fame list

For a desktop amp/dac, how about the Schiit Modi/Magni? If you like to use your laptop at different places around your house, the ODAC/O2 would be just as good, but more portable to move around the house with your laptop, or even potentially small enough to slip into a laptop bag. If you wanted a true very portable headphone amp/dac, the Audioquest Dragonfly would easily go unnoticed in a laptop bag.

If you would like a cheap DAP option for outdoors, the Sansa Clip+ is amazingly good for the price. It won't drive the AKG 70x series, but will work well with a variety of lower impedance, less power hungry headphones.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your answer!

 

As I suspected it might be better to have an open for indoor and separately a close one for outdoor. 

Q701 looks nice. How is it compared to K701? Is it better in every point? I can get the Q701 for 250 vs 189 for the K701, does it worth the extra?

 

Even if I have a little experience with good headphones and mp3/mp4 players, I really have none with amps, so I can't tell. A portable one would be good tho. Is there one that could be use both inside and outside or is it better to have one for each situation?

 

 I thought about the V-Moda Vamp Verza, what do you think? People seems to say pricey but worth it... I don't care much atm for the battery charge tho, if I can get something good for $300 or less I'll be happy.

 

I have the Sansa Clip+ somewhere in my room. I dropped it because I expected a $300 iPod/Fiio/Basso/Sony would sounds 10x better due to the price. Maybe I was wrong?

 

I resume:

 

For now I have V-80, M-100 (I can return it), AKG 375 and Sansa Clip (and Galaxy SIII mini but no one cares). Note that V-80 (M-80) is in the list you gave me.

 

So:

- Is the Q701 better in every point compared to the K701?

- What do you recommend for outdoors?

- Is Vamp worthing the price or will the ones you quoted do the job? Do I need an amp for outside and inside or can a portable one do both?

- Is Sansa Clip sound quality not so far from other expensive players?

- Do you recommend a cable for better quality?

 

Thanks a lot!:k701smile: 


Edited by MasanoVX - 4/9/14 at 12:44pm
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasanoVX View Post

- Is the Q701 better in every point compared to the K701?
- What do you recommend for outdoors?
- Is Vamp worthing the price or will the ones you quoted do the job? Do I need an amp for outside and inside or can a portable one do both?
- Is Sansa Clip sound quality not so far from other expensive players?
- Do you recommend a cable for better quality?

1) No. It's a different sound. Probably best to google k701 vs q701, with head-fi as a keyword, and I would imagine you'll find some discussion.
2) I have trouble imagining the Vamp is worth it. I personally prefer portable headphones that don't need an amp; I have one and never carry it because I don't want to deal with an extra device and charging it. Others don't mind. I'd say get a DAP with a really good headphone amp/DAC instead over this option.
3) Many find that Sansa Clip approaches/equals iPod/iPhone quality. There are certainly audiophile DAPs with better DACs/headphone amps. But they aren't practically disposable in cost like the Sansa Clip+ smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Quote:

1) No. It's a different sound. Probably best to google k701 vs q701, with head-fi as a keyword, and I would imagine you'll find some discussion.

 

Actually I did Google it, but it's kinda confusing. Some people say it's the same, some say it's different. If it is really different maybe it's more safe to take the K701 I am sure to like? I guess I'll check a bit more.

 
Quote:
 2) I have trouble imagining the Vamp is worth it. I personally prefer portable headphones that don't need an amp; I have one and never carry it because I don't want to deal with an extra device and charging it. Others don't mind. I'd say get a DAP with a really good headphone amp/DAC instead over this option.
It's true it might be a pain to carry an extra device, if the power is really a lot better I wouldn't mind that much tho.
For example what is the power difference between $300 headphones + $300 amp + $300 DAP or $600 headphones + $300 DAP?
Quote:
3) Many find that Sansa Clip approaches/equals iPod/iPhone quality. There are certainly audiophile DAPs with better DACs/headphone amps. But they aren't practically disposable in cost like the Sansa Clip+ smily_headphones1.gif
 
I had several iPod in the past, and it's true. But is the quality really close to audiophile DAPs or does it worth it to buy a more expensive one?
I don't mind adding 80% of the price if quality is 80% better, but if it's a 10% difference then yeah definitely not worth it.:p
------------------------------------------------------
So for now do you think it's good to keep Sansa Clip+ and V-Moda (either 80 or 100) for outside and buy either K701 or Q701+ amp for inside?
Or do you think I can / need to upgrade something? 
Is V-Moda ok for my music style outside or should I go with an other one?
Thanks
post #6 of 22
First, I would send back the M-100s based on your previous love for the K701s and your preferred genres. The M-100s are popular for the very heavy bass emphasis--sort of at the opposite extreme from the K701s in their frequency response. I'm certain you could do better for your listening tastes because there are a wide variety of good headphones in between the M-100 sound and the K701. Check that Wall of Fame list I linked to above, and then follow the link at the bottom to the Wall of Fame list for Full Sized Sealed. Each of those headphones in that list leads to a full review, so you can find out everything you need to make a different choice.

As far as the Q701s vs K701s, you could always ask in the Q701 and K701 discussion threads:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/582276/q701-appreciation-thread
http://www.head-fi.org/t/321237/k701-appreciation-thread
Also, in Innerfidelity's review of the Q701 is some discussion of how similar they are to the K701: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/akg-quincy-jones-q701-sound-and-measurements

I'd say start with the Q701s/K701s, a portable headphone, and a desktop dac/amp setup. Then once you get to hear your portable headphones with the desktop setup, you can decide how much is worthwhile spending on a DAP or what to get. Trying to decide everything at once seems harder> Why not take your time? Any reason to be in a hurry to figure it all out immediately? smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you, it's night here so I'll read carefully tomorrow.:smile_phones:

I think it's something I have to read properly. Do you think Macbook have a good quality for headphones or is it the same compared to PCs?

 

No problem from the setup you said, I think I'll stick with an amp only for desktop to begin with.

What about the Sansa Clip+ for outside? Is it fine or does it worth it to buy something better? (I care only for the sound).

Quote:
 Any reason to be in a hurry to figure it all out immediately? smily_headphones1.gif

Well there's a few reasons - the better one would be that I'm going in Japan soon for 3 months. So I will need even more a portable setup since I will walk a LOT everyday and can't walk without music.:o2smile: 

I'll also get lot of free time at home to use the desktop setup.


Edited by MasanoVX - 4/9/14 at 5:03pm
post #8 of 22
You can ALWAYS spend more money and find something that sounds better. But as you go up in price, the benefits become less and less. So yes. You can spend more money and get something better than the Sansa Clip+. However, the amount of benefit you get will also depend on what headphones you plan to use with it. The Clip+ works well with low impedance headphones with good sensitivity. So you really need to pick out headphones first to know whether or not the Clip+ will drive them.

On the other hand, the K701/Q701 are headphones that are power hungry compared to most others. They will definitely sound better than a portable device or computer with a good headphone amp.

Japan could be a good place to buy portable headphones. I understand that some of the major cities have very good headphone stores to try headphones and/or IEMs. Maybe you might pick up a cheap pair of IEMs to use with the Sansa Clip+ until you get to Japan and can do your shopping there.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ok, I think I'm gonna listen to your advice.

I just found back my Sansa and it's charging atm, I'll give a try with my "old" AKG K375 and V-80 for mobile use. For desktop I'll buy the K701/Q701 + an amp.

 

For the future if I decide to upgrade to a new mobile device + head/earphones what would you recommend for me? (best value between $0 and $1200).

I am also thinking about getting noise cancelling. I don't mind adding +$100 or +$200 compared to the "normal" ones with same quality as long as it sounds neat in the end.

 

Personal question, can I know what portable set you use? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, just my curiosity :ph34r:

post #10 of 22
I use a Sansa Clip+ or sometimes my Samsung Note 2 and then maybe one of a few sets of IEMs. Then I also have ATH-M50s, JVC HA-S400s, and modded AKG K518 LE that I use, depending on the situation. Or around the house when I'm moving around or want to just sit in a different room, I might use my AKG K550s or my Grado SR225i with my Clip+ (both are easy to drive). So it's not an easy question to answer biggrin.gif

Get the DAC too with the amp for the AKGs. They are very resolving headphones, and a good DAC will do better than computer output into your amp.

There are so many options for portables, and you should decide whether or not you want to go IEM or headphone route.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

I listened back to my Clip+ with my V-80, and the sound is better than what I remembered!

Also I still had an iPod 5 until recently, and  I think the sound in Clip+ seems more powerful and neat.

 

Actually V-80 seems to have better fidelity and less bass than the M-100. Maybe a good idea to keep it until I get a good one and send back the M-100 for an AKG.

 

Quote:
 I use a Sansa Clip+ or sometimes my Samsung Note 2 and then maybe one of a few sets of IEMs. Then I also have ATH-M50s, JVC HA-S400s, and modded AKG K518 LE that I use, depending on the situation. Or around the house when I'm moving around or want to just sit in a different room, I might use my AKG K550s or my Grado SR225i with my Clip+ (both are easy to drive). So it's not an easy question to answer 

 

Pretty nice collection!

Samsung Note 2  is not really portable tho :biggrin: 

 

Quote:
 Get the DAC too with the amp for the AKGs. They are very resolving headphones, and a good DAC will do better than computer output into your amp

 

I guess I'll do that. No idea of which DAC to buy or even which price range tho.

post #12 of 22

since u like the sound sig of a k701...

how about a KRK KNS8400 to go with your clip+ ,

load it with lossless music, and u have a blast during the 3 month japan excursion :P

Dun hav to worry about desktop or amp for the time being...take your time to read/scout.

 

http://www.krksys.com/krk-headphones/kns-8400.html

 

http://www.amazon.com/KRK-KNS8400-Studio-Headphones/dp/B004ARUO2S

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey, thanks for your answer. :)

 

Never heard of it, but after some checking it seems rather good indeed. I'm just worried about about the outside use, will the details really show up or are the V-Moda better for outdoors?

Because I heard that outside the details are not as good with most headphones, that's why some people like V-Moda outside and other detailed headphones inside.

 

What do you think? 

 

Thank you :L3000: 


Edited by MasanoVX - 4/10/14 at 6:23am
post #14 of 22

KRK isolates quite well, and it is a closed can. 

The pads are memoryfoam. the drivers have good clarity.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasanoVX View Post

Pretty nice collection!
Samsung Note 2  is not really portable tho biggrin.gif  

Of the half a dozen people I know who have owned the Note 2, they all say that they could never go back to a small phone. It just has to fit in your pocket smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasanoVX View Post

Never heard of it, but after some checking it seems rather good indeed. I'm just worried about about the outside use, will the details really show up or are the V-Moda better for outdoors?
Because I heard that outside the details are not as good with most headphones, that's why some people like V-Moda outside and other detailed headphones inside.

I've never heard that. Based on my experience, I don't think that's true.
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