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First steps into this new world.. help needed

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone,

 

This is my first post. I feel I have some unique needs in a future headphone purchase.  I work from home and I am a student too. I will occasionally work in a more public area, but this is rare. I am looking to up my headphone game and I need something I can wear all day. I tend to wear my headphones for more than 6 hours each day if not more. I will be using these headphones for music, watching lecture videos/conference calls, some movies, and gaming.  So basically a well rounded phone for desktop use only.

 

Currently my main headphone is a really old set of Ariel brand over ear closed back phones. sound isn't terrible for skype/conference/lectures and some low volume music, but they are pretty lack luster everywhere else. Plus they are hot, head band hurts, and they are starting to crackle and pop.

 

My travel IEMs are some Monster I-sport Immersion phones and for IDGAF moments like yard work I use some super cheap Skull Candy IEMS. I rather like the I-sports, they need a good seal for great sound, but nice for when on the train or walking town.

 

For reference to what I listen to see below:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Blue on Black, Charlie Parker- yardbird suite, The Body Acoustic - east harlem, Toro y Moi - so many details, BASECAMP - emmanuel, Miguel- simple things, James Blake- retrograde, Kina Grannis- fire, Diana Krall's music

 

I have been looking at Over-Ear open back phones primarily, but some semi opens too. I really want Over-ears and my budget is sub-150 mark. These phones will not be amp'd and they will be powered by my desktop.

 

I've been looking into these:

Audio Technica ath-ad700x open backs (or maybe the ad500x, cost factor)

Takstar Hi2050

Superlux hd668 with dt770 pads

grado sr125i

Amazon has some discontinued Audio technica a900x closed backs for under 150 too

 

I haven't heard any of these phones and I could really use some help.

I will be upgrading these later once I have an amp/dac.

 

 

Thanks everyone for all your help and suggestions.

post #2 of 36

I hear a lot about the HD668 I might go with that option, and get your self something like a Fiio E07k a $60 dac amp combo that should sound very nice with your first headphone, I might try going for the DT 990 and or/dt 880 pads 

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I hear a lot about the HD668 I might go with that option, and get your self something like a Fiio E07k a $60 dac amp combo that should sound very nice with your first headphone, I might try going for the DT 990 and or/dt 880 pads 


I also have heard quite a bit on the superlux's, but I'm still pretty skeptical about the quality of the headphones( build and sound). The forums and web is full of good things about the sound, but at 30 bucks for them I wonder how long they will last. If I went with the hd668's at $30 plus the pads and fiio amp/dac that would total somewhere near 130ish. Now at 130 for that setup is the comfort and sound quality worth it compared to spending 130 for the ad700x?

 

I will probably get a desktop amp/dac from ALO audio or Schiit Audio come this winter and the phones I buy now will be my backup set when I spend some real money on a nice set to match the amp/dac.

 

I started my audio obsession with SQL car audio then to home hi-fi systems... headphone are my last stop. What makes this so hard is that I only have cheap headphone experience and I don't have a base point of what these audiophile type headphones should sound like.

post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeMKermie View Post
 


I also have heard quite a bit on the superlux's, but I'm still pretty skeptical about the quality of the headphones( build and sound). The forums and web is full of good things about the sound, but at 30 bucks for them I wonder how long they will last. If I went with the hd668's at $30 plus the pads and fiio amp/dac that would total somewhere near 130ish. Now at 130 for that setup is the comfort and sound quality worth it compared to spending 130 for the ad700x?

 

I will probably get a desktop amp/dac from ALO audio or Schiit Audio come this winter and the phones I buy now will be my backup set when I spend some real money on a nice set to match the amp/dac.

 

I started my audio obsession with SQL car audio then to home hi-fi systems... headphone are my last stop. What makes this so hard is that I only have cheap headphone experience and I don't have a base point of what these audiophile type headphones should sound like.

I've never heard the Super Luxs BUT if your going to drop $130 for anything get your self a Used Beyerdyanmic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm, it sells for about $125 used, and $150 New

 

It is a rather bright headphone so if you don't like the treble eq it down, the positives are that when you pair it with the Schiit Vali it sounds WONDERFUL! The best part is, there is a Dac called the Berrimgher UAC 202, it costs about 30 and it's honestly a great little Dac, I have it and I use it with my lap top. The other good part is the UAC 202 has a headphone amp that works best with headphones about 150 ohms or more, I've not yet tried the 990 with the Bringher, it should be decenty loud enough. Still the DT 990 is BEST with an Amp, and for $120+150+20 for roughly $300 total minus shipping, so for around $350 you would have a real HECK of a good sounding system. The Schiit Vali wounds great with Beyerdyanmic open backs, and is more than powerful enough for even the 600 ohm Variants. So if I where you I'd go with the SuperLux and E07k or the DT 990 and Schiit Vali  for twice as much, chances are the sound will maybe be twice as good, maybe only half better, either way I'd take my chances on the SuperLux without the Fiio E07k. IF you like it, get the Fiio E07k or you could sell your SuperLux and Pads for well around $30 with Shipping Included and see if you like the AD700x

post #5 of 36

Ideally, an audiophile headphone should sound simmilar to a high end speaker, there are ofc major differances, but as a guy with like thousand dollar headphones, I've got a pair that sound better than the Sound System at my Local Theater, granted I don't have a giant sub to shake my body to FEEL dem xPlosions, but I get enough UMPH around my neck and jaw to be a real happy camper 

 

if you want the BEST BANG for your buck, go with the Beringer [it's an ugly little thing I know] and the Schiit Vali along with the DT 990, that should last you a good while, and by good while I mean your next step would cost you about a solid Grand for a serious step Up, 

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Ideally, an audiophile headphone should sound simmilar to a high end speaker, there are ofc major differances, but as a guy with like thousand dollar headphones, I've got a pair that sound better than the Sound System at my Local Theater, granted I don't have a giant sub to shake my body to FEEL dem xPlosions, but I get enough UMPH around my neck and jaw to be a real happy camper 

 

if you want the BEST BANG for your buck, go with the Beringer [it's an ugly little thing I know] and the Schiit Vali along with the DT 990, that should last you a good while, and by good while I mean your next step would cost you about a solid Grand for a serious step Up, 

 

Thanks for the ideas. I'm definitely going to look into the Beringer uac 202 and the beyer dt990s.

post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeMKermie View Post
 

 

Thanks for the ideas. I'm definitely going to look into the Beringer uac 202 and the beyer dt990s.

Please do, granted and TRUST me there are MUCH better dacs than then UAC 202, but what makes it great is it's small size and realitivly clean sound, for $30 I think it's a heck of a bargin, the other side is the 202 has an optical out, which means you can feed an optical Dac via the beringher. the beringher works nicely as a piggy back device, I tested USB into my Audio GD NFB10ES2 and then I tested the Beringhers optical out, both sounded idenditical, the differeance was that the Audio GD NFB10ES2 has some bizzare firmware so you can get DSD and 24/192 play back, where as optical is native up to 24/96, and imho 24/96 flacs are the highest reslution files you need to have, anything above that is just uselessly large, so either way the device is pretty useful 

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I've never heard the Super Luxs BUT if your going to drop $130 for anything get your self a Used Beyerdyanmic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm, it sells for about $125 used, and $150 New

 

It is a rather bright headphone so if you don't like the treble eq it down, the positives are that when you pair it with the Schiit Vali it sounds WONDERFUL! The best part is, there is a Dac called the Berrimgher UAC 202, it costs about 30 and it's honestly a great little Dac, I have it and I use it with my lap top. The other good part is the UAC 202 has a headphone amp that works best with headphones about 150 ohms or more, I've not yet tried the 990 with the Bringher, it should be decenty loud enough. Still the DT 990 is BEST with an Amp, and for $120+150+20 for roughly $300 total minus shipping, so for around $350 you would have a real HECK of a good sounding system. The Schiit Vali wounds great with Beyerdyanmic open backs, and is more than powerful enough for even the 600 ohm Variants. So if I where you I'd go with the SuperLux and E07k or the DT 990 and Schiit Vali  for twice as much, chances are the sound will maybe be twice as good, maybe only half better, either way I'd take my chances on the SuperLux without the Fiio E07k. IF you like it, get the Fiio E07k or you could sell your SuperLux and Pads for well around $30 with Shipping Included and see if you like the AD700x

This was btw my 10,000th post! I'm happy to know it was helping a new member :3 

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeMKermie View Post

Thanks for the ideas. I'm definitely going to look into the Beringer uac 202 and the beyer dt990s.

+1

Those are definitely some nice headphones, and the Behringer would be a good starter DAC/amp to get you into some nice sound. I think it's a great choice. You will probably be wowed by the sound.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

This was btw my 10,000th post! I'm happy to know it was helping a new member :3 

Wow! 10,000. Should I congratulate you, or would I be enabling you for spending too much time on Head-Fi? (lol)

smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


+1

Those are definitely some nice headphones, and the Behringer would be a good starter DAC/amp to get you into some nice sound. I think it's a great choice. You will probably be wowed by the sound.
Wow! 10,000. Should I congratulate you, or would I be enabling you for spending too much time on Head-Fi? (lol)

smily_headphones1.gif

Meh, who knows that 10,000th post might land me a new job lol

 

anyways, I agree the Behringer is a nice little unit, it's not good with low impedance headphones but again for something like the DT 990 Pro 250 ohm it should be pretty ideal! 

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Meh, who knows that 10,000th post might land me a new job lol

Ah, man. I'm feeding a delusion, too. wink.gif

I can't say anything. I have over 10,000 posts on another audio forum--and plenty on this one (lol).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

anyways, I agree the Behringer is a nice little unit, it's not good with low impedance headphones but again for something like the DT 990 Pro 250 ohm it should be pretty ideal! 

No doubt. It measures extremely well for use with higher impedance headphones. Great recommendation!
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Ah, man. I'm feeding a delusion, too. wink.gif

I can't say anything. I have over 10,000 posts on another audio forum--and plenty on this one (lol).
No doubt. It measures extremely well for use with higher impedance headphones. Great recommendation!

Hanks, I actually bought it on a whim and in spite of HEwhoSHALLnotBEnamed, while it's only used with my lap top, I found it can feed optical into my Audio GD Unit from my Lap top! Which is great since it's a no fuss way to use my NFB10ES2, granted optical and USB Transmisson 1 Protocool, limit me to 24/96 playback but I don't own and intended to own anything bigger than that, so it was a win win for me! I used it extensively during my College time,  I fed my iBasso pb2 with line out from the Dac and from my hm801, so I could listen BORING videos and classical at the same tiem! 

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 

Before I jump on the Behringer to go with possibly the best birthday gift for myself in years( started this thread on my bday) the dt990, I went back on the ALO and Schiit sites to double check specs and prices .. the usual.  I am now wondering if I should just jump all in... in a way... and get a magni/modi combo to go with the phones.

 

Is the UCA 202 solely a DAC? I keep finding things that say it is a powered DAC.

Specs wise the UCA 202 has an output at the phones plug of only 7mW@100 ohms max output. Is that enough to power the 250 ohm dt990?  If my own research and calculations are correct the phone jack on a pc or mp3 player puts out 1.1v max. At 100 ohms( like the uca) that comes out to 12.1 mW to the headphone. If the UCA puts out 7mW and a pc 12.1mW... wouldn't the pc be a better power source?

 

The magni amp has an output of 260mW RMS @ 300 ohms which im going to take a stab that actual output at 250 ohms is nearing the 300-320 mW mark. While these numbers are far better than a pc's mW output.. Beyerdynamic lists the DT990's max power handling at 100mW. If the magni is pushing 300ish mW max to the phones wouldn't that blow the phones?

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeMKermie View Post
 

Before I jump on the Behringer to go with possibly the best birthday gift for myself in years( started this thread on my bday) the dt990, I went back on the ALO and Schiit sites to double check specs and prices .. the usual.  I am now wondering if I should just jump all in... in a way... and get a magni/modi combo to go with the phones.

 

Is the UCA 202 solely a DAC? I keep finding things that say it is a powered DAC.

Specs wise the UCA 202 has an output at the phones plug of only 7mW@100 ohms max output. Is that enough to power the 250 ohm dt990?  If my own research and calculations are correct the phone jack on a pc or mp3 player puts out 1.1v max. At 100 ohms( like the uca) that comes out to 12.1 mW to the headphone. If the UCA puts out 7mW and a pc 12.1mW... wouldn't the pc be a better power source?

 

The magni amp has an output of 260mW RMS @ 300 ohms which im going to take a stab that actual output at 250 ohms is nearing the 300-320 mW mark. While these numbers are far better than a pc's mW output.. Beyerdynamic lists the DT990's max power handling at 100mW. If the magni is pushing 300ish mW max to the phones wouldn't that blow the phones?

the 300mW is rated at 32ohms, at 250 ohms the DT 990 take a lot less power than that, and at FULL POWER you'd go def so theres that

 

now yea the Beringher isn't the BEST headphone amp in the world... honestly it should onle be used as a dac, it has a rather weak amp, but at 12mW it should be

 

BUT if you hve the money go with the Modi and the Vali, the Schiit Vali sounds WONDERFUL with the DT 990 VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI, get the vali not teh magni! 

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

the 300mW is rated at 32ohms, at 250 ohms the DT 990 take a lot less power than that, and at FULL POWER you'd go def so theres that

 

now yea the Beringher isn't the BEST headphone amp in the world... honestly it should onle be used as a dac, it has a rather weak amp, but at 12mW it should be

 

BUT if you hve the money go with the Modi and the Vali, the Schiit Vali sounds WONDERFUL with the DT 990 VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI VALI, get the vali not teh magni! 


The 260mW @ 300ohm  numbers are directly from the Schiit spec sheet.  At 32ohms the magni outputs 1.2W per channel. Yes. 1.2 watts. sounds like a lot but definitely what Schiit lists on their spec sheets.

 

I know the vali sounds wonderful, but it is a hybrid and still has tubes. I will be working on the same table/desk where the amp will be located and my experience is that the tube amps can tend to color the music. ( some more than others of course. I rather like the sound of ALO tube amps.specifically the Pan-AM) I really want to avoid the ting sounds you get when the amp picks up vibrations. When I am sketching new designs or working on some models at my desk I can really get my desk moving. I don't even keep uncapped beverages on my desk, tumblers are ok. lol.

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