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Brand new, wanted an assessment

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well, I currently own AT MTH-50, AT-Pro700MKII, and the JVC HA-SZ2000's as far as my headphones go. I have the Fiios E12 (gift, or would have gotten a more desktop oriented amp) for amp, and HRT Microstreamer for a DAC. I primarily listen from home off my laptop, which has a terrible integrated soundcard and the Microstreamer made a world of difference.

 

My question is, where should I go from here? I started down the usual path, was looking for more deep, punchy bass that wasn't muddy and drowns out the rest of the sound, looking at you beats, and ended up with the 700MKIIs and the SZ2000s, but then I started wanting something more neutral and bought the MTH-50s to see how I liked something that wasn't as basshead oriented.

I am looking for something more neutral, but still "fun" I suppose at around a 500$ pricepoint? And, building off that, will I need to upgrade my amp or DAC if I start looking into that pricepoint or above? I want to get more into the audiophile side of the world and get away from basshead "cannon" headphones, and I feel like I can probably do better than the MTH-50s. Thanks!

post #2 of 23
My recommendations would be the HD600 and DT880 for neutrality. Both, IMO, are one of the best headphones you can get for under $400. I don't think you'll need to upgrade your amp as the E12 can drive both with ample power, but if you ever chose to upgrade, the O2 is an excellent choice..

Anyway, back to the headphones. If you want a natural, warmer, more musical sound signature (though a bit less neutral) get the HD600. If you're looking for a flat (though a bit bright) sound with better detail and extension get the DT880. You want go wrong with either tbh.

Good luck..
post #3 of 23
The new Hifiman HE-400i biggrin.gif
It'll sound a little warm, most likely.

Fidelio x1 perhaps?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick replies! I'll have to see if I can find some of those to demo, I love the look of the Hifiman HE-400i and the HD600s, so it will probably be a toss-up between the two of them.

 

On the HRT Microstreamer DAC, is this sufficient? I heard the music streamer HD is much better, and there are probably better DACs out there. Cost to performance wise, would it be worth it to invest in a better DAC with 2-500$ headphones?

post #5 of 23
I don't think it's worth upgrading the DAC nor amp, for now at least.
HD600 is said to be very neutral in tone. HE-400i will likely sound more warm and less accurate but else, technically better.
Question is what's best for you, after all even the m50 has elevated bass and treble.
What do you listen to?
post #6 of 23
I'm using an ODAC, O2 & HD 650's and the total price would be around £500. That's outstandingly cheap for the quality I hear. Your E12 will do the business though, no problem. I also own an E18 and it drives the Senn's easily enough. I can't comment on your DAC as I've never heard it but I know it's not terrible.

The HD 650's are tremendous sounding headphones which just allow you to listen to the music, not the sound.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

I listen to mostly Folk/80s90s Rock/EDM. From what I have read here, the SZ2000s and the AT PRO700MKII seem to be the best I can get in my price range of under 500$ for basshead EDM listening, but they both seem to do mediocre when it comes to more vocal/highs music like Folk and female vocals, which is the gap I am trying to fill right now. The M50s do alright, but I made the mistake of listening to my friend's HD800s and now they just don't cut it. 

I really enjoyed the HD800s, so the HD600/650s are really looking tempting to me now, but I will try to find a decent audio store in Germany near where I am stationed to let me get my ears under them and figure out which of the two I actually like best.

 

Thanks for all the replies, very useful.

post #8 of 23

The HD600 is absolutely awesome, I heard one recently. Very neutral, amazing treble extension and easygoing, basically works well for any genre as long as you have high quality audio files and a good source. Haven't heard the 800 yet, but want to.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Yeah that has been a big undertaking as well, switching all my music to 320kbs and FLAC where I can find it, surprising difference once I had a decent set of headphones and a DAC/AMP.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groitgard View Post
 

Yeah that has been a big undertaking as well, switching all my music to 320kbs and FLAC where I can find it, surprising difference once I had a decent set of headphones and a DAC/AMP.

I think the treble extension of cheaper headphones is one of their largest shortcomings and that's what really obscures the difference between good headphones and audiophile headphones. The HD600s are CRYSTAL clear, but not fatiguing. It's really hard to listen to anything short of 320 mp3s and FLAC. You can even tell the difference between those two types if your hearing is good enough, with the 600s.

post #11 of 23
Few headphones nail treble extension. Even fewer have treble that actually sounds natural, to me only some electrostats can deliver that, though I haven't tried that many hi-end headphones.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Few headphones nail treble extension. Even fewer have treble that actually sounds natural, to me only some electrostats can deliver that, though I haven't tried that many hi-end headphones.

That is extremely true. Trust me the HD600 is in a league of its own compared to anything I've heard under 200 bucks when it comes to treble naturality and extension. It redefines what you know as treble, it rocks.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

Temptation was too great, HD650 is bought and on its way.

post #14 of 23
Gz on those!
Still think you should've waited for 400i biggrin.gif
Oth hifimans are grossly overpriced in UK.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Is this the same set? Hifiman 400?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HiFiMAN-HE-400-Planar-Driver-Over-the-Ear-Headphone-AUTHORIZED-DEALER/121356515295?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D22849%26meid%3D7422770560441234550%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D9835%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D310974660384

If so, I will probably pull the trigger on those as well and just eventually sell the pair I like least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Gz on those!
Still think you should've waited for 400i biggrin.gif
Oth hifimans are grossly overpriced in UK.
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