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To upgrade my Headphones or Amp/Add DAC?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I just upgraded to the HD558 but they still aren't good enough for my tastes. So my question is. Which of these options will give me the best sound for Music AND gaming.
CURRENT: Sennheiser HD558-Fiio E11 connected to either my iPod or TV
POSSIBLE UPGRADE:Sennheiser HD600-Fiio E11 connected to either iPod or TV.
Or
Sennheiser HD558-New $200 range Amp or DAC connected to iPod and TV.
Was going to get Fiio X3 but since I game with them too that would do anything for me.
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 
And I don't really wanna spend $300 on an Amp or DAC either,even though the 600's are $300 I'd make an exception for them.. But only if it would be better than getting a new DAC or Amp for $200.
My bad the HD600 is actually a little under $400. Still would make an exception. Paid $80 for my 558's. That's a very big price difference BUT I would imagine the price/performance ratio is not that large..
Edited by Lazyboy420x - 6/11/14 at 10:24pm
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
And I don't hear any major differences with using the E11 with both my iPod and TV. So that's why I'm thinking adding a better amp or DAC would help quite a bit..
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post

I just upgraded to the HD558 but they still aren't good enough for my tastes. So my question is. Which of these options will give me the best sound for Music AND gaming.
CURRENT: Sennheiser HD558-Fiio E11 connected to either my iPod or TV
POSSIBLE UPGRADE:Sennheiser HD600-Fiio E11 connected to either iPod or TV.
Or
Sennheiser HD558-New $200 range Amp or DAC connected to iPod and TV.
Was going to get Fiio X3 but since I game with them too that would do anything for me.

 

Try running somewhat loud music thru the HD558, over night, several times, see if it helps the audio quality.

Does your iPod have the LOD or Lightning port?

Removing the black rubber tape from inside the cups of the HD558s should improve audio quality.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Don't get me wrong,the 558's are fantastic but I would like to be wow'd.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post

Don't get me wrong,the 558's are fantastic but I would like to be wow'd.

 

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X (open) headphones might be a step up from the HD558s.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Try running somewhat loud music thru the HD558, over night, several times, see if it helps the audio quality.
Does your iPod have the LOD or Lightning port?
Removing the black rubber tape from inside the cups of the HD558s should improve audio quality.
I do have the LOD,don't notice much of a difference there either. However running them from my TV and E11 through a standard line-in/line-out cable I prefer over my iPod so that's my main source. I did remove the tape,soundstage is a bit wider and the treble also improved.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X (open) headphones might be a step up from the HD558s.
You have them? How do they compare to the 558's with Classical/Opera and Heavy Metal and Rock music?
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post


You have them? How do they compare to the 558's with Classical/Opera and Heavy Metal and Rock music?

 

I have the ATH-A900X (closed) version and they have more "life" to their sound, and I do in general prefer them for music.

Where as the HD558 have been described as a "veiled" sound.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
What's your preferred amp to use with either headphone?
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post

What's your preferred amp to use with either headphone?

 

I use the Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/Headphone amplifier, connected to my Win 8.1 PC, to drive my headphones.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
How does it compare to the E11 and O2,which I see you both have in your inventory.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post

How does it compare to the E11 and O2,which I see you both have in your inventory.

 

The NFB-15.32 amplifier is a little more powerful then the O2 and the O2 is a little more powerful then the E11.

But I do not notice a difference in audio quality, all three amplifier seem to do a fine job at driving headphones.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
So if I want to imrove audio quality a bit,a nice DAC is probably the way to go?
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazyboy420x View Post

So if I want to improve audio quality a bit,a nice DAC is probably the way to go?

 

It's not cheap to get a an external DAC that works with portable Apple products (iPod).

I would think getting a FiiO X3 or iBasso DX50 would be the better investment for portable audio quality improvement.

If the TV has an optical output, then a Schiit Modi (optical input) DAC, $99, might improve TV audio quality.

 

If you already have the E11, can't see it being worth it buying a difference headphone amplifier, the HD558 is not that demanding for power.

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