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Looking for TOTL Full-size. No amp, no budget

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a pair of full-size headphones that require no amp. This is a non-negotiatable--I've done the whole full size in the past(LCD-2's, He-5's, burson 160d, nuforce hdp) and strongly dislike the need for excess equipment and clutter. More space and owning less is important to me. I'm looking for something relatively TOTL. I've used the aforementioned LCD-2's, JH-13, ES5 and that's set my general benchmark. Portability is a bonus but not essential. IEM's have given me ear issues, so I've given up on those too.

After a lot of research, it seems like TOTL tops out for me at around the nad viso hp50/b&w p7 level. Is there anything I might have missed? The ed8, t5p etc seem debatedly but not clearly better.

I'm willing to go up to $1000 for this. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
post #2 of 9

Only full size flagship that gets even in the ballpark of its full potential out of something like an ipod is the TH900.

post #3 of 9
I find the Sig Pros perfect for my needs. Have had LCD2,TH900 and the Sig Pros are easy to drive and sound good out of anything.
post #4 of 9

from the ones I've listened to, I'd vote for the Ultrasone Ed. 8 and the Oppo PM-1. The latter works well enough out of my Galaxy S3, while the Ultrasone needs at minimum an iPad (the bass sounds too low and a bit loose off my phone). However, just $200 on a Fiio X3 or Ibasso DX50 will of course add one box vs just using a smartphone, but the sound will be like the improvements from a good portable amp, and will at least not require cables from one device to another (just the headphone cable going into either portable player).




That said I've somewhat minimized clutter too, by using an Android as a music server sending audio out through USB to an amp with a USB DAC in it; also, it helps that Samsung (unlike Sony for example) puts  the sync+charge port on the side of the phone that allows for using a dock to get all cables behind it and the amp. When I'm out and about, I just use an efficient IEM with the same phone.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 8/11/14 at 10:43pm
post #5 of 9
Look at the mdr 7520. I was in your boat not too long ago. No amp needed. But amps almost always improve sound.
post #6 of 9

TH600 would fit the budget better than the TH900... just get a tiny portable amp and don't look back.

post #7 of 9

Too bad about the no amp bit.  Even something like a beyerdynamic a200p that clips on the belt and is quite small can add a bit of driving power to increase headphone options.  If I were looking for ampless, I'd research what the current TOTL bluetooth headphones are as well.  You certainly would have no concerns about how well they're being driven, but I'm not sure exactly how good they get either.  It may just be a shot in the dark, but more options never hurts.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Very much appreciate the suggestions everyone! I'll look into the options smily_headphones1.gif
post #9 of 9
Maybe PM2. I tried out PM1 recently and disliked how dialed down the treble was, but (supposedly) new pads fix that. PM1 didn't sound all that different from an iPod, CDP, and HA1. Best luck!
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