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Upgrading my setup with new headphones of FiiO? Mostly listening to indie rock

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

I'd like to upgrade a bit my listening experience and you're the only guys who can help me! I've already read different threads and searched in the forums but I haven't managed to figure out what's the best headphone for my musical tastes and budget.

 

My current setup: 

Headphones: Klipsch Image One

Audio source: iPod Classic (6th gen) or MacBook Pro Retina 2012 with either FLAC files or 256Kbps AAC files from iTunes Store or iPad 3rd gen with 256Kbps AAC files from iTunes Store.

 

Now, the Klipsch Image One sound pretty OK on both my MacBook and my iPad, but I don't like them at all with my iPod. Also, turning on the built-in EQ on the iPod makes a lot of distortion in low frequencies.

 

I was either thinking of buying a FiiO E11 + L9 to use with my iDevices or just upgrade the headphones (I could also save a bit on headphones and buy both the FiiO and a new pair of headphones). What do you think it would make my listening experience better? To be fair I'm a bit disappointed by the sound of my Image One, and the build quality is simply not there (the cables are torn apart) . They sound OK, but maybe I was expecting a more "engaging" sound (sorry, I can't explain it better).

 

The music I listen to most is indie rock. To make some names, my most played artists are:

Editors

White Lies

Interpol

CHVRCHES

Placebo

The Maccabees

alt-j

Craft Spells

Arctic Monkeys

The National

Local Natives

London Grammar

Two Door Cinema Club

 

I'm linking to a few songs too: (Click to show)
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-HzvwGyg7o8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LQ0AFriC7ZM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_mTRvJ9fugM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7HaW5alLnC0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MtmrYisoxXA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2A2XBoxtcUA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IA5xtHxfiTI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Wxu02vp_Vm0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

My budget is not very high: at around 200$ (∼170€), and also the equipment should be available on amazon.it otherwise it could be difficult for me to get it. Some popular options seem to be the Sennheiser HD598 or the ever mentioned Audio Technica Pro ATH-M50X. What do you think about it? Should I spend money on just some headphones? Should I first try the FiiO and see if I can be happy with my Klipsch and then if I'm not buy a slightly cheaper pair of headphones?

Thanks in advance :)

post #2 of 5

The most improvement will always come from the headphone upgrade. In your situation owning the Klipsch once before myself I think we can get you something quite a bit better without breaking the bank.  I would suggest looking at these options...

Shure SRH440
Takstar PRO 80
Takstar HI2050

(my personal favourite of those is SRH440)

The Shure will run you about $100 USD, the Takstars around $60-$75 depending where you order. You need to research these options and see which best fits your sound preferences. Then with the change look at Topping NX1 amp (about $40) to put with the new headphone. Using these options will get you quite decent sound quality, and far above the Klipsch you currently use.

Alternatively, you could spend a little more going straight for Shure SRH840.
 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, many thanks. Shure SRH840 aren't available in my country, but I can get the SRH440 for ∼130$, which is great. I read that they aren't very comfortable, what do you think about it? Another big flaw I have with my Klipsch is that they can get very difficult to wear for more than an hour. The Topping NX1 is at 60$ in Italy, which is OK. Do you recommend it over the FiiO E11 which is at basically the same price? Also, if you know something about iDevices, would you also recommend a dock-to-jack adapter? (I know that both amps don't have a separate DAC so I won't get the best quality but it's worth the buying? - talking about the dock-to-jack adapter vs using the standard jack port of iPod/iPad).

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by luigigr View Post
 

Ok, many thanks. Shure SRH840 aren't available in my country, but I can get the SRH440 for ∼130$, which is great. I read that they aren't very comfortable, what do you think about it? Another big flaw I have with my Klipsch is that they can get very difficult to wear for more than an hour. The Topping NX1 is at 60$ in Italy, which is OK. Do you recommend it over the FiiO E11 which is at basically the same price? Also, if you know something about iDevices, would you also recommend a dock-to-jack adapter? (I know that both amps don't have a separate DAC so I won't get the best quality but it's worth the buying? - talking about the dock-to-jack adapter vs using the standard jack port of iPod/iPad).



What many people do with SRH440 is replace the pads with SRH840 pads or...what I use with great sucess is Brainwavs HM5 pads. The stock pads on SRH440 can be a little stiff so changing them out increases comfort quite a lot, especially the HM5 pads which are like wearing big soft pillows.

They can be found here http://www.mp4nation.net/brainwavz-hm5-spare-earpad-1-pair

(That total price is for a pair)

And look like this on SRH440.




Yes, I recommend NX1 over E11, not only having cleaner sound but also 120 hour run times.

For LOD you can use something like FiiO L9 or pick something up on eBay like this below.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/IPOD-LINE-OUT-DOCK-LOD-FOR-HEADPHONE-AMP-BEST-DEAL-/261368911703?pt=US_Other_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item3cdacd1757

Using an LOD (line out dock) from your iPod gives you the best signal.
 


Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/5/14 at 4:03am
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok, the solution you're giving me seems pretty interesting. So, those headphones are the best for my music tastes? I'd love to hear some other opinions too.
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