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A long journey

  1. Ainalcar
    Hey guys,

    in the past few weeks I've probably read and watched at least a whole book worth of information on headphones, dacs, amps, cables, sound and what not. Despite all that I'm still at a loss and am creating this thread to ask for advice.

    Let's take a quick look back at what I've went through so far and where I'm standing right now.

    Through the years I started my journey with the Creative Fatal1ty Gaming headset powered by my onboard laptop soundcard. After a loose connection cable failure which i fixed several times with smoldering the cable back on, I upgraded my audio setup to a siberia gaming headset with Live! Creative external soundcard. This was a big upgrade and lasted for quite some time (both the headset and sound card are still functional to this day).
    Then on a christmas 8 years ago I bought a Beyerdynamic MMX 300 Headset with Asus Xonar Essence STX (ver.1) internal soundcard.
    This was again a huge upgrade at first but turned out to be somewhat problematic over time. For the sake of not boring my reader to death I'll skip on the problems I encountered with the soundcard and focus on the headset:
    (admittedly I'm using it between 4 and 12 hours almost every day but still)
    -The headband peels every few years, right now I'm using my 3rd one.
    -The ear padding gets very slim and is pretty expensive to replace. Right now I'm using the 4th pair of ear pads, if i don't replace them the inside material is rough enough to chafe my ears to the point where the skin is peeling off and it hurts pretty bad. The last pair of padding costed 40 Euros + delivery.
    -Last but not least (more like most) is the cable. During the five years of warranty period I had to send the headset in THREE times to Beyer to fix a loose connection on the cable. You would think that I'm tearing at the cables and throw my Headset around but I really don't. I always pay close attention to be gentle with hardware that is sensitive to stress. A week ago the problem came back again on the now 4th cable.
    For the past two years I've been using the headset with a portable amp/dac (Creative E5) as well, so it's technically impossible to pull the headset as it would just pull the device on the table (which actually never happened).

    Repairing these with Beyer here in Germany is going to cost at least 50 Eur and I'm not willing to have the history repeat itself for the 5th time so i'll be selling the headset after having it repaired by a third party to a friend who uses a headset a lot less frequently than I do.

    So I've started my search after a new pair of Headphones but as you probably all know the audiophile world is very subjective and it's incredibly hard to find good criteria to compare the hardware against each other. What i was looking for in the new Headset specifically is:

    - A detatchable and therefor replaceable cable (preferably a port on each earcup)
    - Replaceable Earpads
    - Replaceable Headband
    - No Microphone

    Criteria that was not relevant to me:

    - Open/closed back design.
    - Looks
    - Weight
    - Impedance

    My plan is to buy the headphones now and go for the dac/amp in about one or two years when I've saved enough money and gathered enough knowledge to make a good choice. For now the headphones will be driven by either the creative external dac (most of the time) or the asus xonar essence.

    After a thorough research and looking at what's available in the EU I came to the conclusion that the sennheiser hd 800 (optionally the s variant) is my best bet.

    But right now I feel like what I imagine many (but not all, I don't want to offend anybody) apple customers feel like. I correlate a high price point with good quality because I still lack knowledge and all that is accessible to me are opinions of people on the internet.

    I'll be going to an audio trade fair in munich in about 6 weeks (high end society munich) and wanted to ask you about the best way to test the headphones that I can access there.

    I would also welcome any suggestions on particular models of Headphones to look for and general advices about how to proceed at this point.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated even if it proves to not be helpful in the end.

    Kind Regards
  2. serman005
    All I can recommend is that you listen to the HD800(S) on music with which you are intimately familiar. If possible, take some music with you for listening. Also, if they have comparable headphones, you might A/B the two and see what you think. You might get some helpful information this way.

    Lastly, I would also add the HD700 to your list. Maybe read about it and see what you think. It is possible it could also work for you.

    Good luck at the audio fair!!
    Ainalcar likes this.

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