Best Head Phone Options for Rock industrial alternative etc under $500
May 19, 2015 at 6:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Sep 20, 2013
Hello everyone,
I currently own 2 pair of low to mid range head phones. The Sony MDR-7506 and the Sennhiser HD 598. I enjoy the sound stage, imaging and level of detail of the HD 598 but the lack of low end really leaves me wanting when listening to bands like Tool, Nine inch Nails, or even Disturbed. Even bands that don't use a lot of base seem lacking to me. I have also noticed so distortion at higher volumes on the 598's in the treble. The MDR-7506 are more sensitive and i use them with my phone when listening directly from it. The bass is definitely deeper fuller and more present and the distortion harsh I am not sure how to describe the sound on the highs of the 598 at high volume but its also missing from the 7506 at the expense of sound stage and imaging. I use the 598 when gaming for a better virtual surround. I know it will be asked what stack i am using and as of right now I am not using anything aside from onboard pc audio and the headphone out of my budget Yamaha SR-201 stereo receiver. I had a magni but had to sell it a little more than a year ago along with my 250 ohm dt990's. I am looking at saving up for a new set of head phones and either the magni2/modi2 uber stack or the o2/odac combo. i am not sure which is better. Anyway that or something in that price range is what I will be using for a dac/amp. I listen to almost exclusively rock. Chevelle, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Linkin park, Korn, Apocolyptica, Audioslave, Avenged Sevenfold, Bad Suns, Grouplove, awolnation, Imagine Dragons, Bush, Nirvana, The Offspring, Green day and more but you get the idea. oh and Seether love them. I know i have my thoughts going back and forth. I have issues with my mind jumping. point is I need some suggestions that would sound good with this kind of music. That can at least make due with the dac/amp combos listed above and if possible will also sound great as multimedia cans such as movies and pc gaming. Ideally a phone with the best combo of tight punchy bass with good low end extension with relatively flat mids and highs a lack of harshness in the highs does well with fast electronic/industrial music as well as rock of all sub genres. i think I am describing what i am looking for correctly. I have considered hd650 but am worried they may be to laid back for the music i listen to even more so than the hd 598. I thought maybe the fidelio x2 from philips innerfidelity seems to like them. I imagine the EL8 from audeze would sound great but It will be a few years before i can drop $900 on a pair of cans. the hifiman he400i and he500 seem like they might be good based on what I have heard but i am not sure. I know if I could afford it for gaming movies and music with less bass I would LOVE the HD800 because I love a lot of detail. detail is awesome and I want as much as I can get plus sound stage. I am afraid I want a combination of things that dont necessarily go together. Any thoughts and insight? Sorry for gramer/spelling errors. I get on tangets and just type what comes to mind.   
May 20, 2015 at 12:08 AM Post #2 of 2


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 29, 2009
If the bass is thinner on the Yamaha receiver than on the on-board audio, that's likely because the receiver might have a 120ohm output impedance, too high for both headphones. The very general rule is that your headphones must have 8x the output impedance, but that ratio is less important with high impedance headphones. If that's the case then getting a better DAC-HPamp combo will probably improve the sound, at least vs the receiver; hard to tell compared to the on-board.
Also, what virtual surround are you using? If it's on a hardware DSP on the mobo then you'll have to check if it has SPDIF output, and then make sure that whatever DAC or DAC-HPamp you get has the same kind of SPDIF input, as virtual surround doesn't run through USB (unless you're using a USB soundcard, in which case the DSP chip is on that external card, after the USB connection).

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