Headphone Newbie Needs Advice on Entry Level Cans - AT, AKG, Denon?
Sep 15, 2009 at 12:32 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

chevman

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Been lurking on the forums for a while, trying to educate myself.

Here are the ones I've been seriously considering:

Audio-Technica ATH-A900 Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-A700 Headphones
AKG K 701 WHITE HEADPHONES
Denon AHD2000
Audio Technica ATH-AD700

Here are some other thoughts:

- I'll mainly be using these for listening to music on my desktop computer (mac mini, most audio in FLAC) at home
- I don't want to get an external headphone amp if at all possible.
- Mainly listen to jazz, folk, acoustic guitar, classical, some rock, some country, some rap, some reggae.

Based on that, any thoughts? Recommendations? Ones I should consider in addition to the above?

I'd like to keep total cost around or under $300.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 12:38 AM Post #2 of 15

K_19

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Without a separate amp, you'd probably need to cross K701 and D2000 off the list. ATs would be good as you won't need an amp for them. As for the musical preference you've pretty much listed most genres so it's slightly tough there
biggrin.gif
But I'll assume here that you're more into stuff you have listed first. AKG's will do best with Jazz/classical but since they're off the list you may want to consider AD900 (should be in your budget if purchased used).
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 12:47 AM Post #3 of 15

Ra97oR

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Are you using onboard sound card? If so, I wouldn't brother getting revaling headphones if possible. Get a USB DAC/AMP and a pair of AD700, will be better than D2000, K701, AD2000 out from onboard.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 12:56 AM Post #4 of 15

chevman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ra97oR /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are you using onboard sound card? If so, I wouldn't brother getting revaling headphones if possible. Get a USB DAC/AMP and a pair of AD700, will be better than D2000, K701, AD2000 out from onboard.


Yes, I'll be using onboard sound card for outputting the FLACs.

What USB DAC/AMP would you recommend?
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 1:05 AM Post #5 of 15

Ra97oR

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The Zero and the Compass have got quite a lot of positive reviews here, and they got a low price tag too. As K - 19 said AT can don't need a amp, I found it totally untrue. My AD1000PRM sound uncontrolled and boomy from my X-Fi, Marantz reviever and iPod, but really good from the Essence and awesome from the Luxman P1. Maybe it apply to lower ADs but certainly not AD2000/AD1000PRM.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 2:06 AM Post #6 of 15

K_19

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ra97oR /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Zero and the Compass have got quite a lot of positive reviews here, and they got a low price tag too. As K - 19 said AT can don't need a amp, I found it totally untrue. My AD1000PRM sound uncontrolled and boomy from my X-Fi, Marantz reviever and iPod, but really good from the Essence and awesome from the Luxman P1. Maybe it apply to lower ADs but certainly not AD2000/AD1000PRM.


I've tried three AT cans thus far, which are AD700 (which I have), A900 and SQ5. All three benefitted very little from amp, at least not enough to justify the price in getting an amp solely for them. I expect higher enders like AD1000/2000 and above to scale better with an amp, but with the low enders I feel that it's not worth the trouble. They'll sound better unamped than either the D2000 or K701 unamped for sure.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 2:32 AM Post #8 of 15

K_19

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A portable like D2 will not utilize K701's full potential, that's for sure. It will probably amp AT's well, though as I've said lower AT's don't need too much amping to begin with. I'm not sure about D2000 but I suspect it'd be lacking for that also. You could get an entry fullsize Amp (or amp/dac) like Head-Direct EF1 or EF2 used at that price point (which does K701 well enough and reportedly is wonderful with D2000).
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 7:16 PM Post #9 of 15

AmanGeorge

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Check out the Shure SRH840. It can be had for $200 (or much less if you're good at bargain hunting), sounds excellent with the genres you listed, and doesn't require an amp to perform wonderfully. I think many will agree that the Shure is in a higher weight-class when it comes to performance and refinement than the lower-end ATs (although feel free to disagree if you've heard both - I don't have exposure to ATs outside of the W1000), and won't be as picky about amplification as the AKGs or Denons.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 10:47 PM Post #10 of 15

Kobra

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Check out the Denon AH-D1001 if you want to use your HP without a amp. The 1001 is quite close to the D2000 when comparing SQ. The D1001 is much more suitable as a semi-portable headphone as it's lighter and it has a much shorter cable. Also, I don't think it's such a good idea to spend big $ on a headphone if you haven't used it much in the past...
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 1:06 AM Post #14 of 15

chevman

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Well, I ended up with the following combo:

Hifiman EF2 USB DAC/Amp > ATH A700

Been listening for a few weeks and so far, so good. I had a hunch my computer could sound good, but I didn't know how good
smily_headphones1.gif


Appreciate all the informative posts on the site, they were a big help as I worked through my decision.
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 2:38 AM Post #15 of 15

dweaver

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AD700 are an awesome HP foryour musical genre's in my opinion. They also are a very nice HP without an amp. I have been using mine for sveral months and been very happy with them. I ended up upgrading to the AD900 but even though I prefer the AD900 due to added clarity I have to say the AD700 are a better bang for your buck and I won't be selling my AD700 off as I still prefer them for some things and my family loves using them (you should see my 7 year old son wearing them, they dwarf him but I sure can tell he enjoys what he's hearing).
 

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