Headphones and USB DAC Recommendations(under budget)
Jun 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

Focalor

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Hi all,
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[size=small] After my previous headphones got completely wasted I'm currently searching for a sound improvement and if needed a DAC unit for my notebook

This is what I'm currently searching for:

  1. Circumaural headphone
  2. Closedback (Since the headphones will going to be used most of the time in my workplace I need some in/out isolation)
  3. Comfortable (Constant and consecutive use in workplace)

The source for the audio will most of the time a notebook(the main reason for being searching for a DAC unit). I mostly ear bands like Heaven Shall Burn, Caliban, The Acatia Strain, Whitechappel, Unearth so I want the headphones mostly for this type of music but that aren't  to restrictive on this though.

I'm willing to spend on the headphones + DAC around 350€(465 US $).

 
For better explaining(if I can) what I am searching for (in terms of listening experience) all headphone I have tried(choice is very limited in stores around here) I found that most headphones have to much bass and that the mids are too closed (ex yamaha hph pro500)
 
For you experience what can you guys recommend me given my preferences? I really need to be pointed in the right direction.
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[size=small] Thanks 
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Jun 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM Post #2 of 8

BillsonChang007

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Hello! 
 
For amp/dac, I would recommend the iBasso D7 as for headphone, it's hard to achieve good soundstage with closed headphone. There are very few and the ones that I know is the AKG K550 and PSB M4U1. These two are comfortable as well which is a big advantage for long listening section! Both does a great job for everything you need
 
Hope this help!
Billson 
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Jun 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM Post #3 of 8

Focalor

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[size=small]Thanks for your reply BillsonChang007;[/size][size=small][/size]
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[size=small]I can order the AKG K550 for about 150€ vs 299€ for the PSB M4U1. Does the price difference worth it? [/size][size=small][/size]
[size=small]Also between these two price ranges I can also find Sony MDR-1RB, AKG K-551, Ultrasone PRO-750;[/size][size=small][/size]
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[size=small]Please give your thoughts;[/size][size=small][/size]
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[size=small]Thanks[/size]
 
Jun 14, 2013 at 7:13 PM Post #4 of 8

BillsonChang007

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[size=small]Thanks for your reply BillsonChang007;[/size]
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[size=small]I can order the AKG K550 for about 150€ vs 299€ for the PSB M4U1. Does the price difference worth it? [/size]
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[size=small]Also between these two price ranges I can also find Sony MDR-1RB, AKG K-551, Ultrasone PRO-750;[/size]
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[size=small]Please give your thoughts;[/size]
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[size=small]Thanks[/size]


Not sure about Ultrasone, but instead of MDR-1RB, you should look into the MDR-1R instead for better sound. I would only recommend the wireless version if you are looking for wireless headphone but since you are looking for an amp/DAC as well, you should cut out the idea of wireless(you won't be getting good SQ anyway).

As for €299 for PSB M4U1, that's way too expensive for that pair. Maybe just stick with the AKG K551 if you need shorter cable and a more colorful headphone, K550 if you need long cable.

Billson :)
 
Jun 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM Post #5 of 8

Focalor

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[size=small]So I have narrowed the search to Sony MDR-1R or AKG K-551 can you explain me the big difference in terms of sound experience so I can make up my mind? :p[/size][size=small][/size]
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[size=small]Since I cannot find in any european store the iBasso DAC will the fiio e17 behave correctly with one of these headphones?[/size][size=small][/size]

[size=small]Thanks[/size]
 
Jun 16, 2013 at 4:22 AM Post #6 of 8

BillsonChang007

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[size=small]So I have narrowed the search to Sony MDR-1R or AKG K-551 can you explain me the big difference in terms of sound experience so I can make up my mind? :p[/size]
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[size=small]Since I cannot find in any european store the iBasso DAC will the fiio e17 behave correctly with one of these headphones?[/size]
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[size=small]Thanks[/size]


The MDR-1R and AKG K550 are both very nice headphone for reference and on the go. One might prefer one over the other. The MDR-1R sound signature is very smooth, warm and colored sounding. AKG K550 can sound thin without an amp but shouldn't be a problem with the FiiO E17, very neutral sounding. The K550 is more accurate sounding with wider soundstage. The bass on the K550 extend deeper than the 1R and also better in quality. however, 1R offer louder bass. K550 is more detailed sounding in comparison but the 1R offer louder mids.

Personally, I prefer the AKG K550 over the 1R for it's more natural timbre, detailed, soundstage, imaging and almost everything about the K550 except the large earcups. Also, the AKG K550 does not have a removable cable neither does it come with any carrying case while 1R comes in everything you need for traveling. All and all, it is still a personal preference when choosing between these two headphone.

If you can't find the iBasso D7, you can go for the FiiO E17 or FiiO E10. Either of the FiiO model is very friendly with either of the headphones above. Do note that, the E10 does not have a built in battery thus it only works with PC/Laptop. E17 comes with a built in battery thus it will work universary (you might want to consider getting a LOD cable if you are planning to use the E17 with your iPhone/iPad/iPod)

Hope this help!
Billson :D
 
Jun 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM Post #7 of 8

Focalor

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Billson once again thanks for your help :)
 
I've decided for the Sony MDR-1R and Fiio E17 both are already on it's way :)
 

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