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HiFi Newbie Needs Headphone Help! (Shure SRH1540 & Denon AH-D600)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hifikyle, Aug 9, 2014.
  1. HiFiKyle
    Hey everyone, I finally joined the forum after hours spent here reading.
    I want to get into higher quality music listening. I have been watching countless videos, reading, learning, etc and think I have narrowed down my choices of headphones down to the Shure SRH1540 and the Denon AH-D600.. They vary quite a bit in price but I think they are still comparable. Anyway, as of now, I am really leaning toward the 1540 due to them just being a bit higher in audio quality from what I read and watched on them vs the D600.
    Here's the reason I joined and am posting this - I went to a guitar center and tested a few pairs of Beyerdynamic 770 and 880 and a couple lower tier cans.. since I have no equipment yet, I plugged them straight to my iPhone 5.. and I was expecting it to be good sound but just quiet due to no amp... instead, I was completely turned off and bummed out by all of them. I got confused because my iPhone DID make it LOUD enough but it just sounded like the music was thin, far and very trebley.. I am 95% sure the problem is that I obviously had no amp.. but how is it that my iphone can make the headphones LOUD but sound so crappy?
    I have a pair of B&W C5s and LOVE them..very bassy and smooth. Obviously they sound far better than the beyers I tested because I didn't have an amp on them. But I am REALLY hoping that getting the right gear (Shure 1540 with Fiio E17 and E09k for desktop) will sound deep, heavy, creamy, rich, clear and almost cinematic. I want my music to sound rich and deep in bass.. I want slightly more quantity of bass than "normal" (not quite basshead level though) but I want the QUALITY of the bass to be GREAT, clean, rolling, and just beautiful. After 'demoing' the beyerdynamics, I was totally turned off.. again, I am sure it has to do with not having and amp but here is what I am looking for..
    Someone please confirm for me that having an amp (particularly the two I want to buy E17&E09k)  connected to the SRH 1540 or D600 will dramatically make them different than just straight through an ipod. I just want headphones that can sound cinematic and very rich across bass, mids, treble, overall.
    My plan is to get a very nice pair of headphones first and later scale them up with various amps, DAPs, Etc. So I am pretty confident the SRH1540 are the headphones I want but before I drop a small fortune on the gear, I NEED someone to alleviate my fear and CONFIRM that it IS in fact the amp that will make these things sound like I expect them to and that I am not just crazy for thinking the Beyers sounded awful un-amped (again, no offense to them, I am sure I am just hifi ignorant with no amp..)
    Thanks for the help in advance and for reading all of this!
    PS, Does the audio player I use on my desktop computer matter (itunes) if I play them through the e09k and e17? Or does the DAC and AMP just override everything?
  2. HiFiKyle
    Ah! Sorry everyone! I just realized after I posted this that this needs to be in the help area and not here.. sorry about that
  3. HiFiKyle
    Bump please
  4. Malfunkt
    Hi there,

    iTunes will be sufficient for playing high quality files. There are other players on the market that can play high resolution files, but whether or not these files were mastered for this resolution, the required gear to play this back and our own ability to objectively hear the difference between these files is arguable. So stick with iTunes.

    Many computers have mediocre DAC. The digital to audio conversion is then sent to the built in amp on the headphone/line out of the computer or mobile device.

    I've been using a JDS Labs C5D with the D600. There are differences, but it still sound good out of e iPhone 4s. Generally if helped extend the highs, tighten up the bass, and bring just a bit more coherency to the headphone. The C5D is both an amp and a DAC and can run natively through Mac OS X, Windows 8, ios, and most android setups. Pretty much plug and play.

    I think the 1540 will benefit a bit more from amping. People that have owned the D600 and have the 1540 say the Shure is an upgrade. May be subjective though.
  5. Malfunkt
    Oh and depending on which ohm version of the beyerdynamics, they definitely would sound poor right out of a headphone. So if they sounded kinda weak in the bass, and flat this would be the reason. The d600, on the other hand is is designed for portables.

    There are many reasons for different ohm sensitivity designs. I have a 300 ohm HD650 that absolutely ends an amp to sound its best.

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