How much of a budget should I dedicate to headphones, amps, and the source itself?
Feb 4, 2012 at 1:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7
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I have a very basic setup with my laptop, the FiiO combo, and a pair of Sennheiser HD600s. I've been contemplating upgrading for a while now, but have no idea which to upgrade first.
 
On a percentage scale, what's the most important piece in a setup? Even though I use my laptop as my only source, I do plan on getting something non-digital in the near future. Si hopefully that's not too big of a deal in limiting what I can get right now.
 
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM Post #2 of 7

dasmodul

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Here's the easiest way to put it in my opinion and it may not be what you want to hear.
 
#1 - The closest thing to your ears, and what determines the majority of the sound characteristics is the headphone itself.
#1.5 - The amplifier. I put it as 1.5 instead of 2 in importance and budget because it literally will go hand in hand with the headphone. The best headphone in the world will sound like crap if not properly amplified.
#2 - Source/DAC - These (and i'm sure there are people who will argue otherwise) are really more for refining the sound of your head/amp combo to your liking. This is assuming you've got at least a 16-bit CD player or something and are not trying to listen to 128kbps MP3s :))
 
So I'd say in importance/budget:
 
Headphone - 40%
Amp - 35-40 %
Source/Dac - 20-25%.
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM Post #3 of 7

vvrinne

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Well personally I don't think it's quite that clear cut. I believe the rule of diminishing returns kicks in WAY faster with amps and DACs than it does with headphones. I really have trouble believing that most people would be able to distinguish a 3000$ DAC from a 300$ one in a true blind test. 
 
Also the idea of "proper" amping is really an interesting people. For some people this will mean a 3000$ amp while others may well consider something like the Schiit Lyr to be endgame (450$) and you'll have a tough time proving them wrong. 
 
So IMO: concentrate on the headphones but don't run them unamped straight from your PC audio :)
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM Post #4 of 7

AnalogEars

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Ever heard something like "garbage in - garbage out"?  
 
A perfect amp will never restore what goes wrong at the source, great headphones can only reproduce what they are fed with....
 
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM Post #5 of 7

ZARIM

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I will recommend to try iBasso D7 and it's sound great(can drive HD600 with ease).
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 2:18 PM Post #6 of 7

dasmodul

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GIGO..yes, that's why i stated assuming you got at least CD quality going into a DAC of some kind. :)
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM Post #7 of 7

Dubstep Girl

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Quote:
Ever heard something like "garbage in - garbage out"?  
 
A perfect amp will never restore what goes wrong at the source, great headphones can only reproduce what they are fed with....
 


 
+1
 
 
obviously the source has to always be the highest quality possible, after you ensure you have a good source (vinyl, lossless, original cd, etc), then you can start looking at components.
 
the hd 600 is a very good headphone that scales well with better components, i'd say upgrade your rig and upgrade the hd 600s later.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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