I'm not exactly sure how to get started with an audiophile setup...
post-7551610
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 6

ratbag87

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
2
Likes
10
I don't really know what components I need to buy to get the most out of headphones. As of now, I have Sony MDR-V6's plugged into a 3.5mm jack on my speakers plugged into my computer's 3.5mm audio jack. I know many of you are probably cringing right now, as I don't have fancy headphone amps or anything. Also, I've VERY sorry if I posted this to the wrong forum, or if there is some sort of "getting started" page on this site somewhere. If I was wrong in posting this here, please delete this thread and message me or something.
 
I just have so many questions. Do I need a sound card? Should it be an internal card or an external adapter plugged into a USB port?
 
From my headphones' jack, what sort of path should it take?
For me, it is currently jack>speakers>audio jack on computer>(mobo?)
 
Should I use an EQ program on my computer?
 
Before I worry about buying any new exceptionally nice headphones, I really need to know what to do with them.
 
[In case this matters: I'm only going to be sitting at my desk while listening to music. In other words, the headphones will rarely move or even be unplugged. When not in use, they'll just sit there. I'm not worrying about durability, portability, or comfort (to an extent) as much as I am looking for pure sound quality. None of those things matter, as these headphones would not be going anywhere. I don't NEED sound insulation, though I would prefer if people around 5ft away wouldn't be able to hear what I'm listening to when it's reasonably loud. I listen to heavy metal, particularly melodic death metal, and prefer a lot of bass.]
 
 
(TL;DR: How do I get started with top quality audio?) 
 
EDIT: I mentioned that I plugged my headphones into my speakers. Note that I never actually use these speakers, nor do I plan to. They're just something to plug my headphones into.
 
 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7551626
Post #2 of 6

Riku540

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
33
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Posts
1,281
Likes
33
Basic setup consists of Soundcard or DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) > Headphone Amp > Headphones.
 
People tend to be cheap and impatient and buy them in reverse order, or even sometimes just headphones and cop out of getting an amp and good source all together. If you're serious about good sound do yourself a favor and do it right the first time; you will save a lot of money skipping marginal upgrades that could have been avoided by getting the right equipment from the get-go.
 
EQ'ing is all up to you. Some people prefer not to as it can alter and degrade the source signal quality, but others greatly enjoy the results. Try to pick a headphone that already best suits your tastes based on sound signature, and if EQ'ing is needed use it as a fine tune only.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7551639
Post #3 of 6

DaveBSC

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
3,038
Reaction score
59
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Posts
3,038
Likes
59
How much money are you willing to spend? You need to make that clear before anyone can give really helpful advice. I could suggest a Lawton LA7000 and a big DAC and headamp. That would be awesome, but you're looking at a few thousand dollars.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7551644
Post #4 of 6

Uncle Erik

Uncle Exotic
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Messages
22,597
Reaction score
495
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Posts
22,597
Likes
495
The MDR-V6 is a very good headphone and there's nothing wrong with plugging it into your computer.

My next step would be to upgrade the quality of your music. If you're listening to compressed files, go lossless. If you don't have any classical or jazz, give it a try. Those are almost always well-recorded, so you'll get to hear what a great recording sounds like.

If you want to buy more gear, get another pair of headphones. The headphones and recording quality are about 90% of the equation. An amp helps some, but buy an amp that suits the headphones you like. Choose the headphones first, then work back. Don't worry too much about digital sources. If you're not getting dropouts, hash, obvious distortion, etc., then it's fine. Analog is a different matter.

Anyhow, don't get too hung up on buying stuff. You'll get more enjoyment listening to music than you will sitting around trying to find differences between two pieces of gear.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: ratbag87
post-7553115
Post #5 of 6

ratbag87

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
2
Likes
10
Thank you all so much! Most of my music is at 320kbps, though some of it is substantially less. I'm in the process of upgrading that now, to FLAC where I can find it.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7553789
Post #6 of 6

zammykoo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Messages
275
Reaction score
20
Joined
Jun 11, 2011
Posts
275
Likes
20
I'm in the same boat as you are, my friend.
 
I've tried posting a similar thread in the Computer Audio section asking about a proper startup hifi pc source, but no one has responded. Maybe there's better luck here. Here's some things I've been doing research on, hopefully it'll help you.
 
I also had the V6 for a week but I decided to return them and try out the oh-so-popular-overrated M50, which should be arriving in the mail in a few days. I liked the V6's sound, but the reason I returned them was because they had a bit of crackling sound in the lower mids. I'm not sure if it wasn't able to reproduce that well.
 
I am primarily using my hp on the desktop too, so I was wondering if getting a usb dac is the best route. I was looking a the ng27 and fubar III, and people seem to like both of them, maybe more fubar than ng27. Although now since I've just spent a pretty penny on the M50, I've decided to hold off on the dac, and just use my macbook pro as the source. Apple's built in hardware seems to be much higher quality than my desktop pc.
 
Hope this helped some, and best of luck on your search.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: ratbag87

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top