Introduction, with a question what would suit a lower budget headphone user

  1. Beldepinda
    Heya all,

    First of all I would like to say hi and give a bit of an introduction. I'm 22 years old hailing from the Netherlands. Currently studying a bachelor in Life Sciences and soon probably going to go abroad on an internship to the USA. Nice to meet you all :)

    Currently I'm in a bit of pinch for selecting a headset, I have had 2 headphones. The Sennheiser 280 HD and the qc 15 from Bose. The 280 I gave to my father after I myself got the qc 15 for public transport (currently it takes 2 hours to get to college/work for one trip).

    { long story
    Now my Bose headphones are starting to falling apart after 4-5 years of use (wire twisted, earmuff damage by overuse, slight crackle in the right ear speaker) so I am looking to replace it. First I was thinking of getting the qc 35 because I heard some good stuff about it (not on here) about how good the sound was for a noise cancelling headphone, then there was a time when the father of my girlfriend showed his audio stuff off. And he even showed off his beloved tube amplifier (something with bright lights) and played the most sweet jazz I have ever heard and I kinda fell in love with high quality audio from that moment. So I started to search some around and found that the Sennheiser 650 is like the budget high quality audio headphones, but that it needs some stuff to truly bring it out on phones and even on desktops and laptops.
    } end story


    So to keep my question a bit on the short side (even if it's a heretical question to ask here) would a Bose 35 qc suit me better then a Sennheiser 650 (I got a budget of around 400E ish)

    Specs of software I have now
    Phone: One plus 5
    Laptop: Erazer MD60255 - X7849 (Sadly cannot find what kind of motherboard is build in)

    Music I listen to: (I use Spotify Prem, if I need to switch that to use the 650 I'll find a way)
    Jazz, Piano, Classic, Rock, stuff with bass (like don't know what genres it is)

    Amount of hours I use headphones a day:
    8+

    Travel time a day:
    4 hours

    Many kind regards, and again hello all :) Im looking forward to the replies

    Cheers
    Robin
     
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    For use while moving around, yes.

    Still, I'd much rather spend half or even less than that on an IEM that will get you nearly the same isolation as an ANC Bose with less electronic noise and not have to deal with charging the headphone.
     
  3. cossix
    Welcome! It's a tough choice between the Senn and the Bose just because they're used for entirely different purposes. The 650 will win outright in terms of sound quality and value, but the Bose wins in terms of portability, versatility, and simplicity.

    The 650, as you mentioned, definitely needs some gear to sound its best. Running a 650 without a decent amp and DAC makes the headphone not quite worth its $315 price tag. On the other hand, the Bose will be ready to go as soon as you open the box.

    If you want something that competes with the 650 but is much more effective with no gear, I'd strongly recommend you look at the HiFiMan HE400S. It's easier to drive and will sound better out of a computer to most people with a good ear.

    Assuming the prices for you in the Netherlands are the same for me in the US, you could possibly get the HD650 for 315USD and Magni 3 for 99USD. This is probably the best value you can get for around 400USD. If prices don't line up with US prices, I would recommend perhaps the HD600 + Magni 3 due to the reduced price of the HD600. Both headphones will do great with the genres you mentioned, although EDM doesn't sound particularly special on either.

    How much does that gear cost for you over there? We can re-evaluate those recommendations if the price difference is bigger than expected (import costs and whatnot)
     
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  4. Beldepinda
    It's not all about the noise cancellation. Since I usually block out background processes by not paying attention to them and completely focusing on a subject I am studying or researching. What type of headset would you suggest or is about any headset as good (or better) as the qc35?





    The prices are as follow:
    Bose qc 35 Gen II: 300
    Sennheiser 650 HD (titanium): 333
    HiFiMan HE400S: 250-350 (would need to get them off amazon since no retailer here sells them)
    Magni 3: 70-150 (From Ebay)

    I gotta say, since that tube amplifier I kinda got a really good buzz when I hear good sound systems. Like the difference between the qc35 (of a friend of mine) vs my qc15 is already a damn huge lot. So maybe I kinda lean more to the higher audio quality then noise cancellation

    many thanks for the suggestions so far!
     
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    He's planning on using them on public transport. Unless the goal is to share his music with people around him, that's not the headphone for the job, regardless of power requirements.


    EU dealers sell the HE400S for over 400 Euros plus sales taxes.


    Well it gets easier to block them out with more isolation.

    And it's not all about isolation. Bose headphones tend to sound a bit off for the money. Generally thin midrange but then you get some bass rumble, but not real hard kick to the bass drum.


    If it's not about ANC might as well get a Focal Listen. Problem with that is it's not going to get as loud as the Bose without a separate amp, and without ANC it's harder to overcome ambient noise, which is why I'm saying that if you get anything without ANC (but with better or at least as flawed sound but for far less money) might as well get an IEM so the passive noise cancellation actually works as welll as ANC.

    Something like Earsonics, Westone, or Shure. My personal preference is Aurisonics (now Fender) for fit, but if your ear concha is smaller than the average they used to design their prototype shell, then they won't fit right. There's also the Fiio F9 for $100.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  6. cossix
    It seems he wants both. He mentions travel but also home use in the post
     
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  7. cossix
    Maybe... I would hope he isn't considering the 650 for portable use :p Perhaps I'm misunderstanding things
     
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  8. Beldepinda
    Currenty my plan is either

    A: Buy headphones that can do both public travel and in the quietness of home

    B: Buy headphones that sound pretty damn amazing (I know cant expect to much of that low budget) and use my older pair of qc15 for travel

    Since I'm maybe moving to USA for internship I want some nice headphones with me to keep me company overthere while I study. And active noise cancelling is nice, but after 10 hours of headphones on my head it gives me a headache (which goes away by sleeping) so it would be nice to have good sound quality
     
  9. FastAndClean
    get some hd598
     
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  10. Beldepinda
    What is the major difference between the HD 650 and the HD598? I assume both need an amplifier to sound good. And if I pay 100 more for a noticable difference im sound quality im down for it
     
  11. cossix
    650 is much better than the 598 but the 650 needs a good amp and DAC. 598 doesn't necessarily need either of those things, especially not the amp because it's very easy to power.
     
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  12. cossix
    Keep in mind the 650 and 598 will be useless to you if you plan on using them in public. They're open back and the sound leakage will make people annoyed hearing your music, and will ruin your experience because outside noises will mess up your music
     
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  13. Beldepinda
    Yeah I am aware of that. I would mainly use them home for listening to music and some medium gaming.

    Oh wait there is a difference between an amp and DAC? I thought those were the same thing bundled in one package.. I tought like that mangi 3 is both the DAC and AMP, second Ill look up how that stuff works so not to bother you guys by total noob questions
     
  14. cossix
    Haha it's ok. We don't mind noob questions but you'll definitely want to learn the basics of how amps and DACs work before anything else.

    As for 598 VS 650: The HD598 is much better for gaming and the HD650 is much better for music. The 598 is fine when paired with a simple laptop or desktop, even a mobile phone. The 650 is harder to power and won't sound anywhere near its best unless you have a dac and amp. I own both and use the 598 for gaming and the 650 for music. They're different enough to own both for different purposes.

    As a side note the Magni series are amps, and the Modi series are DACs. You can hook up an amp to your pc if you don't want to buy a dac yet, but you can't hook up a dac only without an amp. Food for thought!
     
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  15. Beldepinda
    Okay I Read some more into the dac/amp, and indeed first im going amp then dac. Seeing as we are talking about sound quality more now then about noise cancelling I can safely say that Im going dit the quality.

    For the budget of 400 ish would the Sennheiser 650 + magni 3 be the best combination for musical quality wise

    And the 598 would be gaming wise for 260 ish the best option?
     

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