Loved my DT 770s, they broke. I'd like to upgrade and could use some recommendations.
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jivex5k

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Wow, it's been about 5 years since I posted here last.
I've been perusing some reviews and figured what the hell, why not post?

My 770s broke, I'm looking for an upgrade. The natural course looks like the DT 1770s, but I've been reading about some quality issues. Here's what I'm trying to get:

Closed Over the Ear
Max budget: $700
Similar to 770s in, well, how powerful they sound.
Durable, I use them daily for several hours.
Wired preferable, I mean... IDK I just feel like wireless phones would have to compromise. Being tethered to my PC doesn't bother me, I'm tethered to it voluntarily anyway.

I don't have an amp, but I do have an RME Babyface Pro FS to drive them.
It drove the 80ohm 770s quite well. The DAC is solid enough on this interface, but I wouldn't be against fitting a headphone amp into the budget.

I listen to a lot of hip hop instrumentals, the kick drum and bass should be powerful. After work, I mainly play games on the PC which have a wide variety of soundtracks. Again though, having a nice powerful bass seemed to really kick it up a notch.

So in short, should I go with the 1770s and call it a day? I know I'm missing out on some potential alternatives, especially when considering adding an amp, but it's very overwhelming to come back to this after so long. A lot has changed.

Here's the specs on the TRS headphone jack on my interface, not sure what is relevant to how well they can drive stuff, guessing it's output impedance probably?
  • Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced
  • Output impedance: 10 Ohm
  • Output level at 0 dBFS, 1 kOhm load: +13 dBu
  • Max power @ 0.1% THD: 60 mW
  • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR): 114.8 dB RMS unweighted, 118 dBA
  • Noise level: -101.8 dBu
 
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Wow, it's been about 5 years since I posted here last.
I've been perusing some reviews and figured what the hell, why not post?

My 770s broke, I'm looking for an upgrade. The natural course looks like the DT 1770s, but I've been reading about some quality issues. Here's what I'm trying to get:

Closed Over the Ear
Max budget: $700
Similar to 770s in, well, how powerful they sound.
Durable, I use them daily for several hours.
Wired preferable, I mean... IDK I just feel like wireless phones would have to compromise. Being tethered to my PC doesn't bother me, I'm tethered to it voluntarily anyway.

I don't have an amp, but I do have an RME Babyface Pro FS to drive them.
It drove the 80ohm 770s quite well. The DAC is solid enough on this interface, but I wouldn't be against fitting a headphone amp into the budget.

I listen to a lot of hip hop instrumentals, the kick drum and bass should be powerful. After work, I mainly play games on the PC which have a wide variety of soundtracks. Again though, having a nice powerful bass seemed to really kick it up a notch.

So in short, should I go with the 1770s and call it a day? I know I'm missing out on some potential alternatives, especially when considering adding an amp, but it's very overwhelming to come back to this after so long. A lot has changed.

Here's the specs on the TRS headphone jack on my interface, not sure what is relevant to how well they can drive stuff, guessing it's output impedance probably?
  • Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced
  • Output impedance: 10 Ohm
  • Output level at 0 dBFS, 1 kOhm load: +13 dBu
  • Max power @ 0.1% THD: 60 mW
  • Signal to Noise ratio (SNR): 114.8 dB RMS unweighted, 118 dBA
  • Noise level: -101.8 dBu
There isn't enough info there to know how well it can drive headphones but I suspect the answer is not very well. The power output of 60 mW is not very helpful by itself and even in the best case it is extremely low. It should list the power at some impedance and it should also tell us both channels driven. Without any additional info it looks like it might even be 30 mW / channel. The output impedance suggests it will do its best around 100 ohm loads but the output power rating suggests that it won't. Unfortunately, the headamp on most audio interfaces seems to be an afterthought.

I just got a pair of DT1770s but will not have any comments until at least next week. They are 250 ohm and I guess your audio interface will not get the job done. I think the drop version of 17X or 177X or whatever they call it is 80 ohms. If you're ok with your 770s out of that then the drop version should be ok if you like the tuning. For the best sound you can get out of most headphones you should consider some kind of amp sos you don't cheat yourself out of all they are capable of.

If you list your location (even by country) it would be easier to suggest brands of headphones and amps. Also what kind of music etc.
 
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jivex5k

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There isn't enough info there to know how well it can drive headphones but I suspect the answer is not very well. The power output of 60 mW is not very helpful by itself and even in the best case it is extremely low. It should list the power at some impedance and it should also tell us both channels driven. Without any additional info it looks like it might even be 30 mW / channel. The output impedance suggests it will do its best around 100 ohm loads but the output power rating suggests that it won't. Unfortunately, the headamp on most audio interfaces seems to be an afterthought.

I just got a pair of DT1770s but will not have any comments until at least next week. They are 250 ohm and I guess your audio interface will not get the job done. I think the drop version of 17X or 177X or whatever they call it is 80 ohms. If you're ok with your 770s out of that then the drop version should be ok if you like the tuning. For the best sound you can get out of most headphones you should consider some kind of amp sos you don't cheat yourself out of all they are capable of.

If you list your location (even by country) it would be easier to suggest brands of headphones and amps. Also what kind of music etc.
Thanks for the reply. I'm in the USA, Ohio to be exact.
Music preference is really mellow instrumentals during work. Ranges from hip hop type stuff, to synth-wave, to the new lofi trend, really been digging that stuff. Also jazz and classical sometimes, but mostly I'm listening to something with solid thud for a kick, very low mellow bass, and crisp snare and hats. Maybe some rhodes sounding jazzy stuff in it, or piano. Actually, anything that makes the piano sound extra nice would be pretty sweet.

After work I play video games, soundtracks are all over the place here. Hearing footsteps and gunshots can be important in some games. This is all over the place though, retro soundtracks, explosions, lots of vocals sometimes.

I've been researching a lot since this post and really like what I see in the Audeze LCD-2, but they are too heavy for that much use from what I've read.

I did a search for more detailed info on the head amp and found a pretty detailed analysis of it.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...yface-pro-fs-portable-interface-review.12313/

They concluded: " So the output is really for high impedance headphones that are not impossible to drive."

I wouldn't mind spending around 1k on a headphone amp + new cans though. I've added the graphs in the post below, along with the comments the poster put on top of them. I don't understand the significance of it though.


Let's start with the all important power versus distortion and noise into 300 ohm load:


Performance with a much lower load impedance of 33 ohm is not as good though:
 
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I think the 1770 is a good choice noting that you like bass. You could also check out the 177x to save a few bucks. Do you care about imaging or soundstage for your games?
 
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I think the 1770 is a good choice noting that you like bass. You could also check out the 177x to save a few bucks. Do you care about imaging or soundstage for your games?
Not a huge factor but definitely would be nice. I don't play a ton of multiplayer FPS games anymore, but ambient sounds would benefit from imaging and soundstage in some RPGs.
 
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A 1770 will be under your budget, and you can use the extra for a good powerful little amp! There are several decent amps under $200, such as a jds atom. Might as well upgrade the whole system, especially if you already know you like the 770's sound signature. Stay with what makes you happy :)
 
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I would defer to the experience and opinions of the guys suggesting Beyers. But I would recommend any person seriously interested in good sound should not waste money on entry level amps because there is a good chance they will not bring out the best of your other gear. A midrange amp appropriate for the type of headphones you have is a good investment in enjoyment and will not have to be upgraded for a long time. It will remain useful as you upgrade your headphones.
 
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jivex5k

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Yes, that's a good point. A nice amp is probably versatile, I started researching them.

The DAC on my audio interface is pretty decent according to the detailed post, but I'm unsure of the pros/cons of the different outputs into the amp.
My interface has the following outputs:

2 XLR mono outs
1/4" TRS headphone out
1/8" TRS headphone out
ADAT with 2 mono channels at 192khz
The ADAT output has a toslink optical connecter, it can also switch to SPDIF mode.

So, it seems I have to decide whether I want an amp with a DAC or not. My interface has a ton of internal routing capabilities so that wouldn't be replaced, but I could use the ADAT or SPDIF to use the DAC on the amp.

Where I get a bit confused is about routing an analog signal from my interface into an amp. Do I look for an amp that accepts a stereo TRS so I can just plug my headphone out from the interface into it? Perhaps I can get one that accepts two mono XLR connections instead? Which would be better, what are the pros and cons of these inputs?

I'm going to do some more research.
 
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Personally I like separate dacs and amps and even though I have several dacamps, I use them only as dacs, with a separate amp.

From the audio interface to an amp, yeah just one trs -> RCA cable per channel.

If the audio interface has XLR out and the amp has XLR in, straight across XLR patch cables.
 
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jivex5k

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Ah okay, that makes sense. So my ideal would be an analog only headphone amp with XLR inputs, or RCA.
I started researching tube amps, they look cool and I'm all for adding some analog warmth.

I'm going to try and find a decent one for around $500, hopefully I can find one without a DAC so I don't have to pay for features I'm not going to use.
 
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Most if not all OTL amps won't have an integrated DAC. The question becomes choosing between real crap that shouldn't be sold, middle of the road stuff that sounds ok and is affordable but not built very well, or higher end stuff that starts to cost real money.

Look at Woo Audio and Feliks.pl for some better made amps.There are plenty moire, especially if you live in America or surprisingly, Italy. But there was a recent blowup on the forums regarding Woo service. It is troubling to read the thread and I'm not going to conclude anything without knowing all the facts.
 
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I definitely recommend the 177X GO. Easy to drive and a well regarded sound quality.
 
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gimmeheadroom

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I would suggest reading the 177X GO thread before making a decision, since the OP already has some feelings based on his 770s. The tuning might not be to his liking.
 
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I did consider the 177X GO, decided against it. It seems like the benefit of a low impedance comes with some caveats regarding detail and clarity, for beyers at least. Getting an amp, and the 250 ohm DT 1770s felt better.

Looking at amps now and starting to understand them more.

The Woo WA6 looks very nice and is affordable.
The Felix Solo looks very comparable, a notable difference being two RCA preamp outputs.

Does that mean I can stick those into the line in of my interface and record audio that's been processed through the tubes, or do the tubes only affect the audio via amplification?
I'm a bit lost on that one there.
 
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jivex5k

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Came across bottlehead just now. These look very cool, and the DIY aspect is intriguing.
I have little experience with soldering, and even less with woodworking, but it seems common.

I've always been interested in learning more about electronics, this might be a winner here.

Digging more into it, the Crack sounds like a good fit for DT1770s.
 
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