THE BEST HEADPHONES for sound quality for $700 or less
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musicmaddy

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hi, this is my first post.
 
i have read countless posts comments, review and videos on what headphones to buy. and so far they have a got me confused some say buy them some say dont. so i thought i would post my own to make sure the head phones are good in the areas i like.
 
first i want recommendations of the best headphones for the sound quality. i would like them to have great sound in all areas, because i listen to all different genres of music and would not like to miss out on great sound. however at the moment i listen to dubstep and heavy metal and pop and classical and rock < this i why i like great sound all round. if not , i would like to have them good with bass. as i said they can be any where up to $700. these headphones i would use for home use and i would use an amplifier.
 
second is any recommendations of good amplifiers. and the price does not matter. however i would like to keep it lower then $1000. the best quality for its price.
 
ask any questions if i did not make something clear. 
Thanks 
 
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3rdear

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The Hifiman's HE-500s.  They are great all-rounders, being linear response, and good for the genres you listed. 
 
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chunkfnk

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Another vote for the HiFimans and for amplifiers, look into the Audio-GD lineup, Schiit Lyr, O2 or Violectric V200. You might also want to look into DACs if you don't already have one.
 
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Jerrey S

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For $700 you can get HD650/600 + O2 + Odac, a very good combo.
 
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jerg

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If you only have $700 to spend on everything, then the options are either used HE500 + entry-level amp/DAC setup, or MadDog / HD650 (used or new) + slightly less entry-level amp/DAC setup.
 
I'd personally opt for the former because the headphone, in the end, is still the heart of the sound quality, so it'd be more preferable IMO to anchor around the most optimal headphone first, and invest in improving upstream setup later.
 
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musicmaddy

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firstly, are the  HD600/650 good in bass ?  just because i dont want to be lacking in that area.
 
secondly i have  just over $1000 to spend on everything, maybe a bit more depending.
 
lastly what are some good DACs 
 
thanks 
 
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KCxSmacker

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If you are willing to go used, you can find an LCD2.2 around 800-900. You could spend the rest on an DECENT amp and upgrade it later. 
 
Quote:
If you only have $700 to spend on everything, then the options are either used HE500 + entry-level amp/DAC setup, or MadDog / HD650 (used or new) + slightly less entry-level amp/DAC setup.
 
I'd personally opt for the former because the headphone, in the end, is still the heart of the sound quality, so it'd be more preferable IMO to anchor around the most optimal headphone first, and invest in improving upstream setup later.
 
This is a great suggestion too. 
 
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davidsh

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Well, I guess it is worth mentioning the Emotiva Mini as amp (it is a speaker amp, a recable of the HE-500 is required, but the cable on the HE-500 is quite bad anyway).
A good DAC could always be the ODAC. For 200 you could also get the Magni+Modi. They look quite good.
 
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Zashoomin

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Other options if you are into that kind of thing is to build your own amp and dac.  If you are going the hd 600/650 or anything with a dynamic driver I would suggest a bottlehead crack.  That way you can upgrade it with speedball later as well and also if you want more base you can roll in tubes with more base.  As for the dac gamma 1 or 2 is very good but they require a bit more soldering experience.  If you don't want to do build anything than you can look into the little dot amps paired with an ODAC from jds labs. Or if you want to spend a bit more money on am amp the WA3 by woo audio is also an option.  
Welcome to headfi by the way and as always sorry about your wallet. 

 
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bruce108

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What jerg (above) means by Mad Dogs is a pair of Fostex T50RP modified professionally by Mr Speakers. Right now I'm listening to a pair I modded myself, which I'm sure would not be as good as his and let me tell you they are magic. If youo don't want to try out something unusual like that, stick to the tried-and-true HD650s: they will do everything you want, and there's plenty of bass. They are relatively easy to drive, and any of the suggestions above for DAC and amp would do. Let me put in a word for the Audio-GD 11.32. This is a DAC and headphone amp in a single box, and you can drive it from a CD player or a computer. Total with postage probably about $800.
 
Happy hunting - and remember, none of the suggestions above is bad - there are lots of good options and perhaps no one 'best'.
 
 
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knights

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HE500 and 600/650 are the better choice since both headphones has greater scalability… Later on, you can build a much more better chains on this 2 if your wallet is ready to be grind again...
 
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musicmaddy

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Okay thank you for help .

I have few more questions

I'm not sure what headphones I guess it's out of the hd600/ 650 and he 500. I guess any would be great. Any help with a good combo of headphone + amp + DAC would be great help. Still a bit un sure.

Are all the head phones I mentioned around the same or is
One definately better then the others, if not what are some of the
Cons to them. This may help to figure which ones i want.

And thanks for the tip about my wallet
 
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davidsh

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Most would say the HE-500 is technically superior to the HD600/650.
I think the HE-500 is more versatile. The bass should be more controlled and it should be better for fast genres and EDM in general. None of the 'phones mentioned in this thread are bright. They are all semi-dark and have a somewhat laid-back sound.
 
Go read some review, there are plenty of them, and post if there is something you don't understand (audiophile terms or whatever....)
 
All headphones have pros and cons. You can never say one headphone is always better than another one, opinions differ.
 
What is your previous experiences with hifi, if any?
 
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