The somewhat predictable 'Which headphones for me?' thread
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Greetings everybody. I've been perusing the pages of this forum for quite some time now and have finally decided I need to delve into the world of high quality headphones. I've mainly been using Koss KSC-35's and while they sound good to me, I know that there's much better out there.

At the moment I'm leaning heavily towards the AT-900's mainly due to all the high praise that comes with them, they're not ludicrously priced, they provide comfort and isolation, and because they can perform quite well without an amp, something I plan to get one day but at the moment don't really have the funding to
.

My musical tastes are quite diverse and change quite regularly. Metal/rock would be my number one preference if any. Stuff like Opeth, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and sometimes stuff a lot heavier. However, quite often I'll be listening to various Game/Movie Soundtracks which can consist of pretty much anything from techno to symphonic to ambient.

Music won't be the only thing I'll be using the phones for though, movies and games being the other sources of entertainment. Music is probably the most important however.

The headphones will probably be plugged into my PC most of time, and it's quite noisy so isolation is a key factor there. Budget wise I'm happy to spend about 4 to 500 AUS dollars, which would equate to about $350 USD.

So lets go over the main points which will be the deciding factors:

- Good isolation and comfort are quite important
- Something that will sound good coming out of a PC soundcard (Creative Audigy)
- Can perform well with nearly everything that's thrown at it keeping in mind the aforementioned musical preferences and general use's
- And finally portability is not an issue since they will be for home use and I'll mostly be sitting down

So there you go. Thanks for your patience with this long description, but when it comes to good sound and copious amounts of cash, I'd really like to be sure I'll be getting what's right for me. Kind regards also to whoever can lend there opinion and lead me to a somewhat inevitible outcome.
 
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null

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Judging from what you seem to want, the A900s are probably one of the best headphones for you. Great versatility, although IMHO it seems that jazz and other more mellow music just SHINE on these things.
 
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tiberian

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if you save a bit more you can have sony cd3k and you basically won't need to upgrade your headphones anymore...
 
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null

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He said his budget was $350 and didn't want to have to buy an amp.
 
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tiberian

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no one can escape from the 'upgrade disease'(not sure about the name)
, this is head-fi afterall...its better to cry once and be happy forever and i think CD3K sounds nice even unamped...

but yeah get the A900 aka baby CD3K...
 
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ReDVsion

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I'll throw in another vote for the A900s, they seem to fit your needs better than any other headphone I can think of.
 
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Thanks folks. I really appreciate the input so far. At the moment it's looking like the A900's are a fairly safe bet.

Just a quick question with regards to the CD3k's and Tiberian's post, if I was to look at saving up for a pair and an amp what would probably be the cheapest amp/s I could get that would still sound reasonably good?

And also, is an amp absolutely necessary with the CD3k's and would I really be able to notice any difference anyway being a relative newcomer and all?
 
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bangraman

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If a reasonable degree of isolation is needed then the CD3K don't do a particularly good job in that respect. The A900 is on a par with some of the less extreme-isolated closed studio phones.
 
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zoot2boot

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Im in Perth and bought CD3Ks not so long ago... they came to AUD$580 at my front door from audiocubes (US$400) but there are better prices out there ~US$30-40 cheaper which brings them down to a little over AUD$500... which is worth it over A900s in my opinion.... if you're willing to spend the dosh. CD3Ks sound wonderful without an amp, i often use them out of my ipod but they get better with so its a viable upgrade path if you're not completely satisfied whereas the a900s (according to people around here) aren't going to benifit to the same degree.
 
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AdamZuf

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CD3000 will probably sound crap out of your soundcard.
also, they are not everyone's cup of tea. yet, if you notice, people don't like them much at meetings, yet most people who owns them just falls in love with them; same here.
if you want to get the fullness that your music required, you need the ART DI/O ($130), and a modded one. out of your price range all together. however, i found this the best way to go, if you were impressed by how people describe the sonys on their best side. if you go that route, PM me, and i'll advice you with moddings that must be done in a reasonable price.

i'm getting another modded DI/O that will power the CD3000 directly. from my experience, if you have enough power in your source, it will sound cleaner unamped. simply less junk in the signal path. all amps add components, and the result might sound more natural, less there's a price to pay. i find crossfeed a tweak to be used when you need more naturality; don't use it if you want maximum dynamics.

as to your question about the cheapest amp for them, i used the Porta Corda out of the DI/O and it sounded great, and in many ways i prefered it to the Earmax Pro. it seems that the DI/O+CD3000 just takes control on almost all amps and most combos just sounds great to me. i might sell my porta corda, yet i honestly think that the DI/O w/volume control -> CD3000 will sound better. the DI/O just waits to touch the CD3000 directly, i just know it.

the CD3000 isolate only reasonably, but maybe you could use a DVD player (that can play MP3) as a trasport to the DI/O, and forget the computer for critical listening. mine sounded excellent from a cheap DVD.
my MP3's are on CD's, so i'm not limited to HD space or afraid of virus that will delete my music. excellent way to go (CD library on Access), and the music is always portable.



good luck, whatever you do
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by zoot2boot
Im in Perth and bought CD3Ks not so long ago... they came to AUD$580 at my front door from audiocubes (US$400) but there are better prices out there ~US$30-40 cheaper which brings them down to a little over AUD$500... which is worth it over A900s in my opinion...


$580 to your front door you say? That's pretty damn good, and judging by what everyone's saying it sounds like it would make a lot more sense for me to go with the CD3k's. I guess isolation isn't too important, as long as there's still a certain amount (more than my KSC35's
) I'll be happy.

Another thing, I've got my Ipod hooked up to a Sharp mini Hi-Fi system, would headphones generally sound better through this than my PC's soundcard? And with regards to amps, would something like the Total Bithead suffice for now?
 
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AdamZuf

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good question. probably yes, since iPod is a very good sounding portable, and Audigy is quite bad.
it might be that they will sound better directly from the iPod, without the amplifier.
either way, you won't get the mighty sound of the CD3000 that way, and you might not like them. seriously consider the cheap DI/O i've recommended and get to know what is "dynamic sound".

does the portapros equals KCS35 in isolation? IIRC, the CD3000 and portapros provides about equal isolation.
 
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