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To what extent will good headphones improve sound quality at an MP3 level

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by pwntendo, Oct 9, 2006.
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  1. Pwntendo
    Well I was thinking of getting some beyerdynamic DT990's for christmas.

    This would be the first time I've bought any sort of top range headphone.

    And the reason I was attracted to the DT990's was because I've read they are the most comfortable headphones you can get, and are great for long listening sessions.

    Now the problem I have is that I'll be playing them from an iPod mini which will obviously be playing in MP3 format, and all my songs have been downloaded from soulseek and whatnot, so they will have bitrates from 192 fluctuating upwards. Is this good enough quality for such a good pair of headphones, or should I go for something a little less good.

    Also, the PC I'm using right now has an X-Fi Xtrememusic soundcard, so if I were to connect the DT990's to that, and play the same MP3's would there be alot of difference?

    And also [​IMG]

    Would getting an amp solve the problem?
     
  2. ap3rtis
    i've been listening to some low bitrate mp3's just out of my laptop's soundcard (which is likely trash) with my dt990's and it doesn't sound bad at all. I'm sure the sound isn't really optimal, but it's not terrible by any means.
     
  3. Pwntendo
    What would you consider low bitrate?
     
  4. amartignano
    The DT990 is very revelatory with sources, amps and interconnects. I think it's an headphone to treat with "high-end" setup to have the best from it (it's likely you will hear clearly the limits of the mp3 with those headphone... but it is at the same time likely you will like anyway such a "funny" sounding headphone).

    So... 2 options [​IMG]

    a) get a less revelatory headphone (wallet happy, ears happy but less happy than option (b) )

    b) get the Dt990 and risk to feel soon "source upgradity" urgence (wallet cries, but ears will be very happy at the "end" of the process)

    bye
    Andrew

    Ps. oh, yes, they are VERY comfortable
    Pps. at least, DON'T GO UNDER 192 kbs in bitrate, DT990 will reveal all artifacts
     
  5. Pwntendo
    Also I heard they are good for Electronic music, Trance, IDM, Chillout, Ambient etc.?
     
  6. errorrrr
    I consider low bit-rate =<128kbps. At about 192kbps+ on mp3, the difference is very subtle, almost unnoticeable to me... but some Audio guru probably have different opinion... and I am interested to know which level of mp3 compression is best of the 2 world size/sound.
     
  7. amartignano
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pwntendo
    Also I heard they are good for Electronic music, Trance, IDM, Chillout, Ambient etc.?



    ... classical, jazz, rock... etc etc...
    they are a good allrounder
     
  8. Pwntendo
    Oh..

    Also, would an amp cure the problem of having lowish bitrate (192) MP3's?
     
  9. ap3rtis
    I'm pretty sure they would sound good with anything. As for some of the lowrate mp3s I've listened to a handful of 128's, 192's etc, and it sounds fine. I do plan on getting an amp at some point, but they do sound pretty good just out of the laptop.
     
  10. amartignano
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by errorrrr
    I consider low bit-rate =<128kbps. At about 192kbps+ on mp3, the difference is very subtle, almost unnoticeable to me... but some Audio guru probably have different opinion... and I am interested to know which level of mp3 compression is best of the 2 world size/sound.



    You don't need to be a guru to hear difference between Mp3 and CD, you need only your ears. Listen especially to transients (on acoustic and classical guitars for example, on cymbals...).

    Anyway, I consider Mp3 a geniality for portable music, good sound quality on the road. But for home use, given PC + Sound Blaster as a source, the best should be lossless compression.

    Andrew
     
  11. amartignano
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pwntendo
    Oh..

    Also, would an amp cure the problem of having lowish bitrate (192) MP3's?




    It's likely an amp will increase the problem getting more resolution.

    Anyway, you can "begin" with the DT990 and then let your ears decide on the next step (if necessary) [​IMG]
     
  12. glac1er
    Hi, welcome to head-Fi and sorry for your wallet [​IMG]

    I used to own the old DT990 and extensively used them with Ipod and 192kbps mp3. In my experience, even with those kind of mp3s, I am still pleased with the increase of listening enjoyment when I moved from MS1 to DT990 and when I moved from DT990 to HD650. Using mp3 should not hinder you from buying more expensive headphones IMO.

    It's a little bit different with amps tho. An amp will definitely increase sound quality if you use mp3s; however, with lossless files or CD, the change is more dramatic. If you plan on buying an amp, you should really start using lossless files or CDs.
     
  13. errorrrr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by amartignano
    You don't need to be a guru to hear difference between Mp3 and CD, you need only your ears. Listen especially to transients (on acoustic and classical guitars for example, on cymbals...).

    Anyway, I consider Mp3 a geniality for portable music, good sound quality on the road. But for home use, given PC + Sound Blaster as a source, the best should be lossless compression.

    Andrew




    hm... i don't quiet undertsand :/ I never really noticed... I guess I really havn't listend to too much CDs lol... I dont' usually listen to off-vocal rocks... lol all have vocals so I don't notice too much XD
     
  14. werdwerdus
    From what I've heard and read, the Ipod Mini has the worst sound quality of any of the ipods. You might want to consider getting a nano or a newer full-size ipod. That would probably help more than higher bitrates.
     
  15. regal
    I can't even listen to 192kbs cbr MP3's. The voices sound like their singing in a wind tunnel.
     
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