Wanting to upgrade from my 555's...
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LiteKirby

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So currently, I've got a pair of Sen 555's, which I've had for the past 5 or so years.  Amazing headphones, I've loved them since day 1, my first real investment into quality.
 
I've mostly worked up upping my portable rig lately, trying out a lot of lower end to mid level IEMs, went up to the Image X10s to the Custom 3's to the Westone UM3X, and finally the JH5's which I adore and listen to every chance I get.
 
However, I've felt that my full size cans have been needing some love, or I guess upping them has been needing some love (does that make sense?).  I haven't looked too much into it, there's a few that I've got in mind but they all seem out of my budget, or all require a good AMP/DAC as well as the cans, meaning they're a big investment.
 
Currently I've just got my 555's playing out of my Omega Striker soundcard, though I feel that I can improve it all around.  So I guess my question is...
 
What Headphones and/or DAC/Sound card should I invest?  Assuming a budget of say... $400 max, but that's very stretched, the lower the better, bang for your buck sort of deal?  Open or closed is fine, as I mostly use them in my room and no one else is really able to be annoyed by them.
 
I mostly listen to progressive rock (Dream Theater, Symphony X, Rush) and a bit of standard rock (Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against) but I've got a lot of soundtracks as well (video game mostly, ie RPG soundtracks). I'm not too much of a basshead, I can enjoy it if it's there, like my X10s were my favorite 'fun' headphones for how low they went and how hard the bass hit, but I loved the detail and separation of the UM3X, and I love how the JH5s are like, great all around.
 
tl;dr suggestions for improving on the Senn 555's for a Rock lover?
 
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BotByte

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A lot of people upgraded to the HD598
 
I love mine for just about everything
 
You can also jump up in the charts to HD600
 
But I would go for the HD598, call up J&R to get them for $180 shipped!
 
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sidel

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rock, easy to drive, bang for your buck.
Grado desperately needs a recommendation here.
 
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I got an HT-Omega Claro+ sound card about about 2 years ago, I also have the 555's as well, and the card is the best sound card  I've ever owned.  It has a preamp on the headphone out jack and really powers my headphones well, I never have to turn the volume above 1/4....it can also playback 24-bit/192kHz too in both headphone and speaker modes and a DAC for other modes.  It really is a wonderful card if your wanting to stick to a sound card solution and don't really want to reinvest in something different....only $175 on Newegg
 
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Quote:
rock, easy to drive, bang for your buck.
Grado desperately needs a recommendation here.

They are not very comfortable after a couple of hours though. 
 
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extrabigmehdi

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Frankly I  was bored with my  hd595, and getting a better soundcard (xonar stx) didn't help much.
Now everyone are saying that the hd598 is a different beast, but I  chose to get the srh940 . Unfortunately  I won't be able to test it before august.
 
For rock , the usual recommendation is to get a Grado. But they are not comfortable, and the bass sucks from the informations I've gathered. And I'm tempted to say that with all these flaws , that they are overpriced.
 
 
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sidel

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Quote:
 
For rock , the usual recommendation is to get a Grado. But they are not comfortable, and the bass sucks from the informations I've gathered. And I'm tempted to say that with all these flaws , that they are overpriced.
 

I'm a little confused as to whether you've actually tried a pair before or not.  You claim they're uncomfortable straight off the bat,  but then you say the bass sucks based on information you've found.  Are both simply speculation here?
 
They are open cans,  so the bass is obviously not going to be emphasized,  but I certainly wouldn't say it "sucks".  For a genre like progressive rock I'd even say this is a positive thing.  Comfort is hard to speak on as everyone often has their own view,  but there are quite a few different pads (and arrangements) that fit well and it's likely one of them will be found to work sufficiently.  The sr60/i have been acclaimed as one of the best hi-fi values out there for many many years now.
 
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extrabigmehdi

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Quote:
Are both simply speculation here?
 
I admit making "some speculation" but anyway if you search for opinions here , you see often people complaining of unbearable piercing high, and that the comfort is not great.
 
About comfort:  I  don't feel confident with these round pads. 
 
Quote:
bass is obviously not going to be emphasized,
Ok, I'm perhaps exaggerating the claim, I've looked at some square wave response  graph, and didn't like what I've seen compared to other  model known for better bass. I've compared the graph from innerfidelity & headroom (30hz, 50hz, 300hz,  square wave response, they looked worse than many others).
 
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LiteKirby

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Comfort is an added bonus, as I regularly wear my cans for a few hours a day when I'm home (3-6 hours straight) and I use them for both music and gaming.  I don't really care how they sound for games, as I don't play anything that I need to know where the sound came from, music's the main priority.
 
I've been interested in Grados for a while, their forward sound favoring rock is a nice idea, but I've never heard any so I wouldn't know what would be the best for me.
 
If it helps any, my IEM preference currently is

JH5s > UM3X > Image X10 > Custom 3's
 
I'm a big fan of a neutral sound, but I'm not opposed to a bit of coloration, however the more neutral the better.
 
Currently the 598's seem to be leading, and the only sound card suggestion I've seen is the Omega Claro+ which is what I was considering next, though I've been wondering if the built in headphone-amp in the Claro Halo is worth it?  Or is it better to skip the card altogether and get an external DAC, like the FiiO E5/E9 combo (is that it?) which would produce better results?
 
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extrabigmehdi

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If you have  recent onboard soundcard (like realtek), it's not that you absolutely NEED a high end DAC. It's not a "night & day" difference, between my realtek & Xonar STX.  Check if you like your headphone first. The hd598 doesn't need amping. But you 'll always see someone here, claiming it's worth to spend more money for nothing ("Get that 1000$ amp, I swear I was closer to perfection . And with that 700$ cable, etc").
 
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+1 on the HD598
 
I simply love them. Or you might try a completely different soundsignature like Ultrasone Pro750/900 or Beyerdynamic DT990 (test it with Superlux HD668B for 35 Euro).
 
But if you like Sennheiser, the HD598 is my favourite hands down. Even after listening to the HD800 :wink:
 
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Well, my favouratism (joke) certainly is influenced by the value for money proposition.
 
Yes, the HD800 is better, no doubt about it. But I am happy to report that I like my HD598 more. They soundquality per dollar is just so much better :wink:
 
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