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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
So does anybody here want to talk about their audiophile habits and equipments, future upgrades and wishlists?

I'm pretty much just starting at the moment, pretty low end audiophile (i.e. poor audiophile :(), and this is my current main listening rig.

DSC03945.jpg
DSC03946.jpg

Cowon J3 16gb > Audio Technica ES7

Actually got the J3 yesterday, which inspired me to make this thread.

Not the best setup in the world, but I'm mostly mobile anyway and this setup still gives me tons of pleasure.

Next upgrade is hopefully:
tma1.jpg
1916-sennheiser-hd-25-ii--large.jpg

TMA 1s or HD25s. Still can't decide which to get.

Also,
xonar_essence_stx.jpg
audioengine_a5_black.jpg

Xonar STX and audioengine A5s for my PC.

Hopeful to get in the future:
Beyerdynamic-dt-250.jpg
audio_technica_ath_ad900.jpg

Beyer DT250 or ATH AD900.

So, anyone else share these crazy audiophile tendencies with me? :P

Antihippy on
10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
«13456751

Posts

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Sure! I'm going to start upgrading my home theatre speakers to something that is going to last a generation+. I keep getting tempted by NewEgg's Klipsch and Polk sales, but they're kind of junky models for top brands. The Klipsch set that just went on sale was all plastic housing :(
    I want some high density wood!

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm not really familiar with HT setups, but I've been researching some for the new home my parents and moving into.

    Kept looking at Bower & wilkins stuff, because they look pretty sexy.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm not a hardcore audiophile, but the stuff I buy is generally a bit above a regular consumer's habits. My PC has a set of Logitech Z-5500's plugged into the digital port of my X-Fi (I think it's either an Xtreme Gamer or Audio) card. Headphones for home use are Sony MDR-V600's, but I'm looking to replace them with probably a set of MDR-V6's. I primarily use them for listening to media, but I also use them while playing guitar so something that doesn't sound like mud is helpful. The all-plastic parts of the V600's finally screwed me as they broke at the hinge of the headband and can. Ironically, the V6's seem to be about half the price of what I paid for the V600's, which just makes the situation worse.

    steam_sig.png
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    I'm not really familiar with HT setups, but I've been researching some for the new home my parents and moving into.

    Kept looking at Bower & wilkins stuff, because they look pretty sexy.

    An audiophile friend at work is kind of taking me under his wing. I really need a nice center channel, first and foremost. That is far and away the most important speaker for TV.

    edit: Here are the Klipschs. 5.1 for $300 with the coupon code
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780018&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL052011&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL052011-_-EMC-052011-Index-_-HomeAudioSpeakers-_-82780018-L017C

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Bullio wrote: »
    I'm not a hardcore audiophile, but the stuff I buy is generally a bit above a regular consumer's habits. My PC has a set of Logitech Z-5500's plugged into the digital port of my X-Fi (I think it's either an Xtreme Gamer or Audio) card. Headphones for home use are Sony MDR-V600's, but I'm looking to replace them with probably a set of MDR-V6's. I primarily use them for listening to media, but I also use them while playing guitar so something that doesn't sound like mud is helpful. The all-plastic parts of the V600's finally screwed me as they broke at the hinge of the headband and can. Ironically, the V6's seem to be about half the price of what I paid for the V600's, which just makes the situation worse.

    Why not a Shure SRH 440?

    Those things are pretty good and sturdy, plus I think they're around your price range.
    An audiophile friend at work is kind of taking me under his wing. I really need a nice center channel, first and foremost. That is far and away the most important speaker for TV.

    Yeah, I need to find some good advice for HT setup too. Most people I know seems to think it's all about the subwoofer. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Lets put it this way, my buddy restores tube amps & radios. I'm honestly afraid of what he is getting me into.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I would probably watch your bank account to make sure that a couple thousand doesn't suddenly disappear and if a whole bunch of audio equipment your probably don't need suddenly appear. :P

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    Bullio wrote: »
    I'm not a hardcore audiophile, but the stuff I buy is generally a bit above a regular consumer's habits. My PC has a set of Logitech Z-5500's plugged into the digital port of my X-Fi (I think it's either an Xtreme Gamer or Audio) card. Headphones for home use are Sony MDR-V600's, but I'm looking to replace them with probably a set of MDR-V6's. I primarily use them for listening to media, but I also use them while playing guitar so something that doesn't sound like mud is helpful. The all-plastic parts of the V600's finally screwed me as they broke at the hinge of the headband and can. Ironically, the V6's seem to be about half the price of what I paid for the V600's, which just makes the situation worse.

    Why not a Shure SRH 440?

    Those things are pretty good and sturdy, plus I think they're around your price range.
    An audiophile friend at work is kind of taking me under his wing. I really need a nice center channel, first and foremost. That is far and away the most important speaker for TV.

    Yeah, I need to find some good advice for HT setup too. Most people I know seems to think it's all about the subwoofer. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    Probably because I've never heard of them :P. A quick search indicates they're about $20-$30 more expensive as well. Do they have a metal headband, or are they all plastic? The V6's seem to be very highly recommended, but if these are a general improvement then I'll search around more and consider my options.

    steam_sig.png
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I've never experienced them before (because you know, being poor :P), but from the impressions I've heard is that they're pretty strong, sturdy, comfortable, built to last, and has a pretty detailed sound.

    Bass is good and controlled, but not powerful like bassheads want, but honestly I prefer it when bass doesn't overpower everything else. :P

    Was looking into these awhile back but settled on the ES7s for portability sake because the Shure 440 are pretty big.

    Most people seem to replace the pads with the shure 840 though.

    Look around more though. I also personally don't have alot of experience with sony headphones so it's best to take what I say with a grain of salt.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Gah. Buying audio equipment online WHERE YOU CAN'T HEAR IT is horrible.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Antihippy wrote: »
    So, anyone else share these crazy audiophile tendencies with me? :P

    You're not alone :P

    I'm not gonna do a full disclosure but only stick to what is hooked to my PC.

    Audio output from my PC is optical cable only as I prefer to keep the filthy PC electrics away from the stuff that turns bits into music.

    I take the optical signal from a Hoontech ST Audio DSP24 MKII sound card and either send it to these headphones

    418FJAV55VL.jpg
    Sony MDR-DS3000 Wireless Digital Surround Headphones

    or to a set of speakers through this chain of gear (which I much prefer except if I need 3D sound):

    cambridge-audio-Dac-Magic-Black.jpg
    Camridge Audio DAC

    EC_otala_1.jpg
    Electrocompaniet Amplifier, only 50 watts but lots of torque :P

    And it drives a set of these:
    post-33-1246094978.jpg
    Infinity Kappa 90

    All in all nothing extreme but good enough that the difference between MP3 and non-destructive compression is heard easily + plus my headphones are not able to make the wall vibrate ;-)


    It's my experience that if on a budget great sound is still possible by doing research and patiently waiting for the right things to turn up 2nd hand. Many audiophiles are newer satisfied so they swap gear endlessly which means a lot of great 2n hand gear is on the market.


    (PS. Pictures are not mine, just some I googled)

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • StarfuckStarfuck Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2011
    I got these 20+ year old Stax a while ago and have not had a need to upgrade.

    3684257409_fc2285ca80.jpg
    3685068428_7b6bc60576.jpg

    I have a set of HD580's I use on occasion with a Millett Hybrid or Pimeta I built and Alien DAC.
    Main DAC for now is a TC-7510 until I get some time and cash to build an Opus or Buffallo.

    Alien DAC
    adac_4.jpg

    Pimeta I use sometimes in bedroom w/alien dac
    pimeta_1.jpg

    My Millett
    max_cased_1.jpg

    I haven't had the time for a DIY project for some time, but I am itching to dig into someting.

    jackfaces
    "If you're going to play tiddly winks, play it with man hole covers."
    - John McCallum
  • exoplasmexoplasm Registered User
    edited May 2011
    While I'm not an audiophile and don't intend to become one, I figured I'd ask about some stuff in this thread rather than make a new one (let me know if I should make a new one, though).

    I am starting a project where I'll be making instructional videos. Today I played around a bit with Adobe Audition and it seems no amount of audio processing can acceptably clean up what I get out of my $9 headset microphone.

    I have a chance at getting some funds for buying quality equipment, but I certainly don't want to go overboard. Any recommendations for recording setups? What can I do to improve acoustics in a room? Can I make a cheap little booth with eggcrate or something?

    Is there any must-have hardware involved? Is my motherboard's on-board audio sufficient for taking input? (I think it has digital input also if that helps)

    My goal is to be save as much money as possible so I'm not able to hire actual voice talent for this right now. I figure an investment in a decent recording setup would be worthwhile for other things as well. Thanks in advance for your advice. :D

    1029386-1.png
    SC2 NA: exoplasm.519 | PA SC2 Mumble Server | My Website | My Stream
  • PhotonPhoton Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Ooh, the perfect thread to get advice on how to rape my wallet.

    I have a pair of Shure se530's, and am halfheartedly looking into portable amps, any recommendations?

  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    exoplasm wrote: »
    While I'm not an audiophile and don't intend to become one, I figured I'd ask about some stuff in this thread rather than make a new one (let me know if I should make a new one, though).

    I am starting a project where I'll be making instructional videos. Today I played around a bit with Adobe Audition and it seems no amount of audio processing can acceptably clean up what I get out of my $9 headset microphone.

    I have a chance at getting some funds for buying quality equipment, but I certainly don't want to go overboard. Any recommendations for recording setups? What can I do to improve acoustics in a room? Can I make a cheap little booth with eggcrate or something?

    Is there any must-have hardware involved? Is my motherboard's on-board audio sufficient for taking input? (I think it has digital input also if that helps)

    My goal is to be save as much money as possible so I'm not able to hire actual voice talent for this right now. I figure an investment in a decent recording setup would be worthwhile for other things as well. Thanks in advance for your advice. :D

    In my search for a replacement for my MDR-V600's, I came across a hell of a lot of reviews and recommendations from professional sound people that said to get a pair of Sony MDR-7506 Studio Monitor headphones. They seem to range from around $80-$120. Make sure to get them from a Sony dealer as there are a ton of bootlegs (stay the hell away from ebay). As for other equipment, I'll let the people here that know their stuff make the recommendations.

    steam_sig.png
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    exoplasm wrote: »
    I am starting a project where I'll be making instructional videos. Today I played around a bit with Adobe Audition and it seems no amount of audio processing can acceptably clean up what I get out of my $9 headset microphone.

    What is wrong with what you record? Distortion, background noise, electronic noise (hissing sound)...?

    exoplasm wrote: »
    I have a chance at getting some funds for buying quality equipment, but I certainly don't want to go overboard. Any recommendations for recording setups? What can I do to improve acoustics in a room? Can I make a cheap little booth with eggcrate or something?

    A normal living room should be acceptable, providing there is not a lot of background noise like traffic, people upstairs tap-dancing and so on. Putting soft things in a room can be a good idea like a carpet on the floor, curtains, a tapestry, a sofa and so or you can go the studio way and make acoustic panels.

    I once worked as an IT guy at a place where audio books was recorded for blind people and there was special sound proof recording rooms but less can work. The recordings was all done on pretty much normal PC's only with a few special touches:
    • The computers was in a separate room with monitors, keyboards, and audio signals transferred from the recording room to the computer using special cables. Today you can just build a silent computer. Hint - SSD-drive and passive cooling of everything including the PSU.
    • A silent keyboard. One of those membrane ones meant for easy transport should do it. (Saves you from having to edit out keyboard noise).
    • A good microphone but I suggest you start by going for a semi-pro one and a $100+ should go a long way.
    • A small mixer and a good sound card. Again you should do okay with much less than that and with the right microphone and sound card you can skip the mixer. I suggest avoiding SoundBlaster cards as they are overpriced and getting something less gamer oriented would be good. Google home recording sound card and you will find lots of choices - something costing $100-200 should be just fine.

    exoplasm wrote: »
    Is there any must-have hardware involved? Is my motherboard's on-board audio sufficient for taking input? (I think it has digital input also if that helps)

    My goal is to be save as much money as possible so I'm not able to hire actual voice talent for this right now. I figure an investment in a decent recording setup would be worthwhile for other things as well. Thanks in advance for your advice. :D

    A better microphone is a must and also I think you'll likely need a dedicated sound card(google for home sound recording PC). Next consider how your room is and also if your computer is making to much noise.

    Now to bring this back to being on-topic. You will need something decent gear to check your recordings, maybe not studio monitor speakers but something that is detailed and neutral sounding would be good.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • exoplasmexoplasm Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I did a bunch of looking around on the web and so far I think getting a Blue Snowball USB mic wouldn't be a bad choice. I'm also looking at Sennheiser HD515 headphones or Audio Technica ATHM40FS studio headphones. Also pop filter and other goodies. Looking like it's about $240 total including a home-made mini soundbooth (http://harlanhogan.com/portaboothArticle.shtml).

    Part of this exercise is to have affordable, but useful equipment for future use as well. Affordable being a very key part as I have no idea what my budget ceiling will be if I even get any money to spend on this.

    As for my headset issues, it's a cheap headset first of all, and I messed it up while trying to fix a problem (I was looking in the wrong part of the wiring). So now it has really bad crosstalk issues so I can't use the headphones and mic part at the same time, but even when using the mic only there is just far too much background noise because it's an omni mic.

    As for keyboard noise, I plan to re-record the narration after recording the video (it's a screen recording) to get near-perfect audio anyway. The audio recorded while recording the screen will probably not be very organized, but will be good enough to make a better "script" of sorts for the re-record.

    However I am open to better suggestions, especially from people who have experience with this. :D

    1029386-1.png
    SC2 NA: exoplasm.519 | PA SC2 Mumble Server | My Website | My Stream
  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    re: TMA-1 headphones - I have them, and although they are the best portable (ish) headphones I've used, I stick to my Sennheiser HD598s at home. They're open so they bleed like bastards, but they sound incredible. The TMA-1s are worth truing though - they have them in a few Apple stores.

    My gear, in case anyone has ny questions:
    Sennheiser HD 598
    AiAiAI TMA-1
    JVC AX-Z1010 TN amp (ancient)
    Systemdek IIX turntable (also ancient)
    Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
    Glass platter and a Funk Achromat Mat (which I wouldn't trade for the world)
    A pair of truly ancient Tannoy PA speakers
    Eltax... something powered subwoofer

    Yes, most of my gear is a little old and well-loved. Debating switching to a twin mono setup next year, any thoughts?

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Starfuck wrote: »
    I got these 20+ year old Stax a while ago and have not had a need to upgrade.

    I have a set of HD580's I use on occasion with a Millett Hybrid or Pimeta I built and Alien DAC.
    Main DAC for now is a TC-7510 until I get some time and cash to build an Opus or Buffallo.

    Alien DAC
    Pimeta I use sometimes in bedroom w/alien dac
    My Millett

    I haven't had the time for a DIY project for some time, but I am itching to dig into someting.

    Holy shit.

    So fucking jelly.

    I think I'll opt for a DT250 and xonar stx now though. I need headphones for home music production use and I'm happy with my ES7s for portability. Don't need the TMA 1s or HD25s, from the sounds of it they don't seem to be neutral enough for me.
    Photon wrote: »
    Ooh, the perfect thread to get advice on how to rape my wallet.

    I have a pair of Shure se530's, and am halfheartedly looking into portable amps, any recommendations?

    I never really got the point of portable amps unless your DAP can't power your headphones, but I've never really tried any portable amps. I think people usually use Fiio E5, E7, and iBasso.

    I've also heard some very good things about the corda stepdance.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Yeah I'm on the fence about buying an E5 because I'm not sure it will add much (and my headphones have the 4-pin ending for the mic/controls, and I don't think any amp supports passthrough of that signal yet.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I find portable amps somewhat defeat the purpose of portability to me. :P

    I do like seeing portable setups with amps on head fi though.

    This is my favourite portable setup from headfi.

    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/439019/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xiv/3030#post_7414139

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    These seems like as good a place to ask a question, and I apologize in advance for the lack of information in it. Mostly because I honestly don't know much about the problem.

    My smartphone (a Venue Pro from Dell) has a less-than-stellar audio amp, apparently, that can be heard buzzing discreetly in the background when while its on (basically, it turns off if left idle for a few moments). The buzzing only occurs with earbuds (and is more noticeable with some than others), so basically even a basic set of earphones or a headset won't have that problem. Apparently, a lot of people can't even hear the buzzing/hissing when I complain about it (a friend suggested it's because I was a pianist until recently).

    Can anyone recommend a device that helps cut down on this, if such a thing exists, or a pair of earbuds good for a device with a subpar audio amp?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The only way I can think of around that would be to get the digital audio out of the USB port and then run it to a DAC, but a quick search shows me that there isn't any solution for Android that can do this. Good earbuds are only going to further expose the poor processing in the phone, not hide it. :(

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Hmm, possibly. I actually used the phone's bluetooth to put out audio without the buzz (my BT earpiece came with an audio jack adapter you could plug directly into it). It actually works pretty well, except for the annoying fact that BT audio out only works for music and podcasts, but not for, say, watching video or something off Netflix.

    Higher quality earbuds (or at least more expensive) actually have a tendency to make the buzzing much softer--rather consistently (using cheapo iPod earbuds from my roommate as a comparison tool). So far, only earphones actually remove the problem entirely.

    I guess the alternative is to find a good pair of small, very portable earphones.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I forgot about Bluetooth headphones - that would be one way to bypass the DAC, though you'd be paying for it in the bang/buck category.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    "Poor" and "audiophile" reminded me of this project, though it tickles my fancy more for being cheap and taking things apart and modifying them than any listening demands I might make on them.

  • Knight Of AwesomeKnight Of Awesome Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I've complete a Gilmore Dynalo, Although I'm considering selling to finance other projects.
    Spoiler:

    I'm currently using Grado's SR-125i and a AMB gamma 1 DAC

    lastfm_red_small.gif 4jGb8.jpg
  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I've been updating my HT audio recently as I'm doing a basement theater build so I wanted all new stuff from what I had upstairs in the living room. I'm no audiophile but I like clear and concise sound from all channels for what amounts to be about 90% films and 10% music.

    I read really good things about Jamo and decided to bite on their S606 set at Vanns through Amazon. I had wanted a set of Polk speakers before but decided for this price and the overwhelmingly glowing reviews around all the usual AV sites I'd jump on them.

    Spoiler:


    Gotta say I'm impressed, the audio quality is impressive, as are the looks (which was important as well I'll admit). I was dealing with a rag tag assortment of speakers before but once you match up the front three it makes such a huge difference I'm kind of pissed I didn't upgrade years ago.

    I have an old Advent 12" powered sub I've used for the past 5 years which has served me well, but I'm ready for something new so I think I'm ordering a BIC F12 in the next few weeks to go with the Jamo set.
    Spoiler:

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    So um... who has a nice center channel they'd like to sell?

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Picked up a pair of Definitive Technology Super Towers recently. They sound gorgeous (though we were just using Teevee speakers before, so anything would sound better just about). Next step is getting the matching center. They're powered by a Pioneer Elite AVR, which we got an awesome deal on.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2011
    Not really an audiophile but I was sick of my shit PC speakers and did a bunch of research...ended up getting headphones.

    ATH-700

    533570-1.png
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Arise!

    Just got this little baby because my ES7s died :(.

    DSC03956.jpg

    So much more detail. <3

    I could see why people say that the treble can a little sharp but I like my treble sharp.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    What MP3 players does everyone use/recommend?
    Right now I just play a few things on my phone, but I'd like to have a good dedicated player so I don't have to drain my battery for music.
    And I'm still using my 10 year old Bose headphones which sound good, but I may get something newer this year.

    Question: maybe I'm just making it up, but in general do closed ear phones have better sound than open air phones? Or does someone have a link to educate me on proper audiophilia? I'm still new to good sound (Bose phones + Tron soundtrack = win).

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Don't you dare say the B-word in an audiophile thread

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote: »
    Don't you dare say the B-word in an audiophile thread

    I told you I'm new. They are the best sounding phones I've owned and are the extent of my enjoyment thus far.

    Educate me if you know better. :D

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  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    What are the absolute best headphones money can buy right now? Last I checked people were raving a £500
    Denon studio set but wondered if anything better had come up?

    I have REZ for the Dreamcast PAL for sale £35. Other Excellent retro games for sale PM for details
  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'm lost. I'm home and no longer confined to web searches with my phone and...I'm lost...

    There is so much audio stuff that I don't even know what's going on. Apparently I need amp? For the headphones? And I have no idea what's good or what's not worth even looking at (since apparently BOSE isn't good enough?).
    Does my player not really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things?
    Do I have to carry around an amp in my back pocket just to enjoy some Daft Punk?

    So confuse. Wat do?

    I'd like to get a decent pair of phones in the $50-75 range (if that's possible), and I generally prefer circumaural over supra-aural style headphones (though I do have slightly larger than average ears, so some that are circumaural aren't spacious enough for me).
    Are any of these good?
    (1 2 3 4)

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I'm not sure there is much an audiophile can do when it comes to portable music. Digital compression is evil.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    What MP3 players does everyone use/recommend?
    Right now I just play a few things on my phone, but I'd like to have a good dedicated player so I don't have to drain my battery for music.
    And I'm still using my 10 year old Bose headphones which sound good, but I may get something newer this year.

    Question: maybe I'm just making it up, but in general do closed ear phones have better sound than open air phones? Or does someone have a link to educate me on proper audiophilia? I'm still new to good sound

    What's your price range?

    For around $50 I recommend the Sansa Clip+. Great value for what it offers, especially if you're willing to rockbox it. Great for portability and going exercising with. I used mine till it crapped out from me abusing it non stop. :P Battery life is somewhat ok, it'll last you a day of intensive listening.
    http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Sansa-Clip-Player-Black/dp/B002MAPS6W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308128405&sr=1-1

    At $200 or so the Cowon J3, which is what I'm currently using. Great sound, great EQ options, gorgeous screen and an absolutely amazing battery life. It doesn't really run the full 64 hours as they may claim but that's because I like to leave my screen on, use FLAC files, and use a headphone that requires more juice. Still get a full day with change easily on a full battery.
    http://www.amazon.com/COWON-Portable-Media-Player-Black/dp/B003JME32C/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308128440&sr=1-1

    Great thing about these players is that they have a microSD slot so you could expend your storage by quite a bit.

    As for open air vs closed, open air usually have much better soundstage, which is great for certain genres such as classical, but closed ones offer much better isolation and better bass? Not too sure about the bass. There are more differences but those are the ones I know off the top of my head.
    There is so much audio stuff that I don't even know what's going on. Apparently I need amp? For the headphones? And I have no idea what's good or what's not worth even looking at (since apparently BOSE isn't good enough?).
    Does my player not really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things?
    Do I have to carry around an amp in my back pocket just to enjoy some Daft Punk?

    So confuse. Wat do?

    I'd like to get a decent pair of phones in the $50-75 range (if that's possible), and I generally prefer circumaural over supra-aural style headphones (though I do have slightly larger than average ears, so some that are circumaural aren't spacious enough for me).
    Are any of these good?

    1) You do not need an amp unless you have a headphone that has a high impedence, which should not be a problem unless you want to get something really high end.
    2) Bose is crap unless you like bloated bass and low details.
    3) Your player makes a difference, but if you want to hear a more obvious difference in sound get a new headphone.
    4) Don't get an amp.

    For your price range, what are you looking for? Bright headphones, bassy ones, portable, etc.etc.

    For that price range though I think these are the ones that are usually recommended, but I don't have any experiences with these.

    Shure 440: not particularly portable but great sound for the price.
    http://www.amazon.com/Shure-SRH440-Professional-Studio-Headphones/dp/B002DP1FTU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308127001&sr=8-1

    Koss Portapro: A good cheap portable, does not have good isolation if that's a factor for you.
    http://www.amazon.com/Koss-PortaPro-Headphones-with-Case/dp/B00001P4ZH/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308127258&sr=1-1

    Koss KSC75: really well loved because they have great sound for the price. Poor isolation too though.
    http://www.amazon.com/Koss-PortaPro-Headphones-with-Case/dp/B00001P4ZH/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308127258&sr=1-1

    For stuff I have experienced around that price range, I can recommend:
    Audio technica SQ5: Great portable for the sound, comfort, and I personally love the look.
    I can't find it on amazon, except for the SQ505, so maybe it was replaced by the SQ505? Looks like the SQ5 without the headband padding.

    If you want to spend more:
    Sennheiser HD25-1 II: I'm using these currently and their sound is INCREDIBLE for a portable. Amazing isolation too, but that's from its high clamping force which might be uncomfortable to some. The highs can be a bit harsh and fatiguing if you're particularly treble sensitive, but after awhile it isn't really a problem anymore. Incredible for electronic stuff too. I'm grooving to some noisia, shpongle and Sebastian, so if you like electronic music you'll like this quite a bit. Great for all sorts of genres really though. Loving some hip hop, jeff buckley and elliot smith on these headphones as well.
    http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD25-1-Professional-Headphone-Earcups/dp/B000TDZOXG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308127678&sr=1-1

    Audio technica M50: haven't heard this yet but they are very well regarded
    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Studio-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000UVGI6O/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308127541&sr=1-6

    Audio technica ES7: I had these and there are pretty damn great, but be warned that they are somewhat uncomfortable without bending the hinges. Pretty blingy too with the mirrored steel finish, but they are a fingerprint magnet.
    http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-ES7-Portable-Headphones-Black/dp/B000R0TPQ8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308127648&sr=1-1

    Other notable mentions:
    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-EF0060-Aurvana-Live-Headphones/dp/B000ZJZ7OA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308130220&sr=8-1
    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR-V6-Monitor-Headphones-Voice/dp/B00001WRSJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1308130259&sr=1-1

    None of these phones I've mentioned, or at least the ones I've experienced, are what I would call bass monsters but they have a fairly balanced and detailed sound which I love. Just saying in case you're more used to the bassiness of bose headphones. Though the Senn HD25s has a nice punchy bass with nice detail.

    Plus a whole crap load else you can look elsewhere around the net, but this the advice I can give for now.

    For a more in-depth look at your portable options, check this portable headphone compilation review. Has a nice little visual summary at the end in case it's all a bit overwhelming.
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-84-portable-headphones-reviewed-fischer-audio-fa-004-koss-ur55-added-06-06

    Also note that I find that usually it's preferred to spend around 2 days or so playing around with it by listening to a crap ton of music. That's to get used to the sound signature and to burn in the headphone a bit (though I don't really put too much stock into burn in personally).
    Ziggymon wrote: »
    What are the absolute best headphones money can buy right now? Last I checked people were raving a £500
    Denon studio set but wondered if anything better had come up?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Sennheiser-Orpheus-HE-90-and-HEV-90-set-/300566344521?pt=UK_AudioVisualElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Headphones&hash=item45fb267349

    Sennheiser orpheus.

    $32K

    That is practically a whole sound system though.

    For the less insane high range, Audeze LCD-2, Stax, beyerdynamic T1, hifiman HE-6 etc. all around $1K.

    For $500 or so, Sennheiser HD650, HD600, Beyerdynamic DT880, Audio technica A1000, AKG 701 and god I can't even remember anymore.

    There are so many high range audio I can't afford. :(
    I'm not sure there is much an audiophile can do when it comes to portable music. Digital compression is evil.

    FLAC man, FLAC. ;-)

    Digital compression isn't that bad nowadays unless you really have no idea how to encode lossy audio. LAME encoded MP3s and AAC are very listenable.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
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