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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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Posts

  • MyDcmbrMyDcmbr Registered User regular
    I like the AKG K240 for around $50 myself. http://a.co/f52XOFB

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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    Whats a good $50+ set of non earbud headphones these days

    Depends on a lot of things. What are you using it for? Do you need it to be portable? Open back or closed?

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    I'm looking for a sub-$100 pair of headphones, mostly for gaming but also for music. I've mostly been going off of Zeos' Recommendation List. I really like everything I've seen about the Phillips SHP9500's, but I'm concerned about sound leakage. I'm guessing all open headphones are pretty much going to be bad about that?

    For closed, he recommends the ATH-M40x and the Status CB-1's. Thoughts on either of these? He hated the ATH-M50x's, but said the 40x's were a huge improvement. Any other suggestions? Main things I'm looking for:

    Sub-$100
    Good construction, won't break easily after moderate use (I'm looking at you "gaming headsets")
    As little bleed as possible (so I can game around my wife without bothering her (her desk is right next to mine) or rock out at work without anyone else hearing
    Good for gaming, which I guess needs a decent soundstage and bass

    It would also need to be okay without an amp. My motherboard supposedly can drive up to 600 Ohm speakers with DAC features, but I don't know how good it is, and my work laptop has nothing. I'd be up for a pad upgrade in the near future, but probably not now.

  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    I'm looking for a sub-$100 pair of headphones, mostly for gaming but also for music. I've mostly been going off of Zeos' Recommendation List. I really like everything I've seen about the Phillips SHP9500's, but I'm concerned about sound leakage. I'm guessing all open headphones are pretty much going to be bad about that?

    For closed, he recommends the ATH-M40x and the Status CB-1's. Thoughts on either of these? He hated the ATH-M50x's, but said the 40x's were a huge improvement. Any other suggestions? Main things I'm looking for:

    Sub-$100
    Good construction, won't break easily after moderate use (I'm looking at you "gaming headsets")
    As little bleed as possible (so I can game around my wife without bothering her (her desk is right next to mine) or rock out at work without anyone else hearing
    Good for gaming, which I guess needs a decent soundstage and bass

    It would also need to be okay without an amp. My motherboard supposedly can drive up to 600 Ohm speakers with DAC features, but I don't know how good it is, and my work laptop has nothing. I'd be up for a pad upgrade in the near future, but probably not now.

    This is based on my own, very limited, cheap ass experience.

    For open, they bleed sound. Like a motherfucker. I love my grado sr80's off an amp. I've listened to cans costing far far more that my grado's came out ahead of. I've also listened to cans costing far FAR FAR more that they could not beat. Anyone in the room will know what you are listening to. You may want new foam cushions for longer listening, depending on personal preference. That warranty is for real, they replaced my cans 3 days before it ended because the left ear had developed a slight pop that I suspect is more to do with putting them in and out of my magni (schiit stack) than anything.

    For semi-closed (a made up term I just decided on for not technically sealed but other people won't be annoyed) , honestly, the koss porta pros still sound better than they have ANY right to. And they certainly don't need an amp. And for me at least are comfortable for dayyysssss. And they toss in your bag. And if they DO die (I've never had a set die that wasn't due to traumatic injury to the cord) you just...buy another pair. They won't seal out ambient noise, but for me that is a plus.

    Reading over your post again, if you want a mic built in to a set of decent headphones...I suddenly have no help. Not because that is a bad thing to want, but because I don't have any aside from some $25 logitech ones from staples that are...fine, I guess.

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    I have some SHP9500s, and they sound great -- but, yes, they are open backed and sound will get out (and also in, if you want to be able to cut out external distractions).

    And while they're very comfortable compared to headphones that are too tight, they're almost _too_ much like that -- they always felt a bit insecure on my head, even after some significant bending-in. But if you want to avoid sound escaping, they won't do it, you'll want closed-back for sure.

    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-over-ear-sealed has a pretty wide range; I have some Sennheiser HD201s which were cheap as chips, were plenty robust for what I needed, and sound just fine for the money, so I'd guess the HD202s are okay as well; the monoprice ones he recommends also get a lot of good reviews, and these could very well be enough for you if you want to avoid going down the path of spending more and more.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    Reading over your post again, if you want a mic built in to a set of decent headphones...I suddenly have no help. Not because that is a bad thing to want, but because I don't have any aside from some $25 logitech ones from staples that are...fine, I guess.

    For a mic, I just plan to get something like the Vmoda BoomPro or the Antlion Modmic.
    I have some SHP9500s, and they sound great -- but, yes, they are open backed and sound will get out (and also in, if you want to be able to cut out external distractions).

    And while they're very comfortable compared to headphones that are too tight, they're almost _too_ much like that -- they always felt a bit insecure on my head, even after some significant bending-in. But if you want to avoid sound escaping, they won't do it, you'll want closed-back for sure.

    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-over-ear-sealed has a pretty wide range; I have some Sennheiser HD201s which were cheap as chips, were plenty robust for what I needed, and sound just fine for the money, so I'd guess the HD202s are okay as well; the monoprice ones he recommends also get a lot of good reviews, and these could very well be enough for you if you want to avoid going down the path of spending more and more.

    Cool, I'll check those out. Thanks!

  • BolthornBolthorn Registered User regular
    This may be helpful, maybe not. I love the ATH-M40x but I use them for audio work, recording, first pass mixing, etc. I don't use them much for just casually listening to music. I don't use headphones much for listening to music at all. The sound profile is very flat, which is great for creating/mixing music. If you want the music to sound pretty close to how it was recorded, then these would be great. Or if you have some extra EQ between the music and the headphones that you could use to color the sound to your liking.

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  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    I've used cheap grocery store headphones my whole life. I just got a pair of Sony MDR-7506 and it's like hearing music for the first time. Also useful for mixing my own music. :rotate:

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    I ended up getting the ATH-M40x's. So far I'm really happy with them. They sound great, for both music and gaming. They really need a pad upgrade, though, which I'll do in the near future.

  • BolthornBolthorn Registered User regular
    I ended up getting the ATH-M40x's. So far I'm really happy with them. They sound great, for both music and gaming. They really need a pad upgrade, though, which I'll do in the near future.

    Cool, glad you're happy with them. I don't find the pads to be bothersome but I usually force myself to take breaks every hour or so when using them for mixing.

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    Bolthorn wrote: »
    I ended up getting the ATH-M40x's. So far I'm really happy with them. They sound great, for both music and gaming. They really need a pad upgrade, though, which I'll do in the near future.

    Cool, glad you're happy with them. I don't find the pads to be bothersome but I usually force myself to take breaks every hour or so when using them for mixing.

    Yeah, I wear these a lot at work, sometimes for 6 or 7 hours straight and they kind of get uncomfortable after a while. I also have a big head, so that doesn't help. I think bigger pads with more room between my ear and the foam will help a lot.

  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    Any SteelSeries Arctis owners know how to make the most of the engine's mixers, toggles and virtual buttons an knobs?

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  • McFodderMcFodder Registered User regular
    edited April 13
    I have another random question in my quest to be a tightass but still have stuff sound good.

    I've been offered an old (probably nearly 20 years old?) Sony hifi system that isn't being used any more but was apparently pretty expensive when new. I don't really have a pressing need for a dual tape deck or anything, but I'm wondering if I could pick up an AVR with enough HDMI inputs and use the speakers from it to improve on my current 'home theatre in a box' system.

    The one I looked at the back of was an SS-T471, not sure if all 4 are the same or not - seems these ones were generally used as rears and a slightly different model was used as fronts.

    Specs I could find (in case these tell people anything):
    Model SS-T471/SS-T571
    Speaker system 3 way speaker system
    Magnetically shielded type
    Speaker unit Woofer: 25 cm, cone type
    Mid-range: 8 cm, cone type
    Tweeter: 5 cm, cone type
    Rated impedance 8 ohms
    Frequency response 35 Hz - 20,000 Hz
    Sensitivity 88 dB/m/w
    Dimensions Approx. 285 ´ 900 ´ 285
    mm (w/h/d)(SS-T471)
    Approx. 285 ´ 1025 ´ 345
    mm (w/h/d)(SS-T571)

    TLDR; would using old speakers with a new AVR be likely to improve on my HTiB? Or is it a fools errand?

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Hillary had it in his veins Registered User regular
    My gaming mic is actually a camera mic, which works out ok, I get nice sound. But, it runs off a battery, and after the battery died for the second time while chatting I decided I ought to spring for a decent headset/mic combo. I was aiming for about $80 as that is what my brother got his for. Turned out he just walked into a shop and bought the first one he saw so he had no advice for me. Buying headsets online is hard and I ended up googling and reading an article on PC Gamer. So I have a Steel Series Siberia 350 gaming headset heading my way. It's a little more than $80, about $200 shipped. But my crappy headphones have lasted for a few years (with only some wear on the padding) so I suppose I can justify a more expensive replacement if they are also going to last a few years.

    Since I forgot about this subforum and can't retroactively ask for advice, please validate my purchase and/or tell me I have horribly screwed up.

    I wanted a USB headset with surround sound and a mic. I've got that, in theory. I've never had a USB headset or a surround sound headset before. I've heard that setting up surround sound in games can be finnicky.

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    My biggest problem with "gaming" headsets is that the build quality usually sucks. I've had them break too often to really want to buy one again. Also, generally the surround modeling isn't anything better than what you can get with a pair of regular headphones, since the game already does the processing. You can get a headphone with multiple drivers, but those don't usually sound as good because you have several small drivers instead of 1 large one. I prefer to get a regular set of headphones and use a separate mic. If you want a headset mic, you can use something like the BoomPro or a Modmic. My current headphones came with a separate mic that you can clip onto your shirt (like TV interviews) and it sounds great. I also am not really a fan of USB because, at least with my last pair, the USB jack got a little loose to where if I turned my head the wrong way, the connection would drop, and with most games I would have to restart the whole game to get sound back. Such a pain.

    All of that said, I don't know anything about your specific headphones and at that price they're unlikely to sound bad or anything. I would just be careful with handling them when you're not wearing them.

    Gvzbgul
  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Hillary had it in his veins Registered User regular
    Longterm I'm thinking of getting a let's player style desk mic. Not because I want to do that sort of thing, but just because I find poor voice chat in games offensive. So many times I have physically recoiled from my PC when some person with a bad mic/connection starts speaking. I don't want to cause that suffering in others.

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  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    I use a Blue Snowball iCE on a boom arm as my PC gaming mic. It takes a little bit of time to get used to having this thing in front of you while looking at the screen, but soon you don't even notice it anymore. While I never necessarily sounded bad on the Logitech USB table mic, I just wanted something nicer. It wasn't much of an investment as the Snowball was on sale for around $40 and boom arm was maybe $20.

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  • DarkMechaDarkMecha The Outer SpaceRegistered User regular
    edited April 21
    I've got a turtle beach PX22 headset and I quite like it. Sounds good, has separate volume controls for voice / game sound etc, and the build quality feels solid. Wasn't that expensive either.

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