As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

1568101189

Posts

  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Yeah.
    I got a pair of AT M-35 and those aren't even close to big enough to be circumaural for me, they just sit all over my ears.

    I've seen the Razer phones but haven't tried them on. I did try on the Razer Electra at PAX that are coming out soon. They fit well and the leatherette was very comfortable, they just won't be so hot for taking out of the house due to the size.

    I also know the Astro A40s are fantastic for me, but the ones they sell at PAX are always A30s. :(
    I will just keep going with my old Bose phones that have ripped cup pads. Which, by the way, does anyone know how to fix or replace those? They still work and I like the isolation on them, so may as well keep them going if I can...

    Edit: I'm sick of trying to save money. I'm going to bite the bullet and order up the A40 mixamp bundle when I get home (with 15% off coupon PAX15 if anyone else needs something).
    I am going to spend money and be happy with what I use instead of settling for cheap stuff that doesn't fit well.

    Custom Special on
    XBL: F4ll0ut9114 | STEAM | PSN : CustomSpecial | Bnet: F4ll0ut#1636
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    The A40s aren't my favorite headphones in the world, but given the price when you buy them with the Mixamp, and factoring in a 15% discount, they're a damn solid bargain. Plus, if they ever start lacking, you can move up to a higher end set of phones without feeling like you wasted money, since the Mixamp is built for the long haul.

    Your wallet may hate you temporarily, but your ears will love you for a long time.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    That's my feeling.
    I played in the LoL tourney last year at PAX and we basically wore A40s for 6 hours chopping things. I know they were comfortable and sounded good enough for just plain voice chat while gaming.
    I figured since so many people are loving the mixamp (which I am looking forward to hearing), it's basically just a few bucks more to go from wired amp up to the bundle, so why not.

    And yes, my wallet (and wife) are going to hate me now, but I'll never again have to tell her my woes about not finding headphones that fit (and I've told her I wanted A40's for over a year now).
    As a side note: I've got a headphone splitter, which is fantastic for movies in flight without bothering other people. Would the mixamp do double duty if I put a splitter on it so my wife and I can both hear things better? Or will it really only power one set at a time? IE, split from source (Galaxy Tab 7.1), mixamp one side and not the other.

    XBL: F4ll0ut9114 | STEAM | PSN : CustomSpecial | Bnet: F4ll0ut#1636
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    The Mixamp will accept optical, coax, or RCA in. Optical will be your input of choice on your PC, assuming you have an optical port. Coax will work as well.

    For other sources that only have a headphone jack (iphones, galaxy tabs, etc), you'll use a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable. If they dont include one they're cheap at RadioShack.

    Once you have your audio into the Mixamp, a regular headphone splitter can be put in place between the Mixamp and the headphones. It'll work perfectly, and will help give a bit more volume.

    Just keep in mind that for gaming you'll want to use the digital optical connection from your PC to the Mixamp so it can receive the 5.1/7.1 signal and process/mix it for your stereo headphones using the Dolby Headphone tech. It can't do any of that using the RCA inputs. It will only act as a basic stereo amp in that situation.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • Custom SpecialCustom Special Registered User regular
    I'll probably look at getting a dedicated PC sound card next, then. Right now I'm just plugging straight into my onboard audio/mic ports.

    I am looking forward to trying out the setup with my 360 and listening to some music as well.
    Any idea what average shipping time is on Astro products? I just did standard ground (and sent it to work c/o my buddy, in case it comes while I'm gone for the next week).

    XBL: F4ll0ut9114 | STEAM | PSN : CustomSpecial | Bnet: F4ll0ut#1636
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    They shipped mine the next day, and I had it about 3 days later. Pretty quick.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    Well, my gaming headset broke this morning.. so I figured it was a decent excuse to go shopping..

    I ended up buying a pair of Shure SRH840s from my local guitar center.. since I had read that they were good 'phones and were easy to power.

    unless they prove to be uncomfortable, I'll probably keep them and start saving up for a good desktop amp.

    At that point I can decide if I want to take things further with an amp or stop myself before my wallet is empty :)

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    I'm been thinking about getting an Astro Mixamp for a while now, but does it have sufficient power to be usable with pair of HD650's?

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Cormac wrote:
    I'm been thinking about getting an Astro Mixamp for a while now, but does it have sufficient power to be usable with pair of HD650's?

    Yes, although you'll have to keep the chat audio dialed most of the way down in the mix, or they can get a little quiet.

    You could always add a cheap inline amp like the Fiio e5 to the setup for an extra boost.

    minor incident on
    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Hmm, If I'm able to connect an e5 in then I could probably boost the output from the Mixamp with my Audio-GD Compass and bypass it's internal processing (I'm assuming a 3.5mm to RCA cable to the analog inputs of the amp would do the trick).

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote:
    Hmm, If I'm able to connect an e5 in then I could probably boost the output from the Mixamp with my Audio-GD Compass and bypass it's internal processing (I'm assuming a 3.5mm to RCA cable to the analog inputs of the amp would do the trick).

    I was thinking of putting the e5 (or other cheap amp) between the Mixamp and the headphones. If you're not using the digital (optical or coax) line from your PC/console to the Mixamp there's really no point in bothering with it. The fantastic simulated surround sound via its Dolby Headphone processor is the real point of the Mixamp, and you lose that entirely if you're using analog in to the Mixamp.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Sorry, I should have said a 3.5 to RCA out from the Mixamp into the Compass.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    Robobandit wrote:
    Do you think a Fiio E7/E9 combo would be enough to power the HD650s?
    edit -
    Looks like other people have less than stellar results with that combo and the HD650s..

    Links? The E7/E9 combo powers up to 600 ohms. The HD650s are just 300 ohms. I use it to power beyers and they are fine. I read a ton of user reviews before I bought them and people were powering more power hungry headphones than the HD650 fine.

    Powering the amp and providing the sound you want are two different things. You should be fine for pure power, try it it for sound preferences though.



  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    solsovly wrote:
    Robobandit wrote:
    Do you think a Fiio E7/E9 combo would be enough to power the HD650s?
    edit -
    Looks like other people have less than stellar results with that combo and the HD650s..

    Links? The E7/E9 combo powers up to 600 ohms. The HD650s are just 300 ohms. I use it to power beyers and they are fine. I read a ton of user reviews before I bought them and people were powering more power hungry headphones than the HD650 fine.

    Powering the amp and providing the sound you want are two different things. You should be fine for pure power, try it it for sound preferences though.

    i meant driving the headphones to their full potential with the best sound quality they are capable of. At any rate, I think the HD650s are off the table at this point.

  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    I need some external validation here. Did I do good when I chose audio-technica A700s for my gaming headphones? I always wonder if I'm doing the gaming sounds justice and if I'm hearing what the audio director wants me to hear. I have seen several positive reviews for these but the jargon is over my head and I don't have anything to compare against either (unless you count some ipod headphones). Plus the reviewers are always talking about music anyway.

    Also what the hell is a soundstage?

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Soundstage is the positional direction of sounds, and also how wide it can project those sounds if that makes any sense to you. I think AD700 is usually recommended for gaming from what I've read.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    Yeah I saw those on a few gaming sites but I wasn't impressed with the open design. I like the better isolation of closed headphones.

  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    Open backed headphones are almost universally better for gaming because they naturally have a wider soundstage. Which means you'll be able to more clearly hear sounds and judge their direction and distance.

    Closed back phones normally have a smaller soundstage so it's much harder to gauge distance and direction. Closed backs are also typically heavier in bass, which can be great for music, but I feel heavy bass in gaming can muddle the sounds too much, making it harder still to discern positional audio cues.

    It all comes down to preference, though. If you try open backs for a while and just don't enjoy it, then there's no rule against using closed phones. You may lose some positional audio cues, but they might just be more comfortable and pleasing to your taste.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    It depends if you want it for competitive gaming or just fun too, because you don't really need precise positional audio for non-competitive gaming.

    Heavier bass can also be fun for gaming. Makes explosions and "rumbles" fun.

    Gaming in general don't have spectacular sound though seeing that most of it is heavily compressed so the A700s should be good enough.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    Well, after about 2 days with the SRH840s.. I decided I'd be crazy not to jump for the 940s.. they come with a straight cable and a coiled cable (the 840s come with a coiled cable only and a straight cable is $20 from Shure), a hard carrying case (the 840s come with a leatherette pouch), have better sound and are reportedly more comfortable.. seems like a no-brainer for an extra $100..

    I also threw an E7 and an E9 into the cart.. as I notice that the 840s sound better being driven by my Pioneer 1018AH-K receiver than they do out of my computer.. so even though they can be driven fairly easily, they do seem to benefit from being amped.

    I think these sound good now.. everything I read says they really sound a lot better after 300 hours of burn-in.. so that should be exciting.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    Most headphones benefit from an amp, though I don't think that they require an E9. Glad you like the sound enough to want to upgrade immediately. :lol:

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    edited September 2011
    Well, it wasn't a matter of them needing an E9, per se.. I just wanted to be prepared in case it was needed later.

    The music that I enjoy listening to most are the live performances.. particularly Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Live at Radio City.. there is just so much detail in those tracks.. with the dual acoustic guitars, audience, etc.

    Robobandit on
  • minor incidentminor incident Quincentuple Your Money! Registered User regular
    Robobandit wrote:
    Well, it wasn't a matter of them needing an E9, per se.. I just wanted to be prepared in case it was needed later.

    The music that I enjoy listening to most are the live performances.. particularly Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Live at Radio City.. there is just so much detail in those tracks.. with the dual acoustic guitars, audience, etc.

    There is nothing wrong with buying above your gear level. Being prepared is a good trait.

    And I am a horrible enabler. =]

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    edited September 2011
    Robobandit wrote:
    Well, it wasn't a matter of them needing an E9, per se.. I just wanted to be prepared in case it was needed later.

    The music that I enjoy listening to most are the live performances.. particularly Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Live at Radio City.. there is just so much detail in those tracks.. with the dual acoustic guitars, audience, etc.

    There is nothing wrong with buying above your gear level. Being prepared is a good trait.

    And I am a horrible enabler. =]

    Hey, I wouldn't be in this thread if I wasn't looking for an excuse. For now, it's going to stop with the SRH940s. I think those will scratch my itch for a while.

    Also, what are your (everyone's) thoughts on using a receiver for amplification? I found the other night that using airplay from iTunes (all of my music is ALAC) to my airport express and sending audio via optical to my receiver sounded really good.. I've got dreams of having my macbook pro in the living room sending music wirelessly to my receiver and just sitting on my couch for long listening sessions.

    Isn't technology awesome?

    Robobandit on
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Depends on what your receiver is. If you're sending it out through optical then you're using the receiver's DAC which is most likely pretty good. I still need to get an optical cable to bypass my PS3's DAC to see if it's an improvement or not.

    Doesn't wireless degrade audio signals though?

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    edited September 2011
    I'm not sure if it does.. technically it would be bitstreamed from the airport express to the receiver, I think.. as I'm using a mini-toslink to toslink adapter to jack into my receiver. It doesn't sound degraded I guess I could monitor the network traffic and see if it is being compressed or if any information is being dropped.

    Anyhoo, the receiver I have is a Pioneer 1018AH-K.. cost me about $600 a few years ago.. not sure which specs I'd be looking at to know if it is good for amping headphones, though.

    Robobandit on
  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    Is there any way to get the a40 to not pick itself up on the mic? People can hear noise from the headset when I talk.

  • RobobanditRobobandit Registered User
    sweet.. my SRH940s and my e7/e9 combo just shipped.. exciting! (If I can't stop this stuff I'm going to be so poor :( )

  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Any of you guys have a Denon ADH 2000? (Or any feedback on closed sets?) I am ok with roughly $300 if I can catch a sale.

    All my headphones I've owned have been open but I kind of want a closed one. I was also thinking about selling a couple and trying the AKG701-702 but that seems like such a sidestep to the Beyer DT880.

    I like clean bass but not necessarily boomy bass. Can you offer comparisons between this and other headphones? (hopefully one below)

    So far I've owned or have owned:
    Grado SR225i - Really liked these but sold them (probably a mistake) after I got the...
    Beyerdynamic DT880 - Super comfy and liked them better than the Grado for Home theater/games stuff. My current favorite.
    Sennheiser 595 - These are ok, Didn't like them as much as the Grado or the Beyerdynamics. I almost never use these anymore
    Bose QC3 (Gift) - Active Noise Cancelling. Actually not bad at all, just overpriced. I wouldn't have bought them for myself. Great for travel.
    Audio Technica ath-anc7b - Active Noise Cancelling. Was curious on how they compared to the Bose. Surprisingly a little worse for comfort and sound quality.
    Bang & Olufsen Form 2 (Gitft) - Really cool looking, Ok sound quality (nothing great).
    ATH-AD300- Comfy, ok soundstage but lacking compared to the rest
    Koss KCS75 - My champion for portable/oops I lost these headphones. $13 is quite a bargain for these. I used to keep a pair at work, in my car and at the gym.

    solsovly on
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    Is portability an issue?

    If so check out the sennheiser HD25. I love them as my portable set.

    Or give the beyerdynamic dt1350 or t50p a look.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    Antihippy wrote:
    Is portability an issue?

    If so check out the sennheiser HD25. I love them as my portable set.

    Or give the beyerdynamic dt1350 or t50p a look.

    I would rather have a nice full set instead of portable ones. Do you guys go through a lot of different headphones? I was thinking either craigslist or ebay but would love to find a place to swap heaphones instead of buying/selling.

  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    Antihippy wrote:
    It depends if you want it for competitive gaming or just fun too, because you don't really need precise positional audio for non-competitive gaming.

    Heavier bass can also be fun for gaming. Makes explosions and "rumbles" fun.

    Gaming in general don't have spectacular sound though seeing that most of it is heavily compressed so the A700s should be good enough.

    I'm not doing any kind of competitive gaming, or really any online gaming, so I'm not really concerned with the lack of positional cues from closed headphones.

    Also I didn't really even think about about compressed audio in games, lots of games these days try so hard to fit on a single DVD9 that they must be using really compressed oggs or mp3s in a lot of cases to save space.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    @TehSloth
    TehSloth wrote:
    I've got a home theater question to chip-in as well.

    I had a cheap old 5.1 HTiB set up but the receiver died about a year and half ago and I'd finally like to get some decent sound since I think the tvs built in speakers are getting even worse then they used to sound.

    Anyways, I was originally just thinking about picking up a nice 5.1 receiver like this Onkyo one

    But then after looking a bit more, they have a 7.1 HTiB set up that's $100 more with speakers, which are probably at least as good if not better than the ones I've already got. The receiver itself seems to not have quite as many features as the 5.1 receiver does, although I think it's just the networking which I could do without anyway.

    Anyways, does anyone have an opinion on whether it would be better to blow the extra $120ish on the 7.1 system or just go with the 5.1 and maybe put the difference towards some nicer speakers or a better TV down the road.

    7.1 is great if you're filling an absolutely massive room. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. As for speakers, don't buy them packaged, buy them from speaker companies (not electronic companies), sign up for NewEgg's email sales and look into their Polk and Klipsch offerings when they go on sale. I managed to get a nice Polk center off of deals.woot too, so keep an eye out there.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I don't really like polk, though I haven't heard alot of it.

    Klipsch I like better though it is REALLY bright.

    Another good budget company to look into is Paradigm. I really like the titans.

    Antihippy on
    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Yea, there are going to be preferences among brands, but if you don't know much about sound I suspect you won't even have the experience to choose. I love my Polks, especially for what I paid.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, they are a good budget brand, the ones I've heard are kinda eh, but I've only heard a few of the cheaper bookshelf speakers.

    Also I don't think they're cinema bar stuff aren't great.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Polk is budget only in audiophilia land. I love it.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Polk is budget only in audiophilia land. I love it.

    Pretty much anything you can buy through big box stores are going to be considered "budget" to audiophiles. Go to an independent shop* and you'll find individual speakers (from brands you never heard of) that cost more than complete HT setups.

    And I'd say there's nothing wrong with going budget for HT, since you're not trying to pick out individual instruments/voices like you might in a nice 2-channel SET setup with tube pre-amp and ultra-high efficiency speakers. If your usage is predominantly to watch movies/tv, I think a real high-end setup is kinda a waste, and I'd go mid-range (paradigm, def techs, nht) at most.


    *Edit: Independent hifi shop, meaning a place that doesn't sell TVs.

    Djeet on
  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Yea, there are going to be preferences among brands, but if you don't know much about sound I suspect you won't even have the experience to choose. I love my Polks, especially for what I paid.

    I had some Polk monitors I recently replaced. They are a nice step up from most htib setups.

    If you are doing mostly movies and games I'd say they are adequate for most people. They are pretty common in brick and mortar stores so you can try them out easily.

  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    I find that for movies you'd at least want some bass and clarity.

    Inception blu-ray on my paradigm titans is <3.

    10454_nujabes2.pngPSN: Antiwhippy
Sign In or Register to comment.