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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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Posts

  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    So I ordered a set of hd58x jubilees from drop when they went on sale for like 40 dollars off.

    They are the highest resistance headphones I'll have ever gotten, I'm getting them because my old 518s are all beaten to hell after I lent them to my sibling for a while. I'm not sure if my desktop PC where I plan to use them will need an amp or not? Anyone got recommendations if I do end up needing one? I'm hoping not to spend more than the headphones themselves. Less if possible.

  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    The schiit Magi/Modi combo is a popular entry level amp/dac.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
    BlackDragon480QuantumTurk
  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    Could always just go for the schiit fulla if you wanted to go a little cheaper and get the combo dac/amp. less powerful of course

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
    TallahasseerielQuantumTurk
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Could always just go for the schiit fulla if you wanted to go a little cheaper and get the combo dac/amp. less powerful of course

    This sounds more my speed. Honestly I don't have a ton of room for a stack of more than one component anyway. Plus it's better than dropping 200 more bones when the headphones were already 138 after tax.

  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Could always just go for the schiit fulla if you wanted to go a little cheaper and get the combo dac/amp. less powerful of course

    This sounds more my speed. Honestly I don't have a ton of room for a stack of more than one component anyway. Plus it's better than dropping 200 more bones when the headphones were already 138 after tax.

    The catch will be getting one - their website said 12-16 week leadtime on them when I went to check.

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    How's the fiio k5?

  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited July 21
    Second edit. PM'd you @Tallahasseeriel .

    Akilae on
    Tallahasseeriel
  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 21
    I've been using the Qudelix 5k, it's a small mobile Amp/DAC that drives my HD6xx pretty well. I use it mainly with USB connection to desktop or Lightning to my iPhone.

    It does receive BT signal as well which is nice but I haven't used that much.

    I ordered that O2 Amp from Drop but I'm still waiting for that to arrive.

    Dixon on
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    I have an older version of the Drop O2 headphone amp and it's plenty to drive some HD600s. They also have an amp and DAC combo if you wanted to cover that as well, though I don't know how good the DAC there is.

    I have a CEntrance DACport HD at work, which is also fine for driving headphones, though I'm sure I didn't pay that much for it so I'm not sure it makes sense at that price.

    (must-have requirement for me in is an analogue volume dial, fwiw, which restricted my options a bit)

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    The Dragonfly Black/red is also a good portable headphone amp/dac combo.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    edited July 23
    Oh wow these sound really good.

    My pc seems to be driving them ok so far.

    I need something very detailed to test them with though.

    ok after putting on something with a little bit of volume range and playing with the volume slider I think they would benefit a great deal from an amp, they are pretty quiet until I get above like 85 or 90%? Still very good sounding though compared to my other headphones, very pleased.

    Tallahasseeriel on
    webguy20
  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    Nice that's awesome.

    I know Hotel California by Eagles is a popular choice for testing headphones.

    Some new Muse stuff is recorded very well.

    Mountains from the Interstellar sound track is good as well.

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    edited July 24
    https://cheskyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ultimate-demonstration-disc-chesky-records-guide-to-critical-listening-2 is useful because it not only has a bunch of very carefully-recorded tracks, it also has explanations of what you're listening for on each one.

    (it's on youtube if you want to get a sense of what the tracks are, though the quality there is obviously all mushed up because it's youtube)


    edit:

    More generally -- honestly, your best bet is to listen to something that you've listened to a lot of times already, and find out what was in there that you hadn't heard before. Literally every time I listen to something for the first time on good headphones, I am amazed at what's there, even for things that don't feel like they've been particularly carefully mastered the first time around, and it is very easy to spend a lot of time going through existing music that way.

    Specific things that I've used to compare, though (and again ideally don't listen to these on youtube, now you have decent headphones you will be cursed by realising how bad youtube's audio quality is when you start paying attention)

    For bass I default to Jai Ho from the Slumdog Millionaire OST (not the pussycat dolls version), and when the drums kick in at around 18 seconds, you should hear the actual material of the drums being hit, there should be a real sense of a physical instrument there. If the bass is less clear or well defined, you just get a sort of farty woomph woomph sound down there and sure you can tell it's a drum but much less clearly.


    Or Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi, first track (Koyaanisquatsi) --the organ is deep and should obviously be a real organ, not a synth, and the reverb on the vocals should be clearly different between the amount of echo on the 's' compared to the 'i'. Then when the choir comes in alongside the main bass vocalist they're definitely there and there's more than one person singing in the background. The higher organ notes have different start/middle/end, they sound metallic and not synthetic.

    (heavy caveat: that's based on the '82 soundtrack version, not the remakes, which sound noticeably different -- the organ in the 2009 remake sounds substantially less like an actual church organ being played in a church, for example, to my ears at least, and the 1998 one is also fuzzier. In the original recording I can hear the way air is starting to flow through the organ at the start, in a way that's just not there in later ones)


    Eagles, Journey Of The Sorcerer -- again the guitar sounds real and you can feel the fingers of someone actually plucking strings at the start, it's a real instrument being played by a real person. Then when it picks up and more instruments come in as you get towards a minute, the guitar should still be clearly there even behind the strings and synth and drums, it shouldn't get drowned out. When things quieten down around 1:40, you can really hear how hard they're playing. (plus it's the HHGTG theme which I will admit biases me towards this one)


    Buck 65, Wicked and Weird, sure he doesn't have the prettiest voice, but you should be able to hear exactly how much he needs to clear his throat. (alternative 1: Holly Cole, Train Song, where both the vocals and the percussion should all be equally clear and spaced apart in the studio that you can hear them recording in. alternative 2: Joe Jackson, Be My Number Two, because I hadn't really paid attention to how different notes on a piano come from different places before)


    A lot of Mike Oldfield stuff has been pretty carefully remastered -- Tubular Bells is the obvious place to start but Five Miles Out is pretty great (and if you find the album notes with the entire musical arrangement you'll know what to listen for); on the other hand, Amarok has more going on than most of them if you want a variety of things to listen to.


    or, like I said, just listen to what you like and find out how well mastered things are.

    djmitchella on
    Tallahasseeriel
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    I just put on journey of the sorcerer actually because I love that track and have heard it a lot

    There is so much extra space between the instruments compared to what I'm used to it's kinda crazy, without any of them losing volume. I can make out the soft cymbal taps I could barely even notice on other headphones even.

    djmitchellaBullheadwebguy20
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    Quick question, is it normal for a nice set of headphones to sound noticeably better after having used them for a little while? Because I swear these sounded good when I got them but they seem not only louder but more full after having them a while.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Quick question, is it normal for a nice set of headphones to sound noticeably better after having used them for a little while? Because I swear these sounded good when I got them but they seem not only louder but more full after having them a while.

    Whether burn-in is a real thing is a subject of debate, afaik.

    It could be just a matter of getting used to the differences from whatever you were listening to. Preferences often adjust to what you're listening to the most, unless it's terrible or way off what you like.

    Tallahasseeriel
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    I certainly don't want to unintentionally get people debating in here. I was just curious because this is the nicest set I've ever owned.

  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    I like to think it's two things, the slight burn-in and the fact that your ears are being trained due to all the extra fidelity that the headphones pick up.

    The only downside really is that some songs I used to like are mixed so terribly and on a higher end set it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    BlackDragon480
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    Dixon wrote: »
    I like to think it's two things, the slight burn-in and the fact that your ears are being trained due to all the extra fidelity that the headphones pick up.

    The only downside really is that some songs I used to like are mixed so terribly and on a higher end set it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Yeah there are definitely some like that for me, oddly my favorite band (baroness) I think is still ok despite their mixes often being pretty mediocre to bad even on a low end set though. I'm a metal fan though so I'm used to terrible overly loud and distorted mixes.

    I think these will get me into other musical genres a bit more. Maybe I should try to get into listening to jazz haha I feel like that has a high barrier to entry though for some reason.

    I need to get some high quality rips made of the few CDs I still have laying around too. I've mostly transitioned to streaming at this point which I imagine is a bit of a quality hit but I'm not sure how much so.

    I know one thing I like on these is like Avett brothers stuff. The banjo sound is so nice on these. You can really make out every pluck on like "head full of doubt". I need to look up more folksy stuff.

  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    Yeah I'm not really sure how great stuff like spotify is. I imagine it's not the worst these days but someone else prob has a better idea.

    Apple music just recently add Lossless playback capability so lots of tunes there are amazing quality. I use a little portable DAC/Amp from my laptop/iphone and play it that way to my headphones.

    I think Tidal is the other streaming service that carries Lossless quality as well but I've never personally used it.

  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    I use YouTube music personally because it also comes with ad free YouTube without which I wouldn't be able to stand YouTube videos at all.

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    I think Spotify's very high quality playback is equivalent to 320 kbps mp3's. It's been ages since I did any A to B playback comparisons to my personal library of FLAC and 320kbps music, but on headphones and amps worth around $2,500 I didn't hear any noticeable change when I switched completely to streaming 2 years ago.

    I'd be curious to compare Apple Lossless to Spotify VHQ to see if I can hear any difference. Switching to Apple Music though, quality aside, is a no go for me because of it's small catalog compared to Spotify and I love Spotify's recommendation algorithms.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    edited August 4
    I imagine if Spotify does lack any fidelity to Tidal or Apple they won't for long. Amazon is offering lossless and Atmos music now too so it looks like access to it is becoming the industry standard.

    Butters on
    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Spotify is fine for most listeners as long as you turn off volume compression. With it on everything sounds like absolute ASS and it comes turned on by default. I also believe spotify has the broadest selection of music available too.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Do you mean volume normalization? I wouldn't have thought that setting would affect audio quality.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    Do you mean volume normalization? I wouldn't have thought that setting would affect audio quality.

    Yea, it makes a big difference. When I got spotify I was doing research on how to best make it sound and the first and main thing is to turn off that normalization.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Do you mean volume normalization? I wouldn't have thought that setting would affect audio quality.

    Yea, it makes a big difference. When I got spotify I was doing research on how to best make it sound and the first and main thing is to turn off that normalization.

    Do you have any links to share on this? I'm curious since Spotify says only the loud setting affects audio quality.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
    Bullhead
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    I've been using Tidal as they were the only lossless provider at the time. I'd like to switch to Apple Music, but the lack of a good web/desktop client is frustrating. I don't want to remake my playlists and such on my phone. Hopefully soon, I think they have something in beta.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
  • TallahasseerielTallahasseeriel Registered User regular
    This AMP/DAC thing kicks ass.

    Bullheadwebguy20CampyDixonKoopahTroopah
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • RightfulSinRightfulSin Registered User regular
    Hey all. Any recommendations for a decent set of true wireless Bluetooth earbud that will stay put in my ear for work and working out that doesn't cost an arm and leg? I might need a support too, like the ear arm or ear hooks to have them stay put.

    "If nothing is impossible, than would it not be impossible to find something that you could not do?" - Me
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Wirecutter rates the Skullcandy Sesh Evo as the best true wireless under $100

    I personally am not in on the "true wireless" craze. I don't trust myself to not to lose an earbud and high dollar bluetooth earbuds are objectively wasteful. They will only last as long as their batteries which typically can't be replaced.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Same here. I use the Shure SE215's for that reason. They have ear hooks and a wire that while sometimes can suck when you rest your head directly on it while laying on the bench, it's really nice to be able to just pop one out and let it dangle while talking to someone or while listening to a podcast and still wanting to hear the stuff around you.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
    Butters
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    I have a couple of sets of cheap 'true' wireless earbuds and haven't lost one yet or had one fall out, though I may just be lucky with the shape of my ears. On the other hand, the earbuds-with-a-wire-between-them gradually get tugged out of my ears because the wire rubs on my shoulders/neck and slowly jiggles the ends until they come loose.

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    I haven't had any issues with my Master & Dynamic MW08's falling out while mowing the lawn or detailing cars. I have had to try multiple different kinds and sizes of ear tips to find something that was comfortable and made a good seal. I'm still not 100% happy with the Comply foam tips but they're way way better than any of the silicone tips.

    Part of me does wish I just gotten Airpod Pro's instead because now I that have multiple Apple devices. Being able to easily switch between connected Apple devices would be quite handy. If and when Apple comes out with Airpod Pro 2's I'll almost certainly buy them. For the time being the MW08's do at least sound fantastic and that was the main selling point when I bough them.

    I'm not particularly worried about losing them because if I'm not using them they go right back in the case.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    I actually did end up switching to airpod pros after a couple of tries with cheap ones, because I wanted reliable connectivity. Compared to no-name ones, they paired with an iphone right away (which you'd expect), but they also pair with a windows laptop just fine, and swapping back and forth works, they always pair when I open the case, etc, whereas the no-name ones are a bit more prone to unexpectely just not connecting until I hold down the button for five seconds / put them in and out of the case / fiddle with charging cables / etc -- there was always a bit of a nervous sense that maybe this time they would never wake up.

    Sound quality is definitely better, though that's actually a negative in some cases -- I tried using them for remote meetings at work, and compared to the cheapy over-ear BT headphones I normally use, it was actually distracting being so much more able to hear the lower audio quality from other people with worse networks / mics / etc.

    The noise cancellation is _much_ better -- indoors, the sounds of HVAC / computer fans / etc just vanishes. My 'home office' is six feet from the washer and dryer, and they do a decent job of removing those sounds, and outdoors (where I mostly use them, for listening to podcasts while walking the dog), they're a lot better at keeping things audible over the sounds of traffic, unless there's literally a truck/motorbike right next to me (cars aren't loud enough, it needs to be something more than that to win out).

    (also they're low-profile enough that I can wear a toque over them, which will matter in winter, and they also don't stick out enough to generate lots of wind noise, which is another thing that is relatively specific to listening in the outdoors but has been a pain in the past)

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I have a pair of Soundcore Liberty Neo buds and for the roughly $45 I paid for them are solidly fine. A great set to see if someone would want to get into true wireless buds.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
    Naphtali
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Yeah I don't remember why Wirecutter didn't review Soundcore but it was something pretty nitpicky.

    On the whole I'm very satisfied with every Anker product I've purchased.

    PSN: idontworkhere582 | CFN: idontworkhere | Steam: lordbutters
  • RightfulSinRightfulSin Registered User regular
    edited August 17
    hmmm... I am seeking something that has a long-ish battery life. By that I mean I have them for work (including lunch) which is 8 hours plus the hour lunch. Afterwards I head home and I usually workout for about 1-1.5 hours most days and listen to music then as well. I have no qualms with switching ears, I usually only have one earbud in a a time to allow for communication while at work/lunch. I usually only have both in at once when I am at home doing my workout. So something that has a switchable single use and then a dual bud would be ideal; as I have been doing that with the earbuds I have/had now. Had being that for some reason the right earbud is really only lasting around 1-1.5 hours after charging, meanwhile the left bud still lasts as long as when I first got them (4-5 hours). That and the case is damaged, no fault of the case, it got slammed on something while in my pocket.

    RightfulSin on
    "If nothing is impossible, than would it not be impossible to find something that you could not do?" - Me
  • RightfulSinRightfulSin Registered User regular
    Well, sorry for double post, but still hesitant on which set to get. I had gotten a new set, but have since returned them because they just felt like the were falling out, despite changing the ear tips. Sweat resist/proof would be good, as I said I use them for work and after work workouts, and I tend to sweat a fair amount. I don't know what it's called but the ones I had for a while had those weird rubber things that sit in the crook of your ear above and to the left of your ear canal. it was these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CSC9BBN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    "If nothing is impossible, than would it not be impossible to find something that you could not do?" - Me
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