Headphone recommendations?


#141

It could be I got a set of defective headphones with the 598’s, and I did return them. I wasn’t going to take that assumption. Besides the sound though, I thought the 598’s felt bad on my head. They were so hard compared to either my cushy 580’s or the HiFiMan 400s I got as a replacement. It was like stiff Styrofoam compared to my two others. How comfortable do you feel they are?

I was curious about your golden ears test as I’d never heard of it before. I went through the basic spectral balance perfectly, but when it came to timbre, I could only go down to the 5 db before I couldn’t tell the difference. not sure how many other tests are beyond that because it seems Phillips doesn’t want you to try anything else once you fail.


#142

So what headphones did Gary Whitta end up getting? I’ve been thinking about getting a decent pair of over the ear headphones and it looks like Audio Technica really puts out some good stuff. I particularly like the ATH-M50X and the ATH-MSR7. I also tried on the Bose QC-25s. I think it would be awesome to have active noise cancelling headphones but I’m not at the part of my life right now where I feel I can drop $300 on a pair of headphones (not with the wife’s approval, anyways!) I’ve really got a tin ear though and to be honest I couldn’t really tell the difference between any of the headphones I tried.


#143

I really like my ATH-50X for its neutral sound. Just go with whatever’s comfiest. I wish I would have picked up some Japan-specific colours/models when I was in Japan earlier this year from Yodobashi or Bic though so I’m jealous there.

I also like my Shure 440s that I replaced the pads with the ones from the 840s but it’s heavier than most.

For $200-300+, the PSB M4U 1s are really comfortable.

Of course, $150-300 headphones are just an gateway drug into the $100-300+ headphone amp…


#144

Thread necro with a response to my own post!

Kingston HyperX Cloud II is soooo comfy.


#145

What did Canuck end up with?


#146

I was trying envision you sitting there with a pair of PC RAM circuit boards on your ears, but I guess these are something different…


#147

Dual channel memory foam ear pads. Nice.


#149

Very much recommend these!
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Cancelling-Bluetooth-Headphone-MDR1000X/dp/B01KHZ4ZVW?th=1


#150

May not need to worry about that for much longer…


#151

The “Hi-Res audio” is the LDAC codec, which AFAICT is only in Sony audio products. IOW, you’d need a Sony smartphone to get the best sound out of them.


#152

So I have a HeadRoom Little headphone amp and a pair of Sennheiser 650s that have been running strong with my HDTV’s analog output for over a decade. However, I just upgraded my TV to one that only has an optical output. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good-but-cheap DAC that would work well for my situation?

I really don’t need a DAC/amp and would prefer to avoid the extra expense since my HeadRoom amp is still trucking along. There’s a lot of options on Amazon in the $20 range, but I don’t know if they’re going to give me the same kind of quality I’m used to from the analog-to-analog connection.

Thoughts?


#153

This totally doesn’t fit your parameters (amp and much more expensive than that), but if you don’t find something that fits your needs, have a look at the Booster from Orb. When my Klipsch promedia set on my PC died, I bought one of these and have 2 of the Klipsch speakers plus a sub plugged into it, and I’ve been very pleased with it.


#154

Number 14 on this list, optical in, phono out or internal headphone amp. Nice value.

https://www.themasterswitch.com/best-dacs


#155

Thanks for the recommendations!

The Booster looks like a good candidate when my own Promedias die.

And the 793 does look promising. I wish there was a version without the amp that was a little cheaper, but it’s certainly more economical than some of the standalone DACs I’ve found (all the reasonable ones are USB-input only). There are a number of reviews on Amazon regarding product lifespan that give me concern, but I decided to take a chance since the 793 appears to be the only game in town for what I need near my price point.

Thanks again!


#156

Yeah, when I was looking for a solution it was pretty frustrating, as there seemed to be a massive gap in what was available. You went from sub-20 dollar stuff of dubious quality to very expensive, with almost nothing in between.


#157

Take a look at what I just stumbled across: FX Audio DAC-X6. It does everything the 793 does for a couple dollars less plus a USB input.

I think it’s fairly new, so there’s not a lot of reviews on it. However, this guy likes it.

I’ve got time to order later and still get it on the same delivery day as before, so I cancelled my 793 order to mull this over. But I think I might give it a shot since the 793 isn’t necessarily bulletproof itself.


#158

I know I looked at one of the FX audio ones, but I really wanted a sub output in a straightforward setup without having to do additional gymnastics.


#159

I’m down with small external USB amps, but note that some newer fancier motherboards are now taking analog audio quality a bit more seriously… for example my Asus prime Z270A says:

###Crystal Sound 3

  • Realtek® S1220A
  • Impedance sense for headphone outputs
  • 120dB SNR stereo playback output & 110dB SNR input (line-in) support
  • Power pre-regulator
  • EMI protection cover
  • Audio shielding
  • De-pop circuit
  • Different layer for left/right track
  • Japan-made audio capacitors

I’m sure it pales next to what a $99 external box can do, but it’s certainly better than the “generic AC97” you get on the average mobo for analog output:


#160

Yeah, but you still need an amp unless you have powered speakers. My speakers had been powered by the sub and the sub died, so I had nice speakers with no way to power them. Still, nice to see audio getting better treatment. Remember when the only way was to buy a dedicated card?


#161

The Asus Prime Z270A apparently does have an onboard amp as well, though it doesn’t go into specifics.

The Strix Z270E has two Texas Instruments op-amps, RC4580 and OPA1688, and can power headphones up to 600 ohms.

Unsure if either would power speakers directly, but Asus at least are definitely working on improving audio.