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File 139777134291.jpg - (246.45KB , 1600x1600 , hd800-lcd2.jpg )
5635 No. 5635 ID: be0c5c
Headphones have always kinda been a hobby of mine. The current market is overflowing with awesome examples of high-fi models and amazon has some great prices this time of year. If you're in the market for an entry level pair of high end headphones or just looking to upgrade, now's the time. I can't stress enough how much of a difference there is in your music when you hear it through a proper pair of cans.

I'll dump a bit of info for the time being, if you're looking for suggestions or have any questions feel free to ask.
Expand all images
>> No. 5636 ID: be0c5c
File 139777257521.jpg - (40.18KB , 560x420 , closed-vs-open-back-headphones.jpg )
5636
***Disclaimer*** I'm not you. How headphones sound from person to person is completely different. I'm going to do my best to generalize this for your guys using unbiased conclusions from the community and various reviewers. In the end, these are opinions.

There's many different types of headphones.

The primary characteristic is the form factor, or how it fits on your head. The four classes, around ear (circumaural), on-ear (supraural), in-ear (IEM) and earbuds.

-Around ear headphones are the largest form factor. They are the most widely used form factor in the high end market. They are not very portable.

-On ear headphones usually offer more portability then the around ear pairs.

-In ear offer the most isolation and are extremely portable.

-Ear buds rest on the outside of the ear. They offer great isolation and are also extremely portable.


These classes are also separated into two sub-classes. Opened back and closed back headphones.

-Open backed pairs offer a wider sound stage (perception of where the sounds are coming from) and generally better sound quality. However, they offer little isolation.

-Closed backed pairs offer much higher isolation and bass to an extent.
>> No. 5637 ID: be0c5c
File 139777337848.jpg - (163.12KB , 1347x723 , Untitled.jpg )
5637
No two pairs sound exactly like each other. Finding the perfect pair for you and your music is the ultimate goal.

There are three primary sound signatures that most headphones fall into.

-Dark: Emphasis on the bass and lower frequency. Great for rock, jazz, rap and electronic.

-Neutral: Linear frequency response. Good with anything, you'll hear the music how it should be. Generally this is the hardest signature to capture.

-Bright: Emphasis on the treble and higher frequency. Great for classical or vocals.

Finding what signature you want is all on you. I prefer darker signatures. I used to be really big on neutral sound, but over time it began to sound boring.

Here's an example frequency response from a Sennheiser HD800 (their 1,500$ flagship). Note how the line is relatively straight until the high end, these are relativity neutral with a hint of brightness.
>> No. 5638 ID: be0c5c
File 139777534247.jpg - (130.38KB , 1084x852 , Headphone-transducer.jpg )
5638
There are three kinds of divers used in headphones.

-Dynamic (pictured): 95% of headphones on the market use these. They're your standard wire coil/diaphragm design. They're cheap and can produce a very wide variety of sound signatures. Depending on the impedance you may need an amplifier.

-Planar magnetic: Uncommon, but still a thing. These drivers have the most accurate bass and are very "fast" in their response. High end models offer an extremely balanced frequency response. They are generally very power hungry and need a proper amplifier. They are usually quite heavy and may have questionable comfort.

-Electrostatic: Light years above the others. They have no moving parts and offer the most perfect sound quality imaginable. They will only work with a special amplifier and are EXTREMELY expensive, only for the truly dedicated. The current "best" headphone on the market is a Stax SR-009. It costs $5000+ plus upwards of $10,000 more for an amp.
>> No. 5639 ID: be0c5c
File 139777666241.jpg - (348.45KB , 1600x1200 , 20130927_163838.jpg )
5639
A DAC converts digital audio to a format your headphones can use. If you have a decent soundcard in your PC, you may be okay. However if you want to listen to high quality music such as FLAC, a DAC is necessary.

Amplifiers are used to power headphones. Most high end pairs need an amp to operate, as opposed to cheap pairs that are designed to run off an mp3 player or phone. Generally your headphones impedance will be the deciding factor for if you need an amp or not. Generally the sound quality of a high impedance headphone with a proper amp will be much higher than a low impedance headphone without one.

There are tube amps and solid state amps. SS amps are usually cheaper and offer more neutral sound. Tube amps offer "colored" sound that can be changed with various tubes.
>> No. 5640 ID: be0c5c
File 139777691160.png - (287.48KB , 3000x1600 , 1335901596068.png )
5640
Seriously, don't even touch them. There are 20$ pairs on the market that sound better in every aspect then the highest end beats pair.
>> No. 5641 ID: be0c5c
File 139777723283.png - (499.10KB , 1856x917 , Untitled.png )
5641
Again, these are usually overpriced gimmicks.
>> No. 5642 ID: be0c5c
File 13977778356.jpg - (150.69KB , 800x600 , nas2011_stax.jpg )
5642
Here's a few that are affordable (sub 250$) and sound fantastic without the need for an amp.

HD558:
http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-504631-HD-558-Headphones/dp/B004FEEY9A

They're open designed and on the warm side, slightly more emphasis on the bass. Very balanced besides that. Extremely comfortable, replaceable cord and acceptable soundstage. By far the one of if not the best values in the headphone market under 500$

There is a simple modification that can be done to these to increase the bass and sound stage.

Q702:
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-Signature-Reference-Class-Premium-Headphones/dp/B004444O3W/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397367861&sr=1-3&keywords=akg+702

Open as well, relatively neutral and balanced. Sound like the HD558 with slightly less bass.One of the most detailed headphones on the market with one of the widest soundstages available. Extremely comfortable with memory foam ear pads and a replaceable cord. These are fantastic for movies or live music due to their detail and soundstage, you can pinpoint exactly where everything is.
>> No. 5643 ID: be0c5c
File 139777802194.jpg - (227.45KB , 1280x718 , DSC00499.jpg )
5643
DT770:
http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-DT-770-PRO-32-Headphone-Monitoring-Applications/dp/B008POFOHM/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397368800&sr=1-2&keywords=DT770

These are closed headphones, like most on the market. This offers much higher isolation. These have some decent bass and a good soundstage for closed headphones. Very comfortable and built like a tank. They are not only great for music, but are one of the most used headphones for studio editing because of their accuracy and isolation. These do not have a replaceable cord.

X1:
http://www.amazon.com/Philips-X1-28-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B00B3QD94O/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397369099&sr=1-1&keywords=x1

Open, very heavy on the bass. These are known as a "fun" headphone because they're not neutral and veil the music with a darker tone. This pair will have you "feeling" the music the most and are perfect for jazz/blues/rock or anything with lower notes and bass but not great for vocals or classical. Non replaceable pads are the only down point, they're comfortable and have a replaceable cord. These sound a lot like the HD558's, but just with more bass.


ATH-50
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x-Professional-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR86/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1397369347&sr=1-1&keywords=ath_50

Closed, heavy bass.
These are pretty much an all around good pair. They combine the pros of all of these to an extent with none of the cons. Others do thing better than this, but this is a jack of all trades master of none pair.
>> No. 5644 ID: 1e7925
File 139783818476.gif - (136.64KB , 200x200 , 200.gif )
5644
>>5816
is there a website that those graphs originated from?

can you give a rundown of amps for headphones, for new-audiophiles like myself?

>>5821
>>ATH-50
>>closed, heavy bass

yes, noticed the bass is a touch too much for me, actually, but they're way ahead of what I used to have.
>> No. 5645 ID: be0c5c
>>5823
>is there a website that those graphs originated from?
http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads
This is a great resource for measurements.

As far as amps go, what do you want to know?
>> No. 5646 ID: e68bea
I've lusted after Sennheiser 598s for a while now. No local store has them in stock, and while I was in college, other costs kept me from buying them (like having to repair my computer every year after 30+ year old wiring in my dorms kept fucking hard drives and graphics cards, even with surge protectors.)
>> No. 5647 ID: be0c5c
File 13978416004.png - (60.97KB , 1000x500 , graphCompare_php.png )
5647
>>5825
The 558 is pretty much a 598 that's half the price and not that weird tan color.

Do that mod I mentioned to the 558 and it's literally the exact same as the 598.
>> No. 5648 ID: e68bea
>>5826
Well, that foam mod is easy as shit. I might be buying some of these next week. Now to just get myself some jewelers screwdrivers.
>> No. 5649 ID: fdf717
File 139786715467.jpg - (218.98KB , 985x1310 , P1130sds868.jpg )
5649
BOOF, you're awesome.

With that out of the way, would you recommend a fairly cheap set of computer speakers? To be honest the best sounding equipment I have are HD668B headphones; not sure how good those are but they sound okay for how little I paid for them.

Obviously I don't know much about good quality sound. I'm not sad about that, because I don't have much money for audio stuff so if I can enjoy my music with cheap stuff, I'm happy.

tl;dr got speakers that will sound like my headphones
>> No. 5650 ID: be0c5c
File 139786764236.jpg - (169.58KB , 1024x768 , adam-audio-a3x.jpg )
5650
>>5832
>I have are HD668B headphones; not sure how good those are but they sound okay for how little I paid for them.
Those are one of the hidden gems in the headphone market. They're AMAZING for the price.

Can't help you much with desktop speakers, not too knowledgeable about them.

I can recommend ADAM Professional Audio A3X's. ~300$ for the pair. I use a set and they're comparable to ones that cost three times the price, also have a ribbon tweeter.
>> No. 5651 ID: fdf717
>>5833
Anything maybe a little less pricey?

To be honest this is only because my 15 year old set of Yamaha YST-MS201 speakers are dying. Sorry to be wasting your time about something like this.
>> No. 5652 ID: e68bea
>>5834
I have first hand experience with these (though not ownership experience) and these are fantastic.

I am not anywhere near as informed as Boof is on any of this, but, Bose is good stuff.
http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/speakers/computer_speakers/companion_2/companion2_s3.jsp
>> No. 5653 ID: fdf717
>>5835
No subwoofer, or do those Bose speakers not require them?

/g/ seems to think Bose costs what it costs because of the brand, but they're often fags.
>> No. 5654 ID: e68bea
>>5836
No subwoofer. What I heard on them, bass was at a good, controlled level without overwhelming any mid or high levels.

Buddy of mine had them at college; we watched several movies and played a few PS3 games through them. We never had any issues, and the movies sounded just fine through them (Patton, Watchmen, Master and Commander) as did the games (Heavy Rain, Demon's Souls, Blood Bowl, Record of Agarest War.)

Also, Metalocalypse episodes. They worked well for all of it.
>> No. 5655 ID: be0c5c
File 139787979781.png - (64.06KB , 1000x500 , graphCompare_php.png )
5655
>>5835
>Bose is good stuff.
I don't want to come off as an asshole, but Bose and the majority of the audio equipment you can buy at a place like best buy or target is usually overpriced garbage. They're mass produced and are only designed to sound better than the other junk that it's put up against in the same store. Your typical person who's looking for a new stereo is going to go into best buy and try out all that is available for demos. Bose just has to sound better then the run of the mill model next to it and they can get away with charging 5 times the price. They also use gimmicks that horribly alter the original sound with artificial bass and other shit to try and woo people into thinking they sound better. Trust me, the difference between the "best" product that a big box store has vs the "best" product you can order online is like night and day. They know they can't sell 1000$+ pairs of headphones to make a proper profit. Of course, there are exceptions. There's always a few great products that you can find at a box store that go head to head with a product offered by some boutique company. I mean, look at these measurements.

The TEAC CT-H02 costs 18$ and measures close to 1000$+ headphones in some aspects.

Very few stores offer products that are REALLY amazing. Thankfully some stores such as best buy are adding new high end products. My local one has 1/4 of the store dedicated to extreme setups. 50,000$+ electrostatic floor speaker setups, full lines of audiophile tier headphones and anything you can imagine. All for you to try out.

>>5834
What price range? I'll do some quick looking around.
>> No. 5656 ID: fdf717
>>5838
Between 50 and 100 bucks would be ideal.

Would be nice to have some speakers that sound something like my Superlux headphones and cost around the same. I mainly listen to metal (technical, melodic, death, black), jazz, big band jazz, and some random jpop stuff. I EQ'd my current cheapo speakers and headphones to be fairly neutral in sound; I like to be able to hear each instrument relatively as well as the other one. I often listen through songs paying attention only to one instrument or voice, then listen to it later paying attention to something else.

So yeah. HD668Bs except not on my head. I don't need anything loud, as I do not blast music until my ears ring.
>> No. 5657 ID: be0c5c
>>5839
I did some looking around, and what do you know I was wrong. The bose pair >>5835 mentioned is actually a vary good for the money. Like I said, there's a lot of hidden gems in this market.

Try those or one of these.

Edifer USA e10 Exclaim 2.0 Speaker System (these being one of the best 2.0 systems I found)
http://www.amazon.com/Edifier-Exclaim-Bi-Amped-Speaker-e10/dp/B009XGH2HG

Insignia NS-PCS41 2.1 computer speaker system
http://www.amazon.com/Insignia-NS-PCS41-Computer-Speaker-System/dp/B004DX7JCC

Cyber acoustics subwoofer satellite system (CA-3602a)
http://www.amazon.com/Cyber-Acoustics-Subwoofer-Satellite-CA-3602a/dp/B0027VT6V4
>> No. 5658 ID: fdf717
File 13979537135.jpg - (1.15MB , 2048x1536 , 1337495637720.jpg )
5658
>>5842
Thanks, I'm sure I'll be happy with the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 Platinum 2.1, along with an ASUS PA248Q 24" 16:10 IPS monitor I just ordered.

It'll update my current stuff.
>> No. 5659 ID: 39d4a6
>>5843
Wait, thats not really your current rig, is it?
>> No. 5660 ID: fdf717
>>5844
Nah, but I am using a CRT.

I'm keeping the CRT for Stepmania and a few other things, gonna use the new monitor for pretty much everything else.
>> No. 5661 ID: d4d47c
File 139796650769.jpg - (52.24KB , 319x400 , 186242.jpg )
5661
I'm currently rocking a Sennheiser HD-201S. Not up to the audiophile standards you've got here, but I find them to be very enjoyable. At least I can laugh at the idiots buying rebranded Chinashit Beats that are made out of components not worth more than $10 and sold for exponentially more.
>> No. 5662 ID: be0c5c
File 139796843124.jpg - (195.68KB , 1600x1200 , 1397828805324.jpg )
5662
>>5846
You can't really go wrong with a any Sennheiser. They've got to be one of my favorite manufactures of headphones. Look at the HD600, it's still the benchmark after all these years.

Nothing sounds better than an HD650 plugged into a Bottlehead Crack amp. The sound you get with this pair is just so unfathomably delicious.
>> No. 5663 ID: e68bea
>>5847
so what would a good amp set up be for general pupose use with HD558s, Boof? Also, a good audiphile aound card? I've been running without a sedicated aound card for now, but plan on grabbing one when I upgrade my vid card later this year.
>> No. 5664 ID: be0c5c
File 139804919090.jpg - (477.50KB , 1980x600 , product-219-banner.jpg )
5664
>>5850
One of the best AMPs I've found is also a DAC.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/aune-t1-amp-dac-combo

The T1 offers spectacular sound for a great price, I'd compare it to amps that cost four times as much. It uses a tube as well so you can customize the sound signature a bit. I have one and I LOVE it.

The O2/ODAC and the Magni/Modi are still the go to beginner amps/dacs and run about 200$. They're fantastic as well, but you can't play with the signature like with the T1. These two are also more neutral and the O2/ODAC is somewhat portable.

As for sound cards, I'm not an expert. Pretty much anything that can do at least 24bit audio with 96000hz sample rate.
>> No. 5665 ID: be0c5c
File 139804981154.jpg - (72.98KB , 800x532 , 06.jpg )
5665
Also, for anyone who cares...

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/koss-esp950

Here's a great price for an entry level electrostatic pair. Comes with the amp and has a lifetime warranty.
>> No. 5666 ID: 45b8df
I love my fiio E10 but it looks like the price has doubled since it came out. it was a good DAC for 80 bucks, and paired with ATH-M50s makes a good budget setup.

http://www.fiio.net/products/index.aspx?ID=100000028262517&MenuID=105026003
>> No. 5667 ID: 1d6191
File 13997772466.jpg - (291.00KB , 1312x1008 , 2014-05-09 23_31_56.jpg )
5667
Thanks for the help guys, they sound great.

Ignore the towel holding up the sub, I'm going to make a little shelf asap.

>tfw still fail at cable management
>> No. 5668 ID: be0c5c
File 139979047537.jpg - (334.93KB , 3008x2000 , Ieqwf.jpg )
5668
>>5961
Glad you like them.

Also, Massdrop has a HELL of a deal on the DT880's. Almost half off! (well, if they get enough buyers.) I was with the first group of buyers last month and got my 600ohm model for 240$. One of the best purchases ever made, they're spectacular.

Keep in mind they offer three impedances, 32,250 and 600 ohms. The 32 are garbage and only good for mp3 players, the 250 are okay but have harsh treble but the 600's are indescribable. JUST BE ABSOLUTELY SURE you can power the 600's properly, they're hungry.

Hands fucking down the most comfy pair I've ever worn. They're clear, accurate, natural and just about perfect in every aspect. Only downside is the lack of bass impact. Don't get me wrong, the bass detail is TOP notch and accurate as hell. However, if you're a basshead who loves "feeling" the bass... Not for you.
>> No. 5669 ID: be0c5c
>>5963
Guess a link would help.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/beyerdynamic-dt880-premium
>> No. 5670 ID: 258c8f
File 139979104966.jpg - (116.17KB , 1024x687 , ue6000-1-1024x687.jpg )
5670
So, Mr. Boof, I have question. What is your opinion of the Logitech UE6000 headphones, as a mid range product?

I'm wondering because I own a pair, and have been incredibly happy with them.

To be fair, I am not an audiophile. I purchased them looking for a replacement for me old Sony wireless headset, which wouldn't stay tuned anymore without static and interference. I wanted an over the ear set, that was comfortable for hours of use, and was a step above what I previously had, but wasn't insanely expensive.

All the reviews that I watched or read said that the UE6000's blew away anything in their price range. I particularly like the fact that they have an internal amp, but are capable of functioning in passive mode if the batteries die, or if I have them plugged into a larger system, such as the receiver that my PlayStation is connected to. The detachable cord is nice/convenient as well.

Bearing in mind the fact that they are not in the same league as the other equipment you've listed here, what is your personal option of these headphones?
>> No. 5671 ID: be0c5c
File 140009403858.jpg - (44.58KB , 552x284 , Untitled.jpg )
5671
>>5965
I've always been on the fence with noise canceling pairs. They love to hiss and squeal randomly for me. That and I'm never really in a situation where I'd need noise canceled.

For the money the ue6000's are pretty good, especially for noise canceling ones. However you loose quite a bit of sound quality when they're not in passive mode.

Here's the response for passive mode, actually pretty decent for a pair at this price.
>> No. 5673 ID: be0c5c
File 140009421968.jpg - (44.58KB , 568x282 , Untitled.jpg )
5673
>>5977
Here it is with the noise canceling on.
>> No. 5674 ID: be0c5c
File 140090129470.jpg - (33.29KB , 500x335 , LL.jpg )
5674
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/bottlehead-crack-speedball-amp

Holy butts here's a great chance to get the best fucking amp on the market for cheap.

This thing blows amps that cost tens times as much out of the water.
>> No. 5675 ID: 73a86b
Oh, I noticed a faint, low frequency buzzing when I was bolting the shelf for the subwoofer under my desk.

I identified it as ground loop (60hz hum) , but everything I tried had no effect, and it still hums regardless of how I isolate it from one or all grounds.

Beginning to think it might be something else.

What do?
>> No. 5676 ID: be0c5c
>>6044
Interference?

Try moving things around.
>> No. 5677 ID: be0c5c
>>6046
Actually, I doubt it's interference because it's not fucking wireless.

Make sure the power cord is seated properly and everything is plugged in tightly. Hopefully it's getting enough power.
>> No. 5678 ID: 73a86b
>>6047
I'm beginning to think it might be my motherboard or something, as plugging the speakers in my phone causes no humming.

I tried isolating my psu from ground, that did nothing, even isolating both the computer and the speakers from ground did nothing. Something is looping somewhere and I can't figure out where.
>> No. 5679 ID: da0c38
File 140112870542.jpg - (40.30KB , 595x367 , AudioXfmrCkt.jpg )
5679
>>6053
You can fab a solution *pic*

OR something like

http://www.amazon.com/PAC-SNI-1-3-5-3-5-mm-Isolator/dp/B001EAQTRI
>> No. 5680 ID: 1f38ee
>>6064
Yeah that's what I thought would be the next thing to try. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
>> No. 5681 ID: 6045bb
File 140236459534.gif - (2.07MB , 347x200 , 1334902153898.gif )
5681
So I get the 3.5mm isolator, and I'm all excited 'cause I'll finally be rid of the fucking buzz.

I plug it in... And the ground loop is still there.
>> No. 5682 ID: e47aaa
>>5854
How much did these go for while the massdrop was still available? On Amazon they're at the maximum of $999.99...
>> No. 5683 ID: e68bea
>>6337
when I looked into massdrop, it was like $850.
>> No. 5684 ID: e7f332
Good thread. Saved forever.
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