Another "head"phone thread

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Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:32 pm

I'm thinking about getting new headphones. Are these ones worth it?
http://www.newoemtoners.com/video-graph ... custom#top

If anyone knows better headphones for the money I'm all ears, and noise cancellation is a not a requirement. I'll be connecting it to my Asus Xonar for PC use.

Also how would this compare to the Sony headphones? It's way cheaper.

http://www.ca.buy.com/prod/sennheiser-h ... 31764.html
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:42 pm

If you want to hang high-quality cans off of a PC, do yourself a favor and go here:

http://www.headphone.com

For the cash you're willing to drop on the Sonys, you could have a separate headphone amp and a nice pair of inner-ear monitors. If you go with the Total BitHead, all of the D/A and amplification occurs outside of the computer chassis so EFI/RFI is non-existent.

For less than the Sonys, here's a kickin' can/amp combo.

http://www.headphone.com/products/packa ... ackage.php
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:43 pm

You're all over the place. First you post nosie cancellation phones and then you post open head phones. One lets in no sound at all and the other lets in every thing. Do you actually want noise cancellation or do you not care at all? The Sennheiser phones will sound better, noise cancellation is going to jack the cost way up.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:19 pm

I really don't care about noise cancellation, I just need good sounding headphones.

Also, this may be a noob question, but why do I need an amp? Doesn't the PC deliver more than enough power to the headphones?

Is it better to spend $300 on a better headphone or $300 on an amp+headphone combo?
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:27 pm

BoBzeBuilder wrote:Also, this may be a noob question, but why do I need an amp? Doesn't the PC deliver more than enough power to the headphones?

Is it better to spend $300 on a better headphone or $300 on an amp+headphone combo?

Generally, the PC sound card doesn't have enough oomph to properly drive quality cans. Good cans tend to be low-impedance, which means the amp has to push more current. That quite often means the card is asked to push more current than it's comfortable with, so distortion ensues.

If the source is compromised, even $10,000 Stax electrostatics won't make it sound good. The nice thing about the BitHead is that it's taking audio data in digital form through a USB cable and performing the D/A conversion in a box outside of the computer. That alone will raise sound quality as it's not happening in the massive EMI/RFI hash going on in a computer case. It can also swing the current needed to properly drive high-quality cans.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:46 pm

http://www.headphone.com/products/headp ... irhead.php

Would this suffice or should I go with the BitHead?
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:16 am

BoBzeBuilder wrote:http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-airhead.php

Would this suffice or should I go with the BitHead?

The AirHead has no internal D/A converter. If you don't need that and are willing to let the sound card do it, then go with the AirHead.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:02 am

Captain Ned wrote:
BoBzeBuilder wrote:Also, this may be a noob question, but why do I need an amp? Doesn't the PC deliver more than enough power to the headphones?

Is it better to spend $300 on a better headphone or $300 on an amp+headphone combo?

Generally, the PC sound card doesn't have enough oomph to properly drive quality cans. Good cans tend to be low-impedance, which means the amp has to push more current. That quite often means the card is asked to push more current than it's comfortable with, so distortion ensues.

If the source is compromised, even $10,000 Stax electrostatics won't make it sound good. The nice thing about the BitHead is that it's taking audio data in digital form through a USB cable and performing the D/A conversion in a box outside of the computer. That alone will raise sound quality as it's not happening in the massive EMI/RFI hash going on in a computer case. It can also swing the current needed to properly drive high-quality cans.


True dat. To answer the question though, it is better to spend $300 on headphones than $300 on headphones+amp. In this case, I almost always default to Grado's, which sound pretty damn good for the money AND don't require an amp to sound damn good. In any case, I think the ASUS Essence or any of the latest Auzentech sound cards would drive any headphone you choose with very pleasing results.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:01 am

I always recommend Grado headphones. I own the SR-80's. For the money, they sound better than anything else I've tried, and are more detailed and neutral sounding than Sennheisers.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:29 am

Well, I've narrowed it down to Grado SR 80i, DENON AH-D1001K, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50.

Would you still recommend the Grado?
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:18 am

BoBzeBuilder wrote:Well, I've narrowed it down to Grado SR 80i, DENON AH-D1001K, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50.

Would you still recommend the Grado?

Not if you wear a large hat size. Unless they've fixed the issue, the Grado SR series has a reputation for a vise-like grip on the head. Also, the Grado is an open-back while the other two are sealed. If you'll be using them in your own home or room, there's no issue. If you're out in the world you'll be playing your tunes for everyone else to hear with the Grados, while the other 2 will be quiet to others. You'll also get a small degree of enviromental isolation with the Denon or A-T cans.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:19 am

Depends... I like the Denon sound personally having owned a pair of D1000 (same as 1001, just a different bundle). I also like Grado's but they're not a headphone can I always listen to. If you purchase from Headroom (headphone.com) they have a good return policy so if you say pick the Grado and happen to dislike it you can return it and pick up one of the others.

Ned, I've never heard of this vise-grip issue on a Grado. A Sennheiser? Yes, certainly. But you can literally form the Grado headband to your head perfectly.
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Re: Another "head"phone thread

Postposted on Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:10 pm

No Sennheisers and AKG in your list? They're brands to consider as well.
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