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Help me pick headphones (and/or amp) for the Titanium HD.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
If you read my prior thread, I was looking at the Xense and PC350 pair. After a big debate...I went with the Titan HD. Better sound-card (for my needs) and headphones for around the same price.

I got it from Amazon. I had a choice of getting it used, like new with a 2-year warranty for $134.98, or getting it new with a 3-year warranty for $149.16. I went with the new one 'cause I heard Creative cards like to die after a year.

Anyway, I chose this over the Xense for better headphones and to be sure that I never run into the Bad Company 2 issue. I already have a desktop microphone. Some people really love the Essence or Xense...but hearing the positive praises from people such as RallyMaster, who prefers the HD over the Essence for both games and music convinced me to grab it.


So I listen to a lot of music. A lot of FLAC...a lot of MIDI video game tunes like Final Fantasy and Zelda music.

I like the Beatles, Metallica. Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd...alt. rock like Neon Trees, Nine Inch Nails, Tool...and a lot of modern pop like Celine Dion, Savage Garden, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Daft Punk...backstreetboysnewkidsontheblocknsync

The games I play range from old SNES games to PSX to PS2 to modern PC titles. I play Modern Warfare, Bad Company 2, and a lot of strategy games.

I don't watch many DVDs on my PC. I use a PS3 for Blu-Ray. If I'm gonna watch any DVD, it's usually on the PS3.

There really isn't a budget but I don't want to spend $500. I can get a Sennheiser 595 refurbished for $110 with a 2-year warranty...but I am not sure if that would be the best choice for the HD. I can get open-ear, sound leakage not an issue. I'd like some bass...I can use the EQ settings to go Bass heavy if I please but basic, nice Bass is what I am looking for. I don't want low-grade cruddy bass. I've never been a fan of high treble. I think I would like a neutral sound...I'm not even sure what a neutral sound is. LOL...I've heard RallyMaster suggest the Ultrasone PRO 550 for the HD. I don't know...

This is my first-time buying high-grade headphones/DAC. I've always used crappy ear-buds and some big noise-cancelling Sony stuff. My exceptions are in the middle. I'm sure even the lowest high-grade 'phones will please me but I have the money for something good. I would like to start somewhat small and go up as I progress. I was looking at the HD650 and yet some really people don't like them. I need to find the right pair for me and doesn't always mean more money.

In-regards to an amp...I don't want to spend too much money I don't think unless you can convince me. It would depend on the headphone.

If you need more info. I'm here. CHOW!

PS: Contrary to what most people think, the Titan HD doesn't come with a 5-year warranty; Only a 1-year. I know Newegg says 5-years but everywhere else and Creative's websites says 1-year. Convince me otherwise and save me $15 on SquareTrade.
Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/14/11 at 7:47pm
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ehhhhhhh? No one? I know, everyone's busy. But in the process, my ears are lonely.

Please...think of my ears.

I am seriously thinking about getting the HD595. I think they would be a good starter headphone, don't you think? I've never heard the so-called "Sennheiser sound" and have no place around where I could try it out. Many people love them and they aren't too much money ($110 used, $146 new). The question is are they good for rock music/gaming?

I know I could mod the HD555 but I want to keep my warranty.

Would I need an amp for these with the Titan HD? I've read many people saying no to this question, also saying the Titan HD doesn't sound good with a amped headphone, but I have the money for one. It wouldn't help at all? Something like the FiiO E7/E9 or an amp similar?

Thanks a million & 1 hotdog.
post #3 of 16
Dt 770 pro

Recommended by many
post #4 of 16
HD595 does not need an amp. It's also not the greatest headphone I've used for gaming (I owned one for two years). In fact, I would say its imagining and positioning is really weird in games. My HD600 reminds me of the HD595 in that regard as well but this is likely because I've become very accustomed to the PRO550. Neither of them are as accurate as my PRO550 IMO.

At the $150 price range, the PRO550 is a much better sounding, more versatile, sturdier and worthwhile headphone than the HD595. One thing that makes me really sad about the HD595 is the fact that it might crack. If you're spending more than $100 on any headphone, the fact is that it doesn't make sense for it to start developing faultlines like the Californian Coast.
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post
My HD600 reminds me of the HD595 in that regard as well but this is likely because I've become very accustomed to the PRO550. Neither of them are as accurate as my PRO550 IMO.
Yeah, I read what you said in the HT Vs. STX thread about the 600. I thought it might apply to the 595s too but wasn't sure. I just know that many people like them for just about everything. Even a few people preferred them over the 600s. Hardware Canucks was all over them when reviewing the Xense, going on about how much better they were over the PC350. But I need people like you to give me good and real information 'cause I don't wanna buy something and lose money for returning them....heh.

So the Pro550 will remain high on my list. What about the BeyerDynamic lines as iWantACookie suggested? Are they better than the 550s?

I know that the 770, 880, and 990 are all the same quality but have very different sounds. Maybe the 770s could be nice for me...I do like booming bass sometimes. But they are a closed type and opens breathe better. I know that and the bass could get the way for gaming. That would be a personal choice...

Also, what OHM am I looking for? Does it really make a difference? I know the higher the more amppage needed. Should this influential my choice? I see the 550s are 64 Ohms. What number Ohms should I be looking at purchasing?

Thanks bud.
Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/14/11 at 10:11pm
post #6 of 16
I can't give you any advice regarding Beyerdynamic headphones because that is one of two big brands (the other being AKG) that I have not heard. I know that a lot of people say open headphones have large sound stages but the PRO550 has a bigger one than both of the open headphones I have owned.

You should stay below 100 ohms for this application. Most of the headphones I've seen are in that category but low impedance doesn't necessarily mean "easy to drive." Low sensitivity + low impedance like the AKG K701/702 results in something that is picky with amplification and requires a lot of juice. I have a JVC HA-DX3 that's 90 ohms with I believe 98 db/mW of sensitivity that is harder to drive than my Sennheiser HD600 at 300 ohms.

I contemplated getting a Beyerdynamic for a really long time (I read so many reviews it wasn't even funny) until I was convinced to get an Ultrasone. After that, the Beyerdynamic thoughts got tossed because the DT880 and DT990 headphones I was looking at always had someone complaining about harsh highs and too much treble energy. After the DX3 situation, the last thing I wanted was another headphone that reminded me of it. I still went for a Sennheiser HD600 afterward but the HD600 has never been known to be an overly-bright, fatiguing headphone.
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, a few last questions before I leave to make a decision. (And by leave I mean go to the refrigerator to get some Nachos while I go into thinking mode.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post
I know that a lot of people say open headphones have large sound stages but the PRO550 has a bigger one than both of the open headphones I have owned.
Yes, and also the price is really amazing on these ($150) and the bass is deep according to what I've read...good for me. The only think I don't like is the color...I would prefer Black. Also they have a Silver model...I wish I could get that one. I see you got a white model...let's hope I do too.

This review of the 550 was very negative. He doesn't say whether he burnt them in or not. A little disconcerting but you say it works well with the Titan HD so I believe you.

Quote:
You should stay below 100 ohms for this application.
OK.

Quote:
I contemplated getting a Beyerdynamic for a really long time (I read so many reviews it wasn't even funny) until I was convinced to get an Ultrasone. After that, the Beyerdynamic thoughts got tossed because the DT880 and DT990 headphones I was looking at always had someone complaining about harsh highs and too much treble energy.
Yeah, one thing that has led to me asking questions and not picking one myself is that every headphone I've looked up has negative reviews. Every Sennheiser and Byerdynamic I look at as some sort of problem that people find.

The DT770 Pro looked good for me but now I am reading about a rattle of the driver that develops over time. Basically, AFAIAC, that means they're breaking. I know they would be under warranty but I don't know. I thought the HD 650 were the end-all headphone yet some people do no care for them.

I have been looking at the Pioneer HDJ 2000. They are meant for DJ use but reviews have been amazing. They are comfortable as hell I am hearing and someone said recently they were amazing for PC gaming. But the fact is eBay has them cheap and SquareTrade won't cover them from eBay. If I buy a pair of headphones I have to have at-least a 3-year warranty with them.

Anyway I am seriously considering the 550s...my final questions.

1. How is the comfort level for the 550 on your head. I can keep my headphones on all night. Will it be a problem?

2. I see you a use Little Dot MK II. It's around $200 which is affordable for me. Should I pick one up? I would like to get the best out of the 550 if possible. Many people have suggested that these need an amp to get the best out of them.

3. Have you checked out the Ultrasone Pro 650 or 750 models? Are they an improved 550? I could afford them...if it's worth it...*looks in wallet*
Note: Check out this review...Someone preferred the Pro 650 over the 750.
Another review...someone preferred the 550 over the other Ultrasone models.

Those are my final questions. Thank you for your time.
Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/15/11 at 1:31pm
post #8 of 16
1. When you first put the PRO550 on, it will clamp like pretty much all headphones. My PRO550 is now a lot easier on my head and actually clamps light enough that if I shake my head, they could fall off. I have definitely gamed for over four hours straight in BC2 with them on.

2. I don't feel the LD MKII does anything for the PRO550 so that would be a waste of money unless you intend on getting some higher impedance headphones later down the road.

3. I have not had a chance to check out the PRO 650 and PRO 750 models but...I do want a PRO 900. Oh by the way, the new version of the PRO 550 is actually gray and not blue. I ordered the PRO 550 on Amazon.com and I ended up getting the gray one.

As for the reviewer who thought the PRO 550 is a dreadful headphone...well, it might just not be his cup of tea and maybe his head is a weird shape. Placement on the head is very important for the S-Logic to work properly on Ultrasone headphones. If you don't find the sweet spot, you might find the headphone lacking. Once you find the sweet spot though, everything else ceases to matter.

EDIT: After reading that review, it seems the person tried to listen to classical music with the Ultrasones. Okay, that would explain the issues and is part of the reason why I purchased the HD600. S-Logic presents classical in a VERY weird way. You feel like the stage is too big and incoherent. You can clearly tell the instruments apart but the distance in between them feels almost too much. It would be like placing a string quartet who are supposed to be side by side in four different corners of a room that's 20x10 meters (WxL). The HD600 moves them much closer together and brings coherence to classical music.
Edited by RallyMaster - 6/15/11 at 2:50pm
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I rarely listen to true classical music...maybe some video game inspired stuff like Final Fantasy (loves me some Uematsu ).

Anyway, my order for the Pro 550 has gone through. It's funny...I had the money for the higher models. I could have gotten the 750 with a three-year warranty for under $300. But I don't know if I really have the ears to notice a difference yet. All the reviews I've read on the 650 and 750 have been for music, and not for gaming. So I don't want to discover something amiss with them...you never know!

Whenever I listen to headphones, I find the bass lacking...these are considered bass-heavy so I'll probably really enjoy them. I don't really have a preference for a set of cans. I just like good-sounding music. I always screw around with the EQ anyway, which will surely be easy with Creative's software. But now I am feeling like heavy bass will immerse me better in the music I'm listening to. Like I am a part of it. Heh

These are probably a great "safe" pair to start with. Not too much money for a wonderful sound. I will post a full review when I get my card and cans in. After burn-in, of course.

Thank you, RallyMaster. iWantACookie too. In-fact, I am so damn happy I'm gonna eatz me a cookie...I'm gonna dance too.

Now I gotta find me a 20-ft gold-plated extension wire and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter 'cause I don't wanna mess with those short coiled cables. My local Radioshack should have both. I need my freedom to boogie!
Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/16/11 at 5:34pm
post #10 of 16
Excellent choice, sir!
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