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Help With Audiophile Setup on a Budget

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm looking for a nice set of cans for about $200 tops. I'll be using them mostly for listening to music (electro, trance, dubstep, dnb) and also a bit of gaming (not as important). I'd like a more bassy headphone without compromising the mids and trebles in a trance tune. I'm currently looking at these Beyerdynamic DT 770 PROs (250ohm). What do you guys think of them? I'd appreciate other suggestions as well.

Also, an amp/sound card is something I'll be getting a bit down the road, so can someone recommend me one of those? I wouldn't want to spend more than $50-$75.

BTW, I'm upgrading from a set of beats studios (I agree with your hate), so what kind of performance increase should I be expecting?
post #2 of 19
Ultrasone Pro 550 is what I would go with. The Beyer DT770s are also a good choice, but the 250s might need a bit of amplification power. If you go with Beyers it's either the Pro 80 ohm or 600 ohm. Everything else is bust.

I wouldn't worry about a headphone amp for now. Work on a DAC/Soundcard for now and a good pair of headphones like the above listed.
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Are the Pro 550s better sounding than the DT770 Pros? Ah, I see. If I end up going with the Beyers I'll get the 80 ohm.

Would a sound card like this do? I'd want to stick to PCI rather than PCI-E since I don't want to block out my GTX680 backplate with a sound card wink.gif

EDIT: Sorry for the noob question but what is DAC?
post #4 of 19
As for which headphones sound better, different people have different opinions and it will really depend on what you're looking for, but in the least, most people would say the Beyerdynamics are more comfortable, but larger and definitely less portable.

Some higher-end headphones have high enough impedance and are insensitive enough that they aren't sufficiently loud unless you're running them from a more powerful headphone output. DT 770 Pro 250 ohms is quite arguably in that category. The 80 ohms version should be louder with a given source and probably okay for most peoples' tastes (almost definitely with the kind of music you're talking about).

A DAC is a digital-to-analog converter. In this context we're talking about converting digital audio data to an analog voltage waveform, which is required to get any sound. It's what every sound card and integrated audio chip has inside. To drive headphones you furthermore need the output of the DAC to be buffered by some kind of electronics that functions as a headphone amp, that can drive headphones when given that input voltage signal. That's also included behind every headphone jack. Sometimes when people say "DAC" they are talking about a chip that has that functionality; other times they're talking about a whole device--the DAC chip itself and all the surrounding electronics to support it. Yet other times, they're referring to a dedicated external DAC device with an integrated headphone amplifier (this is what Simca is talking about).

Sometimes the terminology is confusing to a newbie, but I err on the side of too much information rather than too little, and I think too many people err on the side of too little information. Sorry for being sloppy with my explanations. (edited a bit for clarity I hope)

In many situations it's better to get an external sound card or DAC, since internal sound cards can easily pick up interference from all the massive amounts of current switching around your GPU and GPU VRMs, not to mention the other electrically noisy stuff inside your computer. If you just want a cheap internal sound card to drive most headphones okay, it's not that powerful, but the Asus Xonar DG is usually recommended.
Edited by mikeaj - 4/7/12 at 8:05pm
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

As for which headphones sound better, different people have different opinions and it will really depend on what you're looking for, but in the least, most people would say the Beyerdynamics are more comfortable, but larger and definitely less portable.
Some higher-end headphones have high enough impedance and are insensitive enough that they aren't sufficiently loud unless you're running them from a more powerful headphone output. DT 770 Pro 250 ohms is quite arguably in that category. The 80 ohms version should be louder with a given source and probably okay for most peoples' tastes (almost definitely with the kind of music you're talking about).
A DAC is a digital-to-analog converter. In this context we're talking about converting digital audio data to an analog voltage waveform, which is required to get any sound. It's what every sound card and integrated audio chip has inside. To drive headphones you furthermore need the output of the DAC to be buffered by some kind of electronics that functions as a headphone amp, that can drive headphones when given that input voltage signal. That's also included behind every headphone jack. Sometimes when people say "DAC" they are talking about a chip that has that functionality; other times they're talking about a whole device--the DAC chip itself and all the surrounding electronics to support it. Yet other times, they're referring to a dedicated external DAC device with an integrated headphone amplifier (this is what Simca is talking about).
Sometimes the terminology is confusing to a newbie, but I err on the side of too much information rather than too little, and I think too many people err on the side of too little information. Sorry for being sloppy with my explanations. (edited a bit for clarity I hope)
In many situations it's better to get an external sound card or DAC, since internal sound cards can easily pick up interference from all the massive amounts of current switching around your GPU and GPU VRMs, not to mention the other electrically noisy stuff inside your computer. If you just want a cheap internal sound card to drive most headphones okay, it's not that powerful, but the Asus Xonar DG is usually recommended.

Thanks for the input. I think I'll go with the DT 770 Pros 80 ohm. Comfortability is a much valued property of headphones for me and portability won't be an issue as I won't be taking these out of the house very often.

As for the explanation, I got most of it, nice job thumb.gif

I agree with it making more sense to get an external sound card/amp. Would something like the FiiO E10 be a good choice?
post #6 of 19
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm in Canada so that eBay site is the best price I can get.

If I can get 250ohm and 80ohm for the same price which should I get?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just found this. Is it for real? Basically like a free set of HPX4000s which are $35 headphones.

This might be a total miss, but if I buy that package above with the 250 ohm version and the other headphones, would the 250 ohm version with no amp be equal to the 80 ohm version with no amp, but the 250 ohm will be better than the 80 ohm with an amp?
post #9 of 19
they are a 20$ head set get it smile.gif
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackeduphard View Post

they are a 20$ head set get it smile.gif

That's what I was thinking, but will the 250ohm version sound okay without an amp for now? I'm thinking it's a better choice to get the 80ohm version from Amazon for $200, that way they'll sound like they're supposed to sound while I'm occasionally listening to music from my phone. What do you guys think?
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