Wanting to buy a pair of highish-end headphones which ones do you guys recommend? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Wanting to buy a pair of highish-end headphones which ones do you guys recommend?

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Wanting to buy a pair of highish-end headphones which ones do you guys recommend?

I'm just now getting into the "audiophile" scene and I'm wanting to get some nice quality headphones and a use a modmic to make it into a headset. The only game I really play is World of Warcraft and mostly just talk with friends and listen to music (everything but rap). I've been looking on Massdrop and just wondering if these https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdro...adphones#specs are worth it or should I just spend less for my first pair? I don't mind spending the money if it's well spent. As far as a amp goes would https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdro...ube-hybrid-amp go well with them or other pairs?

I know nothing about higher end audio stuff and some of the Massdrop stuff seems like its just using a name to sell a lower end product but both have great reviews for what it's worth.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 12:29 AM
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First, the obligatory "what's your budget?" question.
Second, could you name the models you're linking? I can't see them properly at work.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the absolute max I want to spend is around $1000 for the headphones and the amp, if I can spend less and get close to the same quality/sound then I'm always down for that.

The Headphones I linked were the Massdrop x Focal Elex and the Amp was the Massdrop x Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH)

Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:52 AM
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What about the DAC? Are you planning on using whatever you already have?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 04:42 AM
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Requesting Some Audio Advice Here? READ THIS FIRST!

Without knowing your music tastes and other needs (for example do you need a DAC, and what gear you are currently using), I would recommend a lower-end setup:

DAC+amp:
- Massdrop O2 + SDAC
- Schiit Modi + Magni stack
- JDS Labs stuff (The Element, Atom amp, OL DAC, etc.)
If we are talking about desktop use, I would put preamp outputs as a mandatory feature for the amplifier. Plugging your speakers directly to the amp/DAC makes your life easier while also giving all the DAC benefits to the speakers too.

Headphones:
- Sennheiser HD58X
- Hifiman HE-4XX
- AKG K7XX
Personally I would go with HE4XX because they are planars (and I have the HE400 which they are based on). Planar is love, planar is life.

Ppl should learn to add more info to their posts when they ask for help...
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 05:38 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post
Personally I would go with HE4XX because they are planars (and I have the HE400 which they are based on). Planar is love, planar is life.
With OP's budget, the Sundara would be a better option.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post
Requesting Some Audio Advice Here? READ THIS FIRST!

Without knowing your music tastes and other needs (for example do you need a DAC, and what gear you are currently using), I would recommend a lower-end setup:

DAC+amp:
- Massdrop O2 + SDAC
- Schiit Modi + Magni stack
- JDS Labs stuff (The Element, Atom amp, OL DAC, etc.)
If we are talking about desktop use, I would put preamp outputs as a mandatory feature for the amplifier. Plugging your speakers directly to the amp/DAC makes your life easier while also giving all the DAC benefits to the speakers too.

Headphones:
- Sennheiser HD58X
- Hifiman HE-4XX
- AKG K7XX
Personally I would go with HE4XX because they are planars (and I have the HE400 which they are based on). Planar is love, planar is life.

Thanks for all the info! Yeah I was thinking I was overdoing it with the Focal's, lol. So another question, I guess I didn't think about that Amp just being an Amp and not an Amp/DAC combo so yes I 100% need a DAC. I have a set of Yamaha HS5's and was looking into getting an HS8s Sub to go with them for a desktop speaker setup. Would the JDS Labs Element be a good match for that and one of the three headphones you linked? I know the HS5's have XLR and RCA connections on them and I believe you just run the outputs through the Sub and them to speakers to use the cutout built into the sub correct?

Trying to rap my head around all of this, lol

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:46 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Jakerz View Post
Thanks for all the info! Yeah I was thinking I was overdoing it with the Focal's, lol. So another question, I guess I didn't think about that Amp just being an Amp and not an Amp/DAC combo so yes I 100% need a DAC. I have a set of Yamaha HS5's and was looking into getting an HS8s Sub to go with them for a desktop speaker setup. Would the JDS Labs Element be a good match for that and one of the three headphones you linked? I know the HS5's have XLR and RCA connections on them and I believe you just run the outputs through the Sub and them to speakers to use the cutout built into the sub correct?

Trying to rap my head around all of this, lol

Jake
HS5 are powered grounded speakers. Personally I would recommend a DAC that uses optical input instead of USB connection, as the grounding issues can be pure cancer sometimes.
Grounded speakers are not meant to be connected to grounded PC with unbalanced connection, it pretty much always ends up with a groundloop where massive amounts of noise from the motherboard leaks to the audio channel. Using optical connection cuts the groundloop and everyone is happy, Ground Loop Isolator (GLI) or balanced connections can also be used to mend the issue. But optical is pretty much the most trustworthy method (because optical fiber doesn't transfer electricity).

Of course if the speakers are currently plugged directly to your PC and you don't have noise issues, then the stars have aligned and the grounding won't be an issue with the Element (hopefully...).
And here is the manual for HS8S/HS5. Connection recommendation according to it: DAC-RCA-->sub-"Phone Jack" and sub-XLR-->speaker-XLR.

Also keep in mind that the RCA outputs the Element has is line-out type.
Meaning that it blasts the volume forward to the speakers in 100% (or according to the level you set in Windows) and the volume knob won't affect it at all.

Ppl should learn to add more info to their posts when they ask for help...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah ok, good to know. I pulled the trigger on the AKG K7XX's the other night before the drop ended so those should be here next week. I think I'm just going to get some cheaper desktop speakers and use the HS5's for something else down the road, anytime I'm on my PC I have a headset on talking to friends or listening to music so I think spending another $450 on a sub and trying to set that up may just be a waste, lol.

Thanks!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 05:03 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Jakerz View Post
Ah ok, good to know. I pulled the trigger on the AKG K7XX's the other night before the drop ended so those should be here next week. I think I'm just going to get some cheaper desktop speakers and use the HS5's for something else down the road, anytime I'm on my PC I have a headset on talking to friends or listening to music so I think spending another $450 on a sub and trying to set that up may just be a waste, lol.

Thanks!

Jake

$450?! My sub is about 2x more powerful than I ever need (I could have spent half as much and been just as happy) and the entire setup still came in well under $250, just do some shopping. SMSL SA50, some T15s, and a Polk Audio PSW10 brand new can be had for like $210. The PSW10 comes up scratch and dent on Crutchfield/Amazon fairly often for $70 and it'd drop the price to ~$170 for the entire kit.

If you'll never use it ... then yeah, skip it. But you don't need a $450 budget for amp/bookshelf speakers/sub to get something that sounds fantastic.

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