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Thread: Audio Gear Info and Buyer's Guide

  1. #11
    Daeari Dae314's Avatar
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    Yaaaaaay now I don't need to PM you every time I have an audio question :D.

    General suggestions:

    1) General grammar/clarity cleanup advised. Stuff like the below made me go "o.O"
    Instead, what they mean that they actually sound like in the studio is from their judgement of how a studio sounds like from the actual studio perspective of listening to loudspeaker monitors, which is a very different experience and a very different kind of sound compared to headphones.
    2) Clean up/reorganize your types sections. For example, the way the headphone types section is currently written doesn't make it clear that there is a such thing as closed circumaural headphones. You also have 2 subsections called "types" under speakers.

    3) You have a ton of recommendations. I'd recommend doing some formatting/subsectioning to make the wall of text easier to visually parse.


  2. #12
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    ^ [CODE] and [QUOTE] tags are sexy.



  3. #13

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    Cleaned up a little bit and added even more headphones :x
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  4. #14

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    Why hello its a necro

    On topic:
    I'm still pretty new to these audio stuff, though I've been reading for a while and only own a simple pair so far (ATH-M50). So I was hoping to get some suggestion and closure on which pair to pick for my next pair!
    I've narrowed it down to these two mainly because of their price and from what I've read about their comfort and sound stage(?), which I'd like to give a try. If there are better options/suggestions, I'm all ears.

    Looking for around
    ~$160
    - does not kill ears after wearing them for >3hours
    - usually listening to J/K-pop, but a balanced pair would be nice.

    Sennheiser HD598
    ATH AD900X

    I hope someone actually sees this post since it's way at the bottom.

    E: messed links
    Last edited by AcrylicBlaze; 22nd June 2015 at 01:22 AM.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcrylicBlaze View Post
    Why hello its a necro
    Wow it's been 2 years... Necro indeed @_@ many changes to prices and stuff has affected purchase decisions since then, but if you just want the comparison, the HD598 is a better rounded headphone but harder to drive and the AD900X is more comfy and easier to drive.

    You don't necessarily need an amp for either but it's more advisable to have one for the HD598 than the AD900X. If you already have a decent amplifier, you should also take a look at the AKG K612; it's a more demanding headphone (I wouldn't recommend it without a decent amp), but it's a bit faster and more lively compared to the HD598, while still having a more prominent bass compared to the AD900X (may or may not matter, J-pop in general is a bit less bassy than K-pop(?; don't listen to K-pop much) and definitely less prominent bass notes than western pop, so brighter headphones with tight but light bass might work out for you). In the end, it really just depends on you, the HD598 and AD900X is generally pretty playable without amps (both definitely benefit from one, moreso the HD598) with the HD598 being a little more rounded and the AD900X being brighter; the newer K612 option (you can definitely get sound out of it off regular devices, but it really wants at least a decent amp) is probably described as somewhere in between: lively and neutral, more bass than the AD900X and faster than the HD598.

    And for soundstage, AD900X > K612 > HD598 (the differences are actually super minor; if you really want to focus on soundstage the AD700X or K702 65th Anniversary are better for that sort of thing)

    One thing to note about all of them is that they don't have a removable cable, and the HD598 actually defaults to a 6.3mm connector with included 3.5 adapter, which might be cumbersome with certain setups, and probably more so with mobile devices.

    Spoiler!
    Last edited by FanOfKOTOKO; 18th July 2015 at 05:21 AM.
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by FanOfKOTOKO View Post
    Spoiler!



    Thanks for replying! I was about to finally order today after deciding on the HD598 paired with a FiiO E10 (seems to be a cheap desktop DAC/amp option?), but now I'm a little torn between the HD598 and the K612. Especially since I'm booked on getting an amp with either of them, I might as well give the K612 a go.

    I originally decided on the HD598 over the AD900X since it seemed to be the more well rounded pair like you mentioned, but the K612 with a brighter sound and looks vs the HD598's warmth .... Tough call


    Actually, would the FiiO E10 be able to pull off the K612?
    Last edited by AcrylicBlaze; 19th July 2015 at 02:41 AM.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcrylicBlaze View Post
    [/SPOILER]


    Thanks for replying! I was about to finally order today after deciding on the HD598 paired with a FiiO E10 (seems to be a cheap desktop DAC/amp option?), but now I'm a little torn between the HD598 and the K612. Especially since I'm booked on getting an amp with either of them, I might as well give the K612 a go.

    I originally decided on the HD598 over the AD900X since it seemed to be the more well rounded pair like you mentioned, but the K612 with a brighter sound and looks vs the HD598's warmth .... Tough call


    Actually, would the FiiO E10 be able to pull off the K612?
    Power, totally. The E10 is a pretty decent amp but you just need to remember that it basically negates your on-board audio (which may or may not be better, really depends nowadays since they started to add pretty powerful stuff as the on-board audio); it's a decent amp for most headphones, but on certain headphones you might need to EQ a little to get rid of some harshness off the treble, so keep that in mind.

    But yeah, either choice is pretty good. If you do decide on the K612 just remember that's a more fragile headphone in comparison, so be careful with it :P
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  8. #18
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    Oh hey, this thread's back, you guys mind if I chime in?

    I'm currently using an ATH-PRO5MK2, but I'm looking for a new pair of headphones at the moment. They aren't uncomfortable, but after wearing them for an extended period of time, the cushions kind of gradually deflate and the inside of the headphones pushes against my ears, which gets extremely uncomfortable - painful, even. This is pretty much a deal breaker, since in most cases I'd like to have headphones on for several hours. That being said, could I get some recommendations for a new pair? These are my criteria, roughly in order of importance.

    • Must be able to wear them for a few hours without feeling like my head has been in a G-clamp. I'm not sure how much of this comes down to the headphones and how much of it is based on the shape of my head, but I had no real problems in regards to comfort with my old Ozone Attack headset (though that was a pretty garbage piece of equipment). Perhaps some sort of open headphones would suit my purposes better? I've heard most Sennheiser models are good with this.
    • Circumaural or bust. I can't stand on-ear.
    • Would be preferable if the cord was on one side only, mainly for aesthetic reasons, though also somewhat for practicality. I just like it more that way, it seems more manageable and it was one of the factors that led me to buy the ATH-PRO5MK2 in the first place.
    • Non-coiled cord. I didn't think a coiled cord would be much of an annoyance when I bought my current phones, but I was proven wrong extremely quickly. I hate it.

    I think a general-purpose headphone would be best, since I'm not particularly devoted to one source of audio, if that makes any sense. I listen to a wide array of music and play a good number of games too, all with different audio levels, so I'm not trying to focus heavily on one aspect of audio. I don't have a real budget, but I'm willing to pay for quality. I've made the mistake of going for a cheaper option and finding out it was garbage way too many times. However, that doesn't mean I'd happily buy something excessively expensive just for the sake of it. "Something reasonably priced to suit my purposes" would probably be the best description. To reiterate, I'm not a major audiophile, I just want to hear nice sounds for a long time without physical pain.

    Also I kind of want a DAC. I'm not quite sure what the specifics are, but as far as I know, they're basically an external sound card, which makes your stuff sound nicer. I have a pair of cheap $5~ speakers I bought to use when I couldn't stand keeping my headphones on any longer, but they produce some really annoying static when they're set to low/high volumes. Even when muted. Apparently this is because they're plugged directly into the motherboard and I'm supposed to use the front panels or something, I don't really know. I just like the idea of having a DAC because it makes my battlestation look cooler.

    Think you guys could help me out?



  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by blankaex View Post
    Spoiler!
    A DAC does exactly what it says: it's primary (and pretty much only) function is translate a binary signal into an electrical one that (in this case) can be recognized by your audio equipment and thus output audio; it won't necessarily make your stuff sound better unless the one built into your current PC is total garbage or the audio equipment in question is very picky.

    But let's address everything one by one since you're asking a lot:

    As far as headphone comfort is concerned, it really depends on your head; certain headphones obvious fit certain heads differently. Even very comfortable headphones feel clampy if you wear them for too long (sometimes it takes you like half the day or more to feel significant discomfort), it's just something you'll have to accept if you're grabbing a pair of headphones. Depending on your budget (I'm assuming you want to stick around the <$300), you have a decent selection of good open headphones that are relatively light. AcrylicBlaze mentioned the HD598 and AD900X and I mentioned the K612, all three are pretty good for gaming and music alike, and none of them have coiled cables (I have no problem with coiled cables might just be how you set up your audio systems). Another option would be the Philips Fidelio X1 which is a warmer headphone compared to those three, with thicker bass. At this price range the DT990PRO is also a great pair of headphones if you can drive them, but has a coiled cable.

    Considering you have $5 speakers I just going to assume you don't care too much about them. I'm not totally sure why they're staticy, it might be the motherboard or it might not; it doesn't really matter if you plug them in the front or back as well since it's the same source. If you're willing to replace your current speakers, the AmazonBasics A100 is a fantasticly cheap pair of stereo speakers. Otherwise, if you want a good pair of stereo speakers, I would go for the Edifier E10 instead, but it's closer to $100 instead of <$15 on the A100. Otherwise I have a lot of friends enjoying Logitech's selection of PC speakers as well.

    And as far as DACs go, integrated ones found on most desktop motherboards nowadays are actually of pretty high quality compared to the last decade and some of the higher end ones also have a dedicated or semi-dedicated audio chipset (I believe several models of recent MSi Sniper gaming motherboards went as far as including an on-board audio solution that used a pretty powerful op-amp as a amplifier). So if that's the case with your computer and the audio isn't broken you can just get away with using a good amp instead (something like a Schiit Magni is a great investment since that thing can pretty much power any headphone you need for ~$120 and especially just about any dynamic headphone within the ~$400-500 range, it just doesn't pair well with some headphones, mostly higher end models that are very clinical). Otherwise, if you need a DAC/amp alternative so you can replace your on-board audio, the FiiO E10 or E10K is a great budget all-around DAC/amp and it has a line out on the back for speakers. Similarly sized DAC/amps are the Audioengine D1 (~$160) and the Nuforce uDAC3 (~$130), but you need a L/R to aux converter to use them with speakers that only has a aux connection. Alternatively if you want something with a slightly larger presence on your desk, the Audiotrak Prodigy Cube is a nice one because it does the same things as the other three, but has a switch for you to switch between your headphones and speakers.

    If you do grab one of those, be sure to just grab a L/R to auxiliary converter if you're planning on using your speakers with the DAC/amp. The Schiit Magni needs one just to receive the audio from the computer.
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  10. #20
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, as well as taking the time to link everything. I really appreciate that. It's a shame about the headphones, but I'll still hit up some shops and try them out. The info about DACs and AMPs was very helpful too; the switch on the Audiotrak Prodigy Cube looks really convenient. If I ever manage to pick up some stuff or have any other questions, I'll drop by again to let you know.



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