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The Audiophile Thread


DEALUX

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What about Meze Audio? Sennheiser and AKG are pretty well known and are good too but what about some brands that are really good and yet underrated? Meze Empyrean is a bit over the top but the 99 Classics are damn good. Wide soundstage, no sibilance at all and lots of details are there. The bass might be a bit much but for me it sounds very good. And the design is so damn good🥰

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3 hours ago, SilverRST said:

What about Meze Audio? Sennheiser and AKG are pretty well known and are good too but what about some brands that are really good and yet underrated? Meze Empyrean is a bit over the top but the 99 Classics are damn good. Wide soundstage, no sibilance at all and lots of details are there. The bass might be a bit much but for me it sounds very good. And the design is so damn good🥰

I like the look of the Empyrean and the design but their other products are kinda meh. And I'd pick the LCD-4 over the Empyrean due to its apparent superior resolution and dynamics even though that thing is $4000 lol. In fact I'm saving up to get one as an upgrade to my LCD-2 once I upgrade my DAC and amp set-up.

 

 

Edited by DEALUX
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48 minutes ago, DEALUX said:

I like the look of the Empyrean and the design but their other products are kinda meh. And I'd pick the LCD-4 over the Empyrean due to its apparent superior resolution and dynamics even though that thing is $4000 lol. In fact I'm saving up to get one as an upgrade to my LCD-2 once I upgrade my DAC and amp set-up.

 

 

The Neo is meh lol.

 

To me, I think the Amiron Home is the best I have. (For now). Great long range soundstage, amazing wearing comfort and despite it's high impedance, it's easy to drive on portable devices. Got it for €100 less too. I wish there would be Amiron Home Copper edition but oh well.

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  • 1 month later...

Desktop or portable? Budget?

 

The Schiit Magni 3 or Magni Hereasy is a pretty decent ~$100 option for high impedance headphones.

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4 hours ago, DEADWOODZ said:

Any recommendations on an amp/dac for the Beyerdynamics DT 990 Pro 250hms? main purpose is gaming, I'm stuck on where to ask...looked everywhere but nothing.

I'm buying the SMSL M500 soon. It measures really great but might be out of your budget slightly.

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-m500-dac-and-hp-amp-review.9606/

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5 minutes ago, DEADWOODZ said:

Would the FiiO E10K drive the DT 990 Pro's? Thanks for the feedback! Also would be used for desktop gaming.

Hmmm. Your cans are fairly hard to drive it seems. I remember the E10K struggling to power my similarly inefficient K612s. I'd recommend a JDS Labs Atom if you're strapped for cash and get a cable to connect it to your laptop or device or choice. Not the best option but the Atom is a great amp but doesn't come with a DAC.

 

https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/

 

Edit: Topping DX3 is also a good choice and comes with a DAC.

Edited by DEALUX
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At this point i guess anything will be better then on board sound my motherboard is a asus rog strix z390-f, I can get the E10K for a fairly cheap price. So I'll save for something more expensive later on down the line.

 

Thanks again! 

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On 3/14/2020 at 12:13 AM, DEADWOODZ said:

At this point i guess anything will be better then on board sound my motherboard is a asus rog strix z390-f, I can get the E10K for a fairly cheap price. So I'll save for something more expensive later on down the line.

 

Thanks again! 

Sorry but any reason why you'll go for a more expensive amp? I have the E10K and my DT770 can get really loud and that one is one of the least efficient.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My AudioEngine speaker have unfortunately given up the ghost today so I've finally pulled my finger out of my arse and ordered a passive set and amplifier.

Got some second-hand Q-Acoustics 2010i's for an excellent price, plus took a gamble on a Sabaj A4 to power them.

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On 4/9/2020 at 3:11 PM, sivispacem said:

My AudioEngine speaker have unfortunately given up the ghost today so I've finally pulled my finger out of my arse and ordered a passive set and amplifier.

Got some second-hand Q-Acoustics 2010i's for an excellent price, plus took a gamble on a Sabaj A4 to power them.

I wonder if it's worth going with passive speakers at that price. My studio monitors are more expensive but they sound pretty sh*tty in comparison with headphones lol.

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9 hours ago, DEALUX said:

I wonder if it's worth going with passive speakers at that price. My studio monitors are more expensive but they sound pretty sh*tty in comparison with headphones lol.

The 2010is are super highly regarded, plus I generally prefer to use speakers when I'm at home as I can keep an ear out for the cats/baby being arses.

I did manage to fix my A2s so will decide whether I want to keep my actives or passives once the Q Acoustics arrive (which should be today)

 

Managed to lose my Sennheiser Momentum Frees so bought a set of Cambridge Audio Melomanias to replace them as daily/knockaround/out-and-about wireless IEMs. They're pretty exceptional for the price.

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Any of you guys use Sennheiser IE 80s? Or any IEMs that loop around your ear and come in from the top? I think I've bought, like, 3 OEM replacement cables and 3 cheapo eBay ones. All broke within a month or so. And the included thing that helps them retain their shape is too cumbersome, ruins the snug fit. I even tried making my own cable, and it worked... for a few uses and was terrible in every way, and nearly impossible to solder.

Anyway, I don't use IEMs much now, because I listen to music on headphones (M50x) at work and speakers at home. But I would love to listen to some choonz while walking out and about, and I don't like the feeling of walking around with the large headphones on my head.

And all that is sorta moot as well, because my phone's headphone jack is borked and it cuts out with the slightest movement. I have to wrestle with it for a couple of minutes before it starts working. I've ordered a replacement jack that I'll try to install.

 

Anyway, ideas about the cable situation?

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So got my Q-Acoustics wired up to my Sabaj amp. They're absolutely fantastic to be fair, a huge step up from the A2s. Amp has no issue at all driving them. Only issue is the quality of the treble and midrange emphasises the lack of bass so I'm going to pick up a matching sub to support them. 

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  • 1 month later...

8l69jll.png

 

Got my HD800 today. They sound fairly well balanced out of the box but they improve drastically with EQ. I use oratory1990's 5-band EQ for these and the result is superb. These blow the LCD-2 out of the water for clarity but they do have slightly anemic bass perhaps but I was willing to trade planar bass for way more clarity which these provide.

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I recently inherited one of these Heahkit UA-1 mono amps and was wondering if anyone has opinions on if it is worth the time and cost of reconditioning for a little mono turntable setup. Pricing a restored one they seem to be about $500 (if I wanted to run a pair).

I have no idea if it even powers up, I have not plugged it in because it has been sitting for years and I don't know if the cap is any good, and apparently a bad cap can blow the tubes.

 

(Not my pic, my UA-1 is several states away)

ua1.JPG

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so I've had the regular Airpods for a while now, and both times the sound on the left side has started to die. I've still got warranty, but I just can't be bothered anymore. I've got some money to spend on new and better earphones, so I'm better off just upgrading.

 

At first, I considered upgrading to the Airpods Pro, but there are obviously better options for around the same price. What brands would you suggest? Sony, Bose, Seinheisser, Shure, etc? 

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12 hours ago, Arrows to Athens said:

At first, I considered upgrading to the Airpods Pro, but there are obviously better options for around the same price. What brands would you suggest? Sony, Bose, Seinheisser, Shure, etc? 

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s or Sony WF-1000XM3s. Go for the latter if you care about noise cancelling and the former if you don't.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm looking to upgrade my headphones, which I specifically only use with my PC to listen to music and watch movies. I've got my eyes set on the Sennhesier HD 598's and HD 599's.

 

I've read they're near audiophile-levels of sound, and they don't break the bank, being priced at only $200. Amazon do the HD 599's at a cheaper price, too. I'm looking to get either one in a couple month's time.

 

Anyone ever used them? If so, are they a recommend for great-sounding casual listening and an immersive movie experience? And are the 599's any better than the 598's in terms of sound? Or are they practically the same?

Edited by Arrows to Athens
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@DEALUX is your man, I believe he's had some decent ear time with the HD598s. I have to say I don't particularly like them from what I've heard, I can't remember exactly why but I suspect they erred on the boring- IIRC they were quite flat and not hugely engaging even when properly driven.

 

For £200 home listening earphones I would look at something open back like the BeyerDynamic DT990 Pro in 80ohm. You'll have enough slack in your budget for a headphone amplifier too.

 

If you want closed back the best I've personally tried at around the £200 mark for similar listening to you (IE quite metal heavy) is the Audio-Technica ATH-990Z. They push the budget slightly and they are definitely not meant for critical listening (IE they're a little coloured) but they are the most fun headphones to listen to I think I've ever owned.

 

Amazing clarity and soundstage for a closed back, slightly warm top end rather than harsh as some of the critical listening headphones often are, but really come alive in the mids and midbass. Relistening to stuff I've heard a dozen times on other headphones ranging from £40 to £400 in price and I now hear detail I never heard before, even through so-called "reference" headphones. 

 

One caveat, and this applies more broadly across all quality headphones at this price point...they tend to be fairly brutal with poorly produced, mixed and mastered music. This is an issue across most genres these days because of the Loudness War but it's particularly pronounced in metalcore and deathcore. Cheap muddy headphones lacking in balance can disguise a DR3 production job, even flatter it, but you won't get that kind of mercy with audiophile grade cans. There are whole albums I used to rather enjoy which I cannot physically listen to anymore because they are truly insufferable terribly produced messes. 

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2 hours ago, sivispacem said:

@DEALUX is your man, I believe he's had some decent ear time with the HD598s. I have to say I don't particularly like them from what I've heard, I can't remember exactly why but I suspect they erred on the boring- IIRC they were quite flat and not hugely engaging even when properly driven.

 

For £200 home listening earphones I would look at something open back like the BeyerDynamic DT990 Pro in 80ohm. You'll have enough slack in your budget for a headphone amplifier too.

I actually had the HD600, which were part of the same family of headphones but were brighter overall than the 598 and 599. Not too bright but sounded very airy and open.

 

Wow, you have an increased tolerance to treble if you like those Beyers. You might like the HD800 stock but they're not as bassy or full in the mids as most of those Beyer cans.

6 hours ago, Arrows to Athens said:

I've read they're near audiophile-levels of sound, and they don't break the bank, being priced at only $200. Amazon do the HD 599's at a cheaper price, too. I'm looking to get either one in a couple month's time.

 

Anyone ever used them? If so, are they a recommend for great-sounding casual listening and an immersive movie experience? And are the 599's any better than the 598's in terms of sound? Or are they practically the same?

I would recommend the Drop Sennheiser HD6XX. Probably the most audiophile tuning in any headphone with somewhat laid back treble but very neutral tonal balance overall. They won't sound fatiguing at all.

 

 

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@sivispacem @DEALUX I appreciate the info and suggestions! However, I'm looking for headphones that are just under $200. I already shelled out $300 for a pair of MTW2's, and I need to be saving my money. I just want something that is just under $200, is close to audiophile-levels of sound quality, and is comfortable and enjoyable enough for long critical listening.

 

I will be mostly using the headphones for music listening and movie watching. On top of that, the HD598's and HD599's come in a beige/ivory colour scheme, which I really do like. The classic black on headphones I find a bit too simple and boring. 

 

How do the HD599's compare to the HD598's? I do prefer the look of the HD598's, but they're a bit more expensive, and it seems like the HD599's, which are supposed to be an updated version, have slightly better bass and clarity, but I could be wrong. I also want movie soundtracks to really shine.

 

I really feel like getting one of those two. If you know of any headphones in similar price range, let me know, and I'll check them out.

 

Last question: Open back or closed back for sound accuracy and quality? From what I've read, open backs are better for soundstage and clarity and stuff like that.

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8 hours ago, Arrows to Athens said:

critical listening.

AKG K712 Pro would be my suggestion. Should be bang-on the same prices as the HD598/599 and IMO a much better pair of headphones. 

If you really want one of the Sennheisers then fill your boots, just know you could get substantially better for the same price.

 

8 hours ago, Arrows to Athens said:

Last question: Open back or closed back for sound accuracy and quality? From what I've read, open backs are better for soundstage and clarity and stuff like that.

It depends. Typically open-backed have a better soundstage and instrument separation but they can lack attack/drive. Clarity it can go either way.

personally prefer closed back as a general rule as if I'm using headphones I'm usually trying to blot out some kind of background noise;

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14 hours ago, Arrows to Athens said:

How do the HD599's compare to the HD598's? I do prefer the look of the HD598's, but they're a bit more expensive, and it seems like the HD599's, which are supposed to be an updated version, have slightly better bass and clarity, but I could be wrong. I also want movie soundtracks to really shine.

That seems to be the case. I haven't compared them myself but judging by frequency response graphs, the 599 is the more correct sounding one. It seems to be similar to the HD600 in sound but with more laid back treble. You can't go wrong with that.

5 hours ago, sivispacem said:

AKG K712 Pro would be my suggestion. Should be bang-on the same prices as the HD598/599 and IMO a much better pair of headphones. 

If you really want one of the Sennheisers then fill your boots, just know you could get substantially better for the same price.

 

It depends. Typically open-backed have a better soundstage and instrument separation but they can lack attack/drive. Clarity it can go either way.

personally prefer closed back as a general rule as if I'm using headphones I'm usually trying to blot out some kind of background noise;

They're better in terms of detail probably (it's been a while since I heard one) but the frequency response is all over the place, especially in the mids. They have a very specific tuning to the mids that is interesting in a way but not the most natural for sure. I reckon if I had to pick an AKG now, it would be the K612, which is significantly cheaper and more neutral in its tuning. Still slightly bright for me but very good overall. Oh, and the soundstage of the K612 is really big too, noticeably bigger than the Sennheiser stuff (probably close to the HD800).

 

For dynamic stuff, yeah, closed backs tend to have more extended bass but when you get into planars that's no longer a limitation. Even with the latest revision of the Hifiman Sundara, which is a cheap(ish) planar, you get really good bass extension and more detailed/natural sounding bass for an open-back (though it's worth noting that the flat bass and lack of distortion means that the impact will come across as softer).

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  • 6 months later...
On 8/2/2020 at 10:07 AM, sivispacem said:

For £200 home listening earphones I would look at something open back like the BeyerDynamic DT990 Pro in 80ohm. You'll have enough slack in your budget for a headphone amplifier too.

I actually got the DT990 (600 Ohm) for $120 (slightly used) a while back. Man was I stupid for ignoring Beyer stuff.

 

The first time I put them on and started listening to the Game of Thrones theme (orchestral is useful for evaluating imaging and treble clarity) I thought I forgot to switch from speakers to the headphone amp on my A90. It felt like speakers where playing in the room, a very good first impression. Those positive thoughts continued but I did get annoyed by the treble after a while so I followed oratory's suggestion and removed 6K and 8K respectively by 4 dB and made some minor modifications to the mids and sub bass to warm up the sound: https://i.imgur.com/K6emxYq.png

 

But after a while I adjusted to the sharpness and I think earpad wear actually tames the treble too (can be seen in oratory's measurements) and the clarity is just...holy sh*t. They are so articulate and clear. They compete directly with the $1500 HD800S and I think the imaging is more natural and more consistently in front of your face. This has to be my favorite headphone to date. Might upgrade to the 1990 later this year for better build and slightly less aggressive and easier to EQ treble.

 

E2tLAjK.png

Edited by DEALUX
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On 2/15/2021 at 11:12 PM, DEALUX said:

I actually got the DT990 (600 Ohm) for $120 (slightly used) a while back. Man was I stupid for ignoring Beyer stuff.

 

The first time I put them on and started listening to the Game of Thrones theme (orchestral is useful for evaluating imaging and treble clarity) I thought I forgot to switch from speakers to the headphone amp on my A90. It felt like speakers where playing in the room, a very good first impression. Those positive thoughts continued but I did get annoyed by the treble after a while so I followed oratory's suggestion and removed 6K and 8K respectively by 4 dB and made some minor modifications to the mids and sub bass to warm up the sound: https://i.imgur.com/K6emxYq.png

 

But after a while I adjusted to the sharpness and I think earpad wear actually tames the treble too (can be seen in oratory's measurements) and the clarity is just...holy sh*t. They are so articulate and clear. They compete directly with the $1500 HD800S and I think the imaging is more natural and more consistently in front of your face. This has to be my favorite headphone to date. Might upgrade to the 1990 later this year for better build and slightly less aggressive and easier to EQ treble.

 

E2tLAjK.png

Beyerdynamic makes amazing audio stuff like the headphones. I have 5 Beyer headphones lol

The DT990 is usually known for painfull treble. I'm sensitive to painfull "sss" so the DT990 probably would murder my ears. I do have the DT880 250ohm and it's one of my favorites. The soundstage is big and am not sure why it's labeled as semi-open. The Beyer Tygr 300R seems to be a DT990 with less aggressive treble.

Edited by SilverRST
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I've just got some 80ohm DT770s, don't really have much to say about them, they're nice. Had them a while. Got a bit of treble that irritates my tinnitus sometimes tho, but I can deal with it.

https://imgur.com/a/VdnPuLE

 

Got a question, is an ex-display ATH-A1000x for about 470 aud a deal I should go for or pass on?

 

Should I get some photos of my grandma's old audio and home theatre setup some time? The audio stuff is from a dead brand so I have pretty much zero info on it.

 

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