I want to get into headphones - need advice

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apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #40 on: 4 Oct 2017, 04:21 pm »
The IEMs I use in my office recently broke, and I've been in need of a replacement.  Earlier this week I received a $100 amazon gift card, so I decided to start shopping and came across this thread.

Some quick facts:
I also own salks (songtowers and HT2-TLs)
I wanted a neutral sound
I wanted closed over ear for office use
I have a small amp, but wanted something that would work off a phone or ipod
I wanted to stay under $200.

After reading this thread and a quick search online, I went with NAD HP50.  The red version is on Amazon for $150. After my gift card, I got them shipped for a total of $50  :dance:

I'll try to report back once I get a chance to listen.  I've had a couple sets of sub $100 over ear headphones, and some fairly nice Etymotic, Sure, and Ortofon IEMs, but this will be my first set of decent over ear headphones.

Please let us know your take on the NAD.

Saturn94

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #41 on: 4 Oct 2017, 04:36 pm »
The IEMs I use in my office recently broke, and I've been in need of a replacement.  Earlier this week I received a $100 amazon gift card, so I decided to start shopping and came across this thread.

Some quick facts:
I also own salks (songtowers and HT2-TLs)
I wanted a neutral sound
I wanted closed over ear for office use
I have a small amp, but wanted something that would work off a phone or ipod
I wanted to stay under $200.

After reading this thread and a quick search online, I went with NAD HP50.  The red version is on Amazon for $150. After my gift card, I got them shipped for a total of $50  :dance:

I'll try to report back once I get a chance to listen.  I've had a couple sets of sub $100 over ear headphones, and some fairly nice Etymotic, Sure, and Ortofon IEMs, but this will be my first set of decent over ear headphones.

That's a sweet deal!

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #42 on: 8 Oct 2017, 09:24 pm »
I've been looking into headphones for a while now and didn't want to spend over a hundred. Well after doing the research realized
I would need to go higher. I struggled with paying more but ended up with the Senheiser HD 598SR. They arrived Friday and they've
been on pretty much since then. All I can say is wow. Friday was "well they are decent and do sit well on my head", Saturday was they're
sounding better.  Today I can honestly say they sound really good. They do go down to the depths in bass naturally and not bloated. Midrange is awesome
and hf is there without being bright. Don't have knowledge of the others but am glad I ended up here. While they are open back, you really have to turn
the volume up to ear piercing before they become audible to those around and using them in an office setting don't have a lot of external noise to deal with.

Don

coke

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #43 on: 8 Oct 2017, 09:26 pm »
I've had a couple hours of listening with the NAD HP50 now.  For initial listening I had CDs, bluray player, eastern electric DAC, and an Audio by Van Alstine fet valve ultra preamp (using headphone output).

I assume they'll get a little better after more break in, but overall I can't imagine anything better for $150. 

I'd say that in general they have a warm sound and wouldn't really classify them as neutral, but this makes them easy to listen to. It's been a long time since I was able to just relax and enjoy the music. 

Bass and low notes seem balanced, and aren't overbearing like some other headphones I've experienced.  Only criticism of the bass is that on some music it's a little punchy, which I'd describe as a thump sound.

Midbass seems slightly exaggerated and gives an overall warm sound.

Mids seem fairly accurate, but slightly overshadowed by the midbass

I can hear all the details of the highs, and honestly I heard some things I've never heard on my salks before.  While all the high sounds are present, they are a little rolled off.  For something that I plan to use in my office for hours at a time, I think this is a positive thing that will result in less fatigue.

Soundstage is fairly big, and it's easy to place all the vocals and instruments. Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company was a lot of fun to listen to.  The music just had a big sound and the instruments were distinguishable.

I thought I was hearing some sort of distortion, but it's possible it's the "Roomfeel" technology.  It could also be the tubes in my preamp.  I plan to do some experimenting to figure this out. Not really a negative or major issue, just thought I might have heard a little reverberation or break up on some songs.

The headphones are very comfortable. 

Another interesting thing was the tube / solid state button on my DAC.  With the push of a button, you can switch between tube and solid state.  With various speakers in the past, it was very difficult to hear much of a difference. With the headphones, it was fairly dramatic. 

Overall very happy with the headphones.  Not neutral and I wouldn't recommend them for critical listening, but I think they'd be great for anyone wanting quality sound that's easy to listen to.  I'm still somewhat shocked at the sound considering the pricepoint.  I'm very interested in seeing what some of the more exotic headphones have to offer now

 :thumb:



EDIT:

At the office now.  160GB Ipod with lossless files, Nuforce Icon Ido DAC/Amp and the NAD HP50.

Sound isn't quite as warm as it was at home and is a little more forward.  Bass isn't quite as present either. Still very pleasant to listen to though.

The sound is balanced at low volumes.

I've found that placement around the ears can make a huge difference. If the pads don't form much of a seal, the sound becomes thin sounding.

Isolation isn't nearly as good as the IEMs I was using.  In an office environment, and have coworkers who really enjoy talking loudly, crunching ice, and smacking while eating :p








« Last Edit: 9 Oct 2017, 01:02 pm by coke »

FullRangeMan

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #44 on: 8 Oct 2017, 09:44 pm »
Don how do you drive it? Do you use a amp?

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #45 on: 8 Oct 2017, 10:28 pm »
For office use I got a FiiO E10k but for home use my Accuphase C11 only with no amp.
Would like to try the Cambridge usb dac some time. Through the Accuphase is amazing.
Had no idea HP could sound this good. Really do like the open back compared to closed.

Don

FullRangeMan

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #46 on: 8 Oct 2017, 10:31 pm »
You use very fine amp :thumb:
Thanks

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #47 on: 8 Oct 2017, 10:35 pm »
For office use I got a FiiO E10k but for home use my Accuphase C11 only with no amp.
Would like to try the Cambridge usb dac some time. Through the Accuphase is amazing.
Had no idea HP could sound this good. Really do like the open back compared to closed.

Don

I am really leaning toward the 598, but the closed back model, as I would likely use these on the plane and at the office. I think the open back would be disturbing?

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #48 on: 8 Oct 2017, 10:51 pm »
I think it would be more disturbing to you verses to others.
I keep the sound fairly down and have had people walk in and ask me a question not realizing I have
headphones on and I can hear them through the phones easily and answer the question. You can hear
external noises but I don't have a problem with that. My previous headphones while blocking noise,
hurt my ears after prolonged use (they were on ear) and I was in need of something I didn't have to turn
up to get good sound. I really do like the open sound as opposed to closed back, in your head thing.
Old phones were rated at 32 Ohm and these while rated at 50 don't need near as much volume to creat
great sound. Found this helpful for my ears sake. Can't figure out why 50 is louder than the 32 though.

Don

tull skull

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #49 on: 9 Oct 2017, 03:30 am »
Thank you guys for this thread. It is very helpful to read your opinions. Could any of you comment on the lower end planars? Hifiman 400's and the Monoprice? What about the Yamaha orthodynamic  HP1? Any experience with Fostex?

Thanks for investing your time.

Armaegis

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #50 on: 9 Oct 2017, 06:29 am »
For office use I got a FiiO E10k but for home use my Accuphase C11 only with no amp.
Would like to try the Cambridge usb dac some time. Through the Accuphase is amazing.
Had no idea HP could sound this good. Really do like the open back compared to closed.

Don

If the Accuphase runs the headphone jack off the speaker outposts but with a resistor pad, then you're gonna get wonky interactions with the Sennheisers (mostly a midbass bloom due to the impedance spike of the headphones).


Thank you guys for this thread. It is very helpful to read your opinions. Could any of you comment on the lower end planars? Hifiman 400's and the Monoprice? What about the Yamaha orthodynamic  HP1? Any experience with Fostex?

Thanks for investing your time.

The Hifiman stuff is generally pretty good. There have been several versions of the 400... the original 400 and then 400i were actually somewhat bassier than the higher up 500/560. I wouldn't go any higher than the 500/560 for performance to cost ratio. I myself have an HE-6, but that's into silly territory there and I run them directly off speaker outputs.

I haven't heard the Monoprice planars, so can't offer any comments there.

The old Yamaha orthos are neat, but it's rare to find them now and they all need modding to sound their best. If you're into DIY, they are nice... but otherwise I'd stick with a Fostex and mod to your heart's content. If portability is a requirement, then the Oppo PM-3 is a nice choice.

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #51 on: 9 Oct 2017, 01:10 pm »
Armaegis: Not sure but would that mean when you plug in the hp jack the speakers shut off? The C11 doesn't.
I have to turn off the speakers manually by switch. After listening to this set up, ain't no wonky in this house.

Don

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #52 on: 9 Oct 2017, 02:00 pm »
Dflee: He's talking about a headphone jack run directly from a power amp output (with a dropping resistor to prevent 'blowing up' the headphones with the high output from the power amp, and the interactions that arise from the resulting high output impedance.

I had an integrated with a non-switching headphone jack (the speakers stayed on when hp's were plugged in) which was connected exactly this way so that doesn't guarantee its a discretely-fed source.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #53 on: 9 Oct 2017, 02:10 pm »
Thank you guys for this thread. It is very helpful to read your opinions. Could any of you comment on the lower end planars? Hifiman 400's and the Monoprice? What about the Yamaha orthodynamic  HP1? Any experience with Fostex?

Thanks for investing your time.

Hifiman 400 has a pretty good rep sonics-wise (QC seems to be bit of a separate issue with Hifiman) and there has been Massdrop version for a piddling $175. My hesitation with Massdrop has always been that I am unsure of warranty status and I believe all sales are final (defective items excepted).

Have heard (Mr. Speakers heavily modded) Fostex 'phones, don't know what if any conclusions I could draw other than that the basic drivers are decent.

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #54 on: 9 Oct 2017, 02:12 pm »
DB: Didi you get a wonky sound out of the integrated?
The problem with having your head up your ass isn't the geography but the lack of oxygen.
Can somebody get me some air please. The C11 is a pre-amp thus no speaker terminals.
The real trick is trying to use head phones when my heads up there.

Don

apstoltz

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #55 on: 9 Oct 2017, 02:30 pm »
I think this week I am going to pull the trigger. Here is where I am at/debating between two different scenarios. 1. Get two pair of headphones, one open, one closed (Phillips 9500 and the Sennheiser 558) or the second option of pulling the trigger on the Sennheiser 598 CS. Cost wise is very comparable of the two options.

dB Cooper

Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #56 on: 9 Oct 2017, 02:57 pm »
DB: Didi you get a wonky sound out of the integrated?
At the time, I was using the original 2000 ohm Sennheiser HD-414's, so no problem.
Quote
The problem with having your head up your ass isn't the geography but the lack of oxygen.
:scratch:
Quote
Can somebody get me some air please. The C11 is a pre-amp thus no speaker terminals.
Sorry for my lack of familiarity; I actually thought you were referencing a McIntosh unit.
Quote
The real trick is trying to use head phones when my heads up there.
In my case, IEM's have reduced the pain  :lol:

FullRangeMan

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #57 on: 9 Oct 2017, 03:14 pm »
Thank you guys for this thread. It is very helpful to read your opinions. Could any of you comment on the lower end planars? Hifiman 400's and the Monoprice? What about the Yamaha orthodynamic  HP1? Any experience with Fostex?

Thanks for investing your time.
I have the HE400 original model for about 2 years, its very warm as harmonically rich as I like, its very detailed too, bass is suffice and I listen though a PC board or direct from the CD player, no volume control.
My only criticism is the soundstage is not large as a loudspeaker.
See this topic:http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=150316.0

Armaegis

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #58 on: 9 Oct 2017, 05:43 pm »
The C11 is a pre-amp thus no speaker terminals.

That was my bad. I thought the C11 was an integrated unit.

dflee

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Re: I want to get into headphones - need advice
« Reply #59 on: 9 Oct 2017, 08:03 pm »
There is no bad here. I am enjoying every post and thank you for the thought.
apstoltz: good luck with your journey and let us know how things progress.

As a side note has anybody tried the DacMagic XS unit and how does it compare to the FiiO E10K Olympus 2?

Don