Looking for a $150 setup

Amzee

Limp Gawd
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Jan 28, 2012
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162
Hello all!

I'm new to high-quality audio products, but I love music and gaming, so I think it's time I upgraded. I've been using Bose TP-1As that were given to me as a gift a couple years ago along with my onboard audio. I've got $150 to put towards a sound card + heaphones, or whatever you think would be a good way to invest it, if a DAC is more important than a sound card (however DACs seem to be way out of my budget for now.) I'd prefer a closed back headphone if possible, as the people around me generally don't want to listen to music, but I'm often alone when listening anyway, so open-backed can be accepted, if they are truly a better deal for me. As far as games, I mostly play FPS, so it's important to me to be able hear shots and footsteps around me. As far as music, I like Classic Rock, Jazz, some Classical, and very little Electronic. My head also is not very large, so if they are not adjustable, and are naturally big, then they're not for me. I know I'm asking for a lot, and will most likely have to make a compromise somewhere, but any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

Benjus

Limp Gawd
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Aug 7, 2009
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for $150, you're better off just getting a pair of very efficient headphones. If you could save up just a tiny bit more (about $50) I would recommend you give J&R a call and ask for the best price on the Denon AH-D 2000s (which comes to about $200 I believe).

If that's not your fancy, I would definitely recommend you look at the Audio Technica ATH-M50s which can be had for $150 new.

For open, many seem to like the Audio Technica ATH-AD 700. I can't comment on performance because I haven't listened to one and will leave that to the other members of the forum. There is a review of them on [H].

Aside: Unfortunately it's hard to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to gaming and portability. For instance, you want a large sound stage since you do FPS gaming, but you also want isolation. Those two things are pretty mutually exclusive.

Cheers,
 

Amzee

Limp Gawd
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Jan 28, 2012
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162
for $150, you're better off just getting a pair of very efficient headphones. If you could save up just a tiny bit more (about $50) I would recommend you give J&R a call and ask for the best price on the Denon AH-D 2000s (which comes to about $200 I believe).

If that's not your fancy, I would definitely recommend you look at the Audio Technica ATH-M50s which can be had for $150 new.

For open, many seem to like the Audio Technica ATH-AD 700. I can't comment on performance because I haven't listened to one and will leave that to the other members of the forum. There is a review of them on [H].

Aside: Unfortunately it's hard to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to gaming and portability. For instance, you want a large sound stage since you do FPS gaming, but you also want isolation. Those two things are pretty mutually exclusive.

Cheers,

There is nowhere I can find the D2000s under near $200, so I guess the M50s would do? I'm still not sold on not needing a soundcard. Also, the AD700s I've looked at before and they're most likely too big for my head.
 

Godmachine

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I would recommend the M50 as well , excellent set of cans. However if you intend to do a lot of gaming and don't mind a lack of bass than the AD700's are excellent and cheaper.
 

Amzee

Limp Gawd
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Jan 28, 2012
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I would recommend the M50 as well , excellent set of cans. However if you intend to do a lot of gaming and don't mind a lack of bass than the AD700's are excellent and cheaper.

I do do a lot of gaming, but as I said before, the AD700s are most likely too large to fit comfortably on my head, and as I've read in reviews, there is no way to adjust it.
 

guitarslingerchris

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My 11 year old niece wears my Audio Technicas just fine, I can't see your head being any smaller than that.
 

Impulse

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Senn HD558? Might be a better fit for gaming and his taste in music, slightly over budget and open tho. More balanced than the AD700 or M50 from what I understand (sorta in between those signature-wise?). You can always pick up a cheap Xonar DG later for like $30 if/when on-board ceases to be good enough for you, most of these headphones are relatively easy to drive. You could always go budget with Samson SR850 or JVC HA-RX700 ($30-ish?) plus the Xonar DG.
 
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guitarslingerchris

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A700 and A900 which are the same exact size as my AD700. The AD series doesn't move quite the same, I believe each cup only rotates on one axis instead of two like the closed A series but it's still 95% the same.
 

Benjus

Limp Gawd
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I do do a lot of gaming, but as I said before, the AD700s are most likely too large to fit comfortably on my head, and as I've read in reviews, there is no way to adjust it.

You can always do "The Rubber Band" Mod. Basically you take a couple of high tensile rubber bands and use them to clench the "wings" of the headphones. I have read that this leads to a much better fit for those of us with small heads and can remove some of the excessive soundstage problem which is inherent with a poor seal.

Cheers,

P.S.
There are people who love, and other who hate the AD700.
[H] liked it, one of my favorite contributers to Head-Fi, MalVeaux, hated it. I only present this so that you can get a clear picture of what you may be buying into. I hope this helps.

P.P.S.
You won't find the D2000s for less than $200, and to get them new even that low you have to specifically call the seller and ask for the lowest price they can offer on the set. Even then it'll run between 200 and 210.
 

atarione

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I own the AD700 headphones... and if I'm honest if it wasn't for the fact I like gaming with them ...I would have probably sold them or returned them.

for music listening I find them rather unacceptable actually... They are quite lacking indeed in the bass department.


they kinda pwn in gaming however.



so then I also own a pair of JVC HA-RX700 headphones ($40~ @ amazon) these I can't say enough good things about for $40 they are awesome ...only down side is they get a bit warm after 1hr or so sometimes. but especially now that mine are broken in I really enjoy the way they sound.
 

mannyman

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I own the AD700 headphones... and if I'm honest if it wasn't for the fact I like gaming with them ...I would have probably sold them or returned them.

for music listening I find them rather unacceptable actually... They are quite lacking indeed in the bass department.


they kinda pwn in gaming however.



so then I also own a pair of JVC HA-RX700 headphones ($40~ @ amazon) these I can't say enough good things about for $40 they are awesome ...only down side is they get a bit warm after 1hr or so sometimes. but especially now that mine are broken in I really enjoy the way they sound.

Yes the RX700s are great headphones for everything.
 

Amzee

Limp Gawd
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I'd recommend the hd558, even though they're slightly above budget.


Can they perform well without an amp? I've read that they aren't loud enough when unamplified.

Also, are the RX700s really that great, if you take the price out, compared to what I currently own?
 

spaceman

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I always recommend the Monoprice 8323, Samson Sr850, AT AD-700, Brainwavz HM5, Denon D2000 in that order based $$ amount and if you want open or closed.

Any of those headphones offers excellent value and run well off of a soundcard or entry level amp. You can be assured that they do games, movies and music well.
 

guitarslingerchris

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Can they perform well without an amp? I've read that they aren't loud enough when unamplified.

This is absolutely untrue, I have the 598s which are the same driver/impedance and they perform excellently out of onboard/iPod/iPhone and even my Asus Transformer tablet.
 

Amzee

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This is absolutely untrue, I have the 598s which are the same driver/impedance and they perform excellently out of onboard/iPod/iPhone and even my Asus Transformer tablet.

Cool, I'm kind of leaning towards the HD558s, because I hear great stuff about it, and it can be modded very easily to be better, if I choose to later.
 

Impulse

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Way too many blind AD700 recommendations imo... I wish I had a good recommendation in between the RX700 and the HD558 that's closer to your budget but uhh, I really dunno. Audio gear can be kinda like that, not very well stratified across every price range.
 

atarione

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I have heard some nice headphones but NOT the Sein 558's (Shure 850 / DT770 pros)

I own the RX700 headphones and I like them very much not because they where $35 when I bought them ...but because I actually like the sound alot.

the fact they are hella inexpensive (usually) is nice certainly.
 

Impulse

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The DT770 would be over $150 too... :/ Altho they definitely wouldn't lack on low end!
 

spaceman

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Way too many blind AD700 recommendations imo... I wish I had a good recommendation in between the RX700 and the HD558 that's closer to your budget but uhh, I really dunno. Audio gear can be kinda like that, not very well stratified across every price range.

SR850 with velor or a ghetto sock or microfiber towel mod on the pads is the best under $100 imo. Super lightweight, semi open so not sweaty at all and have good bass. Smaller sound stage than the AD700. In BF3 the jets circle your head just fine as it is accurate with positioning.

Really though, the Sennheiser will do everything you ask of it if you are ok with the price.
 

Benjus

Limp Gawd
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Actually I believe there's a used set of 32ohm DT 770s for sale in the FS/FT forum right now.

Everything I've read has said that the 32 Ohm version draws MORE current than the 80 ohm. I don't know how this is possible, but whatev.

Cheers,
 

Tacoboy

n00b
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Nov 11, 2008
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Samson SR850, semi-open, Taiwan knock off of the AKG K240. $50-$60
The Samson SR850 has more bass then the ATH-AD700s
Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $14-$20 after $10 mail in rebate.
Asus Xonar DG comes with Dolby Digital.

So total is as cheap as $64, up to $90 price range.
Way under your budget.
 
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