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About frink

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 1991-05-03

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  • Biography
    Currently, a university student studying Biotechnology. Also, a computer hardware enthusiast, a "budget" audiophile, and a music lover.
  • Occupation
  1. Beyond Sennheiser, I don't have much experience with other equivalent brands. Is there any similar headphones to the HD650s at lower prices?
  2. I was thinking the same. Beyond the price of the HD650s, the only other reservation I have is that they were released in 2006! I guess I'll keep an eye out for sales and hopefully they release its successor soon...
  3. Hey guys, I've been using my Sennheiser HD 558s for a while and I absolutely love them. I've been considering upgrading to higher end headphones and was considering the HD8 DJ, the HD 600, and HD 650. I know in the US the 650 and HD8s are similarly priced, but in Canada there is a $200 price difference ($350 for the HD8s, $550 for the 650). I prefer a neutral balanced sound that will sound good for all kinds of music, mostly jazz, classical, rock, and electronic. My question is how are the HD8s in comparison to the HD 558, and how much better/inferior is it compared to the HD600/650? Linus commented in his review of the HD8s that it had more punch than the HD600, but is it better overall? Also, will the closed design of these headphones affect the stereo imaging/sound stage? Thanks for your input!
  4. The One is arguably the best phone. This year, I'm curious how it feels in the hand. The thing I like about it the best is simply it immaculate build quality and the bold inclusion of a damn micro SD card! Its pretty much perfect.
  5. Hey, I'm on the lookout for some simple non-image based backup software that can do incremental backups of selected files on an automated basis. I have tried Acronis' True Image and didn't like that the backups are not readily transferable or accessible. I've also tried BitTorrent Sync, its great at keeping my computers synced, however, it corrupted some of my files during a test run so I'm not convinced that its a safe option for now. I know Windows 8 has File history built in but I'm not so keen on keeping many different versions of my file as I just need to have the latest version available on all my PCs and would like to conserve as much space on my external HD. Is there backup software available that will backup my files (ideally in a non-proprietary format) automatically and be able to transfer these files (possibly automatically) from one computer to another (to keep all my PCs in sync)? Thanks for any input!
  6. I would get a FX 8320, use the money saved to buy a HD 7870 (or higher) graphics card. Likewise you can also use the money saved to pick up a 120/128 GB SSD too. To really pinch pennies you can stick with the stock cooler and save up and get a decent air/water cooler and overclock when you feel like you need more performance. Just make sure you buy a mid range 990/970 motherboard and your future prospects will be good. Ex: In Canada the 3570K is $230 and the the 8320 is $160. For $260 you can buy the 8320 and a decent 120 GB SSD. Just make sure to get that 7870 though, it honestly is the best card in its price point. It performs approximately the same (+/- 5%) to the 660 ti, which is usually $60-80 more. However, if you can spare the cost, the FX8350 is a worthwhile upgrade. The 3570K is also very nice but, the 8350 will offer (in most occasions) 95% of its performance at 90% its price.
  7. I've looked into the DACs used in a lot of phones and their all chincy very cheap DACs. Most can only do up to 48 kHz/24 bit and their headphone amplification is usually only adequate to power very low Ohm (<32 Ohm) headphones. The worst is when phones depend on software to make up and it usually suck up battery and sound mundane. Of all the flagship phones I've listened to, the iPhone 4S was the best sounding one (on the B&W P5). The only good thing is that the USB out and lightning/30 pin out (on iOS products) can be connected to external portable DAC/Amp combos. to significantly improve audio quality and have the ability to listen on higher end, higher Ohm headphones.
  8. frink

    Audio Setups

    Schiit Audio has some well regarded headphone amps for $250/350. I tried there $100 one paired with their matching DAC and was impressed by the price/performance ratio. I love the DAC and integrated Amp :)
  9. In that price range you can get a Bose Companion 5 (C5) or a Logitech 623. In Canada the C5 is $150 more than the 623, however, bass quality is about the same. The 623 does have a louder bass, however, the C5 will offer a punchier, direct, and cleaner bass. The aesthetic of the C5 also is cleaner! If you are going to watch movies a lot, the processing of the C5 will offer a more surround experience. And music is neutral to warm toned. The 623 is really aimed at gamers and is quite aggressively priced for he amount of wattage and quality of sound you will get, but music quality is 85% of the C5 (in my opinion). But there is one important thing to note. The C5 uses a USB interface and has it's own DAC built in. It will bypass your awesome sound card and process the sound on its own. If you didn't have a sound card this would be a no brainer, however, since you have a good one, it will offer less potential quality, whereas the 623 will be made better with your sound card. Going further, the only way to improve sound is to buy a pair of bookshelf speakers and get a matching amp. This will use your sound card's amazing stereo processing and will also sound better than either of the above mentioned options. This can over reach your budget, however, if you look around for used/inexpensive gear you can make it work.
  10. The Phoebus is a gaming oriented card. As long as you have an unobstructed PCIE x1 slot you will fit pretty much any sound card out there. The Phoebus' strength com is its included dongle, and when matched with the card it will provide some microphone noise cancelling. This is a nice feature if you play on a headset or use a microphone with external speakers in the background. I took a look at the DAC and its a second rate DAC when compared to the one in the STX. However, you may only notice it if you are an avid music listener. The quality of sound in gaming usually won't require top end DACs to get the best sound.
  11. I would recommend the Bose Companion 2 (C2) or the Logitech 523. The Bose are a 2.0 set, whereas the 523's are a 2.1 set. I've played with both and my brother uses the 523's, and I will say that bass response is way better on the Logitech. Bose offer's a clean, small design and the sound quality is exactly what a $100 PC speaker would sound like. However, the Logitech can go louder, has more bass, and I personally felt like they sound cleaner than the C2. However, everyone has their own tastes and you can't go wrong with either of them. The 623's mentioned are also a nice choice, however, the C2 and 523 will fit nicely in your budget and you may be able to pick up a low end sound card too! PS: You can't add a sub to the Bose. and the wattage on the Bose in undiclosed, whereas the Logitech's are rated at 40 watts total RMS (where the sub takes up 24 watts or so). The C2's sound like they are ~15 watts without a sub (though keep in mind that these figures don't represent quality, but only loudness).
  12. I personally would recommend the Asus Xonar STX for any high end PC sound card. This card has great components (Burr Borwn DACs, headphone amp, shielding, etc) and brings forth some decent surround simulation (DSP) similar to what creative offers. After my experience with creative on Windows 8, I can't really recommend it. However, it does improve sound quality over built in sound cards. Also, I find the Creative's prowess comes with software processing and not the hardware. If you listen to music these software DSPs can lessen your experience whereas Asus offers better DACs for sound processing. For example, my Creative USB sound card only really "improved" my audio when I turned on the crystallizer setting. However, all it did was increase the amplitude of the sound waves. If you listen to metal, dub step, or hip hop, it accentuates the extremity of the bass and treble. But, for most other genres, it will lessen the mid range or cause distortion. This is pretty much the same wizardry used in Beats headphones and any software audio enhancer. My personal rule for audio is hardware > software.
  13. For $400 the best option I can recommend is a Home Theater in Box (HTiB) setup. You will be locked in to the features and hardware of the unit, but you will get the full 5.1 effects at a reasonable price and of course sound quality will be a stage above your TV. Buying one that matches your TV will allow you to simplify your experience as you can often use the same remotes to control most features of both devices. However, there are a lot of things to consider. If your room is medium to large size and open the sound of a HTiB will be thin and lifeless, a more powerful setup will be required. Also, in audio setups $400 doesn't bring much quality to the table and you will likely be upgrading a (due to wanting more quality/features sooner rather than later). One long term suggestion you can do is save up closer to $1000 (you're 40% there!) and invest in a mid range receiver and some small home theater speakers (such as the Energy Take Classic II). You will be granted the options to add more components to this and will get a much richer sound than any HTiB and more features too.
  14. frink

    Audio Setups

    @STiTron: Quads as in Quads speakers (the alternative being a quadrophonic setup :p)?! I haven't heard much of them beyond mentions of some audio forums here and there. Never actually seen or heard one nor do I know the price range of them?