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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey, 

I'm looking to substitute my audio technica ATH M50X headphones, due to a broken hinge. (Earcup keeps falling off, loose wire, etc.)

Usage is mostly going to be listening at home (20%), when I study in the library (75%) and commuting (5%).

 

I will play music using either my smartphone or computer. I've ordered a FiiO Q1 Mk II, because I read that an amp/dac improves sound quality. 

 

I currently use Tidal to stream music (HiFi and Masters only) 

 

I'm considering an open back option, however, my concern is that the sound leakage will bother my peers. How big of an issue is that? This option would make me lean towards the Beyerdynamics dt990. 

 

Conversely, if it's an issue, I'd go for the closed back option, in which case I'm torn between getting the Beyerdynamics dt770 or sticking to a new pair of M50X. 

 

Lastly, if I go for any Bayerdynamic setup, the usually offer 32, 80 and 250 ohm sets. Considering the FiiO Q1 usage at all times, is the 250 ohm the best option, or should I stick to the 80 ohm variant. 

 

Price of all the options are within my range, floating at around 120$.  I selected those options because my priority is sound neutrality. (80-90% of my listening is classical music). 

 

I'm open to suggestions for headphones that achieve that goal in a similar price range, or another portable DAC/Amp suggestion if you have anything better around 100-120$.

 

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42 minutes ago, JamesHenry said:

Hey, 

I'm looking to substitute my audio technica ATH M50X headphones, due to a broken hinge. (Earcup keeps falling off, loose wire, etc.)

Usage is mostly going to be listening at home (20%), when I study in the library (75%) and commuting (5%).

 

I will play music using either my smartphone or computer. I've ordered a FiiO Q1 Mk II, because I read that an amp/dac improves sound quality. 

 

I currently use Tidal to stream music (HiFi and Masters only) 

 

I'm considering an open back option, however, my concern is that the sound leakage will bother my peers. How big of an issue is that? This option would make me lean towards the Beyerdynamics dt990. 

 

Conversely, if it's an issue, I'd go for the closed back option, in which case I'm torn between getting the Beyerdynamics dt770 or sticking to a new pair of M50X. 

 

Lastly, if I go for any Bayerdynamic setup, the usually offer 32, 80 and 250 ohm sets. Considering the FiiO Q1 usage at all times, is the 250 ohm the best option, or should I stick to the 80 ohm variant. 

 

Price of all the options are within my range, floating at around 120$.  I selected those options because my priority is sound neutrality. (80-90% of my listening is classical music). 

 

I'm open to suggestions for headphones that achieve that goal in a similar price range, or another portable DAC/Amp suggestion if you have anything better around 100-120$.

 

Hi There! The DAC you've chosen should be fine, I've heard great reviews about the FiiO stuff.

 

I own the DT 990 because i work in music production, the quality is great and they have a really flat frequency response which I'm guessing you're looking for anyway. If you're in a work environment then you should have no problem with disgruntled co-workers. Because they are harder to drive, the 250 ohms will be quieter at maximum volume but they won't be quiet overall. I've tried all the BD variants and the 990 250ohm are my favourite. For that natural classical sound you're after these will perform great (I sometimes forget that I've got headphones on and think that the ensemble is playing in front of me).

 

If you're worried about sound bleed then the closed back BD headphones are still great but I've found sound a little boxy especially with classical music.

 

I listen to most of my music at my PC through an Apollo Twin X so don't really have much proper experience with portable DACs.

 

Hope this info helps you out :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Strandox said:

Hi There! The DAC you've chosen should be fine, I've heard great reviews about the FiiO stuff.

 

I own the DT 990 because i work in music production, the quality is great and they have a really flat frequency response which I'm guessing you're looking for anyway. If you're in a work environment then you should have no problem with disgruntled co-workers. Because they are harder to drive, the 250 ohms will be quieter at maximum volume but they won't be quiet overall. I've tried all the BD variants and the 990 250ohm are my favourite. For that natural classical sound you're after these will perform great (I sometimes forget that I've got headphones on and think that the ensemble is playing in front of me).

 

If you're worried about sound bleed then the closed back BD headphones are still great but I've found sound a little boxy especially with classical music.

 

I listen to most of my music at my PC through an Apollo Twin X so don't really have much proper experience with portable DACs.

 

Hope this info helps you out :)

Thanks a lot!! Yes it's quite helpful. 

My preference would of course be the open back variant. But I'm a student, so my coworkers are students in the library. 

Suppose I'm listening on a mild volume setting, I'm worried the bleed would annoy the select few people not using earphones/earbuds themselves. (Linus in his video says they'll hear as much as you, which of course is not desirable) Do you think I would disturb were you in that position? 

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4 minutes ago, JamesHenry said:

Thanks a lot!! Yes it's quite helpful. 

My preference would of course be the open back variant. But I'm a student, so my coworkers are students in the library. 

Suppose I'm listening on a mild volume setting, I'm worried the bleed would annoy the select few people not using earphones/earbuds themselves. (Linus in his video says they'll hear as much as you, which of course is not desirable) Do you think I would disturb were you in that position? 

I think Linus may have overexaggerated a lot in terms of the volume outside the headphones :D It's not that noticable but those maybe a meter away from you will hear a small amount of noise. If you think you will annoy people then go for the closed back pair. I always feel like the M50X pair are always to heavy on the low-end, whenever I'm mixing Neo-soul or modern funk tracks that have some super rich lows, when i stop mixing on the M50X and change to my monitors i feel theres always too much bass. If you want that super flat reference sound then I think the BD are the choice, whether it be the 990s or the 770s. Plus they're great value for money and will last ages!

 

Cheers,

 

Theo.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, I ended up getting the Beyerdynamics DT990 pro 250 ohm with the Fiio Q1 MkII. It works, but if you listen to a lot of classical music like I do, some quiet portions or entire pieces will be disappointingly quiet. I returned the FiiO and swapped it for the Topping NX4 DSD. I'd say that's the perfect combo if portability is what you're looking for. The topping drives the DT990 to a good level on all the music I listen to, and the price difference is not a dealbreaker.

I'd recommend the FiiO if you have 32/38/80 ohm headphones, because it does improve the sound quality for a fairly cheap amount. However, for anything with higher resistance I'd be reluctant to say I as impressed, and if dishing out the 50-80 bucks difference for the Topping is an option, I'd go for it.

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