Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Durasat

Suggestions for an Audio Novice

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

I've been lurking the board for a while, trying to learn more about the field (about which I honestly know little) but just don't have enough information about the field to make an informed decision as of yet.

 

Let me preface my situation by saying, I do not consider myself much of an audiophile. While I enjoy good sound, I'm not sure I have the range to appreciate the subtleties of very high end audio systems, though that might just be inexperience talking.

 

Anyway, I've been using some Klipsch 4.1 speakers for years (it's been years since I've upgraded for various reasons), but they have developed a horrible hissing/static whenever I turn them on and nothing I've attempted has been able to fix them. As a result, I need a new and better audio system in lines with my new gaming build. (For comparison's sake, the MB is an ASUS Maximus VII Hero.) My tentative budget for good, lasting (as in a few years or more before a serious upgrade) sound equipment is ~$2-300 (I live on the Southeast Coast of the US). I can adjust that higher if truly necessary, but I'd have to be convinced as to the need and, again, I don't think I'm the right target for super high-end equipment. My primary usage would be gaming, movies, and music (I listen to a range here, but mostly rock, classical, and some lighter metal.)

 

Now, my main quandary is speakers versus headphones. Most discussion here seems focused on headphones, but my concern is that I've never really used headphones for long periods of time and, with my glasses and sensitivity to temperature, they may be uncomfortable to wear for long periods. I know this is somewhat subjective, but is this a reasonable concern in anyone's experience, even with open headphones?

 

Also, as I don't have to worry about bothering neighbors/roommates (I'm on a separate floor) and my reading suggests they still have better sound (though I'm fully willing to hear otherwise), I'm wondering if speakers are a better option for me. Are there any real advantages to headphones that I have not considered, given their popularity here, beyond portability and a self-contained unit? Any thoughts on pros and cons of either option?

 

If I did decide to go with headphones, I think I'd prefer open due to the heating concerns and I just don't have the experience to speak as to my bass/treble preferences. I'm not a big FPS player, so I'm not sure how useful a larger sounstage would be for me, but I'm open to advice. I've read a great deal of threads here and elsewhere so I think I know the basic models of headphones to try so as to find my best personal fit (Sennheiser HD558/HD600, Beyerdynamic 770/880/990, AKG k701/2). I've read the Audio Technica ATH-M50 is really tight to the head, so likely isn't a good option for me, and the ATH-AD100x, AKG k712 Pros, or Fostex TH600 and similar are getting beyond my price range. I've also read the most recommended DAC/AMPs are the Fiio E10, Schiit Magni+Modi, and Mayflower O2+ODAC (though this last is likely too expensive), so I have that information should I end up needing one. If I did get headphones, though, I'd at least try them with onboard sound first. Naturally, I'm open to other suggestions as well.

 

However, if I decided on speakers, I have essentially no idea where to go. I'd be looking for a 2.1 (I don't have room for a 5.1 system and I'd prefer two good speakers if I decided to add on later) system and am open to a custom solution (i.e., buying the speakers and sub separately). Are there good options which I could afford along with a DAC/AMP within my budget? I'd appreciate any reviews that could be offered for suggested systems as well.

 

Essentially, what is the best quality sound I can find for my price range?

 

Thanks for any help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm not well informed about speakers so I can only give you advice about headphones.

 

If you have somewhere around $300, some options are AKG K612 pro, DT880, HD598, Second hand HD600, AD-900X, Q701. What kind of music do you generally listen to and do you want a more criticlal sounding headphone or a more "fun" sounding one?

 

With any of those headphones, you can grab schiit fulla and it'd power them happily

Link to post
Share on other sites

For comfort of glasses I think those Beyers or the TH600 are going to be the most comfortable. The Sennheisers and AKGs have harder padding which I assume is bad for glasses. Also always buy used. Saves a ton of money for the same thing. Heating is not an issue with open headphones and they are very comfortable. I wear headphones for hours and hours and they are completely fine. You just have to get ones that are comfortable and over ears. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all if you are looking for a new set of speakers you need to consider bookshelf speakers too,5.1 and 2.1 gaming speakers lack the audio quality and immersiveness of the Bookshelf speakers like Pioneer Andrew Jones BS22 or even a Micca MB42X sure the bass is there but you can build a kick ass bookshelf 5.1 or 2.1 system with a little more than overpriced gaming speakers like klipsch promedia and logitech crap.I am not going into detail about 5.1 so for 2 bookshelf speakers+headphone setup i recommend Schiit modi+magni combo and a smsl 50wpc sa50 amplifier for bookshelf speaker.You need to atleast listen to a bookshelf speaker before buying a 5.1 or 2.1.Powered speakers like Audioengine A5+ and M Audio BX5 D2 are also a good buy but there is premium for built in amp.If you game don't buy ATH M50,seriously overrated headphones i learned it in the hard way..for gaming open headphones like AKG Q701,beyerdynamic dt 990 all of the headphones you mention will do a good job provided they are open.As for headphones vs speakers you need them both..headphones give more performance for the money but speakers are more fun to listen to and i prefer speakers to headphone anyday unless the headphone is Audeze LCD 3 or sennheiser hd 800

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the advice so far, but I still have a few questions.

 

 

For comfort of glasses I think those Beyers or the TH600 are going to be the most comfortable. The Sennheisers and AKGs have harder padding which I assume is bad for glasses. Also always buy used. Saves a ton of money for the same thing. Heating is not an issue with open headphones and they are very comfortable. I wear headphones for hours and hours and they are completely fine. You just have to get ones that are comfortable and over ears. 

 

Are there any particular venues, besides the obvious sources, for used headphones of which I should be aware? Or is it just ebay, amazon, etc.? 

 

First of all if you are looking for a new set of speakers you need to consider bookshelf speakers too,5.1 and 2.1 gaming speakers lack the audio quality and immersiveness of the Bookshelf speakers like Pioneer Andrew Jones BS22 or even a Micca MB42X sure the bass is there but you can build a kick ass bookshelf 5.1 or 2.1 system with a little more than overpriced gaming speakers like klipsch promedia and logitech crap.I am not going into detail about 5.1 so for 2 bookshelf speakers+headphone setup i recommend Schiit modi+magni combo and a smsl 50wpc sa50 amplifier for bookshelf speaker.You need to atleast listen to a bookshelf speaker before buying a 5.1 or 2.1.Powered speakers like Audioengine A5+ and M Audio BX5 D2 are also a good buy but there is premium for built in amp.If you game don't buy ATH M50,seriously overrated headphones i learned it in the hard way..for gaming open headphones like AKG Q701,beyerdynamic dt 990 all of the headphones you mention will do a good job provided they are open.As for headphones vs speakers you need them both..headphones give more performance for the money but speakers are more fun to listen to and i prefer speakers to headphone anyday unless the headphone is Audeze LCD 3 or sennheiser hd 800

Thanks for the information. Are there other reputable models at which I should be looking? I'd like to read some reviews and such before I try to compare them in person just to get a better feel for the particulars and more basis I have for comparison, the more comfortable I'd feel. 

 

Also, why exactly would I need both speakers and headphones? I'm looking for a single audio solution that will suffice for a reasonably long time. As this is for a desktop and likely won't be moved very much, I'm not sure I see a reason for both. What's your rationale here?

 

Do you have any more to say on the advantages and disadvantages of headphones versus speakers? That's really what I'm interested in knowing from those with experience in the audio arena. The headphone segment seems covered, and I appreciate that, but information on decent speakers is still a bit slim. Any other suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites

For comfort of glasses I think those Beyers or the TH600 are going to be the most comfortable. The Sennheisers and AKGs have harder padding which I assume is bad for glasses. Also always buy used. Saves a ton of money for the same thing. Heating is not an issue with open headphones and they are very comfortable. I wear headphones for hours and hours and they are completely fine. You just have to get ones that are comfortable and over ears. 

 

 

dat shameless plugging

:D

 

 

I can vouch for comfort on my AKG k712 with glasses, but I have wireframe glasses so it doesn't really get in the way.


Stuff:  i7 7700k @ (dat nibba succ) | ASRock Z170M OC Formula | G.Skill TridentZ 3600 c16 | EKWB 1080 @ 2100 mhz  |  Acer X34 Predator | R4 | EVGA 1000 P2 | 1080mm Radiator Custom Loop | HD800 + Audio-GD NFB-11 | 850 Evo 1TB | 840 Pro 256GB | 3TB WD Blue | 2TB Barracuda

Hwbot: http://hwbot.org/user/lays/ 

FireStrike 980 ti @ 1800 Mhz http://hwbot.org/submission/3183338 http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/11574089

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice so far, but I still have a few questions.

 

 
 

Are there any particular venues, besides the obvious sources, for used headphones of which I should be aware? Or is it just ebay, amazon, etc.? 

 

Thanks for the information. Are there other reputable models at which I should be looking? I'd like to read some reviews and such before I try to compare them in person just to get a better feel for the particulars and more basis I have for comparison, the more comfortable I'd feel. 

 

Also, why exactly would I need both speakers and headphones? I'm looking for a single audio solution that will suffice for a reasonably long time. As this is for a desktop and likely won't be moved very much, I'm not sure I see a reason for both. What's your rationale here?

 

Do you have any more to say on the advantages and disadvantages of headphones versus speakers? That's really what I'm interested in knowing from those with experience in the audio arena. The headphone segment seems covered, and I appreciate that, but information on decent speakers is still a bit slim. Any other suggestions?

Headphone doesn't give you the same experience as speaker,i am a moviephile so experience is more epic with the speakers for example Captain America winter soldier fight between Cap and Bucky we can actually feel the strength of punches if you have good speaker.But with headphone you can't..i can't really explain but some movies must be seen with speaker.My advice..go for smsl sa50 and Pioneer Andrew Jones BS22 or Teac SL 265HS(if you can get it for 150$ or less) and Tackstar HI 2050 and Schiit modi+SMSL SAPII...Tackstar is the best value for money headphone in the market..it has better Highs,mids,soundstage than ATH M50 and it costs only 40$ but don't let the price fool you..this headphone is compared to Beyerdynamic dt 880s and AKG q701..you can get it from ali express or amazon..look at review in head fi..

http://www.krish-tech.com/2014/12/tackstar-hi-2050-headphone-review.html

This might help you understand why Speakers are better than headphone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


×