This with hopefully be my last headphone post. I apologize for how many I have made but I just want to be sure I get the right pair this time. After many pairs of poor quality headphones I’m anxious to get something better but I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I would use them for media consumption, mostly music and games. I have had a few Razer headsets, my most recent being Tiamat 2.2’s which sound great for games but horrible for music. I have a pair of Bose AE2’s which are extremely comfortable but have just “okay sound”. I also have a pair of Bose QC15’s which have just a tad bit better bass than the AE’s but are still just okay. I really enjoy bass and hope to get some headphones that aren’t overpowering with it but still make it as powerful as it should be. I think added a DAC will be worth my money and have picked out the Audioengine D1. I have only found positive reviews on it and would appreciate any comments or advice.
So here are the headphones I have picked out so far:
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 ohms
I was dead set on these for a while but came across some people saying that with headphones like this with really flat responses average listeners may find them tiring or uncomfortable sound due to the flat sound, IE loud highs. This concerned me and I hope someone could back these claims up or bring some clarity to the situation. Although a lot of people said these have really good bass as well.
I found a lot of people saying these were great for bass and the only downside was being a bit uncomfortable for long uses. Also I noticed that they are only 38 ohm headphones. Does the lower impedance mean poorer sound? I’m still a bit confused on ohms in headphones and there are a lot of people comparing the DT 770’s to these saying the bass is better. Some clarity here would be great.
My price range would be below $200 but I want quality so going over would be accepted.
Sorry for the lengthy post and shear multitude of headphone related posts and thank you for any help you can provide, hopefully to put my mind at ease.
Note: Not sure if this helps but I mostly listen to rock, metal, and electronic music.
Both of these are great headphones, there's not really any way anyone can flat-out say one is better then the other. I suspect that you may like the M50's sound a little better then the DT770, as the M50 possesses the frequency response "fun curve" which tends to have pretty universal appeal, but I'm only guessing here. One important factor you need to take into consideration is that the 250ohm DT770 is less practical for mobile use, It won't sound very good out of most mobile sources without an amp. You could get the 32 ohm version, but I've heard it sounds slightly inferior to the 250 ohm version, and it still won't be as compact or durable as the M50. If you're looking for headphones exclusively for home use, I recommend you consider getting the DT990 Pro instead of the DT770, it's sound is generally regarded as superior to the DT770s, and it will have a much better soundstage, however, being an open headphone, it won't isolate at all.
Let me start off with the DAC/amp that you are looking at. The D1 is certainly a good option, and I really like that it has the ability to be used with unpowered speakers. Another, slightly cheaper option is the Fiio e17. Either of them would do the job, but they have different features. The e17 is portable and can be used to amplify daps on the go. It can also take an optical (toslink) input via the SPDIF input which can be useful (for, say, a PS3). The e17 also has the ability to be paired, quite easily with the e09k for a more powerful amp, should the need ever arise. The decision between these two dac/amps (as they have both a dac and an amp inside of the unit) mostly boils down to which of these features you think will benefit you most. I personally have the e17, and think that it is a great option, but have never tried the D1 to be able to compare the two.
Next, the headphones. If you are looking for a more bass oriented sound in that price range, I think that the main options are the 770, the m50, HFI 780, and the hp100 (those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head in that range). OF those three, the hp100 will have the more neutral sound and probably provide more detail (though I haven't been able to directly compare these headphones myself), while the m50, HFI 780, and 770 will likely give a more colored, and possibly fun sound. The m50 probably has the most colored sound of them all, as the mids are very much recessed (much quieter than the lows and highs). I personally have the hp100 and think they are great, but again, I haven't been able to directly compare them. One thing that many people do is buy the ones that you are considering and then return one pair, though I have never done that myself. Obviously, given the choice, I chose the hp100, but the choice is yours to make. Look up some reviews on each of them and see if you can't find some direct comparisons of these by someone who has them both.
Do note that most headphones (and this is something that I did with my hp100s) can have the comfort improved by rolling up a little toilet paper of paper towel and stuffing it under the pads to give more room before you reach the driver, as many people have their ears hit the drivers.
MalVeauX is very experienced and reliable from what I've seen (he commented here, directly comparing the 770 and m50).
First of all thanks for the responses. I really like the FIIO E17 I think I'm gonna save some money and go with that one. I was initially drawn to the 990's due to the open back but now that I'm pairing with the E17 which is more mobile I think the closed back would be a better option. Later down the road I think I'm gonna try out the 990's, just for home use. I think I've ruled out the m50 just due to the immense coloring of sound. Once again thank you guys so much for the help. I'm gonna take a few days to be sure so maybe this weekend I'll order them. I'll bring this thread back up once I get them. Btw I read that the 770's probably need to be burned in. How would you guys suggest I do this, I'm mostly concerned about damaging them. The common ideas seem to be "play heavy metal at a high volume over night". Not sure if this is entirely accurate.
People tend to over-react about burn in. Some people hypothesize that while burning in headphones, it isn't the headphones that change, but your perception of them. I haven't tested this enough to know. Anyway, the general consensus is to play music that is fast, and dynamic. That means something like metal, or electronica. There are different numbers floating around as a general rule, and it changes from one headphone to another for the most part, but I would say to not worry too much about the time spent in burn in. Let them run whenever you aren't using them, overnight, while you are out, etc. Basically, hook them up to play something on loop (I like using a technical death metal album on loop), and let it go. Feel free to use them through the time that you are burning them in, see if you notice the sound changing any. See if it improves any. After about a week, you should have burnt them in plenty and should be able to make a completely accurate assessment (even though after that the sound might change some, it would be small enough that it wouldn't much change your decision). I would just make sure to have you look at reviews of the 770 to make sure that you are getting the sound signature that you are looking for (also, I suggest looking at some hp100 reviews as I like them, but that is just me).