Need Second Opinion

I know very little about headphones, amps and dacs. I am looking for headphones and/or amp/dac for about US $300 (+/-$50). A friend recommended the ATH-M50 and FiiO E10. I got to use some of the headphones that he has but I don't have the money to buy any of them. I also get a small amount of noise from the computer 

I have been using my Astor A40. I mainly use my headset at my desk when I work. I have played music since I was young and I tend to like allot of different genres, I play piano guitar and drums learned them in that order. The majority of the music I listen to is indie rock, rock and metal. I also generally add a 3 to 4 db to the bass and I have equalized it to sound somewhat like the interments. 

Any suggestions?

No, that's not a good suggestion. Not only are the M50's overpriced and uncomfortable, but they're the last headphone that needs an amp/DAC.


For $300 USD, you can get much, much better.

Right now you can pick up the HE-400's for $300 US, and buy an amp with your next paycheck or something like that.

Thanks for the advice. I think that i have to pick one up. I know this is not the right topic but what do you suggest for a amp? I would probably want to spend maybe another $150 

Well, I'm not sure if I can do this on this forum, but for around $120 you can pick up our O2 amps. If you want to spend less, you can pick up a fiio product, but beware of QC issues and general lack of build quality.

Great idea, spending $420 on two products, instead of buying one product, the pair of headphones for $150, (without a DAC or amp) and having similar audio quality.

Getting headphones for metal is tricky. Not many headphones sound good. I have a branwavz hm5 which i like for metal. its around 130$ i think. Its a pretty neutral headphone. Its also closed back.

If you ask me you definitely need a dac more than an amp. I have a Fiio E18 and its great. The O2 dac 7 amp  is obviously better but its not portable. You can use the fiio with your phone and i haven't faced any quality control issues. The he 400 are great open back headphones for the price

The M50's are no where near the quality of HE-400's...

who expects the quality of a $100 product to match a $300 product?

bro you don't want a civic, a corvette is way faster



I feel like you didn't even read the OP. His budget is $300. I just recommended one of the best headphone for $300 you can buy right now. I thought this forum had less trolls than LTT forum? I guess not. Oh well.

I listen to a large variety of music but the majority of that is metal.  I have a set of DT880 Pros hooked into a Fiio E10 and it sounds really great.  Gaming and movies also sound great on this setup.  The DT880s run about $200 and the Fiio was about $70 so together they should fit your budget.

The Fiio E10 has a bass boost switch that adds +3db to the low end.  It doesn't get muddy sounding either; it stays tight.

You really expect him to have a decent experience using HE-400s without an amp of any kind?

The issue is irrelevant anyway, the OP is a bass fanatic, so Hifiman cans are the last thing he should be looking at. For his tastes and budget, he should be looking at the various flavors of Beyerdynamic DT-770s and 880s, and an O2 to drive them. If he wants a discrete dac as well as an amp, an ATH-M50 with a Schiit modi and Magni would also be a great option.

I have seen in the past that people always go over the budget that you want to spend. They have good intentions and they tend to want people to be happy about their dissension. I always go lower then i want to spend. I did say i wanted to spend 300 to 350 but i have 400. Whats another 20 bucks when your spending 400

I still think i going to go with the HE-400. Still not sure about the amp yet. I have herd good things about the O2 amps in the past. FiiO was new to me. JW what QC issues that FiiiO have had in the past. Is it the housing or the actual electronics not being soldered right to the board? If its the housing i not that worried about it because it will sit on my desk and probably never move

Metal is only like 15% of my library.  I tend to like allot of different genres. The majority of the music I listen to is indie rock, rock and metal. One song could be the Beatles,Chuck Berry, or Buddy Guy and the next could be Metallica, August Burns Red, or Lamb of God.

I don't recommend Fiio products. The last one I owned died on me after a month for no reason whatsoever. The O2 is a decent amp, but unless you are going to build your own, you can get slightly better sound quality for less money with a Schiit Magni. As I stated in my earlier post, you are going to be disappointed if you go with the HE-400. Since you stated that you use EQ settings to jack up the bass going out to the already bass heavy Astro A40, I assume you are a major bass fanatic. While HIFIMAN makes some amazing headphones, bass is not their strong suit. If I'm correct in my assumption, you will be much happier with Beyerdynamic or V-Moda cans.

Since i started playing the drums i tend to like a bit more bass. Might be because i use to play without ear protection. I have used V-Moda in the past and they have to much bass. I know the asto A40 Mixamp dose bump bass up but i don't use it when i listen to music for this reason. They use a EQ to make it easier to hear sounds in the game. Thanks for oyur suggestions i have to look into them


A friend has a Schiit Magni / Modi. He said he loves it and highly recommends it (not the friend that suggested the ATH-50 and E10). I will probably buy this for my amp. I did see Tek Syndicates review of the DT-880's and i see why you recommended them thanks for your incite.

I suggest you read the first detail on that product.

It's not the most efficient headphone in the world, but let's be frank here - It can be played off of a computer at decent volumes.


Hifiman cans aren't good with bass? Really? I beg to differ. They're classic basshead headphones. Also, M50's are portable headphones with less than ideal comfort. You want to power them with a shit stack that costs more than the headphones? Everyones entitled to their own opinion, but yours are wrong.

The magni isn't better. The gain is stuck at 5 or 7x (not sure off the top of my head) and it's way to high for most headphones. After these two comments, I'm not really sure you know what you're talking about...