New Headphone questions and Amp suggestions?

First of all just ordered these from amazon:

it was between them and these:

I know big price difference but I knew I was gonna wanna get an amp too and I couldn't really justify spending close to $200 on just headphones just yet but maybe that will change. 

Does anyone have any experience with the NVXs? I'm assuming I'm gonna have to do a burn in with these... so I was just gonna run the 10 hour sound loop of pink noise over and over till I liked the sound. Is there a particular volume I should do it at? 

As for an amp what would you guys recommend for a beginner? Are amp/dac combos worth anything? what makes different amps unique? just their ability to amplify or do some actually change the sound signature? 

I was looking at this:

If it makes any difference I listen to a lot of different stuff from EDM to metal to rap to punk/rock to classical 

If you think my choice in headphone is just absolute shit and have a better suggestion I would love to hear it because I really wanna get it right when I do this. 

Well, I have absolutely no experience with those cans.  Never even heard of them before if I'm being honest.  They do seem to get good reviews though.  They look to be 64 ohms, so yeah.  Most likely gonna need an amp to get the best sound out of them, nothing crazy though.  As for burn in, it'll likely take longer than 10 hours to fully burn them in.  Probably closer to 20.  Volume level should be at a comfortable listening level.  Pink noise, brown noise, regular music...  whatever.  I generally just let my headphones burn in through normal usage, so whatever you feel like.

Pretty much all amps will color the sound to some degree, some more than others.  If you want to hear accurate sound, look for one that is as neutral as possible (this is subjective though, many people prefer the sound of tube amps, which tend to color the sound a great deal).  A DAC just converts the audio from digital to analog.  Pretty much any device you plug your headphones into will have one (your computer, DAP, phone etc).  However, some are better than others.  A good DAC, again, is neutral.  It accurately reproduces the sound as it was recorded.

The Fiio you posted a good option in the price range.  Especially if you want something portable (though, unless you have a usb audio capable portable device, only the amp will work when on the go)  It's relatively neutral, tending toward the warmer side, and should have more than enough power to drive those NVXs based on their specs.  

If you're willing to spend a little bit more (and don't need a portable amp/dac), you can get something like the Schiit Modi/Magni combo or an O2 based amp/dac from JDS labs or Mayflower, both of which will likely produce better sound than the e17 (again, sound is subjective...  and everyone is different, so ymmv).


I regularly suggest both of the headphones that you listed there. I think they are both great choices for their respective prices. If you are looking for an amp and dac, I have to ask if you are good at soldering, because DIY is an option. I grabbed up an O2 kit for $50 (plus ~$20 for the plug and shipping) and plan to solder it all myself. If that isn't an option though (not many people are great at soldering), then we will have to look elsewhere. Can you give me a price range? Off the top of my head, I would suggest the Fiio E07k. IT can be paired effectively with the E09k later on if you need the extra power. However, for the best that you can get in the price range, I would suggest looking into something a little less pretty. The Stoner Acoustics dacs are great choices. The UD110 and UD120 are great dacs. After that, the amp that you get would largely depend on your budget, but one of those dacs would last you through several amps (there isn't a better dac  available until you start spending hundreds of dollars on one). The Fiio E11k is a good option, as are the Schiit Magni (made in the US, if that sort of thing matters to you), as well as an O2. Those are likely going to be the best choices, but without a definite price on the dac and amp, I can't say what to go with for sure just yet.


EDIT: I forgot to mention these parts. The E17 is a great little unit, I personally have it, however, if you don't need the extra connectivity, you should just go with the E07k instead. The extra price simply isn't worth it unless you need spdif, etc.

As for burn in, I would say ~100 hours will be where the sound would stop changing significantly. However, I have heard a good theory which states that the burn in process is more for the listener than it is for the gear. Meaning that you will adjust to the sound with time more than the gear adjusts the sound. So yeah, just listen to them regularly, and leave them playing whatever when not in use. I generally just leave them playing some of my techdeath, though pink noise or whatever should work just fine.

Where did you get a $50 O2 kit, if you don't mind me asking?

JDSLabs. They are typically $70. However, aside from the printed board (which you can get for $10 on JDSLabs), all of the parts are available from electronics retailers. I am guessing that you can buy all the parts yourself for less than $50. The O2 was originally designed to only cost ~$30-$40 in parts. Once I get down to it, I plan on making a mouser list of all the parts that come with the kit; partially so that I can see how much money I wasted, but also to see how much it would be to go closer to the source and order it all yourself. If I remember, I will make a post about it once I get around to it. Finals come first though.

Oooohhhh, ok.  I thought you meant you found an O2+ODAC kit for $50.  That threw me lol.  An O2 board and a quick trip to digikey I can see running $50 or less (excluding a case that is).

The eo7k looks awesome, I wanted to keep it below 100 bucks if possible so this looks like a great option. What is the difference between this and the e17? I liked the idea of it being portable and being able to take these to the library on occasion. What would the major disadvantages of this be compared to one of the other things you suggested? just a lack of power? 

If you want portability, the E07k and E17 both act as battery powered amps for use with a dap (portable player), but is also a dac/amp for use with a computer. The other solutions that I was talking about would be "better" by audiophile terms, but at this point, that isn't really what you need. Ease of use, portability, and a step up from mobo out is what you are looking at. Doing somehting like the UD120 + O2 would be a better solution, but less user friendly, bulkier, etc. The output power of the E07k isn't as high as the other options I mentioned, but it will be plenty for basically any headphones that you use (start getting into orthos and we will need to talk again).

As far as E07k vs E17, there is a bit more power in the E17 (not all that much, and either will be enough), and the E17 has a slightly better amp section (read as "slightly more detailed"), but overall, the features are largely the same aside from the connectivity of the E17. That is what the E17 is largely aimed at imo, connectivity. Toslink input, spdif input, etc. It is an E07k+ basically. Personally, I like the side buttons of the E07k better than the top buttons of the E17 (unless using it for desktop use, in which case I would prefer a knob).

IMO, the E17 is irrelevant now because of the E07k (unless you really want the connectivity options, which is why I bought it, actually). The price:performance is really good. It is a very compentant all in one solution for portable and desktop use. There are plenty of ways to upgrade after the fact if you decide to spend more money later on though. Audiophilia is a money pit, of that you can be sure.

This is in response to your post in the other thread.

You might find the new headphones to be harsh not so much because they are harsh (I'm NOT saying that they aren't), but becasue you aren't used to the sound signature yet. That happened to me with my first pair of decent headphones, a pair of Superlux HD662f. Burn in can affect you more than it affects the headphones themselves, so give it some time and become adjusted to the way that they sound. Once you do, you might find that everything else isn't quite harsh enough anymore. That is how it worked with me at least.