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A/V £200 Headphones + Sound Card

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Sponge12349, 23 May 2011.

  1. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    I'm looking to buy a new pair of headphones and possibly a sound card like the Asus Xonar DX.

    -I have a budget of £180-200, £123-143 with Xonar DX
    -Preferabley circumaural
    -I have a mixture of Closed and Open heaphones as I would prefer closed but only if it isn't sacrificing sound quality i.e. i don't really mind just an added benifit.
    -Comfort over sound quality

    Quick short list so far:

    £88 - Sennheiser HD555

    £96 - Audio Technica ATH-AD700

    £110 - Audio-Technica ATH-A500

    £130 - Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO (80 Ohm)

    £130 - Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO 250Ω

    Questions:

    1- What would be the best setup?
    2- Is the sound card worth it?
    3- Is there much difference in spending anything more than the £96 for a pair of ATH-AD700s?

    Thanks :)
    Sponge
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2011
  2. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    I'd go semi-open every time, closed headphones just sound boxy to me. They should only be considered if keeping noise in/out is a definite must, in my opinion.

    The Xonar DX is a great card, I used one with my K-601's for a few months before upgrading to an external box for recording/music production etc. Despite being much more expensive there's no difference in output sound quality between my new card and the DX.

    Anyway, the DX I have is for sale, if you're interested. £45 delivered? It's less than a year old, boxed etc. PM me if you're interested at all.
     
  3. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    If I can get more opinions I will probably take you up on that offer :)
    And as i thought, closed headphones just aren't as good.
     
  4. Ficky Pucker

    Ficky Pucker I

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    if its only for gaming then ad700

    (it has little bass, but its good for playing FPS online since you can hear people sneaking behind you, etc. while more bassy headphone will make it harder to hear such details bcos of ermm ... its bass)

    hd555 has little bass, and has much less treble than ad700 [i've had a 595 and found it boring tbh, i guess i like treble] but its also popular headphone for gaming.

    i've never heard of ad500 but since it closed i'd rule it out, same with dt770.


    for music dt990 (the only open headphone on the list that has bass)
     
  5. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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  6. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    There are some headphones I've heard that still provide a good solid bass that doesn't overpower the other frequencies, but this would depend on how sensitive the diaphragm is and how well it responds to frequencies.

    A lot of headphones do exaggerate the bass as this is what a lot of people want when listening to certain types of music but as you say it can be at the cost of other frequencies.

    The earphone's that I have (MDR EX500, but the EX300's are 97% as good for half the advertised retail price) are quite flat in frequency response, i.e. they produce all frequencies at the very nearly same volume, and have enough sensitivity so that I can hear parts of tracks (when encoded well) that I'd never realised existed even though I'd been listening to the track for years through what I though were good headphones at the time (yes at the time I was looking for bass).

    Nowadays I get more pleasure from hearing bass frequencies as they should sound, unexaggerated but still full and deep, (there are still some tracks that only a sub will do for though, even though the earphones vibrate your ear-bones right down to 5HZ). These earphones also have a great soundstage which in music terms gives the sounds more space in the mix to breathe, instead of everything sounding close together there is more room in the left/right panning for the instruments to find their space. In gaming terms it would help with positioning of sounds, there would be a greater difference between sounds close to you and sounds that come from further away.

    Unfortunately they are not gaming headphones so they don't come with a mic, but they are a good example of what you can expect from a decent set of earphones.
     
  7. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    The lesson I learned.. is that the best setup is a normal mic (or use one from a webcam.. usually better the webcam, better the mic), and get a normal set of headphones. Gamer headset are not only crap quality (something break easy... usually within a year or so, unless great care is used), the headphones is very average, and the price tag is high.. not because it's good.. but because it says "Gamer" on it and "10 macro keys!", and "5600000 DPI sound resolution" and all that marketing crap that makes no sense on such a device.. ok not really, but you know what I mean. Personally, I can't wait for the "Gamer" class printers
     
  8. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Goodbytes, Unfortunately the actual specs on the back of most headphones aren't always much to go by either, for instance most headphones say they will go down to 20Hz but they don't all do it very well.

    The best way to judge is to hear them for yourself, but it's rare that you get the opportunity, even some online reviews can be misleading as not everyone has experienced what a good set can really do. I'm sure there are better quality ones than mine, even though I've never heard them, but then you'd have to pay nearly £200 (instead of the half price 40 I paid) to get that.
     
  9. TheCherub

    TheCherub Member

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    I have seen Sennheiser HD600s listed at just under £200 before, although most places sell them for £250 plus.
     
  10. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    I agree, the frequency specs are usually nonsense. Most headphones can make a noise even down at 5Hz but in the majority of cases it won't be the noise they should be making and it won't be at the right volume either.

    I have some Sennheiser HD201's (£16) which are rated down to 21Hz. They produce rubbish underpowered bassy sounds much lower than that, though. At normal music listening volumes I can hear down to 10Hz and below, but it sounds awful - the drivers are clearly not responding well to such low frequencies.

    By comparison, my AKG K-601's, rated down to 12Hz only just produce an audible sound at that frequncy. By 15Hz they're as loud as the cheap Sennheisers and by 20Hz they produce a head-rattling hum. The sounds produced sound much nicer at all of these frequencies compared to the cheaper headphones.

    So, the advertised numbers do sort of make sense. The cheaper headphones go far lower than advertised but there's a massive drop in quality and volume. They're certainly not directly comparable numbers, but they do give some vague indication of the performance of the drivers at the extremes of frequency range. I've not compared the top-end because both sets of headphones I have here easily go way beyond what my ears can detect... plus it would be painful, I imagine.

    p.s. sorry for the thread hi-jack, I just thought I'd share!
     
  11. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    Just to clarify, I am using the mic on my webcam so I am not looking for a headset, only headphones.

    As there are not many reviews of the DT 990 the AD700s are looking like a good choice.
     

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