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New user looking for headphone recommendations...

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Nodoyuna, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Nodoyuna

    Nodoyuna New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Hi

    After some time listening to my music through a laptop computer with integrated soundcard, I've decided to change my equipment and look for a more quality one

    So I'm completely novice regarding hi-fi equipment :)

    I like to listen to all kind of music and formats, from vinyl to hi-res audio, from studio albums to live recordings.

    I've bought an Onkyo CR-N775D as my main unit for digital files and CD releases. I plan to add a tape player and a turntable in the future.

    I only listen to my music with headphones. Right now, I have a couple AKG headphones: AKG K-44 and AKG K-66

    Having tried both with the Onkyo unit, I kind of like more the sound of the K-44, as I feel it like more natural.

    I don't know it the '44 is more quality than the '66 (I'm suspecting it is, as it's a superior model, but I feel the K-66 too bright)

    So, What I'm looking here are some recommendations for good quality headphones to pair them with my Onkyo

    Thanks in advance
     

     

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  2. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
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    It's not so much pairing them with your Onkyo. It's about pairing them with your ears.
    FWIW: I own Grado, Monolith, HiFi Man and JBL phones. They are all easily audibly different through any of my headphone amplifiers.
     
  3. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    3,107
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Aye, AKG headphones are indeed bright though I find the AKG K712 Pro headphones to be the best sounding I've ever used. The secret was in getting the source just right.

    For me this was S.M.S.L Sanskrit PRO-B DAC > Neotech UPOCC with Amphenol RCA's > Boyuu Reisong 1:2 SUT > Litz copper with Amphenol RCA's > Darkvoice 336SE OTL headphone amp (Melz 6H8C hole plate + RCA Black Plate 6AS7G). The end result is quite spectacular. The Neotech UPOCC in particular does a great job of smoothing out the highs.

    I've also tried Monoprice Monolith M1060 planers and find them fine initially though after a half hour of use they sound muddy to me. A bit odd. They're also less dynamic than the AKG's and lack the wider sound stage. Despite that I've some Monoprice Monolith M1060C's on the way to use at home. They're more efficient than the AKG so won't need a separate headphone amp and their slight warmth should be fine for use with my home PC.
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Among AKGs, I really like the 550/551/553 models. They are closed, easy to drive and very well made. I really like the VModa M100s but they are roughly twice as much money. They both have very ample bass and extension but it's never bloated or distracting to me.

    I really like the Q701s for some things and the (slightly modded) Fostex T50RPs for some things. The 701s are open and the T50RPs are semi open but if I could only have a single headphone for all music and for all purposes that was $100-ish or less, it would absolutely be the 553. For $100 more, I'd go with the VModas.

    I still have a pair of K44s. Never tried the 66s. Without getting into hyperbole, all the phones I mentioned are about 100 times better than the 44s.
     
  5. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    I don't quite understand why anyone would want/need an SUT (step up transformer) with any thing other than a LOMC cartridge.:dunno:
     
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  6. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    Maybe to minimize hum?
     

     

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  7. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    Sennheizer HD-650
     
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  8. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Yup, minimise hum.... And fine tune the sound. Two sets of IC's vs 1. Through this setup and headphones you'd have to have wool in your ears not to hear the difference.
     
  9. keilau

    keilau AK Member

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    Location:
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    Yes, the AKG K-44 and AKG K-66 are lower end AKG's and can use some upgrade if you make other improvement too.
    1. Integrated soundcard on laptop are universally low fidelity affair. Bypass the soundcard DAC. Connect the laptop USB out to the Onkyo USB in to get the best music source from computer. The Onkyo has an AK4490 DAC chip which is capable of very high quality sound.
    2. There is no information on the Onkyo CR-N775D headphone jack. Older Onkyo CD Receiver used pad down resistor from the speaker output to drive the headphone jack. The Onkyo CR-N775D may do the same. It will destroy the headphone quality if so. The Onkyo will need to pair with a better quality phone through a dedicated headphone amplifier.
    As cratz2 said, an AKG Q701 will be 100 time better than the AKG K-44 and AKG K-66 if you like AKG sound. At the price range of the AKG Q701, the Sennheiser HD-600 series (all models) is an excellent choice. All of them will need you to replace the Onkyo CR-N775D headphone jack with a dedicated headphone amplifier to get the sound quality they are capable of.

    If you want to stick with the Onkyo CR-N775D headphone jack, the need to upgrade headphone diminishes. You still can hear significant improvement by connecting the laptop USB out to the Onkyo USB in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  10. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    If it's about minimizing hum why not a 1:1 transformer. The higher output voltage with half the current makes no sense to me.
     
  11. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Hifiman HE-400i are hard to beat for the money.
     

     

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  12. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Very simple. It's an inexpensive ready built unit and sounds fantastic for this use.
     
  13. Tom White

    Tom White Member

    Messages:
    61
    If you like the sound of your AKG's but don't want to get into much higher costs, try the AKG K240 headphones. These are what I have and I'm very pleased with them. They are used straight out of my laptop or out of my Onkyo receiver (a simple TX-8050). Guitar Center sells them for about $69 or so. Can be bought online at other places as well. Price doesn't vary much between stores.
     
  14. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    Excellent phones and sonically quite akin to the Q-701s. I bought velour ear pads from Amazon for my 240s; they’re a little more comfortable and look cool.

    Of course both sound preference and comfort are subjective, I make no claim that what works for me works for others.


    E048130E-D5B6-4118-8BE3-5E903BA362F8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 9:54 AM
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  15. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You might want to try Grado headphones, and see if they're for you. I have a pair of SR-60 which I enjoy quite a lot. They are open back headphones, so better for use at home, than say at work or out in public.
     
  16. 432HzBob

    432HzBob Addicted Member

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    I 2nd that. Get a pair of Sennheiser's and you'll never look back.
     
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  17. dontmindme

    dontmindme Creature

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    I've got V-Moda Crossfade M-100's that I like a lot. Check out the reviews.
     
  18. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan AK Member Subscriber

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    I had Sennheisers. I’m looking back.
     
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  19. Silentnet

    Silentnet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This, or HE-4XX from Massdrop. $170.
     
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  20. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Hugo9000 and cratz2 like this.

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