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These or the 6XX ? What is the best headphone under 200 (maybe 250)?
It's difficult to say, because everyone has different tastes, but from my point of view (I have more than 20 headphones/earphones) if you want the best open-back headphones under 250$, go for the 6XX or AKG K 712 Pro ( in EU are these under 250$). If you want the best close-back headphones it's more complicated :) ...under 250$, either B&O BeoPlay H6 (these are perfect if you like V-shaped sound signature), or Shure SRH 840 (flat and beautiffuly soft sound signature, a little lack of bass for someone), or Beyerdynamic Custom Studio Pro (soft and very neutral, you can adjust the bass, for me these are close-back 6XX), or Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 (very precise and punchy sound, but can be a little harsh for someone). Anyway it's better to try them all, so you can consider what do you like most.
DIYAudioHeaven has great info on both of these.
If you like some treble/air/sparkle in your listening and you don't find that fatiguing, then go DT880. If you want some warmth/non-offensive listening, then go HD6XX, although there are varying POVs on whether the treble is too lacking.
Thank you so much. I listen to lots of orchestral music so I find that balance really matters as opposed to an overpowering bass or treble. Most of the time, my room is quiet so open backs are reasonable to use but closed backs to provide that extra level of isolation that is useful when it does get noisy. It seems that the 6XX, the Shure SRH, and the Custom Studio Pro are the options for me.
Thanks for replying. I will definitely check them out. As of right now, the 6XX seems to be the strong pick for me.
If you listen orchestral music take the 6XX, you won't be disappointed...if you want close-back headphones under 250$ for orchestral music, the best choice are the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio (not the Custom One Pro, these are trash), the sound is pretty close to 6XX...but the soundstage on the close-back headphones will never be as good as on the open-back headphones
How about gaming? I also love to game very competitively (games like Rainbow Six Siege) where sound is crucial. I own a hyperx cloud II and find that my situational awareness due to sound is pretty good. I hope that remains consistent or even better. Above all, however, is just the listening experience while I listen to music. Hopefully what you say is true!
Can the 6XX be plugged into a phone or iPad? I do a lot of listening from those devices simply because doing homework is much easier with a device like an iPad or phone. If they can, is the sound good or would I need a DAC (or amp)?
Well, you can use the 6XX for gaming, but it´s not the best choice for it. On the other hand you can´t use it with a phone or iPad. You need a good DAC/Amp, because the nominal impedance of these headphones is too high (300ohm).
So I would go to the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio with this headset for gaming https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/custom-headset-gear-2-generation.html
These have 80ohm, so you can use it with phone, they have really beautiful sound, variable bass reflex system and detachable cable (3.5mm jack), they're very comfortable. If you have some store nearby with these, definitely try them.
What dac or amp should I get? Can I find a good one under $50? $100 is the max.
Do you mean an amp/DAC for the 6XX? I'm afraid that all the DAC+amps under 100$ don't have enough power for these headphones (300 ohm)...maybe Schiit Fulla 2, but you will hear some distortions at higher volumes (and you will have to listen these at max. volume)
That really sucks. I don’t have that kind of budget unfortunately... Will the Custom Studio Pros also suffer without a amp/dac?
If you listen the music at normal volume you don't need an DAC/Amp for Custom Studio, but if you listen at higher volume you'll need some too (Schiit Fulla 2 should be perfect for the Custom Studio)
These are waaay more cozy than the 6xx cans by far. The will require amping to get the best sound out of these. Very detailed and balanced, definitely not tweaked to be either too bassy or trebled. An all around excellent pair of headphones for the price. The earpads are oh so comfy! Not fatiguing by any means either. Oh, btw these are still made in Germany! Ja, Deutschland ueber alles!😁
If you're not deaf and play music at a normal level, Schiit Fulla will be fine. I've tried both HD6XX and DT880 on a Cambridge Audio Dacmagic XS (around 100 Euros) and they work fine (HD6XX is easier to drive than DT880, but both produce reasonable levels at around 50-75% volume). Schiit Fulla is probably even more powerful than DacMagic. Just do a Google search on the combo you have in mind or drop the manufacturer a line if still in doubt. A Schiit stack (Magni + Modi) would sound even better though...
What is considered a "normal" level? I'm genuinely curious.
I guess what threw me off was the combo of the 6XX and Fulla. The 6XX loves a ton of voltage and really starts to sing of you can push about 150 mW into 300 ohms. They also have some impedance swings and can climb uowards of 500 ohms especially in the lows. The Fulla has a good bit of distortion and some odd channel matching issues. Looking at the specs for the Dacmagic and the story is a lot of the same.
Unless you're listening at library quiet levels, I don't see how you're getting amole, ckean power delivered to your high impedance voltage hungry headphones? Neither device has the Vrms output to really push demanding headphones. Hell even the Fiio A5 which has a healthy voltage output struggles with the 58X and 6XX.
HD6XX (=HD650) needs 0,13 mW / 0,21 Vrms to reach 90 dB, DT880 @250 ohms needs a little more, 0,38 mW / 0,3 Vrms (source: InnerFidelity). Schiit Fulla can deliver 40 mW @300 ohms. Seems more than enough.
Will more power sound better? Sure it will, you don't want to drive your amp to the max. I power HD6XX / DT880 from a Magni2, and that sounds better than the Dacmagic XS (I have to run Dacmagic around max volume with some classical music with DT880, which isn't ideal). But Dacmagic sounds still ok in most cases, and if budget is a problem, why not? You can always upgrade later.
Right. What I stated accounts for impedance and voltage swings as well as additional headroom. Since you're providing the specs for 90 dB, one would reasonably need to add 30 dB at most to account for transients and dynamic music. If you do the calculations to account for the 6XX swinging upwards of 600 ohms, you will realize you need more consistent voltage to put those drivers in their happy place. It isn't a matter of volume versus the voltage demands of the driver. There are better burget options out there that will deliver the voltage the 6XX and other high impedance cans crave, and do it cleanly and consistently. The 02 and Atom amp come to mind immediately. So does the SDAC. If one is looking for clean power with a low noise floor and won't add distortion to their music. Sadly, the older Schiit gear doesn't measure well although the newer stack has fared a lot better. Still, for the cost, there are better options nowadays. My only point here for those driving higher impedance headphones.
I don't know all the options available, so you're probably right. There's another variable, and that's the level the music is recorded at. With classical music (which has a larger recorded dynamic range than most pop music) Dacmagic XS does seem to reach its limit (with DT880), see my edit of previous post.
I haven't heard the Atom or O2 amps nor the SDAC, they might me better options. I don't know how Schiit gear measures, but the Modi/Magni combo ( I have version 2) sounds fine to me. But then again, I mostly listen to music, not gear ;)
Which is fair. Some like more distortion and noise in their music compared to others. Audio GD gear is the same way yet people enjoy it. To each their own.
I was merely making the point known that the Fulla doesn't like delivering power to loads over 300 ohms and the 6XX climbs close to 500 ohms at points. Unless you have an amp that can meet those demands you're leaving a lot on the table from your headphones. I honestly loathed the 6XX until I listened to them balanced out of the THX 789. And while they're still not a favorite, I can at least understand the cult following to a degree. Prior out of the CTH, I thought they were a muddled mess. They sounded ok. Same with the iFi nano BL and Fiio A5. When driven properly, the 6XX really do "wake up."
The topping nx4 DSD can go up to 5 vrm in high gain and 2 vrm in low gain , it is a good choice for budget DAC ampv under 150
Thanks, I might try another amp in the future. For now, I'm happy with my Schiit stack, I don't need DSD (16/44.1 PCM is good enough).
Maybe i'm just lucky to receive an exceptionally well built Schiit stack, but I don't hear any distortion or noise. If there is any (measurable) distortion at all, it's probably harmonic. I like vinyl, so I might be immune to it ;) I might try the 789 some time, people seem to like it a lot. Thanks for the tip!
Yikes, I prefer the 880/600ohm over the 6XX/650 and the k712.... I would explain why you like those pics better. For me Beyer has the most natural treble of the three, deeper bass than either, and a midrange slightly more natural than the k712, though all 3 of those headphones play well with mids in my book.
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