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stikifingers
0
Jul 1, 2017
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So, I’m a total noob when it comes to this stuff. I was using a cheap $20-dollar pair of Oblanc NC2-1 U.F.O headphones (with mic) prior to purchasing the TH-X00. I just got the Fostex today and while they are beautiful, I’m kind of disappointed. I don’t use an amp, but was comparing specs. They were as follows:
Oblanc: Driver 50mm, Input Impedance 32 ohms, Sensitivity 113db, Max input 200mW/Output 40mW Fostex: Driver 50mm, Impedance 25 ohms, Sensitivity 94db, Max input 1800mW
These were put into my PC.
While the Fostex sound “cleaner,” I’ve noticed the Oblancs are much louder/punchier with lower volumes? I thought impedance determined this, but is there more to it? Would an amp improve this? Overall the sound is kind of flat on the Fostex, andI’m disappointed that the cheapo phones seem to have a punchier bass. Maybe I’m just use to the Oblancs? I tried putting the Fostex in an RX-V373 AV receiver, and I was still somewhat underwhelmed with the bass. My ears are either screwed up/use to the sound of the old headphones, or I am doing something wrong. Any advice is appreciated.
Jul 1, 2017
Yakov
1408
Jul 2, 2017
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You poor soul.
The Fostex do require more power to drive compared to your off-brand headset which is why they're 'softer' at low volumes. But the Fostex can also handle a lot more power than your headset. The off-brand headset you have was known for the bass back in the day. So, I imagine everything, including the low-end is muddy. But that bass doe.
If you're looking for more low end, I would recommend the Purpleheart variants of these, or Beats.
Jul 2, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 2, 2017
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Good to know... I said I was a noob :D. I'll try to get an amp and go from there. Thank you. I noticed the Fostex sound better on my iphone than the Oblancs. Why would that be?
Jul 2, 2017
Yakov
1408
Jul 2, 2017
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Apple has some pretty solid DACs and sound files.
Jul 2, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 2, 2017
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Cool, thanks!
Jul 2, 2017
RojasTKD
373
Jul 2, 2017
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Don't take offense, I mean this in a constructive way. Some of the things I've learned when I started upping the audio game.
1. Audio from you PC is either total garbage or barley passable as ok. Even my gaming laptop with a "built in AMP for superior audio quality" and my high end motherboard with Realtek "Crysral sound 2", sound horrid compared to my NFB-11 DAC/AMP. At least that has been my experience. Garbage in garbage out.
2. If you have never heard "good" headphone and are accustomed to the sound signature of cheap headphone (usually including boomy bloated bass) you brain will take a little time to adjust the the new sound signature. You really have to give it some listening time to adjust.
3. We tend to perceive louder as better. But louder has little to do with audio quality.
if in a week or so you decide the TH-X00 aren't worth it, I'd consider buying then off you, at a modest discount of course. ;)
Jul 2, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 2, 2017
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Thanks for your insight on the matter. You make some good points. I do want to give them a chance and plan on purchasing an amp eventually, but I just purchased the HD6xx too, so it might be a bit. This is my first "good" pair of headphones. I've never spent more than 50 bucks on a pair, but thought this would be fun to get into. Maybe I set my expectations too high initially, or just need time like you stated.
Jul 2, 2017
RojasTKD
373
Jul 2, 2017
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Your not the first person to have that kind of initial impression when moving up the audio chain.
A better source would be the next obvious step to get the most out of you investment. Stay skeptical, their will be plenty of people wanting to sell you all kinds of expensive "snake oil".
Good luck and enjoy.
Jul 2, 2017
kltp567
52
Jul 2, 2017
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Buy a topping dac/amp stack or something similar. I guess Xduoo xd-05 works too. These to get decent sound. A better dac and / or amp would increase the sound quality.
Jul 2, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 2, 2017
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check them out. I was going to save up for either a magni/modi 2 stack or nfb-11 (heard there can be driver issues with this, but maybe resolved?). I saw the topping is on merit, but wasn't sure about it.
Jul 2, 2017
RojasTKD
373
Jul 2, 2017
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The NFB-11 is very good and excellent at it's price point.
In regards to the drivers, you have to manually install the Vista64 drivers. If you need help locating the drivers just give me a shout.
There is a new version of the NFB-11 just recently released so not sure if it will use different drivers.
Jul 2, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 2, 2017
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Awesome, thank you!
Jul 2, 2017
DenonFanboy
683
Jul 8, 2017
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If u bought the HD6XX u will for sure need an amp! Jotunheim and call it a day.
Jul 8, 2017
lshriver
144
Jul 8, 2017
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Another thing is that the sensitivity is low, so you need more voltage to the headphones for them to have the vastly superior sound quality you were expecting. There is readily available calculators for voltage needed however the Hd650's (hd6XX) have a nominal impedance of 300 ohms and in some situations can ramp up to nearly 600 Ohms. The HD650's will have even less bass than the Fostex, because they're open back. Closed back always seems like it has more bass because it reflects it back towards the ear off of the back. The nice thing is, the 650's have a very controlled bass. It's an excellent headphone in every way except for waterproofness and dust resistance (studio headphones, can't really expect better) Iphones have good DAC's and I believe a small amp as well which is much better than most of the competition, but a computer with USB to a proper DAC (schiit modi 2 my recommendation) to a proper amp (end game for HD6XX for many people is Bottlehead Crack, although that's a DIY kit.) You won't need an amp with a lot of power for them, but you'll need one with a decent amount of power and adjustability (bare minimum a high and low impedance mode) so you can switch them back and forth between sennheiser and fostex. You've gotten the two best headphones for their prices and categories (open back vs closed back) so have fun entering the community! You have to be careful of what people say though, some people swear by their $900 cables, but blindfolded most likely cant tell the difference. Sometimes there will be a big difference, but because it could be expensive people that have lesser models of whatever you're looking at will say "oh that's snake oil, beyond the point of diminishing return, yada yada" Take people's opinions and statements and make sure before making big purchases to do your own research and back them up.
Jul 8, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 8, 2017
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I looked at the Jotunheim. It looks awesome and is definitely on my list. Is it worth it to get with the built in DAC for 100 more? I'm guessing yes...
Jul 8, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 8, 2017
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Thanks for the info Ishriver. I've been playing my Fostex on a Yamaha RX-V373 AV receiver. While it may not be ideal, I can tell a difference when listening. The Fostex are really enjoyable, and I'm pleased with the purchase. I've been playing music through amazon prime on high quality. I'm not sure if bit rate matters, but some songs sound amazing on the Fostex. Lorde-Royals really stood out on it. Other songs seem to shine more than others too. It's been a lot of fun enjoying music that I really didn't listen to much before. Do you find vinyl recrords/cds sound nicer? I'm just kind of experimenting for now.
Jul 8, 2017
DenonFanboy
683
Jul 8, 2017
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It has great synergy with the hd650 and with the balanced out it can power anything, if u can't listen b4 purchasing make sure u read several credible reviews and come up with your own conclusion. Usually when u ask for a amp recommendation for a certain headphone anywhere be it headfi or anywhere else u will get 5 - 10 different recommended amps it just confuses any buyers who want great sound.
Jul 8, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 8, 2017
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Great point! I felt like it was kind of a gamble when you can't really try before you buy. At least I didn't know. I've been using headfi, youtube (z reviews), this site, and reddit for info. I think I underestimated the importance of a good amp though. Kind of like buying a camera and quality lens I guess. I've been considering the Jotunheim and NFB-11. Both appear to be highly rated.
Jul 8, 2017
lshriver
144
Jul 8, 2017
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Jotunheim is a great amp, if you're willing to DIY then the Bottlehead Crack is amazing
Jul 8, 2017
lshriver
144
Jul 8, 2017
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Also, bitrate does matter, 320 is good, flac is better but most can't really hear a difference. I can hear the difference but being that a lot of songs cost more for flac than 320, and the difference is so incredibly small, I usually use 320. z reviews does a good job but you can't listen to him on things where the massdrop version differs (the cable) If you find the 650's clamp too much spread them over some books for a day or two to stretch them out.
Jul 8, 2017
KumaHIME
17
Jul 8, 2017
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haha, i felt the same way before i bought these headphones. first time spending so much on headphones, and i had no idea what to expect. but im glad i did (although i was hesitant when i first tried these headphones, felt like "wow i paid this much for no real improvement to some cheaper offerings"). i gave the headphones enough time to burn in and i do feel like it made a difference (could be me just getting used to it, but i'm pretty damn sure it sounds different than when i first got it, especially frequency response on the low end.) and ye these headphones definitely need a good amp and dac to bring the best out of them.
i've been using the XDuoo XD-05 for more than half a year now, and i feel like the bass boost feature on the XD-05 might be something you will really like since it really feels like all it does is increase bass without affecting clarity.
before i got the fostex th-x00's i used audio technica ath-m50x's (which were way too sharp sounding for my ears (sibilance i think) had pretty bad sound stage and actually sound muddy IMO compared to the fostex) and then there were my bassy cheapo headphones.... (some sony extra bass headphones...the wired version of the xb950?)
i recently did a sound test comparison with both the fostex and the sony headphones on my Xduoo XD-05 with bass boost enabled and while the sony's felt like they were "moving" more (i think it has weighted drivers) i immediately felt like i much prefered the shear clarity of the bass on the fostex, made me feel a lot more immersed than the bloated bass of the sonys.... also the sonys felt so muddy i felt like going back to the fostex right away, and i've been using the fostex only, starting around april. (i thought to myself thinking "wow i was missing out so much detail that i didnt even know existed in these songs" for a while :p)
keep in mind im still pretty new to the "high end" audio game, but i felt like maybe i should've shared of my adventure with these headphones :p that being said i do know i learned one thing...if all you want is a "headshaker", dont even bother spending more than $100, maybe $200 on headphones. most headphones over that price point start focusing on precision, clarity and frequency response rather than just bass. also keep in mind that both the xduoo and fostex are responsible for converting from just a "bass head" to someone who enjoys total immersion through audio
EDIT: i would also like to add an important tid bit which explains why its so hard to find "the perfect pair of cans" on the first try...how one enjoy's music is subjective. i like the sound signature of the fostex th-x00s a lot compared to all the headphones i've tried (includes ones i dont own like sennheiser hd598 and 280 pro, audio technica m40x some super old akg on ear studio headphones that belong to my dad and apparently cost about the same as the fostex did back in the day) but i see many posts of people hating the th-x00s, which makes sense since different people look for different qualities from a pair of cans.
Jul 8, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 8, 2017
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Nice information and thanks for sharing. They're growing on me too. I'll have to check that XD-05 out.
Jul 8, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 8, 2017
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Good to know, thanks!
Jul 8, 2017
Evshrug
1383
Jul 16, 2017
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woah, been awhile since I found someone using the same receiver as me! I find the "Silent Cinema" headphone surround feature a little echo-y and underwhelming, what do you think?
The Foster headphones you have can REALLY scale up with better audio-chain gear. The frequency measurement charts have a bit of a V-shape, with mildly accentuated bass and treble. And I'll tell you what... weaker amps can leave it sounding "ok," but thin and less punchy ththe full potential. I heard them on a "transportable" desktop amp at a CanJam, and it was alright. Then I plugged the same headphones into Fostex's flagship $8,000 amp next to it (with tubes and stuff), and that made a DRASTIC difference! Full-bodied mids and bass, smooth bright highs (not too bright, just clear and "shining"), and haunting vocals. The track tested on both amps was Radiohead's "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi." Now, for good results, you don't have to spend $8k, but the headphone's performance does continue to rise.
The above, plus the TH-X00's sensitivity of 94 dB, means my first recommended upgrade for you would be an amp. The Schiit magni, Schiit Jotunheim, and Objective 2 are popula, well regarded amps, but they are a bit more clinical-sounding; not my recommendation for you because they could bring too much attention to the highs and be pushing you further in the opposite direction from what you enjoyed about your Oblanc. I'd recommend a tube amp by Garage1217, like a Project Sunrise or Project Spark, or a solid state amp (can't tweak the sound by changing tubes, but less hassle and less subject to EMI) like Cavalli Audio's upcoming Liquid Spark or something from Meier Audio. When you are ready to upgrade the DAC too, right now the Schiit Modi Multibit (MMB, nicknamed "Mimby") is a really hard to beat value.
But really, an amp upgrade will noticeably help the TH-X00 (Anyone else think "THX," like the movie audio company?) pull ahead of the $20 el cheapo headphone you have now. Aaaand, if you decide you don't like audio much after all, the resell market is decently strong (imo stronger than computers and smartphones). GLHF!
Jul 16, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 16, 2017
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Awesome info! I'll check these out. Thank you.
Jul 16, 2017
CowboyMystic
22
Jul 17, 2017
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You say that iPhones are better than the competition. I'm sorry but that just isn't so. I took my Oppo PM-3 headphones and listened to music on a number of phones. I'd place the iPhone number 4 or 5. I ended up buying a HTC 10, which has a decent DAC and the most powerful amp. Decent shooter, too. Next in line was the LG G6 then the Samsung s8. Then the iPhone 6s Plus. The 7 doesn't even have a headphone jack. If Apple claims, with the iPhone 7, that their bluetooth sounds as good as wired headphones, you know that high end audio is not their first priority.
Jul 17, 2017
lshriver
144
Jul 17, 2017
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I don't believe I said iPhones are better than all the competition. HTC has for a while been the best at driving, but usually people that want the very best audio won't use their phones to drive them, they'll either accept the loss in quality that comes with a phone, or they'll at least get something like the dragonfly amp/DAC to at least gain some of the loss back.
Jul 17, 2017
VRacer111
407
Jul 18, 2017
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Can tweak sound in a SS amp if it incorporates replaceable opamps. I just got the Gustard H10 (...well 2 of them actually...) off the recent drop here and REALLY like how it pairs with the TH-X00 PH. A high current, low output impedance amp on the warm side seems to be the ideal match for my TH-X00 PH.
The Gustard H10 makes the Meier Corda JAZZ-ff sound fairly 'meh' in comparison... more detail and that BAAAASSSSSSS along with smoother yet more detailed highs from the H10. I've never heard so much detail out of the TH-X00 PH (and mine are modded with Lawton driver dampening, Jmoney lambskin earpads, and custom pad attenuators which are much better than the Dekoni rings) and that is just with the stock Opamps. My TH-X00 PH are like top end open cans in regards to the level of detail, clarity, and instrument separation - yet that biodyna driver just pounds your head into submission with it's pressure wave while presenting detailed, cleaner, tighter, and further extending bass than stock. And all without messing with the mids or highs... the overall balance is kept, just greatly enhanced in fidelity.
I have the new Burson V6 opamps coming in soon to try out and plan to try others out as well. The Meier JAZZ-ff is going up for sale with zero hesistation/regrets... the Gustard H10 is that much of an improvement with the TH-X00 PH to me - even though the crossfeed is nice on the JAZZ-ff. The Gustard H10 isn't without it's faults though... mainly it needs to be modded for reliability reasons (heat) and you get no kind of warranty whatsoever. So it's really an amp for those who don't mind tinkering/modding and know they are on their own with zero support for a unit that has known heat related issues. Sound when paired with the TH-X00 is absolutely phenominal though. The DACs used with both the JAZZ-ff and H10 have been the Audioquest Dragonfly Red (in line-out mode) and Schitt Bifrost 4490.
Jul 18, 2017
CowboyMystic
22
Jul 18, 2017
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Sorry I misunderstood.
Jul 18, 2017
Phantaminium
40
Jul 18, 2017
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The Jotunheim is a great pairing for this headphone. If your budget is $500 then theJot+ DAC will do right by you. I prefer the Modi Multibit but that's another $150. You can't go wrong either way.
Jul 18, 2017
stikifingers
0
Jul 18, 2017
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Awesome, I'm looking forward to getting it someday!
Jul 18, 2017
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