Jul 4, 2019119 views

Need starter headphone suggestions - rough budget=$300

For now, will be using my LG V30 for DAC as I need portability. Willing to spend more, if needed, but feel my comfort level is around $300 for a pair of headphones. In the past, have used IEM's, partially because of looks (well hidden) but mostly because of sound deadening (SE215's currently, with Comply tips). Have not upgraded as I take my 215's and not worried if something happens to them. Using Spotify strictly out of convenience, as I do not have equipment that would truly benefit from the extra monies spent. I did venture to Tidal some time last year but could not find some of the artists I was listening to at the time. Examples: Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Bjork, Phil Collins, Arman van Buuren/Dash Berlin, Metallica (older stuff), Disturbed, Lea Michele, Katy Perry (don't laugh), Queen, Above and Beyond, etc. Too new to tell you the balance I prefer, or tightness of the soundstage, but in layman's terms: I enjoy vocals, not a TON of bass, though i appreciate it, and do not want something overly bright. Would prefer closed back just because I will possibly be listening to this in public areas, at times (Starbucks, for instance). Currently using Spotify and the 215's haven't sounded HORRIBLE horrible enough to justify spending extra money. Before moving back to Florida, I had B&W 6 series...no room, so sold on location. Have an appreciation for quality sound...pocket book just does not always agree with the decision to open up! So, DAC, for now - V30. Need new headphones, figuring around $300. If am amp is needed, let me know as well, but need this to be portable, as in my pants/shorts pockets. Thanks in advance!!!
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rastus
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A V30 was made to power IEM's, or the equal in terms of 'power'. I once tried a pair of cans powered off my phone,, really?? folks do this?? Tidal has most everything nowadays. MEMS are coming, but for now I would go with current tech, and CIEM if you can, for sq, comfort and 'true portable' : https://www.audiophileon.com/news/custom-in-ear-monitor-ciem
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Hi mpicasso, I would like to help. You mention that the headphones need to be portable. Do you mean that you will wear them outside or that you need to be able to transport them? For outdoor use isolation is key. The lower the ambient noise level, the higher the effective dynamic range and the less damage you will do to your ears. Absolute silence is preferable, and very rewarding. Your phone is a beast. My source is G6 > MCTH > HD800, and it'll last me until I can drop the big bucks. Just let me know what you need and then I'll offer further advice.
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Porta Pro + Yaxi pads.... more upfront Vocals than an HD6XX and nice, full bodied sound...and MASSIVE bass if the song has it and you do a little EQ. For $50 total it's one of the best portable on ear cans, more comfortable than Sennheiser HD 6 series, and my main daily/work headphone: https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Audio/n-6fh3fz/i-rDGvhjV/0/b250e6a6/X4/i-rDGvhjV-X4.jpg Best thing for public listening in a noisy place though is IEMs... specifically Etymotics. The ER3XR will run you less than $180 and get you incredible sound fidelity. They also take EQ rediculously well... can bring the bass if you want them to. Leaps and bounds better than SE215 in everything related to sound quality (I own both...and whenever need an IEM it's always the Etymotic that gets chosen - absolutely rediculous in clarity and detail...and nothing has better isolation besides possibly a custom.)
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I just realized, even if the HD 6XX works with your V30 phone, it doesn't fold for portability and it doesn't come with a carrying case. So it wouldn't be practical as a mobile headset. And even if the V30 has the power to handle the headphones, that doesn't mean they'll sound great on it. So I wouldn't get the HD 6XX unless you're planning to use it exclusively at home *and* you're planning to buy a pretty beefy amp that will bring out its potential. Sorry, no shortcuts on this one.
GuitarStruck
From what I have read, people have found the V30 powers the HD600 and HD650's with no problem, as it will do 2V RMS and up to 500 ohms. As far as carrying case/folding...would never do that, regardless. I have IEM's which sound decent. Will order these and see what I think. If I find I need an amp, or can only use it at home, nothing really wasted... Do appreciate the suggestion, though!!!
GuitarStruck
Mpicasso is correct. The LG V30 is a monster. Just pretend its an audioquest dragonfly red! You arent gonna find a better dac and amp without spending significantly more than the price of the phone, which is crazy. LG phones are completely underrateded
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You just described the Sennheiser HD 6XXs, except they're open backed. If I could make a suggestion, if you're listening in a public area, the noise will cancel out a lot of the benefit of high fidelity headphones, even with a closed back. So I'd either get IEMs that passively block out external sounds, or take your pick of any overpriced, mediocre-sounding noise cancelling headphones. I'm not rich, but I've had to get different headphones for different environments and purposes because it's impossible to find it all in one.
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Own the MDR-1000x (first iteration of the Sony) and the 6xx/650 sounds much better. The Sony's are great for noise cancelling but if you don't need that then I would go 6xx. Also the first gen Sony's sound better with LDAC BT than they do wired. They were already bassy and the wired with ANC is more so, wired without ANC is almost unlistenable.
ElectronicVices
Yes, the two headphones are completely in unrelated sound categories -- it's like comparing a Porsche to a golf cart. As you increase the amplification quality, the difference becomes more obvious.