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Ben K.'s picture
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Headphone lovers

Good evening

I am contemplating buying some decent headphones to listen to when the other half has been on nights and is in bed. My question is what level of headphones will the headphone amp in my arcam a38 get the best out of? This is completely new territory for me and have no idea which headphones to look at. I don't have a budget in mind at the moment as I'm not sure the point at which better amplification would be needed to get the benefit from dearer phones.

Any advice is welcome, thanks in advance

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RE: Headphone lovers

The A38 being an integrated amp should have plenty of power for any decent dynamic headphone, from 30 ohms to 300 ohms. Some of the more unusual designs (planars etc.) may have difficulty, but otherwise everything should work OK.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphone lovers

Ok thanks for the reply. Do you have any suggestions in the 200-300 price bracket? Is system matching still a consideration with headphones or will they produce the same sound across different amplifiers?

thanks again

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RE: Headphone lovers

Ben K. wrote:
Ok thanks for the reply. Do you have any suggestions in the 200-300 price bracket? Is system matching still a consideration with headphones or will they produce the same sound across different amplifiers? thanks again
Below are two headphones I've owned that I can recommend. In most cases (and the two listed here) you would not experience much if any difference with different amps. A few headphones out there do sound quite different with different amps, due probably because the drivers present a more complex electrical load to the amps. Of course, it's possible for a highly critical listener to hear any difference at all and interpret that as a major difference, so my view is just based on industry averages. Here's a good choice with a warm sound: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/sennheiser-momentum-closed-back-audiophile-headphones-in-black-prodid-4565.html And this one sounds just as good, but is more the "neutral hi-fi" sound: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/soundmagic-hp100-closed-back-headphones-hp100-prodid-4393.html

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphone lovers

I carefully formatted the above text with "rich text" disabled (so the URL's would work), and this forum compressed everything down to the mess you see here.  I re-edited the text and added extra blank spacer lines, and the forum still massacred my formatting.  WhatHiFi needs to fix their flaky software.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphone lovers

Thanks for the information. The links worked fine. I'll see if I can try these out  but not sure as there are not many shops left that sell headphones. I have tried beats by dre in hmv they had 3 models going up in price and I only really liked the most expensive ones I think they were called studio or something. The other 2 were all bass and no finesse. There is another shop that has house of Marley on demo but they don't get very good write ups, still worth a listen though as you never know.

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RE: Headphone lovers

Ben K. wrote:

Thanks for the information. The links worked fine. I'll see if I can try these out  but not sure as there are not many shops left that sell headphones. I have tried beats by dre in hmv they had 3 models going up in price and I only really liked the most expensive ones I think they were called studio or something. The other 2 were all bass and no finesse. There is another shop that has house of Marley on demo but they don't get very good write ups, still worth a listen though as you never know.

I assume you want something good at isolation to keep your other half from waking up. My other half won't wake up if a truck crashed into our house, but you might not be so lucky. Where abouts in the country are you? I know a couple shops that have some great stuff to play with but they are either in London or near Brighton. For what you want I will advise you to look at the following headphones:

SoundMAGIC HP100 (very neutral but nice smooth bass which is deep and powereful when needed)

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Limited Edition (More fun, powerful low end)

Denon AH-D600 (Even more powerful low end than the DT770, currently can be bought for £200 instead of £500)

They represent a moderate sweep of signature up to quite warm with the Denon so could be an interesting place for you to start. I often mention the SoundMAGIC to people who want a good balanced signature and great clarity for the money, they are £170, but can compete with significantly more expensive stuff. 

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RE: Headphone lovers

Thanks for the reply. I live in Lincoln and there are not many good places to shop left around here. Yes I would like my headphones to contain most of the noise although I wouldn't imagine that it would wake her as it would have to be pretty loud for that. There seems to be a lot of very positive reviews for senheiser momentum, what is your opinion of those?

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RE: Headphone lovers

The Momentum is a very popular headphone, having a nice warm low end and good midrange. The Momentum also has a lively sound due to strong output in the lower treble, but the upper treble is recessed, so take that into account. It's a beautiful and well-made headphone.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphone lovers

Thanks dale. I am liking the idea of the denon ad-h600 suggested earlier as they come with 2 chords, a short one for using with portable devices and a 3m one for at home which would be good for me as I sit a similar distance from my hifi. Have you heard the denons dale?

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RE: Headphone lovers

I recommend this review by Lieven of Headfonia for the AH-D600s. He also compares them to the AH-D7100, which can be got for £450 (down from £1000) from the same official Denon seller.

http://www.headfonia.com/dual-denons-ah-d600-d7100/

I have the Sennheiser Momentum and they are a great headphone. I agree with Dale's assessment of the sound and would add that although they are one of the rare headphones that have real leather they are not the most comfy for long periods because the cups are not big enough to go fully around the ear. They are a small-ish headphone that are more suited to portable use imo, but since they don't fold (like the SoundMAGIC or V-Moda M-100), they are much less easy to fit into luggage. You won't find the Momentum discounted much, not that it means they're not as good as the others mentioned however. Unfortunately I can't offer a comparison there myself, because I haven't heard the Denon yet. If you like the idea of a really powerful bass on your headphones these two (D600 & Momentum) and the V-Moda M-100 are worth considering. I am not so keen on the M-100's sound because the bass annoys me, perhaps it's just too much. The M-100 does have a lot of other redeeming features though, especially build, durability and looks. Comfort is similar to the Momentum as the cup size is almost identical and although the M-100 doesn't use real leather it's a very good (soft) substitute - Kinda like the material sound on the Fostex TH900. 

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RE: Headphone lovers

A very good review thanks. They do sound like more or less what I'm looking for as my musical tastes are very varied but a lot of electronic, rock, reggae, hip hop etc so should fit the bill. Amazon are selling them for 226 which seems like a good deal. I'll have to have a chat with the other half which is always the hardest task with my hifi decisions  :doh:

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RE: Headphone lovers

Oh yeah I saw the Amazon price was good as well. I was looking at this one for £199. 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290910070749?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Or here if you want their official website...

http://homeavdirect.co.uk/shop/page-product_list/keywords-denon%20ah-d600

If you want to save a bit more money, it is an official Denon Seller apparently.  

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RE: Headphone lovers

That's great thanks very much  :beer:

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RE: Headphone lovers

My eyes are on :

Genius Lychas HS-G550

Logitech G430 Wired Surround Headset

Steelseries 5H v2 Wired Headset

Have a look at wise guys for more recommendations.

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RE: Headphone lovers

Are you affiliated with Wise Guys website? Thanks. If you are you need to declare it in your signature and not blatantly advertise touting for business.

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