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ukbobhicks's picture
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Headphones HiFi, what kit

Hi folks.

I'm one of many people out there with a young family who doesn't have much of an oportunity to listen to music loudly over my stereo. I am however looking to invest in some quality headphones to rediscover my CD collection. I have a budget of around £450 (max) for a quality listening experience over headphones.

I currently have a Rotel RA-04 Amp and Rotel RCD-06 CD player complimented by floorstanding Q Series KEF speakers. CD is the source I am looking to make the most of here. I'm very much into the detail and honesty of sound (I'm a composer) so clarity is important to me. So, here's the question:

Q: Would it be recommended to use a DAC with headphone port straight out of the CD player?

Q: Would it be recommeded to use a dedicated headphone amp?

Q: Would it be recommended to run straight out of the Rotel Amp's headphone port?

Q: Any recommendations on headphones based on one of the above scenarios? (I'm keen on over the ear type models, open or closed)

Many thanks in advance

Rob

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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

ukbobhicks wrote:
Hi folks. I'm one of many people out there with a young family who doesn't have much of an oportunity to listen to music loudly over my stereo. I am however looking to invest in some quality headphones to rediscover my CD collection. I have a budget of around £450 (max) for a quality listening experience over headphones. I currently have a Rotel RA-04 Amp and Rotel RCD-06 CD player complimented by floorstanding Q Series KEF speakers. CD is the source I am looking to make the most of here. I'm very much into the detail and honesty of sound (I'm a composer) so clarity is important to me. So, here's the question: (I'm keen on over the ear type models, open or closed)

1): ...use a DAC with headphone port out of the CD player?

2): ...use a dedicated headphone amp?

3): ...use from Rotel Amp's headphone port?

1a - Does the CD player have a digital output? If yes, then connect to 1) above.

2a - An analog headphone amp (i.e. does not contain a DAC) has to be fed by analog music, either from an analog source, or from a DAC that converts the digital music to analog. The CD player probably has a "Line Out" that would feed an analog amp.

3a - That would work well, but lacks the refinement of a high quality amp (which BTW cannot be had with a high quality headphone for a total of £450).

....continued....

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

Good quality headphones for £450 or less - there are many available. Sennheiser HD600 or HD650, light and dark, both open. Soundmagic HP100 and HP200, light and dark, closed and open. Beyerdynamic DT880, semi-open. Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro and DT770 pro 32 ohm, dark and darker, both closed. B&O H6, light, closed.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

Great recommendations from Dale. I will add one for the Hifiman HE-400. I have heard good stuff about the Denon AH-D600 and AH-D7100, both of which have been reduced into your price range. Hmm, what else...

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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

That's pretty much the top selection in that price range. There's a good read here - http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/

You should have enough left over to get a decent amp like an O2 or NJC Monitor 1.

The HE-400 are around £395 so wouldn't leave enough for a dedicated amp but you could run them from your Rotel until you had more cash available, assuming you wanted to spend that much on it.

ukbobhicks's picture
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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

Thank you so much gentlemen, this is fantastic feedback to my post and much appreciated. I've been given some excellent guidance here so I think it's time to audition some of the suggested solutions asap. Regarding budget, £450 was a little arbitrary to be honest and I'll go further if the results really work. 

Again, thanks everyone.

Rob

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RE: Headphones HiFi, what kit

Sennheiser HD600/650, AKG Q701/K701, Hifiman HE-400 IMO would be well worth checking out. If you get to demo the HE-400's make sure you listen to a variety of music though, they are a little coloured and as a result some music sounds amazing with them and some not so good. I've had them a week now and I'm really liking them, I'm listening to Sting - Fields of Gold at the moment and they sound really really nice, warm but still very detailed.

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