So all I have right now is a Sony MDR-V6 plugged into my motherboard's soundcard.
I know it is pretty minimal but I want to make it better because I think it is worth it.
So my question is where do I start first? I really think I like the flat response from the MDR-V6 although I think the treble might be a bit much. I don't really have much experience with anything different (except for a Razer Carcharias but I hated that).
The main thing I need your guys help with is whether or not I should buy some better headphones or buy an amp and a DAC? I've been looking at Schiit for the amp and DAC but I am still pretty clueless to what is good.
If you guys could help that would be really great as I don't know what to do.
tl;dr: rec me some headphones or amps/DACs
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro is kinda good, been using them for half year now. They are very comfortable and sound amazing. I got Asus Xonar U7 (Bought it because I like to play singleplayer games and watch movies with nice virtual environment, I tell you that Alien: Isolation was sick). Thomann sells some good AMPs but I got no experience of those so can't really recommend anything.
Honestly, if the DAC on the motherboard was made in the last 5 years or so, you aren't going to hear a difference worth the $75+ of a Schiit dac/amp unless you have substantially good headphones to power. That being said, I personally would never buy anything but the O2/ODAC combo simply because if you're going to shell out over 100 on this equipment, you might as well get the absolute best both performance and price wise considering it sits between 270 and 300.
If you're looking for a headphone upgrade, get some open or semi- open backs to complement the nice mid-fi closed back headphones you already have. Unless you go mobile with your phones excessively, I don't see a reason in getting an upgrade to closed cans (but if you did, ATH-m50s would be your best bet.) You can get amazing open backed headphones under 200; Sennheiser hd598 just went on sale down to around 150.
I run my HD598s through on board sound on my laptop and it rivals the soundstage of my turntable+dedicated receiver+powered speakers. I have strong doubts an external sound card would make a difference unless it was significantly pricey (again, back to the O2/ODAC.) I see no improvement running digital through my dedicated setup, so I absolutely do not recommend sound cards. And don't get my started on portable amps... that is an absurd conversation.
Bottom line, get something that complements your current setup. I'd go for open backed phones as they increase the breadth of your soundstage the most for the lowest price. That would be something from the Sennheiser hd series, or someone mentioned the Beyer Dynamics which I have heard good things about, or Audio Technica makes some great semiopen backs around 150.
Thanks for this man, it helped dispel some of the suspicions I had about what actually matters.
The HD598s look pretty good although I have some questions. If I got them, would I just stop using my MDR-V6's because the HD598s just are better quality? Or would I just have them for home use and the MDR-V6 for outside use?
I never hear people talking about pricy closed headphones so are open headphones pretty much the best you can get after a certain point?
Also what kind of response does the HD589 have? I have never tried open headphones before so I am totally clueless.
And lastly, what is the severity of the leak in them because I will have roommates soon and I don't want to have them hate me for leaking music.
new to all this technology. only have some 2 year old bose headphones i got a couple years ago for christmas. the sound quality coming through them from my laptop is mediocre
been saving up to get some of these sony professionals. what else do i need? an amplifier? what do you all recommend? is it necessary?
also, the maximum volume on my laptop isn't even as high as i'd like it to go when i have my headphones on so i guess that's the main purpose of an amplifier? but does it also improve sound quality?
any help appreciated
All open headphones leak like hell, so if you're worried about that don't even bother. MDR-v6s still hold their own in my opinion, so they come in handy to bring to the library and quiet places.
I have had the Sony MDR-V6's for about a year now and I have run them off my desktop, laptops, and my smartphones and all of them can make it so loud that I can't stand it.
These headphones do not need an amp, although you might need one for headphones $50+ more than these.