Headphones and Amp Choices

jimbohead

Standard Member
Hi All,

I'm after a decent pair of headphones and maybe an amp to drive them. I'll be listening to music from either an Iphone 4, PS3 via a Yamaha DSP-AX761 or my laptop.

I've narrowed it down to either:

Senn HD595
Audio Tech AD700
Beyer DT770
Grado SR125i

I had pretty much decided on the AD700 but have read about thier lack of bass?

I was thinking of the NJC Monitor audio 1 amp to go along with the headphones if they needed it.

I'm a bit stuck on which ones to go for. I listen to a whole range of music from alternative, rock, indie, electronic, live recordings, acoustic, so I need something that's good with everything.

Are the AD700 the best choice? If so would I need the amp seeing they don't need much driving?

I don't really want to go over £160 on the headphones. Although is it worth paying a bit more and and getting the DT880's for £200?

Thanks,

Jim.
 

qbazdz

Standard Member
Looks like we have similar config in mind.
I am really curious about the Monitor I opinions, especially when compared to other choices available.
 

davejames

Active Member
I might be able to help a little here, I dont own the Monitor I amp but I do own the NJC Monitor II amp & after owning it for a while now & comparing it to other amps including more recently a tube amp costing several times more I can honestly say that its hard to beat, sound quality & build quality are both exceptional, I would easily purchase anything from that maker without auditioning it, including the smaller Monitor I as the specs certainly indicate that its another good amp, British made too which is a rare thing these days :thumbsup:

[jimbohead], out of those headphones & considering the source being used id personally choose the DT770's or the HD595's, the 770's are better build than the 595's but either would be a good choice, the DT880's are a step up from the headphones on your list & I certainly recommend them, but considering your source being used you would be best with the DT770's or HD595's paired with the Monitor I amp.
 

jimbohead

Standard Member
Many thanks. Just read your review of the Monitor II. Looks very nice. Is it worth having a look at other amps around the £100 price range, if so any ideas?

On the headphone front I'm heading for the HD595's. From reading reviews they seem more rounded to the music I'll be listening too. What are the HD595's like against the AD700's? I keep getting drawn to them as everyone keeps mentioning how good the soundstage is.
 

davejames

Active Member
Yes the soundstage is very good on the Audio Technica headphones, but comparing both ATH-AD700's & HD595's the 595's have more bass but are slightly more boxy sounding compared to the ATH-AD700's (if thats the right choice of words), but basically whatever you choose would be a good choice, both have their good & not so good points, but nothing bad.

Yes I always look at every other option when deciding on what to buy, especially audio!, I did the same before I purchased the Monitor II amp, but at the end of the day I couldnt find anything of that high spec, the quality parts used, nice looking aluminium & entirely hand built in this country for that price, which you may find the same with that Monitor I amp.
 

jimbohead

Standard Member
Sold...I think I'll go with the Monitor 1. Another quick question if you don't mind :) The DT770's, which would you get the 80 or 250 when driven with the monitor 1? Thanks again...
 

qbazdz

Standard Member
This seems like a perfect thread for me...
At the moment, after reading all the reviews, looking at various stuff it appears that the best combo for my needs would be AD700s and the Monitor I with DAC (laptop).
I would use it mainly for movies, gaming (barely any) with ocassional listening to my collection of FLAC. Unfortunately I havent got space/time to get something more sensible to do it - PC with pro sound card and decent amp + speakers.

But I almost decided to go with DT770 Pro (80Ohm) but it appears that for this type of usage they wouldnt be best (as they are closed type). Anyone can comment?
What makes me a bit worried is the bass on the AD700s. I like it rich and full, but I hate when its overdone. I mostly listen to rock/metal/punk/grunge type of music. Would AD700 suit me than?
 

jimbohead

Standard Member
I'll just be listening to music really. But have read that the AD700's are meant to be good with games due to the open sound stage. The reported lack of bass has put me off though. Not sure if a closed set will be worse for games, but I suppose you'll want the most open sound you can get. I'm pretty much settled on the DT770's just not sure if I should now get the 80 or 250 version :) I didn't think it would be this hard to decide on a piar of headphones...
 

qbazdz

Standard Member
lol... I know the pain :)
I dont game as such to need the open sound, but Ive read that the closed ones are awful when watching movies...
 

davejames

Active Member
Sold...I think I'll go with the Monitor 1. Another quick question if you don't mind :) The DT770's, which would you get the 80 or 250 when driven with the monitor 1? Thanks again...
Id personally go for the 250ohm version, but im pretty sure either would be fine.
 

davejames

Active Member
This seems like a perfect thread for me...
At the moment, after reading all the reviews, looking at various stuff it appears that the best combo for my needs would be AD700s and the Monitor I with DAC (laptop).
I would use it mainly for movies, gaming (barely any) with ocassional listening to my collection of FLAC. Unfortunately I havent got space/time to get something more sensible to do it - PC with pro sound card and decent amp + speakers.

But I almost decided to go with DT770 Pro (80Ohm) but it appears that for this type of usage they wouldnt be best (as they are closed type). Anyone can comment?
What makes me a bit worried is the bass on the AD700s. I like it rich and full, but I hate when its overdone. I mostly listen to rock/metal/punk/grunge type of music. Would AD700 suit me than?
The ATH-AD700's are fine headphones for the money, its true that they are praised by many gamers due to their soundstage which is very nice, but as for the lack of bass its really hard to say if this would be a problem or not for you, as when people say they are lacking bass, compared to what? also many people seem to like unnatural amounts of bass, so obviously to them the ATH-AD700's would come across as really thin & feeble sounding bass.

Another choice would be the Sennheiser HD595's, or even the 555's, while they dont quite have the same soundstage as the ATH-AD700's its fine all the same & of course they do have more bass than the ATH-AD700's.

One thing though, your ear can & does get trained over time, so if you purchased the ATH-AD700's & found them to be a little weak on the bass end, over time your ear will adapt to that level & will be ok, if you then tried the DT770's you would actually think they were too bassy, but given a bit of time with just those & again it would become the norm.

It can be a difficult decision, in the end you just have to go for it & thats all you can do.
 

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