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Old 12-21-2010, 12:13 PM
Kiiskinen Kiiskinen is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 21
Default High-end headphones for studio/home/travel!

Good day all,
I'll give you the short version first, since I know I have a habit of writing too much and not everyone is willing to read a huge wall of text:
- 500€ to spend, can extend up to 600 easily and 700 with a stretch
- Two pairs of headphones: One pair that's all about SQ for home and studio, one (cheaper) pair that's portable, energetic and aggressive, excelling in rock and heavy.
- A portable amp, a home amp and a dac.
- Taste in music is from classical to rock to rap to trance to pop to deathmetal to jazz to... Well, everything really. See link for a mosaic of my all time fav. albums if interested http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/7227/mosaicsm.jpg


I've been a happy music lover for pretty much all my life, and I was perfectly happy with my pair of streetstyle Sonys and my iPod, until recently when I started recording vocals at a professional studio and magically developed a taste for... well, SQ.

My current set-up -- ignoring the stuff at the studio for now -- with my computer is a pair of Senn HD 428's, plugged into my stereo which is plugged into my comp. For outdoors/travel I've got a pair of Senn PMX 90's, a Cowon X7, an iPod Classic 80gb and a FiiO E5, which was enough stuff to keep my satisfied for about a week, and now I'm looking to upgrade, hopefully to a level above, if not to the highest possible level yet (uni. student here, not rolling around in cash).

What I'm looking for is:
- A pair of open/closed circumaural headphones for heavy use at home. I've been drooling for Senn 598's and 650's, but I'm open for suggestions (no AKG or Koss though, preferably). I'd love phones that are great with every type of music, but for home I prefer clear and balanced sound (not too heavy on the bass). The type of relaxed enjoyable sound that Sennheisers seem to provide.
- A pair of portable headphones that excell in rock. Compared to the cheap Sony Streetstyles both the 428's and PMX 90's lose when it comes to rock. They just don't have the certain 'edge' to the sound -- they sound too relaxing for rock. I've been looking at Ultrasone Zino and Grados iGrado to fill this void -- Any thoughts? I dislike IEM's and headbands (neckband is the best for me), but again I'm open for suggestions

- A portable amp, that also would work as a beginner level headphone amp & dac for me at home. Can be two products that together fill both these needs. I've been eyeing the FiiO E7 + E9 combo, that seems pretty much perfect as far as price goes, and from what I've heard and experienced FiiO products are not exactly bad either. Thoughts? Suggestions?

My budget for the whole thing is about 500€, but it's extendable up to 600, and if it benefits my setup greatly, even 700 is doable. Buying second-hand is not out of the question.

That's about all I think. Ask for more information if necessary. All tips and suggestions highly appreciated.


O.K.

Last edited by Kiiskinen; 12-27-2010 at 10:37 AM. Reason: reworked
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