Buyer's Guide - Headfonia Headphone Reviews

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135 Comments

  • June 15, 2011

    Anonymous

    Please throw your suggestions for any additions to the list, or if I had missed anything.

    Thanks!

  • June 15, 2011

    nemo

    Anything for DACs ?

    • June 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes.. the HRT Music Streamers and the Audinst are popular ones and
      definitely need to be included in the list.

      Thanks, will revise the list.

  • June 15, 2011

    Mike

    Thanks for putting together this list!  It would be awesome to see a list of your recommended portable amps.  They really vary in terms of features and price but there’s gotta be a way to organize them.  Love your site!!!

  • June 15, 2011

    Obbie Hadrian

    1. I think it will be nice if there’s a list of recommended earbud too.
    2. It’ll be a whole lot easier to compare products if one can see the street price and its MSRP like ljokerl threads on head-fi, minus the scoring, I just don’t feel there’s a “right scoring system” where you can decide a number for a product SQ.
    3. Although you’ve already listed V-Jays in Portable (as a sub $100 recommendation), I’d love to see something in KSC75 price range in Portable. There’s a sub $50 recommendation in IEM so why not make one in Portable? 🙂

    • June 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Obbie,
      Thanks for the inputs.

      1. The only time I’ve reviewed earbuds are on this article, other than
      that my knowledge is pretty limited so I don’t think I’m qualified to
      make an earbuds recommendation list.
      2. I will try to add prices to the products. But this page is never
      intended to be a table comparison for products.
      3. I haven’t quite find anything too special in the KSC75 range. Sorry.

      • June 15, 2011

        Obbie Hadrian

        Well, it is hard to find anything special in sub$50 range 🙂

        • June 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          Precisely 🙂

  • June 20, 2011

    Rian Kurniawan

    mike, i think the prices of HD25, M50, TMA1 and Pro700 MkII has some typo 😀

    • June 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Fixed. Thanks, man.

  • July 9, 2011

    Danny

    Mike I think the price of senn cx300 is too pricey in there 😛

    And why you’ve put the HD580/600/650 and W1kX on IEM recomendation list?

    No recomendation for Beta22 in amplifier section huh? Hahahahaha… (I think Brian will have same idea with me LOL)

    • July 11, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ah I really mess this list up bad didn’t I. Thanks for catching them for me. 

      Beta22? I haven’t been too enthusiastic about it lately. Great technicalities, that’s all. 

    • July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Fixed! Thanks for notifying

  • July 15, 2011

    Anonymous

    Hi Mike,

    I noticed that the Sony MDR-Z1000 is no longer on your list. Have you stopped recommending it or is it missing due to formatting error? 🙂

    Thanks!

    • July 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi
      For some reason this page is getting all messed up. I need to find time
      to fix it. Thanks for notifying me, cansman.

    • July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Fixed. Thanks for notifying!

  • July 18, 2011

    Rūdolfs Putniņš

    You might want to point out that the LCD-2 recently got a driver update so the newer second revision drivers sound a bit different. More resolution and more pronounced trebble or so they say. Quite the buzz these phones have made at the Head-fi.

    • July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, thanks Rudolfs. Will add that in.
       

  • July 19, 2011

    Cyromadeu

    Hi, greetings from Brazil. I found headfonia while browsing www looking for headphones to listen to classical symphonic music and that will give me a big soundstage, silky but not rolled off highs, a moderatly laid back sound and good tonal balance. Thanks for any help. Cyro.

    • July 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      That sounds like a HD800. But what is your budget?

      • July 20, 2011

        Cyromadeu

        My budget limit is  US$ 500.

        • July 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Then get the HD650. It’s my favorite headphone for Symphonies especially Beethoven’s 9th.

          Please read this article to familiarize yourself with it, so you can decide better if it’s right for you. 
          http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/

          • July 21, 2011

            Cyromadeu

            Thanks headfonia! I was leaning toward the hd650, now I´m sure!

            • July 22, 2011

              Anonymous

              Nice.

              The HD600 is also a good headphone. But the HD650 is better for
              Symphonies. After all, Beethoven’s 9th is like the national music in
              Germany — for sure Sennheiser tested their headphones with it many many
              times.

          • July 23, 2011

            Cyromadeu

            Considering a US$ 500 budget which headamp should I consider to drive the hd6500 to their best? Also I ´d like to hear your toughts on the Benchmark´s HPA2 headamp included in their DAC1 line? 

        • July 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Also, between the HD600 and the HD650:
          http://www.headfonia.com/the-sennheiser-trio-hd580-hd600-hd650/

          The HD600 is more neutral and less laid back. The HD650 is more laid back and has more bass body.

  • July 27, 2011

    Scytus

    I’m considering the T1’s for electronica & classical music, as well as some gaming. Knowing my musical selection, would it make a good choice? (I’ve listened to the LCD-2 and did not like the sound, its just my opinion, but when directly compared to the T1, it was far too…murky for me, might be a poor choice of words) Also what would be a great price-to-performance amp & dac to pair it with?

    I ask as the T1 is already an expensive headphone for me, I’d want to get a great quality amp & dac, but not something that would be past the point of diminishing returns. (An HDP was recommended to me by another user)

    • July 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Scytus,
      I personally think that the T1 would be too bright for Electronica, but since you’ve listened to it and feels that it’s a better match for you, then I think that’s great.

      As for a DAC/Amp, there are a few choices.
      The Audinst for sub$200.
      http://www.headfonia.com/audinst-hud-mx1-dac/

      The Fostex HP-A3 and the CEntrance DACport for ~$400. http://www.headfonia.com/centrance-dacmini-and-dacport/ http://www.headfonia.com/fostex-hp-a3/

      Obviously the $400 options will give you a better sound than the Audinst.

      • July 28, 2011

        Scytus

        Thank you sir.

        The main two genres I’m interested in would be
        classical & electronica. 

        Unfortunately I believe those two contrast each
        other x]

        I was previously
        interested in was the DT990, and while I was drawn in for the bass, I was
        scared away by the reports of harsh/sibilant highs. I listened to the T1 and
        absolutely fell in love with their tonality & soundstage, but it’s true I
        felt the bass was just a bit lacking.. though I thought a warm amp (and/or good
        EQ) might alleviate that? I’m afraid of sacrificing that theatrical bass, as it’s
        quite important for me. A common choice around head-fi for the T1 was Woo Tube
        amps, specifically the WA2. Unfortunately, the WA2 is just as much as the can
        itself, which I am still trying to save up for.

        I do also have
        quite the interest in gaming, and the use of either CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone
        for competitive gaming. The priority in gaming I have would also mean that I
        need a set of cans that provide both good soundstage and imaging. I felt that
        open cans leaked too much, which made the semi-closed nature of the T1 appeal
        to me, as I’d be able to have the soundstage of the open can without the (full)
        drawbacks of the immense leaking. This is also what I worried of with the
        DT990, more leaking that the T1.

        Considering that I
        value both gaming & music, my plan is essentially this: Buy a Creative
        Titanium HD soundcard. The soundcard has 2 sets of outputs important to me, the
        line-out L/R, and the Optical outs. What I’d do with the line-out (which has
        the CMSS-3D effects) is that I’d connect it directly to an amp (an amp that has
        2 inputs), and use that (input 1) as my gaming input. Then I’d connect the
        Optical outs to an external DAC, and I’d connect that external DAC to the next
        input of the amp (input 2). So I can toggle between gaming & music mode on
        my computer/amp simply by switching inputs.

        What I’ve concluded out of my research was to get the T1,
        pair it with a warm amp of sorts (to hopefully get a more present/thumping
        bass), and a clear DAC. Knowing this, would you say I should continue with this
        route, and possibly look at tube amps (or a warm ss amp)? Or should I go a
        completely different direction entirely?

        • July 28, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, they do contrast each other and in a big way too.

          The T1 is a nice headphone and if you like it then go for it. I think it’ll do nicely on a Schiit Asgard if your budget is limited. The Asgard would make for quite a nice all rounder amp though maybe not up to the quality of the WA2.

          I personally don’t play games but if you’re looking for accurate imaging then the T1 does that.

          As for the two inputs on your soundcard.. I don’t understand why you want to do that. I mean the routing of the analog input to input 1 and the optical output to a separate DAC then on to input 2 of the same amp.

          • July 28, 2011

            Scytus

            Oh, the reasoning being that the CMSS-3D effects are only available from the analog ports AFAIK. That was fine, but I didn’t want to be forced to use the soundcard’s DAC for my musical listening, and so I planned to assign the optical port to a DAC, then use the second input on my amp for when not gaming.

            I’ll check out the Asgard, thank you.

            • July 29, 2011

              Anonymous

              Ah, I suppose you’re right.

              Well the Asgard doesn’t come with two inputs actually.

          • August 15, 2011

            Scytus

            Sorry for the late response, how would the Matrix do then with the T1?

            • August 16, 2011

              Anonymous

              I don’t think the resolution of the amplifier is fine enough for the T1. If your budget is limited, I think you have to let go wanting to have multiple inputs.

  • July 31, 2011

    Joseph

    Amazon is now selling the HD 600 and HD 650 for $314.95 and $379.99 respectively.

    • August 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Joseph. Will update the page.

  • August 5, 2011

    Carlo

    Hi, Mike.

    What are your recommended portable sources? 

    • August 6, 2011

      Anonymous

      Portable sources…

      There are so many good ones out there. What are you looking for? Small/big? Ipod based?

      • August 9, 2011

        Carlo

        i am looking for a small portable source that has a long battery life, preferably slim, and something that can also integrate well into a desktop setup.

  • August 13, 2011

    JoonBug

    Mike, have the Ultrasone Edition 8s fallen out of favor with you? I wonder if you still recommend them like you did a while ago in your review.

    • August 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      It’s a good headphone, but I don’t think I’ve ever put them in the recommendation list for several reasons: it is very expensive, and yet I don’t think it’s really that special.

      • August 15, 2011

        JoonBug

        Ok, thanks. What would be a better choice for a closed phone with better SQ than the Edition 8s? I always feel the are 8s expensive compared to an HD800 and LCD2, but perhaps not for what they do. Especially compared to the Beyer T5p… But before buying an Ed8 myself, I’d like to get your input.

        • August 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          I think first and foremost you need to make sure that the Ultrasone signature is fitting for you. Give some of the other models a try, like the HFI-780 for instance. The Ed8 in a way is an extension of that.

          It is true that the closed headphones landscape is a bit limited.. there aren’t a lot of choices out there. That’s why people go with custom IEMs and such, I guess.

  • August 15, 2011

    Blarg

    Do you know the Asgard has a history of damaging  headphones? 

    • August 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      I’ve heard about the Lyr doing that, but not the Asgard. Do they do that?

      • August 16, 2011

        Blarg

        http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/562736/what-causes-this-amp-related
        I don’t want to get into the controversial stuff about the guy who was banned, but the amp itself does seem dangerous! Not something I would recommend. 😛

        • August 17, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks, Blarg.

          Let me read that thread first and see if the Asgard does need to be removed from the Recommendations page. An amplifier that blows headphones up probably doesn’t deserve to be recommended.

  • August 15, 2011

    Andy

    Hey Mike,
    I thought that the Yulong U100 was your new recommendation for a budget USB DAC/amp box. Is there a reason that you’re recommending the HUD-MX1 here?

    Could it be because of the Yulong’s apparent issue with Macs, or is there another reason?

    • August 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes the driver issues. I don’t want to recommend something that has driver issues.

      • August 16, 2011

        Andy

        Aside from the drivers, is there any other reason to get the HUD-MX1 over the U100? I use Windows so the drivers shouldn’t be an issue.

        Which do you think would be better as a budget  USB DAC/amp setup, the U100, HUD-MX1, or FiiO E7+E9? Will be using with the HD25-1 II for now, playing mostly electronica.

        • August 17, 2011

          Anonymous

          Well, aside from the drivers, if you’re strictly looking from the performance stand point, then the U100 is definitely better. But there are other things like sound signature, where the U100 is brighter and the HUD-MX1 is darker. So, that’s your pick.

          Between the three you listed, the HUD-MX1 has been my favorite entry level solution. It’s just so versatile.

  • August 17, 2011

    DodgersKings323

    Wondering where the Total Bithead would stack up around here.

    • August 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      It would be nice to do a review of the Total Bithead, wouldn’t it?

  • August 18, 2011

    Carlo

    Mike,

    What desktop amp would you recommend that has at least 2 RCA inputs?

    Thanks!

  • August 20, 2011

    Reckoncile

    Great job! I really enjoyed reading this. Looking forward to the rest of the article.

    • August 22, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks..

  • September 8, 2011

    Gerard Dijkstra

    Very nice, would like to see you incorporate Grado as well.

    • September 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Gerard. 

      I think I will add in an Alessandro MS-1. Grados are great, I probably should think of which model to recommend.

  • September 8, 2011

    Ryan Adiputra

    i think a jays one worth to be inside the IEM’s list 😀 , that IEM is good for that price , LOL .

    • September 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Really? Haven’t auditioned the A Jays one.

    • September 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Really? Haven’t auditioned the A Jays one.

  • September 19, 2011

    Anonymous

    Hi Mike, Would love to hear your review on Banzai  Jelly V7,Topping T21,Topping T30,Bravo Audio Valve Class A in your list as well. Thanks Mike.Very appreciated and Good Job…:):):)

  • September 30, 2011

    Reticuli

    “Often dubbed thin and clinical, but the people who loves treble, precise sound, and expansive soundstage remains a loyal follower”

    The ER4S would only be dubbed that by someone who either didn’t seal it in their ears right or used the wrong amp with it.  Sealed and even with a moddest Emu 0204 feeding an E7 it sounds astounding and neutral.  Maybe some who like extra bass might call it midrange-centric, but thing and treble oriented?  That’s not listening to it as intended for sure.  Heck, I’m still on a decade-long quest to find a conventional headphone that sounds like it.

    • September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Good observation. I also want to find a full size that sounds like the ER4 and recently even thought about buying another ER4. It’s just that amazing.

  • October 4, 2011

    David

    Hi Mike, I’m looking to buy a HRT MS2+ with an amp. I’m more of a warm and musical guy so what type of amp would match well with the MS2+?

    • October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi David,
      The Schiit Asgard is good and is warm sounding, and pairs well with the MS2 as well.

      • October 4, 2011

        David

        Yeah I was looking at the Asgard and the price is great. What about the Woo Audio wa6 and the Burson? I forgot to mention these will be powering an Sennheiser hd650.

        • October 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          The Burson and the Woo are good amps too.

  • October 17, 2011

    Jackblack

    Hey, Is this page being updated because you give raving reviews on products such as the Fiio E10 and HE 300 buy don’t add them up on this page.

    • October 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes normally I would wait a while before adding a new product to the recommendation page. Wait to see how people find the product to be and if turns out to be well liked then I’ll add it in to the recommendations.

  • October 21, 2011

    Anonymous

    When you say the Asgard is smoother and more refined than the M-stage are you comparing it to the OPA627 and Class A biased M-stage? I heard the OPA627 and Class A mod brought out smoother sound from the M-stage.

    • October 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, smoother even with the OPA627 biased class A. Especially in the bass region.

  • October 23, 2011

    Adhya Kumara

    Hei mike, I am enjoying this Recommendation page (just find out that you have this hehe). But, you did not cover recommendation headphone for Classical music. hehehe..

    preferable for IEM and Portable that suitable for symphony orchestra, vocal (such as tenor, soprano, etc).

    thanks

    • October 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hey what are you doing here man?

      IEM: Try the Hifiman RE-0 or the Etymotics ER-4P. I still think the Etymotics is the best IEM for classical. Should be good for vocal, symphony and orchestras. Perhaps a little weak in strings, but almost all headphones are weak in strings.

  • October 26, 2011

    Crane1111

    Hello Mike,

    Do you know what are better headphones for movies between the  Denon AH-D2000, Senn 598 and Beyer 990 Pro or Premium?

    • October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Crane,
      I would go with the Denon.

      • October 26, 2011

        Crane1111

         and between Ultrasone Pro 990s and the D2000s?  for bass/movies?

        • October 26, 2011

          Anonymous

          Different bass, but I think the Denon is a bit better for movies.

  • October 31, 2011

    Sunil

    Brilliant …

    Would be great to see it in a grid fashion – pivoted around music genres …

    Thanks
    Sunil. 

    • October 31, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Sunil.

      That would be good, but I’m not sure I have a good “solution” for every single genre-product category combination.

  • November 8, 2011

    Activebass

    Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations. I notice that there aren’t any AMP / DAC recommendations (just AMP as far as I can tell) would it be possible for you to add some recommendation in that category as well?

    Also, what would your recommendations be for a good desktop AMP / DAC combo to give the HD598 a boost? Would the Furutech ADL GT40 or Schiit Asgard + Bifrost be overkill. Buying either one should hopefully help me future-proof somewhat I guess.

    Thanks!

    • November 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes I definitely need to add some in.

      For now I think you can probably try in the CEntrance DACport with your HD598. It’s a nice and simple solution with good sound.
      I’ve never listened to the Furutech so I can’t say. The Asgard and Bitfrost looks like a very promising combo, and I can vouch for the Asgard, but we’re still waiting to get our Bitfrost for review.

      • November 11, 2011

        Activebass

        Hi Mike, thanks for the suggestion, but the CEntrance DACport might be a bit out of budget and so I’m thinking about the E10 with the HD598. In your review of the E10 you compare it to the Audinst and wrote:

        “What keeps me holding on to the E10, however, is the bass section and
        the midrange. Though I never feel the Audinst to be lacking on those
        areas, but next to the E10 with its fuller mids and lows (even with bass
        boost off), the Audinst seemed to be overly laid back and lacking PRaT.
        The E10 however very easily got my attention with its full sounding
        vocal and punchy bass.”

        I auditioned the HD598 yesterday as well as a DT880 250 Ohm and the treble on the DT880 were killing my ears. The HD598, however, sounded very good with every genre and had me rocking to RHCP’s “Suck My Kiss”.  I still found a bit “restrained’ in the mid-range department though, so would you think the E10 a good partner for the HD598?

        • November 14, 2011

          Anonymous

          Good observations, I also find the DT880 to be too bright for mainstream music recordings like RHCP.
          This is my take on it: http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/
          Now the HD598 would be a good pairing with the E10, but I’m not so sure if it’ll open up the restrained midrange enough for you. It’s going to be a good, fun pairing, but if you want absolutely clear midrange you may need to spend more than that.

          • November 14, 2011

            Activebass

            Now THAT is a long review! 😉 I will read it in its entirety, but I did skim through some parts and then the last page. The thing is that even if the DT880 are so revealing they would theoretically be great for monitoring, I would say they would lend themselves only to monitoring certain genres of music. Mainly acoustic, vocal-centric recordings and mellow jazz recordings without horns or drummer.

            I hear what you’re saying and so will do a bit more research and wait for the cans to arrive first. I pulled the trigger on the HD598 through Amazon. I’ll listen to them through my new MArantz CD6004 first and then my laptop.  Once I know how they sound with my laptop, I’ll have a better idea of how I want to compliment them.

            Thanks for the feedback!

            • November 15, 2011

              Anonymous

              Yes that was a really long review, and I totally agree with you on the DT880. I think they are good headphones, if you are listening to flawless, audiophile recordings. Any less than that and they’re pretty cruel.
              Good let me know how you like the HD598.

          • November 27, 2011

            Activebass

             Hey Mike, you asked me to let you know how I like the HD598, so here’s a brief summary. New out of the box, they sounded very impressive with female vocals plugged in straight to my Marantz CD6004 CD player. Tori Amos, Adele, Rebecca Pidgeon’s Spanish Harlem all sounded really good an accurate. The drums on Amos’ Crucify must sound fantastic. Indeed, drums overall sound great on these cans except that the kick drum lacks a bit of punch. Next I put in Metallica’s self-titled album (black cover) and the cans don’t sound amazing except for Lars Ulrich’s drums. They sound absolutely killer. the guitars sound restrained though, but half an hour later I can already hear the cans opening up slightly when I go back to the opening track ‘Enter Sandman’ and it’s definitely not my ears getting used to the sound. So I’ve been burning in the cans for 36 hours now and they already sound better and more open.

            I’ve stopped trying to figure out what genres they do or do not sound good with, because it depends on the recording. The HD598 are not kind with poor recordings – especially not from my laptop. I hear a lot of clipping even at low volumes.

            Sometimes I feel they don’t do fast rock well, but then I listen to System of a Down’s ‘Chopy Suey’ and the HD598 kicks ass – Rick Rubin just produces great albums. I will say that the cans always sound very good with more mid-tempo stuff across all genres. Classic rock, pop, vocal-centric recordings, orchestral, reggae etc.

            What they don’t do well is most electronic/dance stuff, but I don’t listen to that kinda stuff much.

            The cans sound a lot better from my Marantz CD player, so I guess that deck must have a very good DAC built in. I will probably get a USB DAC/amp for my laptop that can supply a bit more punch in the low end and clarity in the upper mids. Any suggestions? I am going to enter the Burson photo contest 😉

            For anybody reading this – straight out of your laptop, you can improve the sound of the HD598 by using your music player’s graphic equalizer.
            Boost the 62Hz frequency by 2 or 3 notches. 125Hz by 1. 1KHz by 2 & 8 KHz by 4 notches and you’ll get a more fun/engaging/livelier listening experience.
            Songs like 311’s amber or Summer Romance by Incubus sound a lot better that way then on flat. Even the Eagles and Norah Jones benefit from these settings.

            Overall I’m happy, but not ecstatic. Hopefully they will sound even better after 100 hours burn-in. Two things I love about the HD598 though – they are the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn – no sweaty ears or clamping force squeezing your skull and there’s no listening fatigue. Listening for hours without my ears getting tired even at louder volumes = aural heaven! Sorry for the long post.

            • November 28, 2011

              Mike

              Hey Activebass,
              I think your review is spot on, and I agree with almost everything you say there. How it’s superb with female vocals, lackking punch for kick drums, not kind with bad recordings, bad with electronic music and everything else.
              The Burson would give you the improved mid clarity and the low end impact, better than the Marantz CDP. However, the HD598 is inherently not a very strong bass-punch headphone. The Mid clarity, out of a high end tube amp is excellent though.

        • November 14, 2011

          Anonymous

          And I don’t mean that the E10 has a bad midrange either, but I’m not sure how clear of a midrange you are looking for here.

      • November 17, 2011

        GettCouped

        I have the Bifrost and Asgard and I can tell you the combination is amazing. A very high level of detail combined with great imaging and a warm edge. I haven’t tried the USB portion yet. Use LCD-2 r1 and T1. The T1 sounds luxurious.

        • November 17, 2011

          Anonymous

          I can imagine how that would sound. The Asgard is a very good pairing with the T1, and having a good DAC behind it is just going to make it better.

  • November 8, 2011

    Activebass

    Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations. I notice that there aren’t any AMP / DAC recommendations (just AMP as far as I can tell) would it be possible for you to add some recommendation in that category as well?

    Also, what would your recommendations be for a good desktop AMP / DAC combo to give the HD598 a boost? Would the Furutech ADL GT40 or Schiit Asgard + Bifrost be overkill. Buying either one should hopefully help me future-proof somewhat I guess.

    Thanks!

  • December 2, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Mike,

    Have you listed to the Rolls/Bellari HA540?  It is the same price as the Asgard but all tube Class A amp that can drive headphones from 16-2000Ohms!

    • December 3, 2011

      Mike

      Need to give it a try, but the standard Rolls amplifier is not very high quality.

  • December 3, 2011

    Kevin Sommers

    The burson didn’t make the list? I’m surprised, you seem to really like it. Just wondering, I was thinking of picking up the DS model for my rig. I have a feeling it will pair well with my Ultrasone PRO2900, which you should review some time. 🙂

    • December 3, 2011

      Mike

      Kevin, yea the list is in no way final and I really should consider the Burson to be put in the list.

  • December 5, 2011

    Chris

    Would the Musiland 02 US be better than the HRT Streamer II or HRT Streamer II all the way?

    • December 5, 2011

      Mike

      HRT MS2 all the way.

  • December 6, 2011

    Anonymous

    Hi Mike,

    I was wondering if you could help me with a recommendation? 

    I’ve just changed jobs and regret that I’ll be spending much of my time on public transport; I am looking for some ultra-portables with enough isolation to avoid upsetting fellow passengers.

    If it’s any help, I have a basic (iPod -> Fiio L3 -> JDS Labs cMoyBB) setup and listen to most kinds of music, including Acid Jazz, Soul, Indie Electro and DnB.

    Thanks,

    Thomas

    • December 6, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Thomas,
      I think the most isolating ultra portable headphone is the Marshall Major. And from there the HD25-1 and the Beyerdynamic DT1350.

      • December 6, 2011

        Anonymous

        Hi Mike,

        Thanks for your recommendation.

        I absolutely love the HD25-1, but I think it’s a bit too big for me to commute with.

        I will have a look at the other recommendations to see how they stack up from a size perspective.

        Thanks,

        Thomas

        • December 6, 2011

          Mike

          Thomas,
          The DT1350 should be much smaller in size. 🙂

  • December 11, 2011

    RCWillis9

    Hello Mike,

    Any thoughts on the Little Dot MK III?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    • December 12, 2011

      Mike

      Bob,
      I’ve listened to the Mk4 and it was a good amplifier. I have no experience with the Mk3 though.
      Rgds,

      Mike

      • December 27, 2011

        Den

        Hey Mike,

        Could you share your thoughts on the Mk4? 

        Thanks,

        Den

        • December 27, 2011

          Chris

          Sorry, meant Chris.  LOL  Don’t know where Den came from.

        • December 28, 2011

          Mike

          Den,
          The Mk4 was smooth sounding, a little mellow/slow paced, spacious soundstage, good mids, smooth treble, typical tube amp bass (mostly in the upper bass, not much lows).

  • December 12, 2011

    Miguel

    Hello Mike!
    I just received my Sennheiser HD650. What do you think about using my pc laptop with Woo Audio WA6 and SennheiserHD650?
    Thanks,
    Miguel

    • December 14, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Miguel,
      Yes just add in a good DAC in between like the HRT MS2/MS2+ or DACport LX.

  • December 17, 2011

    LQ

    hi mike, i read ur review on dt1350 and what i get that the dt1350 is a  better in spec techs, but why you dont put it one the recommendation list?

    • December 17, 2011

      Mike

      Not easy to get on the Recommendations list 😉

      What I do is I wait to get some feedbacks from friends who own the product and see if they are happy with the purchase, because tech specs are meaningless if people don’t enjoy it. I want to make sure that the Recommendations list contain products that are truly enjoyable to own and listen to.

  • December 23, 2011

    Bak

    hi mike, any experience with the AKG K 430?  my px100s just died, so i’m considering between these and the px-200 ii’s…. i listen to mostly hip hop but also alot of asian pop, acoustic, ballads…

  • December 25, 2011

    Lorenzo Guerrini

    help me
    which amp and dac for hd-600?Burson ha-160 + V-DACII or Burson ha-160DS or other?I love the dynamic sound and soft

    • December 26, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Lorenzo,
      Can you explain more? Dynamic sound and soft? What music, what bands?

  • January 4, 2012

    Barbara Johansen

    Great site!
    Im about to buy the P5 from Bowers and Wilkins for my IPhone 4S. Love their sound, goes perfectly with my music taste and spoken word.
    But I am really unsure Of what amp to go for? Any thoughts?

    • January 4, 2012

      Mike

      Barbara,
      I would go direct with the P5. It runs very well just straight out of the Iphone.

  • January 4, 2012

    Georgelai57

    Hi. I’m no headphone-phile though I do have the Audio Technica ATH M50, Grado SR60i, Klipsch Image One and IEMs like Senns S4i. The problem is I just can’t get used to IEMs despite oval tips like the S4i. I know earbuds that sit outside like Apple’s stock ones aren’t great sound-wise but can you recommend some good ones? No headband type or neckband type. Ideally like Apple’s stock, with iPhone mic preferably, and of course great sound. Great website too!

  • January 10, 2012

    Little Blue

    Hi Mike, I need some help on what to get my audiophile boyfriend for his birthday.  He has Sennheiser HD598s, a Denon AVR 2807, a turntable, and B&W speakers.  He just listens to music (rap, rock, indie music, etc)  at his desktop at home mostly.  Any ideas for me to wow him??

    • January 10, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Amy,
      You can get him a new headphone, something easy to enjoy like the Sennheiser HD25-1.
      Or you can get him a cool desktop amplifier for headphones like the Schiit Asgard. For $250 I think he’ll be surprised that his girlfriend somehow manages to dig up this cool amplifier to use with his Sennheiser headphone.
      Please check the Amplifier Recommendations section for the Schiit Asgard, or Headphones Recommendations for the HD25-1.

      • January 10, 2012

        Little Blue

        He could use an amp even though he already has a reciever? Doesn’t that already have an amp in it? Or am I dumb…

        • January 11, 2012

          Lieven V

          The receiver does have an amp, for the speakers, not one dedicated to a headphone. I’m sure he’ll love the Asgard or some nice new headphones. I would 🙂

          • January 11, 2012

            Little Blue

            What would be a comparable amp…but not as much lol.  like max $150

        • January 11, 2012

          Mike

          Yes you are right Amy. So it’s entirely up to you, a new headphone would be cool too, but I think a separate dedicated amp would be good and the Asgard should be better than the headphone amp in the receiver.

      • January 11, 2012

        Little Blue

        What about the NuForce uDAC2?

  • January 12, 2012

    Florent Vaucelle

    Hi Mike, I have 400€ (about $500) available for an amp/dac

  • January 12, 2012

    Florent Vaucelle

    Hi Mike, I have 400€ (about $500) available for an amp/dac upgrade, and I though about getting Schiit Asgard paired with Fiio Alpen so I could have dac and amp for both office and portable setup.
    I’m wondering if there’s a better alternative like a dedicated dac + portable amp + Asgard that could fit within my budget, but I’m kind of lost with all these portable devices available! I currently own E7+E9 and would like to move on to step 2.

    Note that I’m not holding tight on the Asgard, but you seem to praise it quite a lot, and the price look very fair.

    Thanks!

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