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DT 990 and FiiO k5 Pro issues: please advise

Jezu

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Feb 1, 2021
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Hi guys, noob here so bare with me :rolleyes:

I've been running my DT990's through my Scarlet 2i2 audio interface for years now and decided it was time for an upgrade. I thought getting a dedicated DAC/AMP would improve my sound from these cans, so after a bunch of research I grabbed the K5 Pro. Disappointingly I found that although the K5 gets much louder, the overall sound clarity/quality was only very very slightly better (not worth the cost), and at louder volumes above what the 2i2 can push I'm just hitting distortion and the brightness of the 990's really comes out in a bad way.
I'm thinking of returning the K5 pro, but I was also wondering if a new pair of cans + the K5 would solve the issue.. OR a different DAC/AMP set for around the 200 USD price?.

I took my 990's in to a local store and did some AB testing against HD650 using their top end amps and honestly the 650's came out more bright and a bit stale compared to the 990's at the same volume levels which confused the heck outta me, considering everything I've read rates the HD650 way above the 990's :(.. basically lost and on a timer to return that K5..

In summary my options are get a different (better) DAC/AMP set up or new cans and keep the 2i2 or replace the whole set up?..

Looking at the Topping DX3 Pro V2 on drop as a potential option.. and HD600, Hifiman 4XX, HD6XX - $$$$:eek:

Thanks
 

sweetchaos

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Hi, Welcome to ASR! :)

Have you seen the "Headphone Review and Measurements Index"?
Set "Recommended? (EQ)" to "yes"
Sorted $-$$:
1612156367017.png

Any of these should be on your short list.

Regarding DACs/Headphone Amps:
- See Amir's "Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface Gen 3" Review.
- See Amir's "Topping DX3Pro V1" Review.
If you wanted to upgrade your current setup on a budget, look at Topping E30/L30 combo for US$300/set.

EDIT:
I'm not suggesting a new DAC/HA, but wanted to give you a source of information you can dive into, if needed.
Yes, the issue is the headphones.
 
Last edited:

boselover61

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I think the problem's the headphone. the DT 990 is a extremely colored headphone.
 

amirm

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DT990 is a bright headphone that is inefficient and when pushed easily gets distorted. So your observations are correct. As to HD650, you need to use EQ with it. Once there it should be a fine solution. I would not chase amplifiers until you get a better headphone as was just noted.
 

bluefuzz

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In summary my options are get a different (better) DAC/AMP set up or new cans and keep the 2i2 or replace the whole set up?
Regardless of DAC/AMP you need to be using EQ. Both DT990 and HD650 are perfectly decent headphones with EQ, but close to unlistenable without ...
 

blse59

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If you want a different sound I suggest different headphones or EQ headphones to taste. The K5 Pro is already transparent and is not the issue. A different or more expensive amp/dac will not give you a better sound.
 
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